World music & jazz

Versatile percussionist Carl Dixon is at home with music spanning multiple genres, continents, and instruments.  He can be found performing in concert halls, jazz clubs, dance parties, festival stages, and street parades.

Carl teaches percussion and directs the Brazilian Bateria and Latin Jazz percussion ensembles at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  He is the Musical Director of the Boulder Samba School and Bateria Alegria, a community based Brazilian drumming ensemble.  He teaches private lessons in all areas of percussion and has presented workshops at Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northern Illinois University, Naropa University, Colorado College, Colorado State University-Pueblo, University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado and Wyoming PAS Days of Percussion, and the California Brazil Camp. In 2022, Carl will serve as guest teacher in residence at the University of Wyoming to start and develop a Brazilian Bateria ensemble. Carl’s arrangements of traditional rhythms found in Brazil’s samba schools and blocos have been performed by university and community ensembles across the country.

As a drumset player and percussionist, he has performed/recorded with Ginga, Pink Martini, Casuarina, Paula Santoro, Moyseis Marques, Alessandro Penezzi, Ronaldo Andrade, Kailin Yong, Jake Schepps, Pat Bianchi, Jeff Jenkins, Dexter Payne, Doug Walter, and nationally touring Broadway musicals. While studying music in Rio de Janeiro, Carl has played with the samba school Salguerio and the bloco Bangalafumenga. Carl’s percussion and oud duo with Derek Wright released their debut album Pairings in 2020.

Carl is the Principal Percussionist of the Central City Opera and Fort Collins Symphony, percussionist with Opera Colorado, and has performed with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Ballet, Boulder Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and Greeley Philharmonic orchestras.

In 2018, Carl founded Virada Drums, a business that imports and distributes authentic quality percussion instruments from Brazil. Virada Drums serves professional percussionists and students, and regularly assists schools in selecting instruments, planning repertoire, and advising ensemble directors. 

Carl received a Master of Music degree in percussion performance from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he studied with Dr. Douglas Walter and Paul Romaine, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied with Anthony Di Sanza.  Other important teachers include Michael Spiro, Mark Lamson, Jorge Alabe, and Mestre Marcão.

A Wisconsin native, Carl spends his free time in the mountains rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and road biking. 

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