The Blackearth Percussion Group was conceived in 1971 and formed in 1972. Original members included my brother, Rick Kvistad, Allen Otte, Michael Udow, Chris Braun and, of course, me. James Baird, David Johnson and Stacey Bowers joined later. The group has been invited to perform at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) this fall, the largest private percussion event in the world, and I’m really looking forward to getting the old band back together!

Blackearth Percussion Group PASIC ’16 Reunion
Blackearth Percussion Group PASIC ’16 Reunion

We held residencies at the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Blackearth Percussion Group is credited with rediscovering John Cage’s Third Construction shortly after the manuscript was made public and performing it throughout the U.S. and Europe beginning in January of 1977. The group performed 38 world premieres, gave 157 concerts in the U.S., Canada and Europe, made three recordings, commissioned many compositions, played several different concertos with orchestras, experimented with micro-tonal tuning systems, was one of the first percussion groups to write and perform minimalist music, and developed several multi-media productions.

The group disbanded in 1979, the year I founded Woodstock Chimes. It is an honor to be asked to participate in PASIC16 and we look forward to performing once again as the Blackearth Percussion Group.


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