Jarrad Powell

Performing Arts, 2000

Jarrad Powell is a composer whose work involves a variety of media, including chamber music, music for theater and dance, and sound installation. He has an interest in the music of Asia, and is especially noted for his work with gamelan. He was born in Montana in 1948 and studied music from an early age, including piano, percussion, and guitar. He received his M.A. in music composition from Mills College, where he studied with Anthony Braxton, Conlon Nancarrow, David Rosenboom, Pauline Oliveros and Larry Polansky and received the prestigious Paul M. Henry Award for excellence in music composition. He has also studied Javanese gamelan extensively with a number of teachers, including K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, Endo Suando, Antonius Sutrisna, Supardi, and Sri Djoko Rahardja. Mr. Powell has been a faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts since 1987, where he is currently Associate Professor. He is also Director of Gamelan Pacifica, Artistic Director of the Seattle Creative Orchestra, and co-director of Composer/Choreographer: new dialogues dance, music, media. He has recorded for What Next? Recordings, Periplus, Mode Records, New Albion, O.O. Discs, and the Leonardo Music Journal.

Awards and Accomplishments


Powell directed Gamelan Pacifica in the performance SUHIRDJAN: REVERBERATIONS, a concert that paid tribute to the great Javanese gamelan builder Suhirdjan


In celebration of the John Cage centenary, Powell curated a performance of Cage's work for the Cornish Music Series at Poncho Concert Hall in Seattle, gave a performance of Cage's legendary 4'33" at the Frye museum and was the first person granted permission to create an independent performance of Cage's yet unpublished work STEPS (1989), A Composition for a Painting, to be performed by individuals or groups. That performance, which took place at the Chapel Performance Space in Seattle, will be featured in an upcoming documentary film about the Cage centenary. The Chapel performance was followed by an installation documenting the work at the Cornish College of the Arts Gallery, including a closing performance. 


Powell directed Gamelan Pacifica in a concert featuring special guest Alysios Suwardi. The concert featured Northwest premieres of original compositions by Suwardi and was held at Poncho Concert Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle

2007: Powell receives NEA Grant

2002: Powell receives grant from Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund