drums & percussion
Since the age of eight, Gordon has spent his life learning, performing, and teaching percussion traditions from all over the world. Beginning with the drum set and later studying concert percussion in college, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Western Carolina University as well as a master’s degree in percussion performance from East Carolina University. He has completed the coursework for a doctorate in percussion at West Virginia University and is writing his dissertation.
As a drum set artist, Gordon has more than twenty years of professional experience. He has played hundreds of performances in a variety of musical styles, performing in backing bands for artists such as Lionel Hampton, George Benson, Ramsey Lewis, Roy Ayers, and Ronnie Laws.
Gordon is an expert in the percussion traditions of other cultures. He has traveled to West Africa and Cuba to study African and Afro-Cuban drumming, he has also enrolled in the world music program at West Virginia University, which is renowned for its African and steel drum ensembles.
In 2005, Gordon was appointed interim director of WVU’s World Music Center. In this role, he led the West Virginia University African Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble, and Taiko Ensemble at schools across the country. He has also performed with world music ensembles at professional conferences and international music and dance festivals in Canada, South Korea, and Taiwan as a member of the multi-ethnic music and dance ensemble Azaguno.
Gordon relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2008. Since then, he has worked as a percussion performer, teacher, and dance accompanist. He is currently performing with the Mathew Tembo and the African Routes, the Uptown Rhythm and Brass band, and the Queen City Funk and Soul Band. He is also part of Resonance, a percussion ensemble that presents educational performances on the history of steel pan and other world drumming traditions at schools in the Pittsburgh area. This past spring, he became the the percussion director for the Hampton High School Marching band, and he maintains a private teaching studio where he teaches all areas of percussion to students from age seven to seventy.