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 Percussion (Orchestral & Ethnic Instruments) / Drumkit / Vibraphone / Marimba

Dave Kemp has an extensive background in orchestral, jazz, theatre and popular music performance. Initially studying orchestral percussion at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, he soon came to the attention of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, where he has remained a regular section percussionist ever since. Increasingly drawn to jazz, Dave received an Arts Qld Professional Development grant for a summer jazz intensive course at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. There he studied vibraphone with masters Ed Saindon and Dave Samuels resulting in being selected to perform at The Berklee Percussion Festival. 


When Dave returned to Australia he wrote, developed and taught the first ever curriculum for vibraphone as a jazz major study instrument at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music as well as in Percussion Pedagogy. Dave was also appointed Percussion Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. A move to Sydney to accept the offer to undertake a research masters degree at the Sydney Conservatorium led to his involvement with the Lion King Musical national tour of Australia as the on stage percussionist.


In the past year he has played or toured with Neil Finn, The Whitlams, Katie Noonan, and the Australian Ballet along with being a finalist at the 2019 Qld Music Awards for a recording with the band Soul Mechanics which he engineered, mixed and produced in his own studio. He is also an AMEB examiner and his works are featured in the Percussion Syllabus.


Dave is highly experienced and efficient when working as a remote session musician in many contexts through previous collaborations with video game composer Mick Gordon (Game Audio Australia), Paris-based orchestral composer Leo McFadden, Bluey composers Joff Bush and Joe Twist, Australian composer Thomas Green amongst many others.


Examples of Dave's recording work across all instruments are available in the audio player below.

If you'd like to chat to him about your project, feel free to send him a message.

Website  |  YouTube Channel

Dave Kemp: Bio
Dave Percussionist On Couch Surrounded B
Dave Percussionist Standing With Instrum


Microphones: AKG C414, AKG C513, Rode NT2A Pair, Rode NT5 Pair, Audix D6, Audix I5, Shure SM57 x4, Shure SM58, Sennheiser e905, K&K Vibraphone pickups


Interfaces: Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre (drum kit), RME UFX, Presonus Digimax D8


Monitors: Presonus Sceptre s8, Equator Audio D5

DAW: Pro Tools, Reaper, Logic Pro
Dedicated mixing room with full acoustic treatment.

Drumkits: Sonor S Class Maple 6-piece (made in Germany), Gretsch 1960s Round Badge 4-piece Bop Kit.

Specialist Drums: DW Blackout 10x6 Maple Snare, Pearl Marching 14x16 Snare, Premier 1950's 12x5 wood Snare, Tama Starclassic 12x5 Maple Snare, 5x Rototoms, Hand Pan.


Gongs & Cymbals: Set of 5 Gamelan Tuned Gongs (low F2, F3, B3, Ab4 & A4), Chinese Tam Tam, Peking Opera Gong (pitch goes up), Zildjian 21-inch sweet ride, Sabian AA Raw 22-inch ride, Instanbul Agop 20-inch flat ride, Zildjian 19-inch dark thin crash cymbal, Zildjian 20-inch orchestral hand cymbals, Paiste 13-inch dark crisp high hats, Zildjian 14-inch 1980s new beat high hats, Paiste 14 & 16-inch signature crash cymbals.


Mallet Instruments: Ross 3-octave Vibraphone with K&K pickups, Galanti 2-octave Vibraphonette, Saito 2.5-octave Glockenspiel, Vancore 4.3 octave Marimba, Adams 3.5-octave rosewood Xylophone, Kosth 2.5-octave pit Xylophone, Chromatic Kalimba.


World Percussion: 

Afro-Cuban - LP Palladium Congas x3, LP Caliente Bongos, LP Timbales, Timbalitos, Cowbells, Claves, Guiros (wood & metal)

South-East Asian - Nepalese Madal drum, Indian Tabla (2 sets), Chinese woodblocks, Indian Kutch bells

Middle Eastern - Darabuka, Riq, Bendir (set of 3 Moroccan frame drums), Daf (large frame drum)

African - Djembe, Udu, Shekere

Brazilian - Surdo, Tamborim, Pandiero, Agogo bells

Plus a huge assortment of other hand percussion (tambourines, shakers etc).


Novelty Instruments: Ratchet, Bike Horn, Duck, Nightingale & Train Whistles, set of Harmonic Whirlies, Wind Chimes, Vibra-slap, Washboard, Rain Stick.


Timpani: Set of 5 including Ludwig 26, 29 & 32-inch copper, and 26 & 29-inch fibreglass.

Dave Kemp: Recording Gear
Dave Kemp: Music Player


Thanks for getting in touch! Dave will get back to you asap.

Dave Kemp: Contact
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