Long ago I knew that music would be my future. I knew then that percussion specifically would be my passion. This all started in the fourth grade when I joined the school band. Through the years I’ve come to realize that percussion is underappreciated and often misunderstood. On my drive home from work recently, I … Continue reading Confession of a Percussionist
Those were the words given to us by our “high school” orchestra conductor, Thor Johnson, when we were playing a difficult new work by a Japanese composer in the mid-1960s. If you say each word on four beats, fitting the syllables equally in each beat, it helps create a rhythm of 2 + 3 + … Continue reading Peanut Butterfly Interlochen Boom
My day job is making Woodstock Chimes but at night I come out to play. I recently had the privilege once again to play timpani with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra and the local Mendelssohn Club Men’s Chorus. We were joined by student guest performers from the Anderson Center for Autism. The Anderson Center students … Continue reading A Very Special Christmas Concert
I joined Steve Reich and Musicians in 1979, touring and recording with them for nearly 40 years. Steve’s music transcends all boundaries. One unique technique Steve developed is called “phasing,” where two players begin in unison (playing the same material in the same time) and one speeds up slightly until a “canon” is formed. This … Continue reading Unusual Instruments Part 4 – The Tiki Brothers Performing “Tiki Time” à la Steve Reich
A Production of the Woodstock Chimes Fund Since 2009, I’ve been the Executive Producer and driving force behind the Drum Boogie Festival, a free, fun, daylong music festival. The fifth biennial Drum Boogie Festival was held in Woodstock, NY on Saturday, Sept. 9th, 2017. Several thousand people enjoyed a great day of music as eleven … Continue reading Drum Boogie Festival® was a Booming Success!
Diane and I were putting up posters in Woodstock last night for the 2017 Drum Boogie Festival and ran into Juma Sultan on the street. Juma played conga drums with Jimi Hendrix at the famous ’69 Woodstock festival and has lived in the area since 1968. A little while later we ran into Joey Alexander, … Continue reading By the time we got to Woodstock…
The Blackearth Percussion Group was conceived in 1971, formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1979. It was inspired in part by Jan Williams’ New Percussion Quartet of Buffalo and named after a small farm town in central Wisconsin. I was one of the original group members at age 22, along with my brother Rick Kvistad … Continue reading Blackearth Percussion Group Retrospective at PASIC 16 in Indianapolis
NEXUS has always been a groundbreaking ensemble and Saturday night, June 4th was no exception. We had the honor of being the first percussion group to play at the 35-year-old Rockport Chamber Music Festival in the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. One feels like a 3-D component of a Norman Rockwell painting … Continue reading “On the Road Again” with NEXUS