#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 »
#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 »
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 »
#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 »
#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 »
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 »
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.
Here in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving on Monday, October 8. What more fitting time to give a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who contributed to our Kickstarter Campaign for Drumming At 50. September was definitely exciting – if a bit nerve-wracking! We were fund-raising for our Video Recording with Sō Percussion and friends… Read more »
Epic. Exhilarating. Revolutionary. Iconic. Words that describe Steve Reich’s monumental DRUMMING. Russell Hartenberger had a thought. And now that thought has evolved into an exciting project, backed 100% by Steve Reich: We have joined with the wonderful Sō Percussion to create a videography of DRUMMING in celebration of the piece’s 50th Anniversary!
From Sept. 4 through 6, NEXUS will be kicking off Ithaca College’s school year with a series of exciting events. All PRESENTATIONS (INCLUDING THE Sept. 6th CONCERT) ARE FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC as well as to the Ithaca students. We are thrilled that Gordon Stout, (marimbist, composer, and educator – lucky Ithaca College!),… Read more »