Vic Firth Jams Live

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

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 year, I decided to post my 5 worst posts of the year in hopes you take some time to check these out. 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…)

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.

Third Coast Percussion play the NPR Tiny Desk Concert

The Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion Group performed a NPR Tiny Desk Concert on May 29, 2018. NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate concerts, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. These concerts began in 2008 and have featured over 400 concerts including Adele, Tower of Power, Dan Deacon, Lake Street Dive and more.

Third Coast Percussion’s set list included a diverse collection of works for percussion including Niagara, Amazon River (Philip Glass) and Torched and Wrecked. If you enjoy this performance, be sure to check out So Percussion’s Tiny Desk Concert from 2012.

Third Coast Percussion is: David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, Sean Connors.

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