John Arrucci is an acclaimed master artist. He has composed, performed and instructed for over 40 years. He has studied on three continents, written for all mediums, and received numerous honors. His intimate knowledge of Classical, Jazz, North Indian, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian and other indigenous traditions gives him–and his audiences–a singularly rich perspective on the creation and impact of music.
His work as drummer and percussionist is featured on scores for feature films, television, commercial spots and recordings including on Sony, Polygram, Mercury, Chesky, Koch Jazz, Chiaroscuro, Rykodisc and other labels as well as performances throughout the United States, Europe, Brazil and Africa. He has performed and/or recorded with Michael Brecker, John Patittucci, Gil Goldstein, Mariah Carey, David Byrne, Livingston Taylor, Richard Bona, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, Philip Glass Ensemble, Donna Summer, Carlinhos Brown and Oliver Lake. His percussion work on television and radio includes music for programs including Patriot (on Amazon prime), Perpetual Grace: LTD (on EPIX), Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell. John provided processional, recessional and interlude music for Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu and many other dignitaries and has performed at notable venues such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Merkin Hall and United Nations.
As Composer, John has received numerous commissions, grants and awards for his performance and film music including commissions from members of The New York Philharmonic, The Manhattan Marimba Quartet, The Mannes College of Music and many others for solo, chamber music and large scale works for Wind Ensemble. He has received grants or awards from Meet the Composer, New York State Council on the Arts, John Lennon Songwriting Contest and numerous film festivals. His acclaimed 2011 release “Metaphors” features 9 of his compositions and performances on Drum Set, Vibes, Marimba and Percussion.
Princeton University was Arrucci’s classroom home for over 20 years, where he educated, inspired and engaged thousands in the art of percussion and composition. He has also taught at City University of New York and lectured and conducted master classes at Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, University of Colorado in Boulder, Wichita State University, University of Bahia in Brazil, The National Theatre of Namibia, Union Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and other prominent institutions.
He graduated with distinction from Eastman School of Music. The Smithsonian Institution awarded him a Post-Doctoral level research fellowship to study Tabla in Benares, India with Pandit Sharda Sahai. This was followed by a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship to study music in Brazil, where according to the Tribune of Bahia he “inﬂuenced the explosion of Bahian music”. He also studied Shekere and Agbe with the renowned Chief James Hawthorne Bey, Conga and Afro-Cuban drumming with one its leading exponents Frank Malabe and Tabla with Robert Becker.
John has recently made Nashville, Tennessee his home base. He is available for in-studio and remote recording, live performances, touring, commissions and Master Classes.