An invitation from Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 led Gramley to join the Silk Road Ensemble. In addition to participating in the group’s extended residencies in American cities, he has toured with them throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Along the way, he has studied percussion styles and instruments from around the globe, collaborating with renowned musicians from India, Iran, China, Japan, Korea and Central Asia.
Joseph Gramley has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (as soloist), St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (as guest principal timpanist and percussionist), Seattle Symphony, Orchestre de Lyon, Dawn Upshaw, David Robertson, the Spoleto Festival (as soloist), Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, New York City Ballet, Glen Velez, Keiko Abe, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Kayhan Kalhor, Alim Qasimov, Wu Tong, Sandeep Das and numerous others. Since 2009 he has performed and toured with The Knights chamber orchestra in both the United States and Europe. He also performs with organist Clive Driskill-Smith in the duo Organized Rhythm.
Born in 1970, Gramley grew up in Oregon and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts while a senior at the Interlochen Arts Academy in 1988. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and also attended the Tanglewood Institute and Salzburg Mozarteum. He made his concerto debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach after winning their National Soloist Competition, and made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 1994. After graduate studies at the Juilliard School, he performed and recorded with the Ethos Percussion Group throughout the U.S. and Europe. Joseph Gramley has directed the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, an intensive annual program for high-school students, for 13 years.