The PERCUNOVA Percussion Duo (Jonathan Ovalle & Neeraj Mehta) strives to brings contemporary art music and global percussion rhythms together through diverse repertoire and virtuosic performance. In particular, working to find an artistic nexus between contemporary chamber percussion repertoire and Afro-Cuban folkloric and popular music. The duo made their international debut in 2014 at the Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. While in residence, they performed a full recital, gave educational clinics & workshops, and appeared with the Mahidol University Wind Ensemble as concerto soloists on Avner Dorman’s Perfumes, Spices, & Toxins. Following their Thailand debut, the duo toured India, where they presented performance workshops at seven international schools in the cities of Mumbai and Pune. More recently, the duo has been active performing and giving workshops at universities in the U.S. including William Paterson University, Queens College, Colorado State University, University of Colorado-Denver, University of Denver, Willamette University, University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, and the University of Southern Oregon.
With a collaboration history of ten years in a wide variety of musical genres, Jonathan Ovalle & Neeraj Mehta have appeared together and independently throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Their experience includes performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, The Midwest Clinic, Detroit International Jazz Festival, Art Tatum Heritage Jazz Festival, as well as numerous guest artist residencies including the Juilliard School, Northern Illinois University, the University of Texas A&M-Commerce, Baylor University, Florida State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their current work together as PERCUNOVA includes concertizing and developing a body of repertoire which features contemporary duo percussion works, new commissions, transcriptions, and original co-composed and improvised music.
Jonathan Ovalle is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Neeraj Mehta is currently an Assistant Professor at Queensboro Community College in New York City. Jonathan Ovalle and Neeraj Mehta are sponsored by Pearl/Adams, Innovative Percussion, Remo, and Zildjian.
Photos by: Kyla Dorsey