John Doing was born in Amsterdam, Holland, where he was steeped in music. His father is an opera singer and voice professor, and his mother is a K-5 music teacher. He started piano lessons at an early age and grew up playing drums in church.

He attended the University of Wisconsin on a 4-year scholarship to study classical percussion. He was in the Wisconsin National Guard Band from 2003-2009, and won a Madison Area Music Award in 2009 for "Instrumentalist of the Year". The World Percussion Ensemble at UW (with regular guest artists Mike Spiro and Jorge Alabe) sparked John's passion for world percussion. He has since traveled extensively to learn various percussion styles from the source.

He received his Master of Music Degree (MM, Jazz Performance) from New York University in 2012. He studied drumset with Dafnis Prieto, vibraphone with Stefon Harris, and percussion with John Hadfield. He studied piano and jazz arranging with Jean-Michel Pilc, Kenny Werner, Brad Shepik, John Benitez, Rich Shemaria, Dave Pietro, and Dave Schroeder.  He performed with Chris Potter, Lenny Pickett, John Benitez, and Mike Richmond. John has also performed with Chuchito Valdez, Melissa Aldana, Richie Flores, the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, Guillermo Anderson, Philip Montalban, and Badal Roy (Miles Davis).

...Excellent drumset work...
— Percussive Notes Magazine

John played drumset and percussion on the 14-month First National Tour of the TONY-winning Broadway show Fun Home (and on the critically acclaimed off-Broadway run at the Public Theater in New York), and has been a part of many local and regional musical theater productions.

While living in Brazil for several months, John studied constantly with many teachers of samba and other Brazilian styles in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Recife.  He joined the band of Nildo Ribeiro and performed around Recife for Carnaval.  In Guinea, West Africa, John studied djembe and Malinké music and performed on drumset and traditional drums in weddings, and ceremonies.  In Mali, he recorded with djembefola Abdoul Doumbia, featuring some of Bamako's finest drummers. He toured with the Afro-Peruvian band Chilcano in Peru and studied cajón with members of Peru Negro. In Cuba, he studied drumset with Jose Eladio and timbales with ‘Jean’ (Klimax). He played in a Spanish Flamenco group in New York, and has studied Indian and Middle Eastern percussion.

John has given Masterclass/Lecture Performances on ‘World Percussion’ and ‘Drumming for Musical Theater’ at: Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Juilliard Percussion Seminar, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Lawrence Conservatory, Ohio University, University of Missouri St. Louis, University of Northern Colorado.

He has held adjunct Faculty positions including: New York University Jazz Department (drumset instructor, leader of Afro-Latin Rhythms Ensemble), University of Wisconsin Dance Department (accompanist), University of Wisconsin School of Music (co-director of World Percussion Ensemble).

John has been commissioned to compose works including: Mali Denou: Children of Mali (2010) for the University of Minnesota at Moorhead State percussion ensemble, Metabolic Dances (2009) for Jin-Wen Yu (choreographer).

John currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He plays regularly on musical theater productions and in bands including Makeunder (Electro-Art-Pop), Namorados da Lua (Brazilian), and various jazz groups.


John Doing endorses Dream Cymbals and Gongs and Wula Drum