About Gordon Nunn

Since the age of eight, I’ve has spent my life learning, performing, and teaching percussion traditions from all over the world. Beginning with the drum set and later studying concert percussion in college, I 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. I have completed the coursework for a doctorate in percussion at West Virginia University and I am writing my dissertation.

As a drum set artist I have more than twenty years of professional experience. I have 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.

I’m an expert in the percussion traditions of other cultures. I have traveled to West Africa and Cuba to study African and Afro-Cuban drumming. I’ve also enrolled in the world music program at West Virginia University, which is renowned for its African and steel drum ensembles.

In 2005 I was appointed interim director of WVU’s World Music Center. In this role I led the West Virginia University African Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble, and Taiko Ensemble at schools across the country. I’ve 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.

I relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2008. Since then I’ve worked as a percussion performer, teacher, and dance accompanist. I’m currently performing with the Mathew Tembo and the African Routes, the Uptown Rhythm and Brass band and the Queen City Funk and Soul Band. I’m 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 I became the the percussion director for the Hampton High School Marching band. And I maintain a private teaching studio where I teach all areas of percussion to students from age seven to seventy.

14 comments

  1. Hey Gordon, its Rob Armstrong…we played together in The Unknown’s for a bit in Charlotte. I found you on linked in and wanted to say hi! It looks like you are great. Send an email or let me know if you are on fb sometime. Best! Rob

    1. Dan,
      I plan to offer a six-week class in djembe drumming beginning in late April. It will be for those with beginner to intermediate ability.
      I’ll be posting more details about this classon this blog as well as on the Denbaya Drumming Facebook page.

      Are you interested in taking a class or participating in a drum circle?

    1. I won’t be leading the drum circle in Greenfield this Thursday, March 31.
      You might want to contact the Greenfield Presbyterian Church blog to see if they’re having it.

      -Gordon

  2. Gordon, Nice site. The David surprise party went good. I was the only one with white hair, if you had been there it would have been two. Hope to see you over Christmas if come in to town, Nick B

    1. Thanks Nick.

      I really wanted to come to the surprise party for David, but there was just too many things going on that weekend. I too hope we can spend a little time together over Christmas. Let’s stay in touch.

      -Gordon

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  4. Gordon, glad to see we.,re still kicking. I,be moved from Shallotte to Harrrell,s NC Got two grandkids too.Look forward to hearing from you. 1-910-590-4967 call me! Bob Grissett

  5. Hi Gordon,

    I have been following steve morse for some time and he is back to his roots with the original dregs. I recall that you had letter correspondence with rod morganstern, drummer sometime around 9th grade……how i remember minutia like this who knows….. Hope you are well and it would be awesome to see the dregs play at some location together after all these years. In any case, just touching base. dh aka, learn how to play la grange while i have to deliver papers;-)

    1. Dh,

      Wow man! Really great to here from you. Major coincidence: I just bought three tickets to see the Dixie Dregs on March 22 (my birthday) here in Pittsburgh. I think there are still some tickets left. Come on!
      I’m well. Hope you are too.
      It’s been one heck of journey since that day in your basement learning and playing La Grange; and eventually all those other tunes we learned to play; the talent shows and as members of Storm.
      I wish I still had that letter from Rod Morganstien.
      I’m playing more than ever these days.
      You can always email or call. Thanks for touching base. I’d love to know what you’re up to.
      GN

      1. Good memories for sure!…..After I received the update about the dregs I checked the dates around colorado and they are playing in my town boulder, co so i bought 2 tics for the 4/14/2017 date at the historic boulder theater. One has your name on it if you want to check out co. or maybe I can make it out to the Steel City……In any case will send you a facebook invite and email is btobdesigns@Gmail.com to keep the correspondence going! dh

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