Peggy Feltmate: Blog

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 11: 1986-88

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#NEXUSat50   1986    RARE INSTRUMENTS FOR GEORGE HAMILTON GREEN – with sound bytes: Between an Australian tour, Expo86 World Drums, Kennedy Center with Sharda Sahai (PASIC86) and a week-long tour of Tennessee, we found time to go into McClear Place in Toronto (photo attached) and record THE NOVELTY MUSIC OF GEORGE HAMILTON GREEN. Bob Becker says,… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part Ten, World Drums’86

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#NEXUSat50    1986    WORLD DRUMS at EXPO 86    The seeds of John Wyre’s world drum dream had begun to sprout as early as 1961 during his 3-month tour with the Eastman Philharmonia. In 1984 NEXUS began working with John Cripton producer of the 1984 Toronto International Festival which included the 2-performance “Supercussion” featuring a mere 17… Read more »

NEXUS at 50: Part Nine, the 1980s

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#NEXUSat50   1982   KIDS CONCERTS   Remember all those school concerts we mentioned in our 1982 UK tour? Here are two photos: NEXUS performing “Kobina”, one of our African-inspired pieces, at The Leadmill in Sheffield; and another shot of our appearance playing ragtime on the popular #BBC children’s show “BluePeter”. “Blue Peter” is still going strong, having… Read more »

The new DRUMMING at 50 Website

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DRUMMINGat50 Website

We are excited to share with you a brand new website, www.DRUMMINGat50.com, that NEXUS has created in partnership with Sō Percussion, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Steve Reich’s monumental work “Drumming”. Russell Hartenberger, Ray Dillard, and Alex Kessaris have been working for months to bring this to its fruition. A full performance of the piece,… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 8

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#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 »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part Seven

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#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 »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part Six

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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 »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part Five

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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 »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part Four

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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 »

NEXUS AT FIFTY: Part Three

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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 »

NEXUS performs Bolero: Spanish Dance

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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 »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 2

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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 »

NEXUS AT FIFTY: Part One

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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 »

Garry Kvistad in the Percussion Hall of Fame

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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 »

An Update from NEXUS

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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 »

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