Velez is married to Loire (Lori Cotler).
Of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas but relocated to New York City in 1967. He began by playing jazz on the drum set but soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions. Among the many instruments Velez favors in his work are the Irish bodhrán, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir, and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they all have their own characteristic playing techniques. Velez has studied each instrument traditionally, but has also developed his own cross-cultural musical vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures and developing new ones (such as playing the bodhrán with brushes). Velez has been influential in the growing international interest in frame drums and many younger players now use his techniques. Velez currently teaches percussion/frame drums at Mannes College of Music and The Juilliard School.
He also plays other percussion instruments such as the Venezuelan maracas and steel drum, and is skilled at overtone singing and Konnakol.
Velez's compositions are frequently composed for cross-cultural ensembles in which he himself also performs; he is particularly fond of polyrhythm—superimposing different meters simultaneously.
Velez was a longtime member of the Paul Winter Consort and Steve Reich and Musicians. He has also worked with Layne Redmond, Howard Levy, Steve Gorn, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Marc Cohn, Suzanne Vega, Glen Moore, and Malcolm Dalglish, Jonas Hellborg .
Velez's students include Layne Redmond, Yousif Sheronick, Shane Shanahan, Glen Fittin, Randy Crafton and N. Scott Robinson.YEAR
Album Name; Recording Artist (Label)
Bold entries denote Glen Velez as Primary Recording Artist
1972Carmilla: A Vampire Tale; ETC Company of La Mama & Ben Johnson (Vanguard)
1974Ai Confini/Interzone; Steve Reich (New Tone)
Drumming/Six Pianos/Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ; Steve Reich (Deutsche Grammophone)
Les Noces/ Symphony of Wind Instruments/ Chant Du Rossignol; Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, Gregg Smith Singers, Columbia Symphony Orchestra & Robert Craft (Columbia)
1976Utopia Americana; Steve Reich (New Tone)
1978Music For 18 Musicians; Steve Reich (ECM)
1979For Taylor Storer; Steve Reich (TS Records)
1980Octet/Music for a Large Ensemble/Violin Phase; Steve Reich (ECM)
Parnassus Plays Works by Stefan Wolpe, Mario Davidovsky, Charles Wuorinen, Erik Lundborg, and David Olan; Parnassus/Anthony Korf (New World)
Spontaneous Music; Horizontal Vertical Band (Charlie Morrow & Glen Velez) (Other Media)
Week End (Funky Friday); ADC Band with Kaiya (Sue International)
1981Daysongs; Nancy Laird Chance (Opus One)
Direct to Disc; Horizontal Vertical Band (Charlie Morrow & Glen Velez) (Other Media)
Gitano Soul; El Luis (Sony Music Media)
Ritual Sounds; Nancy Laird Chance (Opus One)
Talco y Bronce; Manzanita (Columbia)
1982Four Saints in Three Acts; Orchestra of Our Time (Nonesuch)
Tehillim; Steve Reich (ECM)
1983Handdance; Glen Velez (Music of the World)
Sunsinger; Paul Winter (Living Music)
1985Canyon; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Concert for the Earth; Paul Winter (Living Music)
The Desert Music; Steve Reich (Nonesuch)
Internal Combustion; Glen Velez (CMP)
La Quiero a Morir; Manzanita (CBS)
Musica Esporadica; Suso Saiz (NO-CD Rekords)
Radio Iceland; Peter Griggs, Iris Brooks & Glen Velez (Music of the World)
Sleepers; Doris Hays (Finnadar)
1986Aqua Touch; Danny Heines (Silverwave)
Echando Sentencias; Manzanita (RCA)
Sextet/Six Marimbas; Steve Reich (Nonesuch)
Susan; Susan Osborn (Living Music)
1987Between Dusk and Dawn; Rabih Abou-Khalil (Enja)
Drumming; Steve Reich (Nonesuch)
Earthbeat; Paul Winter (Living Music)
New York Counterpoint; Richard Stoltzman (RCA)
Seven Heaven; Glen Velez (CMP)
Sketches of Maine; Paul Sullivan (River Music)
1988The Art of Judeo-Spanish Song; Alhambra (Global Village)
Memos From Paradise; Eddie Daniels
Nafas; Rabih Abou-Khalil (ECM)
Passing Thoughts; Boo Doo (No Comment Records)
Street Dreams; Lyle Mays (Geffen)
A Visit to the Rockies; Paul Sullivan (River Music)
Wolf Eyes: A Retrospective; Paul Winter (Living Music)
1989Arms Around You; Eugene Friesen (Living Music)
Assyrian Rose; Glen Velez (CMP)
Basic Tendencies; Mike Richmond (Nomad)
Bukra; Rabih Abou-Khalil (Enja)
Live at the Knitting Factory v. 2; Various Artists (Knitting Factory Works)
Man Ray, Vol. 3 (remixes); DJ Nat Rahav & Various Artists (Milan)
1990Cool of the Day; Trapezoid (Sugar Hill)
Days of Open Hand; Suzanne Vega (A&M)
Earth: Voices of a Planet; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Hymnody of Earth; Malcolm Dalglish (Music Masters)
The Man Who Planted Trees; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Riqq (composed/perf. by Glen Velez); Manhattan Percussion Ensemble (Manhattan School of Music Library)
Roots and Sprouts; Rabih Abou-Khalil (Enja)
1991Angel on a Stone Wall; Paul Halley (Living Music)
Doctrine of Signatures; Glen Velez (CMP)
Home Again; David Wilcox (A&M)
Marc Cohn; Marc Cohn (Atlantic)
Mokave Volume 1; Mokave (Audioquest)
Noah and the Ark; Paul Winter (Rabbit Ears)
Ramana; Glen Velez (Nomad Records) (Music of the World)
Solstice Gems; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Some Towns and Cities; Benjamin Verdery (Newport Classics)
Strange Omen; Mike Cain (Candid)
1992Christmas in Maine; Paul Sullivan (River Music)
Deep Passion; Love Moods (Music Universe)
en directo en España; Paul Winter (Resistencia)
Homage; Peter Kater (Silverwave)
Igor Stravinsky The Composer, v. 2; Orchestra of St. Luke's (Music Masters)
Mokave Volume 2; Mokave (Audioquest)
Spanish Angel; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Symbols; Suso Saiz (Musique Intemporella/Ariola)
1993Bestial Cluster; Mick Karn (CMP)
Borderstates; Glen Velez (Interworld Music)
Ettna; Enzo Rao (Music of the World)
L´home que plantava arbres:;Angels Gonyalons (Lyricon)
Pan Eros; Glen Velez (CMP)
The Rainy Season; Marc Cohn (Atlantic)
Running Angels; Patty Larkin (High Street)
Skeleton Woman; Flesh & Bone (Silverwave)
Solstice Live!; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Songs of Kabir; Amitava Chatterjee (Interworld Music)
Zuhaitzak Landatzen Zituen Gizona; Jean Gionoren Kontakizun Bat (Lyricon)
1994Afriqúe; Mokave (Audioquest)
Ars Moriende; Jonas Hellborg with Glen Velez (Day Eight Music)
The Best of The Big Bang; Various Artists (Ellipsis Arts)
Prayer for the Wild Things; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Rhymes With Orange; Mario Grigorov (Reprise)
Temurá; Javier Paxariño (Nuba)
Trio Globo; Trio Globo (Silverwave)
1995Ars Moriende; Jonas Hellborg with Glen Velez (Day Eight Music)
Carnival of Souls; Trio Globo (Silverwave)
Closer to Far Away; Douglas Spotted Eagle (Windham Hill)
Istanpitta Volume 1; New York's Ensemble for Early Music (Lyrichord)
On the Cliffs of the Heart; David Rothenberg, Graeme Boone & Glen Velez (Robi Droli)
Power Lines; Ned Rothenberg (New World/Counter Currents)
Strangers World; Patty Larkin (High Street)
Winter Celebration; Various Artists (Silverwave)
1996Celtic Soul; Nóiríin Ní Riain (Living Music)
Die Rückkehr des Marco Polo; Ensemble Oni Wytars (Verlag der Spielleute)
Earth, Sun & Moon; I Giuillardi Di Piazzi (Lyrichord)
Festival of Light; Various Artists (Island)
Istanpitta Volume 2; New York's Ensemble for Early Music (Lyrichord)
Layers of Time; Reinhard Flatischler (Ellipsis Arts)
Rhythmcolor Exotica; Glen Velez (Ellipsis Arts)
Song of the Irish Whistle; Joanie Madden (Hearts of Space)
19979 Songs of Ecstasy; Pilgrimage (Point Music)
Clara Ponty; Clara Ponty (Philips)
Cooler Heads Prevail; Akira Satake (Alula)
End of the Summer; Dar Williams (Razor & Tie)
Hymnody of Earth (revised); Malcolm Dalglish (Ooolitic Music)
I do! Me Too! – Inter-faith Wedding Music from the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City; Various Artists (Pro Organo)
Imaginary Day; Pat Metheny (Warner Bros.)
Nomad Christmas; Various Artists (Nomad)
One in the Pocket; Badal Roy (Nomad)
Pleasure; Malcolm Dalglish (Ooolitic Music)
Sacred Ground; Kimberly Bass (Band Together)
Song of Rivers; Eugene Friesen (Living Music)
1998Greatest Hits; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Piano Crossroads; Larry Karush (NOMAD)
Portraits in World Jazz; Arthur Lipner (Jazzheads)
Rhythms of the Chakras; Glen Velez (Sounds True)
Sea of Dreams; Davy Spillane (Covert)
Songs From an English Garden; David Lanz (Narada)
Tigers of the Raj; James Asher (New Earth)
1999Birds of Prey; Peter Kater (Silverwave)
Chant: Spirit in Sound - The Best of World Chant; Robert Gass & On Wings of Song (Spring Hill)
Confluence; Colin Farish (Stillwater Sound) (Second Release - 2003)
Enchanted: The Best of Robert Gass & On Wings of Song; Robert Gass & On Wings of Song (Spring Hill)
Free as a Bird; Rhonda Larson (Intersound)
The Glance: Songs of Soul-Meeting; Coleman Barks (Penguin Audiobooks)
Pagan Saints; Flesh & Bone (Silverware)
2000Back Home; The Sturm Brothers (Rolf Sturm & Hans Sturm) (Orchard)
Breathing Rhythms; Glen Velez (Sounds True)
Colors of Trance; James Asher & Madeleine Doherty (New Earth)
Kinship; Maya Beiser (Koch)
KoSA: Rhythm is the Heart; Various Artists (KoSA Communications)
Madman of God: Divine Love Songs of the Persian Sufi Masters; Sussan Deyhim (Cramworld Disks)
Regrooving the Dream; Patty Larkin (Vanguard)
Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider; Alessandra Belloni (Sounds True)
Terra Nova: Megadrums (Intuition)
Tigers of the Remix; James Asher (New Earth)
Tribe; Gabrielle Roth & Mirrors (Raven)
Ura; Oskorri (Elkar)
2001The City of No – The City of Yes; Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Van Winkle Clef)
Kali Thunder; James Asher (New Earth)
KoSA K2K: The Rhythm Speaks; Various Artists (KoSA Communications)
Maren; Kepa Junkera (EMI)
Pacific Moon; Gary Stroutsos (Paras)
Quercus Endorphina; Oreka TX (Elkarlanean)
Rays and Forays; Chitravina N. Ravikiran (Naxos)
2002The Banshee’s Wail; Medieval & Irish Music: Scott Reiss (UNKNOWN)
By The Sound; Colin Farish (Stillwater Sound)
Castles of Gold; Frank McCourt, Roma Downey & Pan Morigan (Green Linnet)
Gypsy Killer; Sanda Weigl (Knitting Factory)
KoSA: What If . . .?; Various Artists (KoSA Communications)
Shy Angels; Sussan Deyhim (Cramworld Disks)
Silk Thread; Yousif Sheronick (Bribie Recordings)
True; Dawn Avery (Okenti Records)
Wendigo; Michelle DiBucci (Pacific Time)
2003Awakening; Robert Gass & On Wings of Song (Spring Hill)
Elephant Hotel; Glen Velez (Daftof)
Sol Tunnels; Ethos Percussion Group (Bribie Recordings)
2005Rhythms of Awakening; Glen Velez ()
2011Luminosity; Len & Vani Greene
Unknown Year of ReleaseFree Radicals Jam; Colin Farish (Stillwater Sound)
1974Classikon 56; Steve Reich (Deutsche Grammophon)
Six Pianos; Steve Reich (Deutsche Grammophon)
1979CD Connection; Steve Reich (New Arts Program)
ECM Sampler 2; Various Artists (ECM)
1980Music with 58 Musicians, Volume One; Various Artists (ECM)
1985World Music Sampler; Various Artists (Music of the World)
1986Living Music Collection 1; Paul Winter (Living Music)
Locura De Amor; Manzanita (Camden)
1987Late in the 20th Century; Steve Reich (Elektra Nonesuch)
Living Music Collection 2; Paul Winter (Living Music)
The World of Drums and Percussion Volume Two; Various Artists (Times Square)
1988Jaguar Woman and the Wisdom of the Butterfly Tree; Lynn V. Andrews (Harper & Row)
The Wedding Collection; Paul Winter (Living Music)
1990CMP'ler 1; Various Artists (CMP)
World Sampler; Various Artists (Buys, Inc.)
1992Anthems; Paul Winter (Living Music)
CMP'ler 2; Various Artists (CMP)
Horizons Cross Cultural Jazz Sampler; Various Artists (Music of the World)
Peter Kater Collection 1983-1990; Peter Kater (Silverwave)
Works of Art v. 1; Various Artists (Audioquest)
1993Global Meditation; Various Artists (Relaxation Company)
Live at the Knitting Factory Volumes 1-5; Various Artists (Knitting Factory Works)
Paul Sullivan Collection; Paul Sullivan (River Music)
1994The Big Bang; Various Artists (Ellipsis Arts)
Ethnic 2000 Vol. 1; Various Artists (EFA)
Sicilian Jazz Collection Vol. 2; Various Artists (Splasc(h))
Works of Art V. 2; Various Artists (Audioquest)
1995The Best of Silverwave v. 3 The Stars; Various Artists (Silverwave)
Planet Soup; Various Artists (Ellipsis Arts)
Special Box; Steve Reich (Warner Music Japan)
The Ultimate Minimal; Steve Reich (Warner Music Japan)
1996The Best of New Age v. 2; Various Artists (Priority)
A Little Magic in a Noisy World; Various Artists (Act)
Nyumon; Steve Reich (Warner Music Japan)
Divine Divas: World of Women's Voices; Various Artists (Rounder)
Sanctuary: 20 Years of Windham Hill; Various Artists (Windham Hill)
Works 1965-1995; Steve Reich (Elektra Nonesuch)
The World of Drums and Percussion; Various Artists (CMP)
1997Festa Dos Anjos – I. O Encontro; Paul Winter (Living Music)
1998Earth the Creative Plant: The Ellipsis Arts Sampler; Various Artists (Ellipsis Arts)
Harmonic Connections; Various Artists (Lyrichord)
New Visions: The New Acoustics; Paul Winter (Rhino)
Open Sky; Richard Stoltzman (RCA)
Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice: Energy Evaluation Meditations for Morning and Evening; Caroline Myss (Sounds True)
Thanksgiving: Windham Hill Collection; Paul Winter (Windham Hill)
1999Chanting: Discovering Spirit in Sound CD/Book; Robert Gass, Kathleen Brehony & Don Campbell (NY: Broadway Books)
Colin Farish Collection; Colin Farish (UNKNOWN LABEL)
2000Gay Mysticism: Ecstasy and Transfiguration Through Divine Love; Andrew Harvey (Sounds True)
Music from the Heart of the World: Sounds True Anthology Vol. I; Various Artists (Sounds True)
The World is Full of Rhythms: 15 Years of Megadrums; Megadrums (Intuition)
The Yoga of Work: Strategies for Right Livelihood from the World’s Wisdom; Rick Jarow (Sounds True)
2002Variations; Steve Reich (Universal)
1985Canyon Consort; Paul Winter (A&M/Windham Hill Video)
1986Ancient Altars, New Forms; Marion Scott & Rene Olivas Gubernick (New York Public Library Dance Collection)
World Drums; Niv Fichman (director) (National Film Board of Canada)
1988C.O.C.A.; Manuel Alum Dance Company - Soundtrack Compilation (New York Public Library Dance Collection)
1989Drumbeats; Glen Velez (REMO)
1990The Fantastic World of Frame Drums; Glen Velez (Interworld Music Associates)
1992Mountain Gorilla (IMAX film); Various Artists
Noah and the Ark: The Classic Story of Noah’s Ark; Paul Winter (Rabbit Ears Productions)
1993Hymnody of Earth (revised); Malcolm Dalglish (KET)
1994Back to Nature – Live in Zagreb; Paul Winter (Croatian TV)
1995The Snowbird Cherokees; Richard Panter (producer) soundtrack compilation (South Carolina)
1996Handance Method 1; Glen Velez (Interworld Music/Warner Bros)
Handance Method 2; Glen Velez (Interworld Music/Warner Bros)
1997The Selchie and the Fisherman; Malcolm Dalglish (Live Multimedia, Inc.)
1998Modern Drummer Festival Weekend; Various Artists (Warner Bros.)
2003Wendigo; Larry Fessenden (director) - soundtrack (Magnolia Pictures)
1993“After the Gasp” for dance group Kipos. Music by Glen Velez. Choreographers: Aspassia Yaga & Daniel Tai.
“Composed Improvisation for One-sided Drum with or without Jangles,” for Glen Velez, composed by John Cage, New York Public Library Music Division Research Collection, c. early 1980s.
“Hymnody of Earth: A Celebration of Songs for Choir, Hammer Dulcimer, and Percussion” (Revised) composed and arranged by Malcolm Dalglish, poetry by Wendell Berry, percussion parts by Glen Velez. Published in Ft. Lauderdale by Plymouth Music Co., MDP-900, 1995.
Berendt, Joachim E. and Gunther Huesmann. The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion to Beyond. Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books, 1992, 6th edition, 358.
Blank-Edelman, David N. “Glen Velez: A Unified Approach to the Frame Drum.” RhythmMusic Magazine 3, no. 8 (1994): 38-43.
________. “Glen Velez: From South India to Azerbaijan, Velez Finds a Unified Approach to the Frame Drum.” Percussion Source 1, no. 1 (1995): 10-12.
Brooks, Iris. “Global Beat: World Drum Festival.” Ear: Magazine of New Music 2, no. 3 (November 1986): 8.
________. “The World Drum Festival.” Modern Percussionist 3, no. 1 (December/February 1986/1987): 14-17, 37, 39.
________. “Meet the Composer: Glen Velez.” Ear: Magazine of New Music 12, no. 6 (1987): 16-19.
________. “Around the World: Glen Velez.” Modern Drummer 11, no. 9 (September 1988): 76-79.
________. “Glen Velez: Hands Dancing.” Jazziz 8 (August 1995): 60, 61, 63, 65, 67.
________. “Colors & Scents: Glen Velez Draws Inspiration From the World Around Him.” Drum! 6, no. 1 (1997): 75-78.
________. “Glen Velez: Embodies the Essence of Rhythm.” Drum! 10, no. 2 (March/April 2001): 67-68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 132.
Browning, Robert (editor). “Kavkazi,” in Maqam: Music of the Islamic World and its Influences. New York: Alternative Museum, 1984, 40.
Dalglish, Malcolm with Glen Velez. Hymnody of Earth: A Ceremony of Songs for Choir, Hammer Dulcimer and Percussion [revised]. Ft. Lauderdale: Plymouth Music, 1995.
Dorsey, Ed. “Ethnic Percussion: An Interview with Glen Velez.” Percussive Notes 25, no. 4 (Spring 1987): 56-60.
Dorsey, Ed, Iris Brooks and Antonio Gentile. “Glen Velez.” Percussioni 7, no. 60 (January 1996): 12-16.
Graham, Richard. “Glen Velez’s Tambourines.” Modern Percussionist 2, no. 1 (December/February 1985/1986): 48-50.
Johnson, Tom. “Music: The Real Tambourine Man.” The Village Voice 26 (11 March 1981): 70.
________. The Voice of New Music: New York City, 1972-1982: A Collection of Articles Originally Published in The Village Voice. Eindholen: Apollohuis, 1989, 469-472.
Kwan-uk, Hyun (photographer). “Expo ’93: The Culture of Science, The Science of Culture.”
Koreana: Korean Art and Culture (Summer 1993): 40-41 (appears in photo only – International Drum Festival 1993).
Li Castro, Emiliano and Fabrizio Dadò. “I tamburi a cornice di Glen Velez.” Percussioni 2, no. 6 (February 1991): 36-39.
Lieberman, Julie Lyonn. Planet Musician: The World Music Sourcebook for Musicians.
Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1998, 6, 68.
Liss, Dan. “Music: Framing a New Sound.” Aquarius 4, no. 12 (1997): 14.
________. “New Perspectives in Rhythms: An Interview with Glen Velez.” New Age Voice 4, no. 7 (August 1998): 16, 18.
Moscov, Josh. “Glen Velez: Exploring Where East Meets West.” Drum! 1, no. 6 (July/August 1992): 25-27.
Robinson, N. Scott. “Glen Velez: World Music Total.” Batera & Percussão 3, no. 28 (December 1999): 30-32.
________. “Glen Velez: A World of Sound in His Hands.” Modern Drummer 24, no. 4 (April 2000): 72-76, 78-80, 82, 84, 86.
________. The New Percussionist in Jazz: Organological and Technical Expansion. Masters Thesis, Kent State University, 2002.
________. “Frame Drums and Tambourines,” in Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume Two: Performance and Production. Edited by John Shepherd, David Horn, Dave Laing, Paul Oliver, and Peter Wicke. New York: Continuum, 2003, 362-372.
Schaefer, John. New Sounds: A Listener's Guide to World Music. New York: Harper & Row, 1987, 130, 132.
Sofia, Sal. “The World Drum Festival.” Percussioner International 2, no. 1 (1987): 66-72.
Solca, Alex. “Highlights of Modern Drummer’s 1998 Festival Weekend.” Modern Drummer 22, no. 10 (1998): 110-111.
Tolleson, Robin. “Riffs: Glen Velez.” Down Beat 58 (November 1991): 14.
Velez, Glen. “The Tambourine in Ancient Western Asia.” Ear Magazine East 5, no. 5 (April/May 1980): 3.
________. “A Monograph on the Frame Drum, Ancestor of our Modern Tambourine.” Ear Magazine East 7, no. 3/4 (April/October 1982): 8-9.
________. Handance Duets for Frame Drums. New York: Framedrum Music, 2001.
________. Handance Method with Cueing and Performance Guide: An Introduction to Frame Drumming. New York: Framedrum Music, 2002.
________. Bodhran Instruction Manual. New York: Frame Drum Music, 2004.
________. Shakers Instruction Manual. New York: Frame Drum Music, 2004.
________. Tar Instruction Manual. New York: Frame Drum Music, 2004.
Wentz, Brooke. “An Interview With Glen Velez.” Op Magazine V (1984): 42-43.