#NEXUSat50 1984 FOUR MONTH WORLD TOUR: CHINA! In May we embarked on a tour that would take us to 10 countries. This meant putting a great many other things in Life on hold – but what an opportunity! We began in China where we were the first Western percussion group to perform in the People’s… Read more »
Posts By: Peggy Feltmate
#NEXUSat50 1982 PLAYING WITH POETRY We spent 3 days at Toronto’s McClear Place with 78-year-old poet Earle Birney, recording a 3 volume set. Released in LP and audio cassette format, they have never been re-issued as CDs, but 2 of the poems were included in our later “The Best of NEXUS” CD. We had… Read more »
1980 SYMPHONY POPS and ERICH KUNZEL We were developing repertoire for symphonic pops concerts mostly centered around orchestrations of the novelty ragtime music that Bob Becker and @BillCahn had arranged. John Wyre’s and Bill’s orchestra positions in Toronto and Rochester connected them with Erich Kunzel who was becoming a leading pops conductor in North America…. Read more »
1979 LAYING GROUNDWORK At least 2 personal projects in 1979 laid groundwork for the future. Bill and Garry tried a couple new directions. During the 1970s while rummaging for xylophone music, Bill had found several large boxes of sheet music in a Rochester antique shop. The hundreds of titles had been published in the early… Read more »
1977: FIRST NEXUS COMMISSION Bob Becker tells us that “The first piece commissioned by NEXUS came from the Canadian composer Bruce Mather in 1977. (We would premiere it in April ’78.) At that time, Bruce’s music was known only vaguely by most of us, but Robin Engelman had become an admirer. He made the commission… Read more »
1975: DIFFERENT MUSIC We continued performing our George Hamilton Green ragtime arrangements. Bob Becker was totally smitten, and says, “I was tracking down all of it”. For two appearances, we played rags and also our improvisation at the famous (or infamous) Bohemian Embassy coffeehouse in Toronto which (thanks to founder and long time CBC performer… Read more »
For your enjoyment, the NEXUS performance of “Bolero – Spanish Dance No.5“ is now on YouTube! You can access it HERE. “Bolero – Spanish Dance No. 5” by Moritz Moszkowski, performed by NEXUS with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992 on “The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra” (NEXUS CD#10306). Featuring Bob Becker on xylophone…. Read more »
1973: EXPANSION We were performing “our own unique brand of improvised music”, says Bill, with the “simple desire to expand our own musicianship…There was absolutely no thought given to marketing – there was no market!” 1973 took us to the CBC Winnipeg Festival and also brought us our first foray into film music for Canadian… Read more »
GUESS WHAT! NEXUS is celebrating its 50th season! To celebrate, over the coming year we’re going to bring you snapshots of each year in our career. We have been posting weekly on our Facebook and Instagram feeds: Fifty years, fifty weeks! Every now and then, we will amalgamate the latest posts and place them here… Read more »
We are delighted to announce that NEXUS member Garry Kvistad will be inducted into the Percussion Hall of Fame this autumn, along with Ndugu Chancler and Neil Peart. Garry joined Nexus Percussion in the Fall of 2002 and is one of 18 musicians to win a Grammy award for the 1998 recording of Steve Reich’s… Read more »
Hi all. We hope all of you are keeping well and STAYING HOME! All of us here are doing fine. Thank you to all of you who have continued to visit our Facebook page, and to our new Facebook followers who have come on board in the last few weeks. There have been quite a… Read more »
Happy New Year to you all! The last few months of 2019 treated us very well – and featured spectacular collaborations, too. In Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall – where this whole “NEXUS thing” began in 1971 – we were part of this year’s Rochester Fringe Festival.
It’s Spring – and a LOT is happening. Russell Hartenberger has been at Virginia Tech workshopping his new piece “Magic Time” commissioned by Escape Ten. Tonight (May 4th) is the premiere. The duo is performing “Magic Time” on marimba with a quintet (the Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble ) performing on tuned cymbals newly created for… Read more »
In honour of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich birthday, here is an interview where she shares her thoughts on writing this concerto Rituals for NEXUS. Frank Oteri at New Music Box calls the interview Goose Bumps In The Candy Shop. Ellen has some intriguing comments about percussion instruments and their intrinsic nature: FJO: My favorite piece of… Read more »
With the 21C Music Festival about to begin (January 16-20), we are so lucky to be based in Toronto where we can take in its awesome line-up featuring the great Terry Riley and our friends and fellow-percussionists, Sō Percussion.