As a performer, Velez became the first percussionist to gain international recognition for solo frame drum. He has collaborated with Steve Reich, the Paul Winter Consort, Suzanne Vega, Maya Beiser, Tan Dun, Pat Metheny, Israel Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonia, Opera Orchestra of New York, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Zakir Hussain, Sonny Fortune, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, David Darling, Howard Levy, Eugene Friesen and Coleman Barks. He even inspired the great twentieth century composer John Cage to compose a work entitled Composed Improvisation for One-Sided Drum with or without Jingles especially for Velez.
Velez draws upon his deep knowledge of the great drumming traditions of the Middle East, South India and the Mediterranean world (ancient and modern) in his compositions. Glen Velez’s composition, Sol Tunnels for percussion quartet, was commissioned by The Ethos Percussion Ensemble and is the title for one of their new recordings. Sol Tunnels has a wonderful blend of cultural and musical styles. Velez credits the melodic ideas incorporated to the influence of Arabic drumming and much of the rhythmic interplay that happens is inspired by his appreciation of South Indian drumming.
Visit Glen Velez’s personal website for further information and tour dates.