Austin Wrinkle

Drums & Percussion

Austin Wrinkle is a versatile drummer and percussionist who has immersed himself in rhythm and drumming from near and far. By combining techniques and concepts from many cultures, he has forged a unique voice on an array of drums and percussion instruments. Austin was recently nominated for “World Percussionist Of The Year” in the 2014 Drum! Magazine Drummies Awards. He is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed percussion group Hands On’Semble, a percussion group devoted to the art of hand drumming. Winner of Drum! Magazine Drummies Award for “Best Percussion Ensemble” in 2003, 2002, and first runner up award in 2001.

“A Stellar percussion group with extraordinary soloing,

and extensive palette of sounds”

(Modern Drummer Magazine)

Hands On’Semble has performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia at many of the world’s premier percussion and world music festivals, music schools and conservatories, and have collaborated with a wide array of highly esteemed percussionists including: John Bergamo, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Houman Pourmehdi, Adam Rudolph, Poovalur Sriji, Abbos Kosimov, Glen Velez, Brad Dutz, Jamey Haddad, Steve Shehan, Mark Nauseef, Pete Lockett, Ed Mann, Jerry Leake, Carlos Stasi and Guello.

Hands on’Semble worked on the soundtrack for the 2011 Universal Pictures feature film “Cowboys and Aliens”, and was featured on the soundtrack to the 2010 Disney feature film, “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time”, music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams.

Hands On’Semble has recorded five CDs to date. Percussionists and critics worldwide have praised their recorded work as being some of the most important and interesting of it’s kind:

“Masterful“ (Modern Drummer Magazine)

“John Bergamo, Austin Wrinkle, Randy Gloss, and Andrew Grueschow succeeded in presenting a CD clearly ranking among the most interesting percussion CD’s of the last ten years.” ( Percussion Creative Germany)

“…This just might be the best percussion recording ever made. The drumming is of such a high quality that this CD is on my short list of the CDs I can recommend to any drummer or percussionist. It is one of those rare CDs that is wonderful to listen to, and also can be played over and over in order to learn new rhythms and compositional forms… Every drummer should own this CD.” (

In addition to Hands On’Semble, Austin is also a founding member of the gypsy/jazz/rock band PLOTZ! Their CD Extraordinary Renditions was the winner of “Best Instrumental CD” and “Best Instrumental Song” (Splash, by Daniel Rosenboom) from the MAVRIC Awards in Ventura County and “Best International Instrumental CD” from Toronto Exclusive Magazine’s Music Awards.

Austin is a former member of the world fusion group Hindugrass, a group brings together elements of traditional Hindustani music from northern India with bluegrass from Appalachia. He collaborates with many musicians in the Southern California area including the Persian music group Lian Ensemble, Adam Rudolph’s Organic Orchestra, guitarist/singer Jonathan McEuen, and rock/blues band Moss Man.

Austin has performed at festivals such as: Alma Surf Festival, PercPan, Ritmos de Terra, and the First International Music Festival of Belo Horizonte, Encontro Internacional de Percussão in Brazil; World Drum Festival in Hamburg Germany; The Taiwan International Drum Festival, the Tainan Chi-Hsi Int’l Arts Festival – Int’l Drummers Gala and the Hsin Chu International Folk Drum Festival in Taiwan; several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC); Seattle World Rhythm Festival; Watts Tower Day of the Drum Festival; the Different Drummer Festival, and numerous PAS “Days of Percussion” including New York City, Southern California, Central California, Northern California, Southern Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

Austin’s composition “Wart Hog #3”, was selected to be recorded at Village Recording Studio in Santa Monica, CA and included on the California Institute of the Arts’ promotional CD “CalArts; Essencia Performance and Composition 1997”. Wart Hog #3 has been performed by numerous percussion ensembles world-wide and has been programmed alongside illustrious composers such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Steve Reich.

Austin has studied under some of today’s greatest drummers and percussionists. He spent many years studying with percussion vanguard John Bergamo, as well as the great tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. He studied South Indian drumming with Mridangam Poovalur Sriji, orchestral percussion and jazz with David Johnson, West African (Ghanaian) drumming with Alfred Ladzekpo, drum set with Jazz legend Joe LaBarbara, and Persian music with Houman Pourmehdi.

Austin Wrinkle proudly endorses Remo drumheads and world percussion, Cooperman frame drums, Dream Cymbals and Gongs, and Innovative Percussion drumsticks and mallets.


California Institute of the Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music (1997)

Master of Fine Arts in Music (1999)