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Roots and Rhizomes at the Banff Centre

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During June 13 through 22, 2009 I took part in the Roots and Rhizomes residency organized by Steven Schick and held at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. Banff is located in the heart of the Canadian rockies, and must be one of the most spectacular locations in the world for this… Read more »

Westward Ho! The Banff Connection

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Bob Becker has recently returned from a week-long percussion residency entitled “Roots and Rhizomes” at the Banff Centre for the Arts in western Canada, where he was a faculty member. It got me thinking about the several NEXUS/Banff connections.

Summer Percussion Institute – July 6 to 10, 2009

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Last week (July 6 through 10) I participated in The Eastman School of Music’s first annual Summer Percussion Institute, directed by Eastman Professor Michael Burritt. On Thursday, July 9 I facilitated a “Creative Music Making” workshop for twelve participating students. The 2-1/2-hour workshop focused on freeform improvisation, based on my book, “Creative Music Making”. In… Read more »

Percussive Festivities

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Tonight in Woodstock, New York, NEXUS’s Garry Kvistad is presenting the Paul Winter Consort at his 18th Annual Woodstock Beat in upper New York state, which benefits the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. NEXUS had the pleasure of performing at Woodstock Beat last summer. Indeed, NEXUS spent most of last summer touring and performing at festivals: Ojai… Read more »

Rep Prep

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There are “big doings” at NEXUS this summer. I see email flying back and forth between the NEXUS guys about new pieces they are writing, new additions to the NEXUS repertoire, and some exciting new commissions that are due to arrive any minute. 

The Premier’s Awards

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Yesterday I attended the performed several times. It was a particular pleasure to see Gary and Lydia receive this well-deserved recognition. The grand award winners from among these 12 finalists were Artscape and Ron Mann. Mann is acclaimed internationally for his documentary films, has created a distribution company for independent films in Canada and is… Read more »

Irises And Rags

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Walking around Toronto this week, I see gardens that are overflowing with an abundance of lush iris blossoms. It puts me in mind of Bob Becker who has raised irises in his garden for years. He has planted a number of Zwilich commission called “Rituals”?) At the end of next month, Bob travels to Delaware… Read more »

Dancing With the Stars – January 17, 1984

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NEXUS – Bill Cahn, John Wyre, Bob Becker and Robin Engelman – in January 1984 observed Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau as he strutted his stuff to Zhao Ziyang, the Premier of the People’s Republic of China.  The news photo that appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail on January 17, 1984 was taken… Read more »

Millennium Park, Chicago

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On May 24 I again joined forces with Peter Soave, She-e Wu and the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble, this time at the new Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s spectacular Millennium Park. Besides the Frank Gehry-designed pavilion itself, the park contains Anish Kapoor’s magical polished steel sculpture, Cloud Gate. Just before our rehearsal, I was surprised to… Read more »

“Bang-On-A-Beam” Band – May 28, 2009

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  As the first academic year ends for the new percussion department at the Eastman School of Music, the percussion team was called upon to provide music for a ceremony celebrating the construction of a new facility. The new building is being constructed adjacent to the historic Eastman Theater,  and it will feature the new… Read more »

Percussion Concerts Online

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I’ve been browsing among CBC’s Russell Hartenberger was the principal guest at the January 2009 Ellen Taaffe Zwilich‘s Trio For Cello, Violin and Piano. (You will recall that Ellen has also written a very fine piece for NEXUS entitled Rituals). You also won’t want to miss the John Wyre, co-founder of NEXUS. You can also… Read more »

Vintage Garry

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After yesterday’s post about NEXUS’s birthday, it seems only fair to me that we post a vintage shot of Garry Kvistad too. Why should he escape unscathed! Here is a 1977 photo from Garry’s Woodstock Chimes website of he and his wife Diane at the Cincinnati Craft Fair the day his first Chimes of Olympos… Read more »

Happy 38th, NEXUS!

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Today is NEXUS’ 38th Birthday! On May 22, 1971, the first NEXUS concert took place in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. The concert was organized by Warren Benson, and it was entirely improvised. The founding members were John Wyre, Michael Craden, Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Robin Engelman, and Russell Hartenberger. Today’s members… Read more »

From The Archives #2: Cracking the Majors

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Here is another peek into the NEXUS archives, this time an article by Allan Kozinn in the New York Times of May 3, 1998. The article was headlined “Touring Percussionists Who Aren’t Really Offbeat”, and here are some highlights from Mr Kozinn’s piece: “ONE might have thought that five percussionists who wanted to band together… Read more »

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