Joby Burgess: A Percussionist’s Songbook

In partnership with Oxford Contemporary Music

Percussionist extraordinaire Joby Burgess performs his new album A Percussionist’s Songbook – a collection of specially commissioned ‘songs without words’ from John Metcalfe, Tunde Jegede, Dario Marianelli, Yazz Ahmed, Graham Fitkin, Dobrinka Tabakova and Gabriel Prokofiev.

Scored for an arsenal of pitched percussion and electronics the songbook is inspired by texts ranging from the poetry of Robert Graves and Birago Diop to novels by Michael Ondaatje and Isaac Asimov; American philosopher Michael Sandel, songwriter Peter Gabriel, United Nation population growth statistics and Saudi Arabian folk tales.



Tunde Jegede The Ancestors Are Within

Dario Marianelli Unequal

Dobrinka Tabakova Desert Swimmers

Gabriel Prokofiev Dr Calvin Remembers

Joby Burgess Come Sweet Death

Yazz Ahmed Throw Your Pumpkin (& Pick Me Up)

John Metcalfe Love Without Hope

Graham Fitkin Species

Joby Burgess Take Me Home



Listening to percussionist Joby Burgess is like a musical shot in the arm. His recordings are so full of vibrant energy, vitality and freshness. So what’s the secret? … the virtuoso percussionist’s technical brilliance, fantastic agility and coordination, and innate musicality. ‘A Percussionist’s Songbook’ may well be Burgess’s best album yet.
Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone, 2 December 2022

Essential Classics ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Georgia Mann, BBC Radio 3, 17 October 2022

A fascinating record with wide-ranging ambition and, surely, mass appeal. Joby Burgess has created a release for classical label Signum that could sit equally comfortably in the rock or ‘world’ genres, such are its broad range of influences and audible sense of adventure. Warmly recommended.”Adrian Ainsworth, ArtMuseLondon, 11 October 2022

Combining a multi-genre passion for contemporary western music with explorations of ancient global traditions, Joby Burgess has done much to foster the art of percussion.
Steph Power, BBC Music Magazine, 4 October 2022

A commercially minded playlist of good vibe tracks that reward curiosity with aural treats … Joby Burgess achieves something very special in A Percussionists Songbook, combining 20th century musical ideas, each unmistakably of their time, into a composite sound that sounds fresh. And like all well produced albums it’s one you’ll want to listen to from beginning to end.
Jon Jacob, Thoroughly Good, 30 September 2022

OCM is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and with funding from Oxford City Council. OCM is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner supported by PPL and an Affiliate Organisation of Oxford Brookes University.



Jul 10 2023


8:00 pm

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Jacqueline du Pré Music Building


Jacqueline du Pré Music Building
St Hilda's College, Cowley Place, Oxford
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