Percussionist, composer, and storyteller Cory Hills thrives on breaking down musical barriers through creative, interdisciplinary projects. He has received degrees from Northwestern University, Queensland Conservatorium, the University of Kansas, and was awarded a research fellowship to Institute Fabrica. Currently, Hills is an active performer, composer, and recording artist in Los Angeles, as well as a member of the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.
An advocate of new music, Hills has individually commissioned and premiered over 100 new works for percussion. He has given solo and chamber recitals across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, The United States, Mexico, and China. These include a featured performance for the International Society of Improvised Music, the Days of New Music Festival in Chisinau, Moldova, the Queensland Music Festival, the Ravello Concert Festival, the Venice Art Biennale, six PASIC conventions, the Morelia Percussion Festival, Festival Mozaic, and the Tyalgum Music Festival. An advocate for percussion as an artistic discipline, Hills has been the artist-in-residence at Rocky Mountain National Park, Conservatorio de Las Rosas, a fellow at the OMI international artist’s colony, and the first-ever artist-in-residence with Eighth Blackbird.
Percussive Storytelling, a program that brings classical music and storytelling to kids in fun and accessible ways, was launched by Hills while a fellow at Institute Fabrica. The program recently marked its 500th performance, and has reached more than 135,000 children in nine countries. For this work, Hills has been the recipient of numerous arts grants, and was named the 2009 Emerging Artist through the Kansas Arts Commission.
The Lost Bicycle, Hills’ debut solo CD of percussive stories, has received four national parenting and creative arts awards (NAPPA Parent’s Awards Gold, Parent’s Choice Award Silver, World Storytelling Honors Award, and a Creative Child preferred choice). In June 2015, The Lost Bicycle was released as a fully illustrated children’s book published by AcutebyDesign. In 2016, Hills released his second album of percussive stories called Drum Factory, on Sono Luminus Records. Drum Factory received a Parent’s Choice Silver Award, three nominations at the 2016 Independent Music Awards, and was named CD of Year by Creative Child. In 2018, Hills released his first children’s novel, Beatrice and the POGs, also published by AcuteByDesign.