Catch Alumnus Jordan Brooks in

NYU Steinhardt News

Catch Alumnus Jordan Brooks in "STOMP"

Percussion alumnus Jordan Brooks was on the road heading towards the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps competition when he received an email from his mentor, Percussion Studies director Jonathan Haas, alerting him about auditions for the off-Broadway show STOMP

Jordan, who had recently graduated from the Percussion program with his master's degree, quickly changed his plans and returned to New York to participate in the audition. He auditioned to be placed in any of STOMP's companies which could have taken him on their national tour, on their international tour, to their London show, or to simply stay in Manhattan. 

"Hundreds of dancers, drummers, and musical actors lined up at the door the morning of auditions. It was extremely intimidating to see so many talented people gather in front of the auditions door," Jordan recalls. After a series of training sessions and rehearsals, Jordan was offered a full-time performance contract for the New York City show. 

Jordan plays Potato Head in STOMP. "He is the rock steady rhythmic center of the show," says Jordan of his character. "He is a no-nonsense, determined mind that shows his emotion through his aggressive and precise musical tendency."

Jordan and the seven other cast members perform music, dance, acting, and acrobatics. Some routines in the show only use a portion of the cast, and other routines use all eight performers at the same time. They use everyday items like brooms, pipes, hammer handles, trash cans, and basketballs to create the music on stage. 

Throughout the performance, the eight characters perform as a unit in ensemble pieces, as well as in individual moments throughout, that highlight the interactions and relationships among the characters. There is no speaking involved, but the relationships among characters are clear because of the musical expression each character uses.

In addition to his role as Potato Head, Jordan started Brooks Studios, a recording studio in Midtown Manhattan, where he records and produces music including some of his own projects, plus other bands, solo acts, and even a choir. He also produces and performs with the SymphoNYChorus in New York, and plays with the band Robbing Johnny. The audio for the band’s "Salamander Cool" was recorded at Brooks Studio. 

Jordan credits his master's from NYU with teaching him how to make connections and proactively offer his skills as a drummer/percussionist to different types of musical theatre productions, film scoring recording sessions, composers, and percussion ensembles. 

"The percussion studio gave me the opportunity to perform with the African gyil and percussion ensemble, steel band, marimba ensemble, and percussion ensemble. This wide variety of performing ensembles increased my value as a percussionist and gave me the opportunity to perform alongside some of the best percussionists in the world."

Jordan's goal as a performer is "to make music with incredible people who want to make a difference in the world." His long-term career goal is to play drums in the orchestra of a Broadway show and to tour with a major rock group. 

"In a way," Jordan mused, "I am currently living a dream career, and I am open to taking turns and finding different paths along the journey!"