Described by Cadence Magazine as a whirling dervish of rhythmic coloration, an exceptional drummer by Jazz Times Magazine, and a creator of brilliant compositions and exquisite sound by Modern Drummer Magazine, Jeanette Kangas (aka Wrate) has performed in major venues in Europe, Canada and the USA, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival at Sea, Playboy Jazz Festival, Freiburg Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Great American Music Hall, Zellerbach Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
Jeanette received her Master of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies from California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Music from San Diego State University. Some of Jeanette's teaching experience includes teaching percussion ensemble, music theory and jazz history at Los Angeles Harbor College. She also taught music theory and mentored music students at El Camino College in Los Angeles from 1987-2006. Jeanette has been performing and recording for over twenty-five years in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Artists she has performed with include Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Witherspoon, Cris Williamson, Charlie Haden, Stacy Rowles, Big World, Maiden Voyage, Michael Vlatkovich, Steuart Liebig, Ellen Burr, Holly Hoffmann, Tokeli, Peter Sprague and Bob Magnusen. She is featured on recordings by Big World, Cris Williamson, Tret Fure, Glenn Horiuchi, Steuart Liebig, Ellen Burr, Nate Jarrell, Ensemble Off n On and her own quartets: the Jeanette Wrate Quartet and The Northern Lights Ensemble. In 2015 she just recorded and mixed a CD titled Mystic Poets by Sounds of Devotion where she can be heard playing various hand percussion, guitar and voice. A second Mystic Poets CD has just been released (March 2020) entitled Mystic Poets II. Sounds of Devotion features, Brigitte Chase on flute, Suzann Gage on auto harp, Jeanette Kangas on percussion, guitar, keyboard, vocals and compositions, and Laurie Perez on vocals and compositions. For more information on Sounds of Devotion, please visit our website here.
Currently, Jeanette is living in Oregon, very close to the Umpqua River. Because of COVID-19 she is working on a collection of original works that she is recording at Umpqua Valley Recording Studio, in Roseburg Oregon. These works can be heard on the PRESENT WORKS page. She is currently the director and instructor of Umpqua Valley Drum Lessons, and the director of J Kangas Music which are programs of Progressive Health Services, a nonprofit tax-exempt 501-c3 organization that offers educational programs in support of health and wellness through music and the arts.
Jeanette is also the director and instructor of Umpqua Valley Drum Lessons. If you are interested in drum lessons, which are currently being offered online, please visit UMPQUA VALLEY DRUM LESSONS.