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Damien Bassman


Rhythm in Sound & Motion, Music for Dance 





Damien Bassman wrote and played the drum/percussion books for the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning Next To Normal, Jagged Little Pill, If/Then, The Color Purple, The Addams Family, High Fidelity, Superhero, and Mario Cantone’s Laugh Whore, and developed &/or arranged the drum books for American Idiot, The Visitor, Hello Again, Big Fish, Bring It On, and Newsies. As principle percussionist of Kristjan Jarvi’s Absolute Ensemble he’s toured and recorded with fusion legend Joe Zawinul and world-renown artists such as Paquito Di Rivera, Mike Keneally, Marcel Khalife, Sarah Chang, and Gregor Bregovich. He has been featured on BBC’s Live from the Promms and PBS’s Great Performances, and has appeared on David Letterman, Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the Tony Awards, as well as German, Korean, Austrian, and Australian TV. Damien teaches and has taught an originally conceived, rhythm-focused class on embodying music and musicality at Marymount Manhattan College, NYU, and at Suzuki and music conferences nationally and internationally. Damien has composed several works for dance including a 2020 commission for Robert Battle and accompanies dance throughout NYC, often performing live with companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Battleworks, two companies for which he has served as Music Director and Conductor. Damien is the drummer for many NYC-based singers and bands including Broadway and TV star Kristin Chenoweth, Brian D’Arcy James, Jarrod Spector, The Tom Kitt Band, and for Lauren Patten, and has drummed for Sir Elton John, Barry Manilow, Ben Folds, John Cameron Mitchell, Martha Plimpton, Marilu Henner, and Rufus Wainwright. Damien has performed in Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, & America and has been a featured soloist with German orchestras throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with the Tonkustler Orchestra in Vienna, & the Adelaide Symphony in Australia. He proudly endorses Toca Percussion.