aaron gochberg state journal.jpg



Aaron is a percussionist based in Madison, WI. In recent years, he has been privileged to enjoy a widely eclectic range of musical experiences as a performer, composer, student, and teacher, all of which contribute to his distinct musical identity and perspective.

He is an active performer who advocates for the programming of works by living composers. He is the co-founder of Filament, a percussion duo who have commissioned works from composers such as Wally Gunn, Elliott Cole, Alyssa Weinberg, Juri Seo, Jason Treuting and Dorian Wallace, and given numerous world premieres. He has performed with ensembles including Stockholm Brass Quintet, Sō Percussion, Clocks in Motion, Sound Out Loud, and the Tatsuya Nakatani Gong Orchestra. In 2016, Aaron was a Performance Fellow at the Nief-Norf Summer Festival. He has performed in venues across the United States, including Carnegie Hall and the Overture Center. In 2015, Aaron was privileged to tour with the UW-Madison Percussion Ensemble to Beijing and Shenyang, China. In 2018, he won the University’s Concerto Competition, and performed as soloist with the UW-Madison Symphony.

Aaron’s deep interests in Afro-Cuban music have presented him with multiple opportunities to travel to Cuba, where he was deeply privileged to study with some of the greatest musicians in Havana and Matanzas, including the late Alejandro Caravajal Guerra, Marino Angarica, and members of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Los Rumberos de Cuba, Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas and the Conjunto Folkorico Nacional de Cuba. Aaron was awarded a Hilldale Research Fellowship for his study of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and has presented his research at UW-Madison and Edgewood College. Aaron has also studied extensively with Afro-Cuban music scholar and percussionist, Donald Skoog, in Chicago, Il.

He regularly performs with Acoplados Latin Jazz Project, Golpe Tierra, and Kainalu. He has also performed alongside artists including Juan de Marcos Gonzalez (Buena Vista Social Club, Sierra Maestra, Afro-Cuban All Stars), Juan Medrano “Cotito” (Susana Baca, Novalima). He can be heard on Eric Seriveld’s Organic Quintet album Walk The Walk (Shifting Paradigm Records), and on an upcoming release from Kainalu. 

Aaron holds a B.M. in Percussion Performance from UW-Madison, where his primary teachers were Anthony Di Sanza, Todd Hammes, and Tom Ross.

Photo by John Hart, Wisconsin State Journal

All great music is contemporary. If it’s still alive and kicking, then it’s contemporary.
— Steve Reich