Jauvon Gilliam was named principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2009 at age 29.
Since 2011, Gilliam performs regularly as guest principal timpanist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He is also timpanist of the All-Star Orchestra, a made-for-PBS group comprised of players from orchestras across the United States.
Gilliam has previously performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He was also timpanist of the Bear Valley Music Festival for three seasons.
Prior to his NSO appointment, Gilliam was timpanist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for seven years. While in Winnipeg, he was also timpanist of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and, for a time, played drum set for the WSO pops series.
As an educator, Gilliam has taught clinics at universities and institutions across Canada and the United States, including the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World Symphony and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He is currently co-director of Percussion Studies/artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland, co-founder of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar and is a timpani coach for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA.
A native of Gary, Indiana, Gilliam began his musical career playing piano, winning his first national competition at age 11. He received a full scholarship in piano performance to attend Butler University, but later changed to full-time percussion study. He graduated with honors with a degree in arts administration and then continued his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Jauvon proudly endorses Remo Drumheads, Yamaha Musical Instruments, Innovative Sticks and Sabian Cymbals.
“Next it was Gilliam’s turn to take the limelight…he delivered with a virtuosic performance. It was refreshing to see and hear this gifted musician emerge from the back of the orchestra.” -Winnipeg Free Press, 2005, Kraft Timpani Concerto
“Special mention must be made of timpanist Jauvon Gilliam, who pounded the skins right off their kettle drums.” -Winnipeg Free Press, 2007, Rite of Spring