composer, educator, writer

Wayne Vitale is a composer, educator, and writer who has long been inspired by the music of Bali, Indonesia.

He has studied and collaborated with many of Bali’s greatest musicians, extensively documenting their work, and leading myriad projects bringing them together with diverse artists and audiences. His works for gamelan, spanning a stylistic range from traditional to experimental/ multimedia, have been performed by noted gamelan orchestras in Bali, and have directly impacted the evolution of Balinese kebyar music. The most recent was  Mikrokosma, which premiered on May 1-2, 2015, during Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s 35th Anniversary Concert at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

gamelan repair in Tunjuk
LBE - Interlocking (small)

He is a member of the Lightbulb Ensemble, a 12-member ensemble of percussionists that performs on newly constructed, gamelan-inspired instruments; and a founding member and past director (1992-2009) of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a Bay Area company of sixty musicians and dancers with an unparalleled international reputation for its cross-cultural programs.

His recording label, Vital Records, releases high-quality recordings of new and traditional Balinese music. He has also devoted himself to the metallic art of gamelan tuning and restoration, grinding and filing his way throughout the US and Europe to restore Balinese instruments.

He has taught at various West Coast universities, including Mills College, San Francisco State University, and Pomona College; and was Robert M. Trotter Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon in 2010.

His research and creative work has been supported by grants from the Arts International, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Music Commissing Award, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the East Bay Community Foundation, Meet The Composer, the Creative Work Fund, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. He has served on local grant panels specializing in performing arts; and is a fundraiser for the Community Music Center in San Francisco, a non-profit organization devoted to offering high-quality music education to anyone, regardless of financial means.