Skip to page content

Joel Davel

About this Artist

JOEL DAVEL has been a member of the Paul Dresher Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band for over a decade, premiering work by some of today’s leading composers. In addition to being a member of Dresher’s ensemble, he has collaborated with him in duos and in live accompaniment of dance companies, including the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Nancy Karp + Dancers, ODC/SF, and the Allyson Green Dance Company. Davel’s diverse percussion career also includes performance and recording credits with groups led by electronic-diva Amy X Neuburg, percussionist William Winant, violinist Kaila Flexer, guitarist Jack West, and guitarist David Tanenbaum.

In the role of composer, Davel has performed live on-stage solo accompaniment for The California Shakespeare Theater, choreographer Claudine Naganuma, and earlier in his career in theater and circus. Davel is noted for his musical approach to the use of electronics. His appearance at a Lincoln Center event prompted the Wall Street Journal to comment: “percussionist Joel Davel blew everyone away with his virtuosic improvisation on the Marimba Lumina, an electronic invention that emulates and extends the vocabulary of conventional mallet instruments, and the [Buchla] Lightning, played by waving wireless wands in space.” He has consistently worked with Don Buchla since 1993, building innovative electronic music instruments including the Buchla Lightning, an infrared interface, and Marimba Lumina, an RF interface. In 2008, Davel created Absolute Deviation, a venture dedicated to building and supporting Marimba Luminas. He holds degrees from Northern Illinois University and Mills College.