Mexican-born/Los Angeles-based drummer/composer Jose Gurria-Cardenas, holds a BM from Berklee College of Music, and an MM and DMA in Jazz Studies from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) where he studied drums with Peter Erskine and Roy McCurdy, and composition with Vince Mendoza, Bob Mintzer, John Clayton, Russ Ferrante,Chris Roze, and Morten Lauridsen. Gurria’s many projects have taken him to China, Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil, Holland, Germany, Peru, Cuba, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, and Guatemala. As drummer/percussionist, José Gurría has played with Abraham Laboriel, Howard Alden, Putter Smith, Bill Watrous, Peter Erskine, Robert Gupta (L.A. Philharmonic), Vardan Ovsepian, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Moira Smiley, Mark DeClive Lowe, She-e-Wu, Debra Nagy,  Victor Goines, and Justo Almario. With the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra Gurría has played with The Yellowjackets, and Maria Schneider. 


Gurri on drums


Jose Gurria was awarded a Best Large Ensemble Composition award by the Jazz Education Network for the year 2013. In 2016, José Gurria was commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society to compose a large-format, multi-movement piece that was premiered at the Angel City Jazz Festival with world-renowned clarinetist Don Byron and Grammy-winning vocalist Martha Gonzalez as featured guests. In addition, at that show,  Gurrisonic Orchestra performed the west coast premiere of Skies of Americaan Ornette Coleman piece written in 1972 and re-adapted/orchestrated to Gurrisonic Orchestra’s specifications by Gurria. These orchestrations were solicited by the London Symphony Orchestra Program for Emerging Composers Panufnik Composers Scheme as study material for the year 2018. In 2016, Gurria’s piece Constant Deprivation of Monetary Funds (The Beast), represented México and competed at the International Tribune of Composersin Wroclaw, Poland. In 2017 Gurria was recognized with a gold medal from the Global Music Awards for his work with Gurrisonic Orchestra.Three Kids Music, Gurrisonic Orchestra’s debut album and Gurria’s primary project, was released in the spring of 2016 to wide acceptance from the specialized press.

In the summer of 2018, Jose Gurria was guest composer and guest conductor with the famous Arturo O’farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for the Fandango Fronterizo/Fandango At The Wall project in Tijuana and New York City. Among the guest artists that participated alongside Gurria were Regina Carter, Antonio Sánchez, Ana Tijoux, and Mandy González (Hamilton, In the Heights), to name but a few.

José Gurria is available for commissions, residencies, master classes, clinics, and pre- and post-concert lectures. Jose Gurria is a voting member of both NARAS, and LARAS, and is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. 

A brief selection of José Gurría-Cárdenas/Gurrisonic Orchestra reviews:


“Gurrisonic Orchestra projects a sort of hugeness and importance whose portent is completely fulfilled by the quality of the music therein.”


Gurrisonic Orchestra, an ambitious, super-sized ensemble that reflects its leader’s joyful, maniacal genius.” LA Weekly-2016
The music sounds fresh. What the orchestra lacks in mass, it makes up in agility and precision; Gurria’s flexible interpretation steers [Ornette Coleman’s] “Skies of America” further along the path toward immortality.

“Gurria is a superb, forward-leaning composer.” Jazziz


“An important voice in Jazz Composition.” LA Weekly


” Jose Gurria is one of the most exciting and important composers to emerge in recent times” Rocco Somazzi-director Angel City Jazz Festival


“Everything about Gurrisonic Orchestra exudes majesty. Even at its most minimal, José Gurría’s compositions and the musicians’ immaculate execution of the countless twists and leaps, lulls and bursts project a certain indefinable eminence. These musicians, as they go through their paces, exude an enormous amount of warmth, inviting you without hesitation to join them on their thrilling ride. You’ll want to accept that invitation—again and again. ” Jeff Tamarkin, Jazz Times associate editor.


“Anyone who thinks that the only hugely ambitious jazz orchestras successfully mixing jazz and classical music are located in Europe needs to know about this phenomenal bunch from California and their composer and leader Jose Gurria. This is music that stays fresh no matter how many times you hear it.” The Buffalo News