T.J. Troy - Schlagwerk

T.J. TroyT.J. Troy

T.J. Troy

Grammy® Award-winning artist T.J. Troy brings virtuosity, style, knowledge and experience to the broad range of percussion music he champions. From the deep traditions of Indian and Middle Eastern percussion, to the rich complexity of Contemporary Classical Music, to the sheer power of modern drumset playing, T.J. has developed lines of symmetry and expression that allow him to move freely between styles. He has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals of traditional and contemporary music worldwide, including the National Folk Festival, Greensboro, NC (2016), Sounds of Arabia Festival (UAE 2012), the Arab Music Conference (Egypt 2007), the Jerash Festival of Arts (Jordan 2007), and the Territoria Festival (Russia 2009). His voice and bass marimba performance on ensemble Partch’s Plectra and Percussion Dances contributed to the group’s 2014 Grammy® for Best Classical Compedium, and is Principal Percussionist for MESTO, an internationally recognized orchestra specializing in Middle Eastern Classical Music. He has premiered operatic works from composers Anne LeBaron and Gavin Bryers, and has performed alongside such artists as Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, Ustad Aashish Khan, Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls from This is Spinal Tap), Mamak Khadem, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Sahba Motallebi, Emil Richards, and Cirque du Soleil. T.J. was a featured performer/clinician at PASIC 2016, and is a regular artist/clinician at the Seattle World Rhythm Festival, as well as presenting workshops and masterclasses throughout the United States, Asia, and the Middle East. 
T.J.’s work as drummer/vocalist, composer, and producer are exemplified through his ensemble, Run Downhill, a revolutionary cross-contextualization of original Americana/Folk Rock music, comic book art and narrative, and mixed-media live performance. His breakthrough album/comic book, SPURS #1, was selected for competition at the 2015 Seattle Transmedia and Independent Film Festival (STIFF); his most recent work, SPURS #2.2/Midnight Road Trip, has been lauded as “…one of the best albums that you will come across in a very long time…” (Sheila Hopper, Band Blurb), and continues to make waves amongst music and comic professionals, journalists, and audiences worldwide. He was awarded the Gaia Award from the Moondance International Film Festival for his score to Den and Nikka Serras’ Seven Swans in 2005. 

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Professional activities

Professional Drummer/Percussionist/Composer/Creator

Why Schlagwerk

Quality, feel, and consistentcy. I've played Schlagwerk instruments for over 15 years, and not only has my instrument maintained its purity of tone, it continues to stand out over other instruments; these instruments are built to last and for my schedule, I need a reliable, consistent instrument to handle the load. Schlagwerk has always carried the load!

Favourite instruments

I currently play the Beechwood Cajon La Peru. For my style and technique, this is the best instrument on the market.

Musical style

I employ a unique blend of Persian, Arabic, and North Indian split-hand techniques on the instrument; this combination has yielded an approach very distinct from traditional techniques. I perform with a variety of classical Persian, Arabic, and Indian ensembles, along with World Fusion and pop styles. I also work quite a bit in Americana circles, including directing my own group, and the cajon comes in very handy in creating a rustic, raw, and authentic percussive voice therein.


Mamak Khadem Ensemble; Partch; Run Downhill; the Aegea Ensemble; Alex Kiskachi

How to mic

I typically work with whatever the sound engineer provides, more often than not it's an SM57 or 58, occasionally an AKG D112 is available, which provides decent bass tone but doesn't represent upper level transient frequencies that are very present within my technique. I've had good success with the Shure Beta 91A. The best results I've had, in terms of achieving the most natural amplified sound in the studio, is a dual mic combination: D112 on the back, and a large diaphram condensor on the front, such as an AKG 414 or comparable mic.

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Endorser playsEndorser plays

CP4005 Beechwood
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BRC06 Cajon Brush #6 Shaker Brush
Cajon Brush #6
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