Jamie Drake

D.M.A., M.Mus, B.Mus.Perf, A.R.C.T.

Described as “an incredibly musical percussionist” and as having an “impeccable sense of time and feel”, Dr. Jamie Drake is a Toronto-based percussionist, drummer and composer. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto, where he studied with Dr. Aiyun Huang and Dr. Russell Hartenberger, and wrote his dissertation on aspects of ritual and community in the percussion music of John Luther Adams.  He recieved his Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jack van Geem, and also holds an A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.   His solo and chamber performances have included premieres by Christos Hatzis, Elinor Armer and John Luther Adams. As a member of TorQ Percussion Quartet, he has performed numerous concerts, workshops and educational shows across Canada, the United States and Europe, and has been a soloist with orchestras including the Toronto Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Buffalo Philharmonic and Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. A busy freelance percussionist, he has performed with Evelyn Glennie, NEXUS, Esprit Orchestra, Continuum Contemporary Music, Soundstreams, Amici, Niagara Symphony, Kingston Symphony, Aradia Ensemble, and more.  Jamie also serves as the percussionist and a member of the artistic staff for the internationally renowned Hamilton Children’s Choir. He recently he served as interim percussion instructor at Acadia University, and as a composer, percussion consultant, and performer for the second season of the CBC television show “Canada’s Smartest Person”. He released his first solo album, Night, in July 2014. 

Equally at home playing drum set, Jamie is fluent in a huge variety of styles, and is a frequent collaborator with cabaret artist Sharron Matthews and is the percussionist/drummer and assistant arranger for The Musical Stage Company’s “UnCovered” Concert series. He has also collaborated with a wide range of vocalists, including Divine Brown, Jully Black, Heather Bambrick, Louise Pitre, Elizabeth Shepherd, Chloe Charles, and more.  An active theatre musician, Jamie has played for more than 60 musicals, including Dora-winning and -nominated shows with Canadian Stage, Mirvish, Young People’s Theatre, Sheridan College, and others.  He has recorded music for the Shaw Festival and is the percussionist on the 20th anniversary Off-Broadway recording of Andrew Lippa’s “John and Jen”. 

Jamie’s compositions and arrangements have been commissioned and performed by TorQ Percussion Quartet, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Children’s Choir, Hillfield Strathallan College, and OnnanoKo Taiko, amongst others.  One of his most recent compositions, a multi-percussion solo entitled Chop Wood, Carry Water, is included in the BSP Collective, published by Ox and Lamb.  Upcoming projects include a work for solo vibraphone and a composition for SSAA choir and percussion.