Synesthetic Percussionist & Composer
Called “one of the Boston music scene's most valuable players” by The Art Fuse, Julian Loida is a percussionist, composer, and producer. Loida’s musical curiosity and open-mindedness has propelled him towards a wide-range of sounds, genres, and artistic endeavors. He’s performed jazz, folk, and classical, collaborating with dancers, visual artists, songwriters/composers, and musicians of all stripes. The thirst to participate in and experience this range of sounds is partly a product of Loida’s synesthesia. Music is a full- body experience for him, with sounds often invoking involuntary sensations of color, texture, or even taste.
Loida often writes and arranges for his projects and ensembles (the Cuban/Brazilian band INÃ, jazz quintet Mojubá, chamber-folk band Night Tree), and his music has been featured in film, ads, and dance performances. His interdisciplinary projects aim at breaking down artistic barriers. The evening-length solo-project Recital of Dedications incorporates speech, visual media, and music into a series of dedications to individuals, historical moments, and more. In 2018, he released the album Bach LIVE!, featuring J.S. Bach’s music arranged for percussion. Loida’s 2019 release, Wallflower, marks his solo-album debut, and also provides the clearest distillation of his voice as a composer to date. Loida’s discography continues to grow with singles and EP’s featuring vibraphone and electronics to solo piano. Julian is preparing to release his second full-length solo record in the spring of 2023.
Loida has toured internationally as a featured artist at Korrö, Sweden’s largest folk music festival, and played some of the most prestigious music festivals in the U.S. such as Spoleto, New World Festival, the Exit Zero jazz festival, Caramoor American Roots Festival, and Round Top Music Festival. He has performed with groups such as Alarm Will Sound, Castle of Our Skins, Parsonsfield, the Callithumpian Consort, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Veronica Robles, Fabiola Mendez, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, The New Bedford Symphony, and MassOpera.
As an educator, Loida shares his scores and deep rhythmic knowledge with students of all ages. In 2017, he received his Master’s Degree in Classical Percussion from New England Conservatory.
Julian uses his talents to work with youth from disadvantaged backgrounds experiencing trauma. Using his enveloping music not only as a calm comfort but as an active catalyst for listeners to safely process and embrace their emotions.
For over two years, Loida ran the Children's Program for Shelter Music Boston, bringing music and educational programming to children and families experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity in Greater Boston. In 2021, The Peace Studio, founded by Maya Soetoro, awarded Loida membership in their 2021 Creative Peacebuilder fellowship, an international cohort of artists whose careers are centered around global justice and peace. Since then, Loida has continued to bring trauma-informed education and healing experiences to schools and communities through drumming classes or by accompanying yoga classes. He serves on the board of B Free Wellness on Cape Cod, whose mission is to transform lives by providing free or low cost services including movement, mindfulness, and coaching programs to those whose lives have been affected by trauma, addiction and oppression.