NEXUS with So Percussion

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NEXUSNEXUS has been dubbed “…the high Priests of the Percussion World” by the New York Times. The first, entirely improvised NEXUS concert in 1971 marked the formation of a group that would touch and entertain people of all levels of musical learning, in all genres of percussion music. Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Russell Hartenberger and Garry Kvistad are virtuosos alone, and bring elements of their knowledge and character to a distinct and powerful whole. They stand out in the contemporary music scene for the innovation and diversity of their programs, their impressive history of collaborations and commissions, their revival of 1920’s novelty ragtime xylophone music, and their influential improvisatory ideas.

They have enjoyed participating at international music festivals such as the Adelaide, Holland, Budapest Spring, Singapore Arts, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Blossom Music Festivals, as well as the BBC Proms in London, Music Today and Music Joy festivals in Tokyo, and many World Drum Festivals. NEXUS was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999, just before celebrating their 30th anniversary season. Especially renowned for their improvisational skills, NEXUS was called upon to create the musical score for the National Film Board’s “Inside Time”, which won the 2008 Yorkton Golden Sheaf award for best social / political documentary and the 2008 Robert Brooks award for cinematography. NEXUS also created the chilling score for the Academy Award-winning feature-length documentary “The Man Who Skied Down Everest”. NEXUS’ list of high-profile collaborations includes Steve Reich, the Kronos Quartet, the Canadian Brass, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.

The 2018-2019 concert season marks their 48th year.

Bob Becker

BBob Beckerob Becker’s performing experience spans nearly all of the musical disciplines where percussion is found. Here’s a few of the highlights from his body of work: He has been timpanist with the Marlboro Festival Orchestra under Pablo Casals; he has performed and recorded with such diverse groups as the Ensemble Intercontemporaine under Pierre Boulez; he has appeared as tabla soloist in India; he is a founding member of the Flaming Dono West African Dance and Drum Ensemble in Toronto; and he is a regular member of the ensemble Steve Reich and Musicians.

Bill Cahn

Bill CahnBill Cahn has been a member of the NEXUS percussion quintet since its founding in 1971, and was the principal percussionist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1968 to 1995. Since 2006 Bill has been an Associate Professor of Percussion at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is also a faculty artist-in-residence at the Showa Academy of the Arts in Kawasaki, Japan since 1998. Bill has received the Rochester Philharmonic League’s FANFARE AWARD (1988) for a “significant contribution to music education in Rochester,” and several other awards as well. In 2006 Bill received a GRAMMY Award as part of the Paul Winter Consort on the DVD titled, “2004 Solstice Concert.”

Russell Hartenberger

Russel HartenbergerRussell Hartenberger received his B.Mus degree from Curtis Institute – upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force Band and toured throughout the US, Europe and South America as xylophone soloist. Russell holds a PhD in World Music from Wesleyan University where he studied mrdangam; he has also studied table, Javanese Gamelan and West African Drumming. He is Professor of Percussion at the University of Toronto where NEXUS holds a residency. Russell has been a member of Steve Reich and Musicians since 1971, and performed on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Music for 18 Musicians.

Garry Kvistad

Garry KvistadFounder and Executive Director of the Drum Boogie Festival, Garry Kvistad joined Nexus in the Fall of 2002 when John Wyre, one of the group’s original members, retired. He has been performing and recording with Nexus co-founders Bob Becker and Russell Hartenberger since joining Steve Reich and Musicians in 1980. Garry is one of 18 musicians to win a Grammy award for the 1998 recording of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. Garry attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, earned his BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and his MM from Northern Illinois University where he studied music, art and physics in the pursuit of musical instrument building.In the 1970s, Garry worked with composer / conductor Lucas Foss as a Creative Associate in Buffalo, New York, he then joined the faculties of Northern Illinois University and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. The Balinese Gong Kebyar Gamelan ensemble, Giri Mekar, which he formed in 1987, is currently in residence at Bard College. Garry’s credits include positions with the Grant Park Symphony of Chicago, the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra of California and even a gig with the Temptations at the Kool Jazz Festival in Oakland Stadium.

with special guests Só Percussion

sópercussion.com

Só Percussion

Só is: Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting

With innovative multi-genre original productions, sensational interpretations of modern works, more than 20 albums, and an “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), S? Percussion has redefined the scope and role of the modern percussion ensemble.

Their repertoire ranges from “classics” of the 20th century, by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, et al, to commissioning and advocating works by contemporary composers such as David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Steve Mackey, and Caroline Shaw, to distinctively modern collaborations with artists who work outside the classical concert hall, including Shara Nova, the electronic duo Matmos, the choreographer Susan Marshall, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, Bryce Dessner, and many others.

Só Percussion also composes and performs their own works, ranging from standard concert pieces to immersive multi-genre programs – including From Out A Darker Sea, Imaginary City, Where (we) Live, and A Gun Show, which was presented in a multi-performance presentation as part of BAM’s 2016 Next Wave Festival. In these concert-length programs, S? Percussion employs a distinctively 21st century synthesis of original music, artistic collaboration, theatrical production values and visual art, into a powerful exploration of their own unique and personal creative experiences.

In 18/19, Só Percussion collaborates with a range of incredible artists, working to bring original work to audiences around the world. S? tours a brand-new percussion quartet by the phenomenally talented composer/pianist Vijay Iyer; performs Caroline Shaw’s Narrow Sea with Dawn Upshaw and Gil Kalish at Ravinia; and returns to David Lang’s man made at the Chautauqua Festival. Looking forward, S? premieres new percussion quartets by Angélica Negrón, Suzanne Farrin, and by Julia Wolfe (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the LA Phil), performs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; at UC-Berkeley, Stanford Live, plays Steve Reich’s complete Drumming for the Celebrity Series of Boston – and much more.

Recent highlights include the New York premiere of David Lang’s man made with Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra; performances of an acclaimed Trilogy portrait at the Lincoln Center Festival; Narrow Sea, a new work by Caroline Shaw with Dawn Upshaw and Gil Kalish, at the Kennedy Center, San Francisco Performances, UCLA, Penn State, Ravinia, and elsewhere; returns to Carnegie Hall with the JACK Quartet in a program of new works by Donnacha Dennehy and Dan Trueman; appearances at Bonnaroo, the Eaux Claires Festival, MassMoCA, and TED 2016; international tours to Poland and Ireland; man made with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil; Bryce Dessner’s Music for Wood and Strings at the Barbican in London; and an original score for a live performance and broadcast of WNYC’s Radiolab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich at BAM.

Rooted in the belief that music is an essential facet of human life, a social bond, and an effective tool in creating agency and citizenship, Só Percussion enthusiastically pursues a growing range of social and community outreach.  Examples include their Brooklyn Bound presentations of younger composers; commitments to purchasing offsets to compensate for carbon-heavy activities such as touring travel; and leading their S?SI students in an annual food-packing drive, yielding up to 35,000 meals, for the Crisis Center of Mercer County through the organization EndHungerNE.

This season, Só Percussion celebrates its fifth year as the Edward T. Cone Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University. Through this residency, S? presents an annual series of concerts, collaborates closely with University faculty and students, and offer performances throughout the community. They also run the annual S? Percussion Summer Institute (S?SI, which marked its tenth anniversary in 2018), providing college-age composers and percussionists an immersive exposure to collaboration and project development.