Cory Hills - Multi-percussionist, composer, and improviser Cory Hills thrives on breaking down musical barriers through creative, interdisciplinary projects. He has received degrees from Northwestern University, Queensland Conservatorium, and the University of Kansas, and was awarded a research fellowship to Institute Fabrica.
Currently, Hills is active performer, composer, and recording artist in Los Angeles, as well as a member of the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. An advocate of new music, Hills has individually commissioned and premiered over 70 new works for percussion. He has given solo and chamber recitals across Europe, Australia, The United States, Mexico, and China. These include a featured performance for the International Society of Improvised Music, the Days of New Music Festival in Chisinau, Moldova, the Queensland Music Festival, the Ravello Concert Festival, the Venice Art Biennale, four PASIC conventions, and the Morelia Percussion Festival. An advocate for percussion as an artistic discipline, Hills has been the artist-in-residence at Rocky Mountain National Park, Conservatorio de Las Rosas (Morelia, Mexico), and a fellow at the OMI international artists colony. Percussive Storytelling, a program that brings classical music and storytelling to kids in fun and accessible ways, was launched by Hills while he was a fellow at Institute Fabrica. The program recently marked its 320th performance, and has reached more than 22,000 children in eight countries. For this work, Hills has been the recipient of numerous arts grants, and was named the 2009 Emerging Artist through the Kansas Arts Commission.
The Lost Bicycle, Hills debut solo CD of percussive stories, has received four national parenting and creative arts awards (NAPPA Parents Awards Gold, Parents Choice Award Silver, World Storytelling Honors Award, and a Creative Child preferred choice). Hills is an artist for Innovative Percussion, Remo, Yamaha, Sabian, and Black Swamp Percussion.
Matthew Cook - Matt Cook is a GRAMMY nominated percussionist based in Los Angeles, CA. Matt can be heard around the country performing with intimate chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, and popular music artists. He is involved in projects ranging from experimental classical music to jazz, folk, and international ensembles.
As an educator, Matt has been a featured clinician and performer at several universities including Stanford, The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Southern California as well as at events hosted by the Percussive Arts Society and the American Composers Jazz Institute. He has experience consulting and designing curriculum for university students and k-12 programs with success securing them scholarships to major conservatories and Honor bands across the country. Recently, he constructed the percussion curriculum for the popular music website MusicProfessor.
Through his success with the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Matt has earned international recognition as an authority in percussion chamber music. Their 2012 release Rupa-Khanda was nominated for three awards at the for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards including Best Small Group. In addition to this recording, the LAPQ has released an album of the music of David Johnson Quartz City and an EP Ritual Dances - all of which can be found in local record stores. Recent classical engagements have featured Matt with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, PARTCH, wildUP, the California E.A.R. Unit, Sonic Generator, and regional symphony orchestras. Matt has performed in every major experimental music series in Southern California. He has been recorded on the NAXOS, Bridge, Red LetterBox, New World, and Sono Luminus record labels. As a drummer and world percussionist Matt has performed with singers Sarah LaForge, Claudia Vasquez, Anthony Starble, and freelances with several pop/rock outfits. His versatility on drum set and mallet percussion has lead to work with musical theater companies, as well as becoming an asset in the recording industry working on films ranging from independent to major motion pictures like sidelining in Warner Bros. Studios Gangster Squad.
A graduate of The Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA), Matt currently leads the Percussion Department at Ventura College (Ventura, California) and teaches Music Theory at Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA). Matt is a proud Yamaha Performing Artist and an Innovative, Black Swamp, REMO and Sabian Artist Endorser. — This course has been provided by MusicProfessor, an online music education company.