MENDEL LEE (b. 1975) is a composer, musician, and music and marching educator/arranger residing in New Orleans, LA. He is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at Tulane University, the director of the Green Wave Brass Band, the founder and co-director of the nienteForte Contemporary Music, and a composer and performer with Versipel New Music.
Mendel’s music has been commissioned by internationally renowned timpanist David Constantine of the President’s Own Marine Band, The Concert Singers (Los Angeles, LA), The Xavier University Symphonic Winds, Liminal Space (Houston, TX), Byrne:Kozar:Duo, the Portland Percussion Group, and the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble. Additionally, his works have been performed by Andy Kozar, the Greater Portland Flute Society, the San Francisco Festival of Contemporary Music, Future Music Oregon (Eugene, OR), and Versipel New Music, amongst others.
As a performer, Mendel was the snare drummer for the “Shakespeare 400” Jazz Funeral Brass Band in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He has also performed as a pianist, percussionist, vocalist, and conductor for the Hundredth Monkey Ensemble and Versipel New Music, and he has also served as a guest performer/conductor for the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, the Oregon Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble 504, and Ensemble Pamplemousse.
Mendel is an Innovative Percussion Educational Artist whose award-winning marching band and drumline arrangements have been performed by numerous high schools, colleges, and independent marching organizations nationwide. During his tenure with the Tulane University Marching Band, he has helped coordinate logistics for their performances in high profile national events and television coverage including the 2009 New Orleans Saints Superbowl Victory Parade, the 2010 Krewe of NFL Kickoff Parade, the 2011 Wheel of Fortune College Week, the 2013 Fox and Friends Super Bowl Week broadcast, the TUMB’s 2016 appearance in the second season of “NCIS: New Orleans”, and the TUMB’s 2018 Cure Bowl and 2020 Armed Forces Bowl performances. He also coordinated the Green Wave Brass Band’s 2016 appearance in the second season of MTV’s “Brothers Green – Eats!” and their appearance as the opening act for the 2016 and 2018 New Kids On The Block Mardi Gras World block party.