About

Joe Porter is a multi-award winning Canadian Percussionist, teacher and composer.

Based in Southern Alberta, Canada, Joe is a passionate educator, performer, and composer. He teaches at the University of Lethbridge and directs many university and community ensembles. Joe is a Ludwig-Musser, Innovative Percussion, Dream Cymbals & Gongs and Grover Pro Percussion artist. 

Joe has many diverse interests but has been recognized for performing and teaching marimba with six mallets. He is the author of two marimba books: The Art of Marimba with Six Mallets (dedicated to expanding the repertoire for six mallets), and Six-Mallet Technique Diversified (a comprehensive book and online video to learn six-mallet marimba technique).

A frequent traveler and international clinician, Joe has presented clinics, master classes and performances in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent appearances have included: Gu Dong-Guo Yin International Percussion Festival and Shenyang International Percussion Festival in China, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Hong Kong Baptist University, Royal College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire in England, University of Hawaii, and the PAS China, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Iowa & Alberta Chapters Days of Percussion.

As an active composer, Joe is the recipient of the Global Music Awards, Gold Medal Prize for Creativity and Originality. His latest album, “Pieces of My Imagination” won the Academia Music Awards Best Instrumental Album, 2020. He has written a wide variety of ensemble, chamber, and solo works that have been performed around the world. His vibraphone concerto has recently been performed by the Brașov Philharmonic, Ploiesti Philharmonic and Pitesti Philharmonic Orchestras in Romania.

Joe has been fortunate to play for audiences around the world. In 2014, Joe was featured in the PASIC International Showcase Concert. In 2016, he was chosen from the world’s top percussionists to be in the World Percussion Group where he toured across the US giving clinics, masterclasses, and concerts (including a showcase concert at PASIC 2016). As a winner of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony National Young Artist Competition, Joe made his international debut as a concerto soloist appearing twice with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony in 2012. Since then he has performed as a soloist with ensembles around the world.

Studying and teaching drumming from around the world has been a passion of Joe’s. A special project has been studying and transcribing traditional Polynesian drumming. He has traveled to Hawaii over ten times to learn from Polynesian master drummers.

Locally, Joe is dedicated to growing the percussion community in Southern Alberta. He has founded many youth and community ensembles and has raised a significant amount of money for programs to expand their percussion instruments. Joe has a private teaching studio at the Casa Art Centre in Lethbridge and is an officer for the Percussive Arts Society Alberta Chapter which received the PAS Outstanding Chapter Award in 2015.

A few Fun Facts About Joe:

  • The hardest and most rewarding students Joe’s had are his two boys. One is a newborn so he hasn’t mastered polyrhythms yet. Two-year-old is starting to pick up 4 mallets though!
  • Late starter:  Joe didn’t play mallet percussion until University. He thought percussion was double kick drums, progressive rock, and jazz music.
  • Joe grew up in a small mountain town where he grew up working at sawmills and coal mines. He is pretty good at driving a bobcat.
  • Joe didn’t start reading treble and bass clef until a few months before auditioning for University.
  • Before University, Joe never travelled outside of North America- since then, his love for percussion has brought him all around the world!
  • Most influential person in Joe’s career: Adam Mason. Joe hopes he can be half as good of a teacher and role model to his students as Adam was to Joe