Born: April 08, 1948
Died: March 24, 2010
Country: Syracuse, New York, U.S.A.
Studies: San Jose University (B.M.1970), Stanford University (M.A.1971), Juilliard School of Music
Orchestra: Oregon - The Big List of timpanists - Eugene Symphony Orchestra
Charles Dowd is a Philip H. Knight professor of music and a faculty performing artist at the UO School of Music. He plays timpani, large multiple percussion works, solo marimba, all the orchestral percussion instruments, vibraphone, drum-set, and the Brazilian and Afro/Cuban instruments. He is a conductor and music director of avant-garde percussion works.
Born in New York, Dowd was a scholarship graduate student of famed New York Philharmonic timpanist Saul Goodman at The Juilliard School, where Dowd pursued residency work for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance. Dowd holds a master's degree from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from the San Jose State School of Music, under the tutelage of Anthony J. Cirone of the San Francisco Symphony.
Dowd has performed in Stuttgart, Paris, in Canada, and in most of the fifty United States. In New York, he worked at RCA "Studio A," National Studios, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Paul Hall, and several off-Broadway venues, playing contemporary classical music and jazz.
He appears as a soloist, recently performing the Percussion Concerto by Joseph Schwantner, Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra by William Kraft, Concerto for Percussion by Darius Milhaud, 27'10.554" for a Percussionist by John Cage, Moonsticks for Solo Marimba by Meyer Kupferman, and many other works. Tim Page of The New York Times called Dowd's playing "virtuosic," and maestro Dennis Russell Davies wrote that Dowd is "one of the finest timpanists and percussionists in the USA."
Dowd was principal solo timpanist with the orchestra of The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, which won 18 consecutive ASCAP Awards for adventuresome programming, under the batons of Dennis Russell Davies and Marin Alsop. Dowd was principal timpanist for the Grammy-winning Hänssler recording of Credo by Krzysztof Penderecki, conducted by Helmuth Rilling with the Oregon Bach Festival. As a performer/conductor, Dowd was nominated for the Laurel Leaf Award of the American Composers Alliance in New York for performing works of American composers. He has twice conducted The Oregon Percussion Ensemble in premieres at Percussive Arts Society International Conventions in Los Angeles and San Jose. Dowd has recorded on Warner Bros., MusicMasters, Hänssler Classics, Black Saint-Soul Note (Milan), Soundspells (New York), PAUSA, cdm-USA, KM Los Angeles, and projects for RCA and Sony.
Dowd is currently principal timpanist in five orchestras: the Eugene Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival, Oregon Festival of American Music Symphonia, Cascade Festival of Music, and Oregon Coast Music Festival.
Dowd is the author of six books on percussion performance and pedagogy: The Well-Tempered Timpanist, Velocity Warmups for Jazz Vibraphone and Marimba, Master Technique Builders for Snare Drum (co-authored with Anthony Cirone), The Jazz, Rock & Latin Source-book: 100 Grooves for Drums and Bass (book with CD), A Thesaurus for the Jazz-Rock Drummer, and A Funky Primer for the Rock Drummer. Dowd is editor of Linear Drumming: A Creative Approach (by Michael Snyder), and drum soloist, composer, and author of the VHS Warner Bros.video Jazz, Rock & Latin Sourcebook.
Books for Percussion
Dowd, Charles. A Funky Primer for the Rock Drummer. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1987
Dowd, Charles. A Funky Thesaurus for the Rock Drummer: Features Afro-Cuban Rhythms & Odd-Meter Rock Beats. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1987
Dowd, Charles. Jazz, Rock & Latin Sourcebook: 100 Grooves for Drums & Bass. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1996
Cirone, Anthony; Charles Dowd. Master Technique Builders for Snare Drum. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1985
Dowd, Charles. The Well Tempered Timpanist. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1985
Dowd, Charles. Velocity Warm-Ups for Jazz Vibraphone. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1985
Cirone, Anthony; Charles Dowd, Morris Lang, Percussion Masterclass on Works by Carter, Milhaud and Stravinsky. Delray Beach, Fl: Meredith Music Pub., 2010
Works for Percussion
Canon for 3 Snare Drums - Percussion Trio
El Camino Unreal - Percussion Duo - Vibraphone & Marimba
Subway Sirens - Percussion Duo - Vibraphone & Marimba
Taylor Street - Percussion Duo - Vibraphone & Marimba
Tristesse - Percussion Duo - Vibraphone & Marimba
Washington Square - Percussion Duo - Vibraphone & Marimba