Ed Garcia is a percussionist, composer, and educator who is deeply committed to the research and preservation of traditional Indonesian gamelan as well as the progression of the contemporary American gamelan movement. Ed recently completed a year long Darmasiswa scholarship in Bandung, West Java, to study Sundanese gamelan theory and drumming. In the fall of 2016, he will begin pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Composition at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ed also regularly performs percussion with the new music ensemble Wild Rumpus and traditional gamelan degung group Pusaka Sunda. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Fine Arts degree in Multi-Focus Percussion.
As a member of Gamelan X since 2010, Ed has enjoyed several unique musical experiences and performances with this ever-evolving group, from performing at eclectic art festivals to dance parties and even a tech award show. Currently, Ed serves as artistic director of the Gamelan X and has recently premiered his dance piece “Division: The Guardian and the Thief” for 2 dancers, gamelan, and Sundanese kendang, and an arrangement of Radiohead’s “Kid A” for voice, violin, cello, and gamelan. His next big project with Gamelan X is titled “Sambelan,” a collaboration utilizing the extensive Brazilian music background of composer Rob Peterson, Ed‘s background with gamelan, and trumpet player Josh Jerge’s background in a wide variety of genres and arrangement.
Maurissa Dorn joined in 2014 and has become an invaluable member of the group. She is constantly filling in for others that can’t make a show and has subsequently learned 2-3 parts in most of the songs we perform. She has lent her services to GX as a talented dancer, singer, and composer. She studied art at Pomona college where she discovered her love of Balinese arts. She then decided to continue her studies with Pak Wenten, Ibu Nanik, and Kompiang Davis. She is also a skilled banjo and cello player and studied strings with Roger Lebow.
Katie Harrell is one of at least four blondes in Gamelan X, but stands out as the band’s signature Balinese flute player. Since 2012, she has delved enthusiastically into the diverse spectrum of Balinese gamelan music and plays in several Bay Area gamelan ensembles. In 2015, Katie was granted a Fulbright Scholarship for a year-long residency in Indonesia to study the tradition of Balinese vocal music with renowned singer Desak Made Suarti Laksmi. As a complement to her vocal studies, Katie studies Balinese language and is in-training to become the first American woman dalang, or puppet master in traditional Balinese shadow theater. In addition to her experience as a gamelan musician, Katie is a pianist, flutist, composer, conductor, and improvisor and holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition from Mills College and a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from Stetson University.
Keenan Pepper joined in 2012 and shows up to very situation with a positive attitude ready for the challenge at hand. Keenan attended college at UC Berkeley and plays in the Jegog ensemble with Gamelan Sekar Jaya.
Heather Sansky joined in 2007. Her hypnotic glare has been a token part of any GX performance. As one of the oldest active members, she has welcomed many newer members with encouraging words and a positive attitude. Heather got her degree at UC Santa Cruz and is an advertisement tailor for brands such as Dickies, Old Navy, and Men’s Warehouse
Ben Zadan is a multi-instrumentalist who grew up in New York. He teaches Guitar, Bass, and Piano. In 2002, Ben received his BFA in music from the California Institute of the Arts and began teaching in 2003. He has performed on guitar and keyboard at many venues in the Los Angeles area. In addition to his western music education, Ben also has extensive world music training. He has performed with the Balinese Gamelan Burat Wangi led by Nyoman Wenten and Gamelan Sekar Jaya at venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Herbst Theatre, and Zellerbach Hall. Ben is positive, encouraging and patient. He tries to inspire his students and share his love of music. Ben’s teaching technique draws from his vast experience with world-renowned musicians and teachers.
Dan Bales is the longest standing member of Gamelan X, joining in 2004 when it was called One People One Voice. He served as Artistic Director of Gamelan X from 2008-2015. His charismatic music is still a staple of the GX repertoire.
Lydia Martín has over twenty years of musical experience and seven years of classroom teaching experience. She received a BFA in Percussion Performance from California Institute of the Arts, and a MA in Music Composition from Mills College. She is a proficient performer in various styles, including Latin, Jazz, Rock, Gamelan and Contemporary Music. Her recent endeavors include studying the music and dance of Indonesia, along with building American Gamelan instruments. Lydia is a member of several local ensembles such as Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Lightbulb Ensemble, and the Mills College Gamelan Ensemble, and has performed with such notable musicians as Pauline Oliveros, William Winant, Vinny Golia, John Bergamo, and Joe La Barbara. She is currently an elementary music teacher in OUSD.
David Erik Peterson (aka Darko) has two musical loves are percussion and voice. His heart is in music. He lived in a school bus, a cabin, a couple boats & yurts, and more than few houses & apartments following his heart. He marched percussion for five years in high school and college, studied drumset at Berklee College of Music under Casey Schuerell, played drumset for many bands, and has been an enthusiastic leader of countless hippie drum circles.
He received his vocal performance degrees from West Virginia University and San Francisco State University. Since moving to San Francisco, he’s sung many roles, including originated the roles of Jim Jones in Heaven Down Here: A Peoples Temple Chamber Opera, Jack Kerouac in Ginsberg in Song, and Darko in How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera, which had a month-long sold-out run at Teatro ZinZanni SF and reprised in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Black Rock City. In December 2015 he produced and sang in a one-on-a-part Handel’s Messiah called “The Wine & Cheese Messiah” that will continue as an annual holiday tradition.
Living in Los Angeles after leaving the east coast, he focused on his progressive rock band Pattern Interrupt for several years, for whom he played percussion and sang. He co-wrote and produced the album Music for the Inner Mission and performed extensively in and around Los Angeles, while also serving as bass section leader for the Hollywood Master Chorale. Now firmly rooted in the SF Bay Area, he sings with Ragnar Bohlin’s professional chamber choir Cappella SF, is the soloist for First Church of Christ, Scientist in Berkeley, and recently sang his fifth consecutive season with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. He sings with the San Francisco Renaissance Voices and is a proud member of Gamelan X, “the Bay Area’s own Funkadelic of ethnomusicology.” (SF Bay Guardian)
Tim Black joined in 2011. He’s a percussionist who specializations in Jazz, Improvisation, Prog, Post-Rock and can adapt to any musical requirements. He has a concentration on 20th-21st century orchestral & chamber music as well as Gamelan of Bali/Java/Sunda. He is also a massage therapist who currently works for Zeel as a community manager.
Hannah Levy joined in 2015 and was engulfed by the world of Gamelan X. Hannah studied music at Oberlin and California Jazz Conservatory. She is also a singer who tours internationally with the group Northern Harmony.
Sasha Henkin is a UC Santa Cruz alum who studied percussion under avant-garde artist Willie Winant, Sundanese gamelan under Undang Sumarna, and Balinese gamelan under I Nyoman Wenten. He has performed with the William Winant Percussion group, and he has regularly performed drum set and percussion in several experimental noise conglomerations. As one of Gamelan X’s newest members, Sasha brings a fresh perspective on musicality, while maintaining rhythmic stability and still bringing the noise.
Cia Garcia was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and has lived most of her life in Bandung, West Java. She has studied Sundanese dance through Irawati Durban’s renowned dance program Pusbitari, with Diah and Achmad Farmis in Bandung, and with Michael Ogi here in California. Cia currently lives in the Bay Area and performs with the gamelan degung group Pusaka Sunda, the dance troupe Harnasari, as well as Gamelan X. When Cia is not dancing with one of these groups, she enjoys cooking traditional dishes from West Java, Padang, and other parts of Indonesia. She can even cater a small event or party near you (hint hint).