The Kennedy Center

Jauvon Gilliam


Jauvon Gilliam was named principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2009.

He is also timpanist of the All-Star Orchestra, a made-for-PBS group comprising players from orchestras across the United States.

Gilliam has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and regularly performed as guest principal timpanist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He also served as timpanist of the Bear Valley Music Festival for three seasons.

Prior to his NSO appointment, Gilliam was timpanist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for seven years. While in Winnipeg, he was also timpanist of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and, for a time, played drum set for the WSO pops series.

As an educator, Gilliam has taught clinics at universities and institutions across Canada and the United States, including the Interlochen Arts Academy, Aspen Music Festival and School, New World Symphony, and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He is currently Co-Director of Percussion Studies/artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland, co-founder of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar, and a timpani coach for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. Previously, he was Coordinator of Percussion Studies at the University of Manitoba.

A native of Gary, IN, Gilliam began his musical career playing piano, winning his first national competition at age 11. He received a full scholarship in piano performance to attend Butler University, but later changed to full-time percussion study. He graduated with honors with a degree in arts administration and then continued his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Gilliam received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater in 2014.
Jauvon Gilliam