Jonathan Ovalle (b.1976) is a Mexican-American drummer/percussionist who finds joy in many different modes of music-making, crossing genres as a performer, composer, and improviser. He has performed and presented masterclasses in Europe, Asia, Canada, and in 20 states across the U.S.
His performance experience features work as a contemporary chamber musician (Ensemble Duniya, Percunova Percussion Duo, New Music Detroit), as a jazz and Afro-Cuban drummer and percussionist (Roland Vazquez, Pepe Espinosa, Jon Hendricks, Vic Juris, Tim Whalen, Bobby Streng), and as an orchestral musician (Sarasota Opera, Detroit Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic). He has performed at conferences/festivals including the Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Green Box Arts Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Jazz Educators Network Convention, North American Saxophone Alliance, The Midwest Clinic, in addition to numerous solo performances and recitals. Creatively inspired by architecture, design, and visual art, additional musical interests include: electronic music production, songwriting, and music for film.
A dedicated teacher, he is motivated by the puzzle each student presents, inspired by creative pathways which help students foster listening, communication, empathy, critical thinking, creativity, effortlessness, self-confidence, and process as critical elements in their work. Former students have pursued studies at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Northwestern University, Peabody Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, University of Iowa, University of Arizona, Bowling Green State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Southern California, and University of Kentucky. Former students have gained acceptance to summer festivals including: the Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSi), Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute, Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP), Bowdoin International Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, and hold a variety of professional positions as university teachers, orchestra and military band musicians, freelance musicians, secondary educators, as well as computer scientists, occupational therapists, and medical professionals.
As a solo guest artist and with collaborative projects, he has presented workshops at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Baylor University, University of Wisconsin, Queens College, University of Oregon, Colorado State University, University of Denver, Bowling Green State University, Ohio University, Capital University, George Mason University, University of Tennessee, Queensborough Community College, William Patterson University, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, North Carolina School For The Arts, Juilliard Summer Percussion Symposium, University of Central Florida Summer Percussion Symposium, as well as the Ohio, Tennessee, Ontario, Michigan, Idaho, Quebec, and Emory University Days of Percussion. His summer teaching engagements have also included the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Chamber Festival Intensive.
He has previously served as a consultant for the Furtados School of Music in Mumbai, India and currently serves on the International Artistic Advisory Board of Musikal Husky Publications in Graz, Austria.
He is currently a resident faculty member of the International Percussion Institute, a summer percussion performance and research seminar held annually in Aberdeen, Scotland.
He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music, and is a proud artist/endorser with Pearl/Adams, Zildjian, Remo, Tapspace, and Innovative Percussion.