New York based percussionist Laura Jordan has performed in Europe, Canada, Mexico and throughout the United States, in venues including Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Hall, the Massachusetts MoCa, the Skirball Center of Los Angeles, the National Geographic in Washington, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Local venues include The Player’s Theater, Galapagos Arts Space, The Triad, WMP Gallery, Tribeca Arts Center, Lehman College, Public Assembly, People’s Lounge, 40C lounge and others.
Laura has been featured as a marimba/percussion soloist internationally, and is an in-demand freelance chamber musician, orchestral player, drum set and world percussion specialist in the New York tri-state area. A new music activist and programmer, Laura has co-commissioned works by Martin Bresnick, Lukas Ligeti and others as well as having curated projects and concerts at venues such as the Merkin Concert Hall, MASS MoCA and The Player’s Theater, among others.
In 2010, she was selected as a fellow by the Bang on a Can organization, which was founded by composers David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon. She has participated in several festivals including the Paris Marimba Competition and Perkumania festival in 2006, for which she received a Peabody Career Grant, and the first Zeltsman “Princeton” Marimba Festival in 2001, for which she received a Semans Art Fund Grant. In the 2009-10 season, Laura served as the Artistic Director of the Takemitsu Project, which was funded by a substantial Collaborative Performing Arts Grant from New York University for which she wrote and was awarded. The grant also established a composition competition for New York University students. Through the project, she was able to present the New York Premiere of Toru Takemitsu’s relatively forgotten “Seasons” (1970) for percussion quartet and magnetic tape.
Laura has been a marimba soloist on the Composer’s Voice Series at Jan Hus church as well as the Music on MacDougal Series, which featured the world premiere of Mark Janello’s Sonata for Violin and Marimba. In 2006, she gave the Western premiere of Menachem Zur’s ”Translations for Percussion and Electronics.“ With the composer, she co-produced a recording of the work that has since been broadcast several times on Israeli radio. In 2010, she performed “Makrokosmos III (Music for a Summer Evening)” at the Bang on a Can Music Festival with pianist Vicky Ray, as well as several works on mallet percussion and drum set with the Bang on a Can All Stars. A George Crumb specialist, in 2005, she presented the complete cycle of his “Madrigals Books I-IV.”
Laura performs in the percussion section of the Greenwich Symphony, Richmond County Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra of the Americas, and the Garden State Philharmonic. She is active in chamber music and has worked as a guest artist with the Nouveau Classical Project, Axiom Percussion, The Howl Theory, the New York Guitar Quartet, and Ensemble Galilei, with whom she appears on the 2005 recording “Alta.” She regularly performs with local theater companies including Making Books Sing, Prospect Theater Company, Percussion People, Huxley Vertical Cabaret Nouveau, Literally Alive and All Children’s Theater. Laura grew up playing rock drums and often sits in with various rock/indie, hip-hop and R&B groups in Brooklyn, the LES and New Jersey.
Laura has studied world percussion under Kumar Das (tabla), Myron Bretholz (bodhrán), Mark Cudek (early percussion), Valerie Naranjo (djembe), and Brent Roman (Cirque du Soleil). Laura has provided live percussion for modern dance and theater for the North Carolina School of the Arts, Peabody Institute, New York University, and the National Dance Institute (NDI).
As an educator, Laura is faculty at the Ridgewood Conservatory of Music, Finger Power Music, Long Island Music Conservatory, the Bronx Conservatory of Music, and director/educator at Washington Heights Percussion, a school she founded in 2005. She has served as an adjunct professor at New York University, and has presented master classes at many institutions, including the Juilliard Pre-College and East Carolina University. In 2010, she was invited to give a week long percussion and marimba residency at the International Preschools, teaching children of United Nations diplomats.
Laura believes in giving back to her community and has extensive experience working with special needs, the economically underserved, and incarcerated populations. She has taught group classes and given outreach concerts in challenging environments such as the south Bronx, downtown Baltimore, and to audiences and students with severe learning disabilities.
Laura received her M.M. from the Peabody Conservatory in 2005, and her B.M. from the Peabody Conservatory in 2004, where she was a student of Robert van Sice and Jonathan Haas. Prior to that, she studied under John R. Beck at the North Carolina School of the Arts high school immersive arts program. Laura is currently completing a Ph.D. dissertation on the percussion works of Toru Takemitsu at New York University. Laura is endorsed by the Latin Percussion Co. (LP) and Marimba One, and currently serves as the Secretary of the New York State Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.