Solo Marimba Performance of Bach’s Chaconne

The Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach is one of my favorite compositions. This is especially true performed on solo marimba. I will never forget Jean Geoffroy’s performance the Chaconne at the 2017 International Katarzyna Myćka Marimba Academy. Today’s video features a beautiful performance of Chaconne performed and arranged by Mika Stoltzman.

Recorded at Purchase Performing Center (New York City, NY) on 2-28-2018. The recording producer was Steven Epstein and filmed by Mikako Ishii. (more…)

Crossroads by Ivan Trevino

I hope everyone knows Ivan Trevino’s music! If not, visit his website or YouTube and start listening. (Watch Catching Shadows (Marimba Duo)). Crossroads for marimba and cajon, was written for Bryce Turner.

Ivan’s says that Crossroads is an intersection of rhythmic complexity and melodic simplicity. Throughout the piece, the two players share complex unison rhythms. At times, the cajón player also plays deskbells with feet.
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Vic Firth Jams Live

Vic Firth Jams Live Logo

In January 2018, Vic Firth hosted its first ever #vfJAMS LIVE recording session at EastWest Studios in Hollywood, California. This amazing event showcased some of the world’s top drummers performing with Robert “Sput” Searight and the all-star vfJAMS Band!

This is an incredible series. Vic Firth’s content for percussion is always high quality and these jam sessions feature videos, transcriptions, and PDFs so you can learn the tune. Check it out and let me know your favorite performance in comments below.

How to Set-up a Click-Track for Electro-Acoustic Performance

Over the past 10 years, there has been a lot of pieces composed with an accompaniment track. If you have never played with an electronic backing track (what we used to call a “tape”), you should check out this quick video guide by Francisco Perez. In this video, he quickly explains the gear needed to set up a performance that utilizes a click track.

For more information about Francisco and his compositions for percussion, visit his website.

Year in Review: The 5 Worst Post of 2018

year in review 2018 percussion education

How many top 10 lists did you read this year? Every year, we are inundated with posts about the top “things”. But why are there never “the worst posts of the year?” Over the past couple of years, I decided to post a year in review of my 5 worst posts. While these posts did not did not get viewed many times, I know there are some good pointers for the percussion educator. Happy New Year and I look forward to a great 2019! (more…)

Year in Review: Top Posts of 2018

year in review 2018 percussion education

Thank you for your continued support and here’s to more percussion education in the coming year. I appreciate everyone who supported Percussion Education’s Amazon Wish List. It is always great to hear from you. I haven’t posted as many updates this year, but I do have some announcements coming this summer. Stay tuned. Please leave a comment below and say hi. Here’s the Percussion Education Year in Review posts.   (more…)

Louis Armstrong Masterclass

One of the goals of PercussionEducation.com is to curate materials found on the interwebs. This brief interview features Richard Matteson talking about his experience with Louis Armstrong (1960 – Louis & Dukes of Dixieland) and the important lesson that Louis taught him. Spend the next 8 minutes and listen to this. You will not be sorry.

And when you are done with that video, be sure to check out this “masterclass”: Joe Morello Killer Exercise

Jeff Hamilton & Steve Smith Brush Duet

I have always enjoyed listening and learning from great musicians. Too often we listen to people we want to emulate on our own instrument when you can gain valuable insight from other musicians. Over the next couple of months, I am going to put together a series of blog posts of musicians, artists and other creatives that have inspired me. In his book, Steal Like an Artist, author Austin Kleon talks about the theory of picking one great artist and reading, listening and learning everything they did. Once you have learned from that artist, you pick three artists that inspired the first artist. Sounds like endless inspiration to me!

NEXUS plays Valse Brillante

On October 6, 2018, I was fortunate to attend a day of xylophone at NYU hosted by Jonathan Haas and Jon Singer. The day was called Xylophone Now! and featured performances and clinics by Xylofolks, Shaun Tilburg, Ian Finkel, James Saporito, NYU Percussion Ensemble, SUNY Purchase Percussion Ensemble, and the Rutgers Youth Percussion Ensemble. The performances were absolutely amazing and I was so glad to finally have the opportunity to hear these great performers perform in a live setting.

This video features virtuoso xylophone soloist Bob Becker and NEXUS performing Valse Brillante (by George Hamilton Green/arr.Bob Becker) at a performance at the Sejong Culture Center in Seoul, Korea on May 19, 1984 as part of a NEXUS world tour. (The performers include Russell Hartenberger, Robin Engelman, Bill Cahn, John Wyre). Pay close attention to phrasing.

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