Austin Wrinkle is a versatile drummer and percussionist who has studied rhythm and drumming from near and far. By combining techniques and concepts from many cultures, he has forged a unique approach to playing an array of percussion instruments. He was awarded “1st Runner Up” In Drum! Magazine’s 2014 Drummies Awards for “Best World Percussionist”
In addition to Hands On’Semble, Austin is also a founding member of the gypsy/jazz/rock band PLOTZ! Their CD Extraordinary Renditions was the winner of “Best Instrumental CD” and “Best Instrumental Song” from the MAVRIC Awards in Ventura County and “Best International Instrumental CD” from Toronto Exclusive Magazine’s Music Awards. In a Feb 2012 concert review by Joe Woodard in The Santa Barbara New Press, Woodard says:
“A paradoxical delight and a brainiac party band, PLOTZ!…relishes its in-house blend of strong musicianship and hints of visceral firepower along the way, with moments of improvisational abandon also lining the sound…In short, the PLOTZ! live experience is something to behold…On this night, precision met crazed energy, with intellectual carbonation in tow.”
Austin is a former member of the world fusion group Hindugrass, a group that brings together elements of traditional Hindustani music from Northern India with bluegrass from Appalachia. He has collaborated with many groups and musicians in the Southern California area including the Los Angeles based Persian group Lian Ensemble with whom he has played such venues as The Getty Center and the Dorothy Chandler Music Pavilion. Other collaborations include: Musician/composer David Rosenboom, Adam Rudolph’s Organic Orchestra, World music group Califa, Singer/songwriter Jon Swift, and the Ventura based rock/blues band Moss Man.
Austin’s composition “Wart Hog #3”, was selected to be recorded at Village Recording Studio in Santa Monica, CA and included on the California Institute of the Arts’ promotional CD “CalArts; Essencia Performance and Composition 1997”. Wart Hog #3 has been performed by numerous percussion ensembles world-wide and has been programmed alongside illustrious composers such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Steve Reich.
Austin has studied under some of today’s greatest drummers and percussionists. He spent many years studying with percussion vanguard John Bergamo, as well as the great tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. He studied South Indian drumming with Mridangam Poovalur Sriji, orchestral percussion and jazz with David Johnson, West African (Ghanaian) drumming with Alfred Ladzekpo, drum set with Jazz legend Joe LaBarbara, and Persian music with Houman Pourmehdi.
Austin lives in Ventura, CA where he has taught classes at Ventura College, The City of Ventura Cultural Affairs Dept., Ventura County School of Music. He currently teaches at Pulse Drumming, “Ventura’s premiere percussion education experience”.
Austin endoreses Remo world percussion and drumheads, Dream Cymbals, and Cooperman Frame Drums.
MFA California Institute of the Arts – World Music 1999
BFA California Institute of the Arts – Multi Focus Percussion 1997