Riley Palmer



Percussionist Riley Palmer is a freelancer and educator who actively performs in many of New York City’s musical scenes. As a versatile percussionist and drummer, Riley is equally at home performing in chamber music groups, orchestras, musical theater pits, and bands. A champion of contemporary music, Riley has premiered numerous works around the United States as a solo performer, a member of the Zaffre Duo, and with organizations and festivals such as Bang On A Can, the Brooklyn String Orchestra, Amnesty International, and the Atlantic Music Festival. His orchestral percussion practice has led him to perform in halls such as Alice Tully Hall, Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall, and Detroit’s Orchestra Hall. As a drummer, Riley has performed with a number of bands at Rockwood Music Hall, and throughout NYC in various musical theater pits. A regular collaborator with dance, Riley is a faculty accompanist at Ballet Hispanico, where he plays for Afro-Caribbean and Modern dance classes. He has also worked with Martha Graham Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, and the University of Michigan Dance Dept.

Believing in a holistic view of music that informs his multifaceted performing career, Riley teaches classical percussion, hand percussion, drum set, and music theory in his private studio in NYC, and is a Music Theory faculty member at Bronx Conservatory. He has also taught Brazilian percussion, music theory, and ear training at Mannes Prep. Riley incorporates his audio engineering skills in his theory lessons, believing technical proficiency to be an important element of the modern musician’s skillset, and has mixed and mastered orchestras, choruses, and chamber groups at institutions such as Mannes Prep and New Amsterdam Singers.

Riley earned his Masters of Music at the Mannes School of Music, and completed his Bachelors of Music at the Eastman School of Music and University of Michigan. Previous percussion teachers include Michael Burritt, Joseph Gramley, Maya Gunji; Riley has also had the privilege of studying hand drumming with Glen Velez, and drum set with Kendrick Scott.


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