Percussionist John Hadfield’s dedication to crossing musical genres has taken him from the jungles of Indonesia to concert halls and clubs across the world. At home in New York, Time Out Magazine has recently pointed out John Hadfield’s impeccable percussion.
John has released two records of his own compositions, mainly written for percussion instruments and electronics but also including guitar, harp, violin and cello –The Eye of Gordon (2008) and Displaced (2010). He is currently on the Jazz faculty of New York University, where he teaches drum set and the World Percussion Ensemble.
Bringing together distinct domains of expertise and traditions –including, but not limited to classical percussion, Hindustani and Carnatic music, jazz, rock, and electronic music, John has developed unique ways of performing with multiple percussion instruments simultaneously. He has been exploring the sonic and kinetic possibilities resulting from the combination of multiple instruments and electronics (such as Ableton Live). His compositions typically involve a wide range of sounds –from the most traditional such as the drum set to the classical Indian Kanjira or Ghatam to found objects such as bicycle wheels, pieces of metal and ventilation tubes.
John’s varied expertise has allowed him to perform with a broad range of ensembles and artists including: Yo-Yo Ma, The Silk Road Ensemble, The Saturday Night Live Band on NBC, Bang on a Can, The HUM Ensemble, Sky White Tiger, Deep Purple, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Combo Nuvo, Daniel Hope, The Bassam Saba Ensemble, Ethos Percussion Group and Gamelan Dharma Swara.
While performing with jazz groups, John Hadfield has worked alongside Lenny Pickett, Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Paquito D’Rivera, Billy Drewes, Gil Goldstein, Andrew D’Angelo, Bobby Watson, Greg Osby, Satoshi Takeshi, Brad Shepik, Mike Richmond, François Rabbath and Erik Friedlander. He has appeared on numerous television shows including The Colbert Report (with Yo Yo Ma), Saturday Night Live (in the house band) and his drumming can be heard on music featured in USA Network show Necessary Roughness.
John has also collaborated on more than 60 recordings as a guest artist, including the GRAMMY award winner Yo-Yo Ma and Friends, Songs of Joy and Peace (SONY BMG 2008).