Percussionist Joley Cragg trained at the Royal College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre work includes The National Theatre (Hex the Musical, Drums/Percussion 2020 Olivier Award Nominated: Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear the Musical, Drums/Percussion, Antony and Cleopatra, Percussion and deputy MD), Shakespeare’s Globe, London (Twelfth Night 2021, Women Beware Women 2020 Musical director/drums and percussion, Swive 2019, Love’s Labour’s Lost 2018, Romeo and Juliet 2017), The Royal Shakespeare Company (Cymbelline, Barbican Theatre and Queen Anne, Haymarket theatre). Joley recently performed with the Improbable company on An Improbable Musical at The Royal and Derngate, and is a member of The Luminaire Orchestra.
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. 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, known for 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 the Hex cast recording, 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.