Gary Kettel

Biography

Country: England  
British percussionist Gary Kettel has worked with equal facility in the classical and pop worlds. Born in the early '50s, he became a prodigy as a percussionist (it's hardly a surprise) and achieved the rank of co-principal in the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the age of 20. The orchestra's conductor at the time was the feared Pierre Boulez, but (according to orchestrator Larry Ashmore) the young Kettel wasn't fazed: as the musicians were asked to Read more make yet another repetition during a rehearsal of a difficult contemporary score, Kettel raised his hand and said, "Hang on, Pierre, I think I know where you're going wrong." Whether for that reason or to pursue more lucrative work in the pop sector, Kettel left his BBC post. He appeared in 1974 on the experimental African Sanctus disc assembled by ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe, but his recording career did not get started in earnest until the early '80s. He has appeared on recordings ranging from contemporary classical music (such as a disc of Alberto Ginastera's chamber music released on the ASV label in 1995) to straight pop (the 1998 A Very Special Season Christmas album by Diana Ross), but he has been most prolific in various fields where pop and classical meet: film music, symphonic rock, and crossover music from various countries; among his successes in the 2000s have been recordings with Australia's Ten Tenors and trumpeter Chris Botti. His credits include several of James Horner's soundtracks, including that for the controversial Apocalypto, and he has also worked with solo percussion star Evelyn Glennie. In the 1990s and 2000s Kettel has broadened his expertise to include Latin American and Japanese percussion; he played taiko drums on the 2006 release Here's to the Heroes. Read less


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