Poèmes pour mi by Olivier Messiaen

Last night, I was fortunate to be at the opening concert of the Zeltsman Marimba Festival at Rutgers University. The second half of the concert featured the reunion of Marimbolin, a marimba/violin duo featuring marimbist Nancy Zeltsman and violinist Sharan Leventhal. They played 4 pieces and the music they created was breathtaking and performed with a high level of musicality. I hope this was not the last time we hear from Marimbolin. (more…)

Episode 027: The Secret Behind Great 4 Stroke Ruffs

As a young percussionist, we all learn the rudiments. For us, the rudiments are our scales and it is how we learn about technique on a single surface (aka a snare drum). In the concert snare drum repertoire, the 4 stroke ruff doesn’t usually occur until somewhere in the Advanced Snare Drum Studies book by Mitchell Peters, Delécluse’s 12 Etudes or later in Anthony Cirone’s Portrait in Rhythm. It also shows up in the orchestral excerpts (Lieutenant Kijé). Because it is not officially part of the 40 Standard American Rudiments, it is not something we practice at a young age. (more…)

Michael Spiro

With PASIC being right around the corner, I wanted to share some videos from past conventions to show you some examples of the clinics that are presented. Today’s video features Michael Spiro, one the foremost educators of Afro-Cuban/Afo-Brazilian music in the United States. He currently is on the faculty at Indiana University, has recorded and performed on over 100 albums and has produced educational materials for Warner Bros. Publications. (more…)