The IronWorks Percussion Duo, a Los Angeles based percussion group, was founded by Dr. Dave Gerhart and Axel Clarke. Though they gave their first concert in December of 2007, the group began much earlier. Dave and Axel were peers in the undergraduate percussion program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and performed together in countless concerts throughout their time at the university. After graduating, both joined the CSULB faculty as instructors in the percussion department. The pair’s desire to continue working together, and to explore new pieces and avenues of percussion, gave them the idea to form a new duo. At the 2006 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Austin, Texas, Dave and Axel decided to dive headfirst into the collaboration and took their name from the local BBQ restaurant where they first formulated the group.
The goal of IronWorks Percussion Duo is to explore all the possibilities of percussion performance within the duo format. Its performances blend pieces by established composers with new works by up-and-coming artists in addition to works by the group's founders. From formal structures to improvisation, from traditional instrumentation to found objects, from acoustic instruments to electronic soundscapes IronWorks Percussion Duo strives to incorporate as much of the broad spectrum of percussion music into its performances as possible. The group started a composition contest in January, 2008 to expand the repertoire of available duo works for the modern percussion field. The IronWorks Percussion Duo will release their first CD in July 2011.