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Randy Gloss

Hands On'Semble, CalArts
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“Randy Gloss's maneuvering of his frame drum had to be seen to be believed…”

Mina Silverstone,


"Randy Gloss' work on pandeiro (Afro-Brazilian tambourine) was one of the most amazing demonstrations of concentrated virtuosity I've ever seen."

-Greg Burk,


“Bergamo was successful at creating his own pool of students that went on to professional careers, most notably Randy Gloss who remains a highly innovative frame drummer.”

-Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume II Performance and Production



Randy Gloss, a percussionist whose background performing several modalities of hand drums, contemporary percussion, and drum set has led to his involvement in many innovative ensembles that fuse world music with new music and jazz.  Most notable is Hands On’Semble, a percussion group devoted to the art of hand drumming.  Winner of Drum! Magazine reader’s poll award for best percussion ensemble in 2003, 2002, and first runner up award in 2001.

"A Stellar percussion group with extraordinary soloing, and extensive palette of sounds"

(Modern Drummer Magazine)


Hands On’Semble has performed and lectured throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia at many of the world’s premier percussion and world music festivals, music schools and conservatories, and have collaborated with a wide array of highly esteemed percussionists including: Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Houman Pourmehdi, Adam Rudolph, Poovalur Sriji, Abbos Kosimov, Glen Velez, Brad Dutz, Jamey Haddad, Steve Shehan, Mark Nauseef, Pete Lockett, Ed Mann, Jerry Leake, Carlos Stasi and Guello.  

Percussionists and critics worldwide have praised their recorded work as being some of the most important and interesting of it’s kind:

"Masterful" (Modern Drummer Magazine)


“John Bergamo, Austin Wrinkle, Randy Gloss, and Andrew Grueschow  succeeded in presenting  a CD clearly ranking among the most interesting percussion CD's of the last ten years.”( Percussion Creativ Germany)


“...This just might be the best percussion recording ever made. The drumming is of such a high quality that this CD is on my short list of the CDs I can recommend to any drummer or

percussionist. It is one of those rare CDs that is wonderful to listen to, and also can be played

over and over in order to learn new rhythms and compositional forms… Every drummer should own this CD.”-


“...The Hands On'Semble always creates music with excellent energy and interesting colors and

textures. The music is never so esoteric as to be elitist or incomprehensible, it always grooves.  As great as the music is, it is an excellent resource for listeners to be exposed to and learn about

percussion traditions from around the world.  Anyone who loves hand percussion should check out Shradhanjali.” (Percussive Notes)


Since the retirement of John Bergamo in 2003, Hands On’Semble has remained active as both a trio as well as through an ongoing series of collaborations with a highly select and distinctive group of international percussion masters.  Together with these illustrious artists, Hands On’Semble works through a kaleidescope of rhythms, forms, and soundscapes exploring the multitude of commonalities bridging cultural and musical differences, creating an entirely new work for percussion consisting of both highly fixed compositions as well as open structures for extended improvisations by some of the finest improvising percussionists in the world.  This project has thus far yileded two CDs, several concerts and international tours, and is considered by many to be their most intriguing, provacative, and vital work to date.

Recipient of Arts International Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions grant in 2004.    Recently, Hands on’Semble was featured on the soundtrack to the 2010 Disney feature film, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams.


In addition to Hands On’Semble, Randy Gloss has also been involved in numerous other projects fusing world music with new music and jazz, including Adam Rudolph’s: “Go: Organic Orchestra” (winner of L.A. Weekly Music Award for

Outstanding World Music Artist 2005 and 2003), and world percussion group Vashti.  Since 2002, Randy has also been a member of the highly regarded Persian group The Lian Ensemble (L.A. Weekly Best World Music/ Recombinant Artist 2005 and 2004).   Projects with the Lian Ensemble have included the Pangea Project, a collaborative work featuring master of the Armenian duduk Djivan Gasparyan with Swapan Cahudhuri and members of the Lian Ensemble; and the 2009 UCLALive production of Medea starring Annette Bening with Angus Macfadyen directed by Lenka Udovicki with music by Lian Ensemble and Nigel Osbourne.   Other collaborative projects and artists Randy Gloss has worked with include: Indian slide veena virtuoso Chitravina Ravikiran (including a concert tour of India that also featured Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto and master African drummer Alfred Ladzekpo); a Balkan/Indian collaboration with maestros Ashish Khan, Swapan Chaudhuri, Miroslav Tadic, Vlatko Stefanovski; pianist Larry Karush; Romanian pan flute virtuoso Damian Draghici; overtone singer David Hykes; Turkish musician Latif Bolat; Vinny Golia’s Large Ensemble; Persian pianist Ardeshir Rohani; and South Indian percussionist Poovalur Sriji’s Thanjavur and the SNEW Ensemble to name only some of the artists Randy has worked with.  Randy Gloss has also contributed percussion for film soundtracks by composers Danny Elfman, Gary Chang, and Harry Gregson-Williams; for television series’ such as Fear Factor; recorded music for the American Conservatory Theater and Southwest Chamber Music; and has recorded several extensive percussion sample libraries for software companies such as: Apple (Garage Band), Ilio, and Native Instruments.


Randy has performed at festivals such as: International Oud festival of Jerusalem; PercPan, Ritmos de Terra, and the First International Music Festival of Belo Horizonte, Encontro Internacional de Percussão in Brazil; World Drum Festival in Hamburg Germany; The Taiwan International Drum Festival, the Tainan Chi-Hsi Int’l Arts Festival – Int’l Drummers Gala and the Hsin Chu International Folk Drum

Festival in Taiwan; several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC); Seattle World Rhythm Festival; Watts Tower Day of the Drum Festival; the Different Drummer Festival, and numerous PAS “Days of Percussion” including New York City, Southern California, Central California, Northern California, Southern Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Nevada. As well as performances at venues such as: Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco; Royce Hall, Skirball Cultural Center, Getty Center, and Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles; Siri Fort Auditorium and National Center for Performing Arts in India; SESC Sao Paulo and Sergio Magnani Music Hall Fundação de Educação Artística in Brazil; and in Canada at Outremont Theatre in Montreal and Convocation Hall in Toronto.


Randy teaches at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he has been on the percussion and world music faculty since 1999.   Randy Gloss endorses Remo world percussion and drumheads, Paiste cymbals and gongs, and Cooperman frame drums.


MFA Multi-Focus Percussion, California Institute of The Arts, 1997.

B.M. Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies, University of Bridgeport, 1993.

Teachers have included: John Bergamo, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Houman Pourmehdi, Poovalur Sriji, Guello, Carlos Stasi, Alfred Ladzekpo, I Nyoman

Wenten, Daniel Kennedy, Michael Lipsey, Arthur Lipner, David Johnson, Victor Rendon, Richard Hill, Warren Odze, Pete Abbott, Jim Mola, Buddy Ostapowitz, Edson Gianesi, Wadada Leo Smith, Larry Koonse, Brian Torff, Rajeev Taranath.