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John Damberg

John Damberg-Biography

Vibist, Marimbist, Percussionist, Composer, Educator

Executive Director Alaska Jazz Workshop

John Damberg is a master vibist, marimbist, percussionist, composer and educator who has enjoyed a successful career in music spanning 47 years. John currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska where he is the leader of the John Damberg Latin Jazz Ensemble, the Instructor of Percussion at the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Executive Director of the Alaska Jazz Workshop (a community service non-profit to promoting jazz education and performance opportunities), and the past President & Vice President of the Percussive Arts Society Alaska Chapter. John is an active performer on the Alaska and Pacific Northwest music scenes and he is an ardent promoter of jazz & percussion education.

Background: John was born in 1952 in Kittery, Maine and received his early music training in Detroit, Michigan. He moved to Seattle in 1979 and was very active on the Seattle Music scene until 1991, when he moved to Anchorage, AK with his wife Angela Dewey to teach at UAA. John holds BM and MM degrees in Percussion Performance, Jazz Studies and Ethnomusicology, and a BM degree in Music Education.

As a percussionist, John has performed in a wide variety of musical settings nationally and internationally including: original Latin and jazz ensembles, recording studio dates, with the Detroit, Seattle and Anchorage Symphony Orchestras and Broadway touring shows. John has performed with internationally acclaimed jazz artists including: Milt Jackson, Cedar Walton, Wynton Marsalis, Rebeca Mauleon, Eddie Palmieri, Jovino Santos Neto, Denis Deblasio, Brian Lynch, Oscar Stagnaro, Allison Miller, Michael Davis, Steve Erquiaga, Mimi Fox, Jay Thomas, and Greta Matassa and with nationally renowned entertainers including: Harry Connick Jr., Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, the Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Sammy Davis Jr., Steve Allen, Joel Gray, and Liberace.

As a composer, John writes music for his Latin Jazz Ensemble and for other creative projects including: movie sound tracks, travel videos and children’s educational videos. John’s compositions have been featured on the 2005 CD release Azure by the JoMaLa Jazz Quintet, the 1998 CD release of Angie’s Samba by the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, the 1993 release of Human Hands: a Composers and Improvisers Ensemble, on his 1985 release of Soaring and on videos including “Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage” and the award winning children’s video “Monty the Moose”. John is currently working on a new CD of original jazz, Latin, and funk music to be released in August 2010 featuring the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet.