Julian Douglas

Julian Douglas - Percussion


Raised by a jazz pianist Julian’s childhood was an immersive education in music of many Western genres. His early musical influences included progressive rock artists like Yes, jazz fusionists like Return to Forever, and funk artists like Bootsy Collins.

As a teenager, Julian fell in love with percussion and began to study the music of artists like Carlos Santana, Babatunde Olatunji, and Peter Gabriel. It wasn’t long before he started looking for ways to integrate the rhythmic concepts present in African and AfroCuban music with the more linearly complex ideas present in his early influences.

In his twenties, Julian co-founded the avant garde world percussion ensemble Rhythm Quest. During this time Julian extended his studies of rhythm to include the Middle East, India, and various other traditions. He began developing his compositional skills exploring advanced rhythmic concepts within the context of composition and arrangement for performance as a quartet and various collaborative projects. These included a performance with Blue Note recording artist Greg Osby, World A Capella Vocal ensemble, Vida, modern dance performances, and in a more accompaniment framework for musicians such as Turkish Sufi musician Latif Bolat. During this time, Julian also taught workshops and performed throughout the northeastern and mid-western United States. Rhythm Quest’s debut CD Excursion earned a 4-star review from “Modern Drummer” magazine.

Rhythm Quest disbanded in the late 90s and Julian pursued a more solitary exploration of large ensemble percussion composition, with a focus on integrating advanced rhythmic material with an inclusive aesthetic. In 2006 Julian took an interest in music production and produced an album in collaboration with singer/songwriter Charles Gibson and early/world music vocalist Stephanie Heidemann. Shortly after, he began performing with Sufi, Alternative Rock group HuDost. In 2008, a collaborative piece with Stephanie Heidemann was featured on NPR’s daily web version of All Songs Considered.

His most recent work includes a recording on the HuDost EP Waking the Skeleton Key and the solo collaboration projectTalafawa which is a further exploration of world fusion and music production. Today Julian lives in Sarasota, FL with his musical and life partner Stephanie Heidemann, and son Gabriel River.