John Magnussen is known throughout the Los Angeles area as a top performer in many aspects of percussion. Although primarily known as a specialist in mallet percussion, he can be heard and seen playing anything from timpani, xylophone, or bass to drum set, dumbek, or electronics. His jazz vibraphone playing can be heard on many albums with artists such as Sarah Vaughn and Richard Greene. He has appeared on numerous television shows—including the Tonight Show with performers such as Annie Lennox and Liza Minnelli.
Mr. Magnussen can often be seen playing extra percussion with the Los Angeles Philharmonic where he has played under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, John Williams, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has recorded with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and for many films and television commercials.
He has studied with a variety of great artists including Charlie Shoemake, Louis Conte, Emil Richards, Victor Feldman, and Warne Marsh. Mr. Magnussen attended CLU Thousand Oaks and graduated from California State University at Northridge in 1975, where he is currently on the faculty teaching applied percussion. He is also the author of a book on programing electronic samplers.