Latest Blog posts by Garry
GARRY KVISTAD is the founder and owner of Woodstock Percussion, Inc., makers and distributors of Woodstock Chimes® and the Woodstock Music Collection®, an award-winning line of musical instruments for children. Both are sold worldwide. As a professional musician, Garry has performed and recorded with the ensemble Steve Reich and Musicians since 1979 and won a group GRAMMY® Award for the 1998 recording of Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. He tours and records as a member of NEXUS, the internationally renowned, Canadian-based chamber music ensemble.
Garry attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and earned his BM degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and MM degree from Northern Illinois University, where in 1993 he was honored with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
In the 1970s, Garry worked with composer / conductor Lucas Foss as a Creative Associate in Buffalo, NY, after which he joined the faculties of Northern Illinois University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with the Blackearth Percussion Group, which he co-founded. Kvistad has served as the timpanist and percussionist with the Chicago Grant Park Symphony, was a summer Tanglewood Fellow and a percussionist with the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra in California.
The Balinese Gong Kebyar Gamelan ensemble Giri Mekar, which he formed in 1987, is in residence at Bard College where Garry currently serves on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock, NY for 20 years, including serving as Chairman of the Board. The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild named a building in Garry’s honor in 2008. In 2010, Garry was presented with the inaugural ICON Honors Achievement Award from AmericasMart® Atlanta. Garry is on the advisory board of the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice and is the creator and Executive Director of the Drum Boogie Festival®, a biennial event first held in 2009.
In 2016, Garry gave a TEDx Talk at Monmouth University in New Jersey titled “Good Vibrations: A Life of Harmony.” In the talk, he described his love of sounds and his fascination with ancient musical scales, which inspired him to learn to build and tune musical instruments and in turn led to the creation of the first Woodstock Chime. In 2020, Garry was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame for his work, achievements and contributions to the world of percussion. Garry shares this rare honor with such top performers as George Hamilton Green, NEXUS, John Cage and Ringo Starr of the Beatles.