Percussionist Joley Cragg trained at the Royal College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Joley’s most recent engagement was as musical director/percussion for Women Beware Women at Shakespeare’s Globe, London.
Other theatre work includes The National Theatre (2020 Olivier Award Nominated: Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear the Musical, Percussion/drum kit, Antony and Cleopatra, Percussion and deputy MD), The Globe (deputy Swive 2019, Love’s Labour’s Lost 2018 summer season, deputy Romeo and Juliet, Summer of Love 2017 Season), The Royal Shakespeare Company (deputy Cymbelline, Barbican Theatre and Queen Anne, Haymarket theatre), Club 11 Productions (A West End Christmas, Cadogan Hall) and Alex Parker Productions ( The Railway Children, Cadogan Hall, A Little Night Music and Kings of Broadway, Palace Theatre.) Joley also deputised on Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre).
Orchestral work includes Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Orchestra of the Swan, and the Philharmonia (MOT concert with Wu Wei, Sheng.) In November 2019 Joley performed as one of the soloists in the premier of Karl Jenkins new work Miserere alongside the Britten Sinfonia strings section. The performance was later broadcast on Classic FM. In January of 2019 Joley featured as a soloist for Southampton Universities ‘Shifts’ concert at The Turner Sims concert hall, performing composer Benjamin Oliver‘s concerto Changing Up+ for solo percussion and ensemble. The work was written for, and is dedicated to Joley.
Alongside this, Joley is a keen chamber musician and is a member of contemporary group Workers Union Ensemble, who are constantly commissioning and performing works for their unusual line up of instruments. The ensemble have worked closely with Sound and Music, PRS for Music Foundation, New Dots and Non-Classical, and have commissioned many works by notable composers, including Joe Cutler, Matthew Kaner, Ryan Latimer and Benjamin Oliver. The ensemble were featured as composer Matthew Kaner’s first piece for his Embedded: Radio 3’s Composer in 3 residency in partnership with Sound and Music. Matthew’s piece ‘Collide’ was broadcast on Radio 3 each morning during September of 2017. Workers Union Ensemble were awarded a grant from the Medical Research Council for the groups latest project, titled ‘Hearing HIV‘.
Joley has featured on the Berkeley Ensemble’s album: Stabat Mater, a work previously un-recorded of the same name by Lennox Berkeley. A live recording was also broadcast on Radio 3 for the Spitalfield’s Summer Festival 2016. Other recording work includes playing percussion on Carrie Hope Fletcher’s 2018 debut album When the Curtain Falls and Workers Union featuring on Joe Cutlers recent album release: Elsewhereness.
Joley has a special interest in Indian music and regularly performs on the tabla. She has worked on new operas and in a contemporary setting using the instrument. Recent performances at The Globe had a tabla feature. Some of Joley’s compositions for the instrument are featured in Kuljit Bhamra’s book series ‘Read and Play: Indian Tabla Drums’, available now.
‘Joley Cragg’s brilliant, vehement performance of Iannis Xenakis’ Psappha…. ’ Paul Kilbey, Bachtrack.