From concert and album reviews to feature articles, Third Coast Percussion is in the news.

We are fortunate to have garnered critical acclaim and recognition for so many of our performances and projects. See for yourself what the buzz is all about by reading what the press has to say! Browse reviews, articles, and much more below.

Album review: Archetypes

March 4, 2021, by Jean-Yves Duperron

Music is all about sound. Sound is all about vibration. Vibration is all about pulse. Pulse is all about life. Therefore music is life's tuning fork. This recording is all about sound, and what better way to express the vibrating pulse of life than with percussion instruments which inherently produce sound by the way they vibrate and influence air movement. And the same can be said about a plucked guitar string whose vibration is reinforced by the body of the instrument. Combine the two instruments and you have the ingredients to create and generate an abundance of ear candy. The dozen pieces in this collection are all world premiere recordings that combine jazz rhythms with ambient and chamber music textures, and are as varied as the archetypes they strive to represent. I hear Weather Report, Latin soul, Brian Eno, Reich, Partch ... lurking here and there, along with plenty of original touches.…

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These Five Albums Show That Contemporary Classical is Thriving

December 2, 2020, by Peter Margasak

Devonté Hynes, of Blood Orange fame, wrote the music on Fields (Cedille 192; 60:47 ***1/2) as a score for choreographer Emma Portner, collaborating closely with Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion, which orchestrated his works. While known for alternative pop and r&b, Hynes started out playing classical music, and the influence of minimalist Philip Glass shines through. At the same time, a penchant for woozy melodies and lush synth textures exerts itself, blending seamlessly with percussion that rings and gurgles seductively and establishes pulsing rhythms evoking the wide-open spaces evinced by the work’s title. Click here to read the full article, also featuring  Joanna Bailie, Dither, Ryoko Akama, and Tim Parkinson.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Third Coast Percussion frolics in Blood Orange’s beautiful ‘Fields’

November 24, 2020, by Max Heilman

When R&B visionary Blood Orange announced a classical album, what would result was anybody’s guess. Devonté Hynes traces his musical interest back to composers like Claude Debussy, so in many ways these compositions are a full circle moment for him. He wrote and conceptualized Fields on a digital interface, and left the rest to the Grammy-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion. The players’ interpretation and performance of Hynes’ material is breathtaking enough, but the songwriter’s personality and attention to aesthetic shines through on Fields to an engrossing effect. The first 11 tracks are united under the banner of “For All Its Fury.” Just by listening to the first two tracks, it’s hard to think of any fury disturbing this calm. “Reach” and “Blur” deliver their respective soundscapes of angelic chimes and submerged marimbas. The album’s impressionistic minimalism links back to the immersive ambience of Blood Orange’s 2018 album, Black Swan. His knack for quiet grandiosity was surely evident on the digital files…

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Fields: Devonté Hynes’ Debut Classical Album with Third Coast Percussion

February 3, 2020, by Anne Goldberg-Baldwin

On October 11, 2019, pop music star Devonté Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange) released his debut classical album Fields in partnership with Grammy-Award winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion on Cedille Records. The album features world premieres of Hynes’ music performed by Third Coast Percussion, with Hynes himself on synthesizers. Hynes’ synthetic sounds blend pop aesthetics with classical and ambient soundscape composition, creating a foundation over which Third Coast Percussion works its magic as virtuoso performers. Hynes’ cycle For All Its Fury for Third Coast Percussion in collaboration with Modern dance company Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is a collage of meditative minimalism mixed with electronic noise filtering set in a multi-movement form. Simple, clean lines executed by TCP with the utmost delicacy permeate the movements, creating microcosms of Hynes’ ambient sound world. The piece oscillates between electroacoustic and electronic cells that reemerge in a post-minimalist blend of noise music and Glass-ian motives as clouds of amorphous electronic sound wash over and…

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Third Coast Percussion’s Mesmerizing Debut of La Jolla Music Society’s ProtoStar Series

November 18, 2020, by Ken Herman

Metamorphosis, Saturday’s electric online performance by Third Coast Percussion and movement artists Myles Yachts and Quentin Robinson at the La Jolla Music Society’s Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, opened an exciting new chapter in that august organization’s story. The four virtuoso percussionists who comprise Third Coast Percussion—Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore,—offered a bracing program of music by Philip Glass and others that transcended the minimal of musical minimalism to conjure complex, densely textured waves of music. In works such as Glass’s “Metamorphosis” and Jlin's “Paradigm” that employed marimba, vibraphone, and glockenspiel, the ringing intensity of these malleted instruments proved nothing short of orchestral in scope. In “Dissonance” from Jlin’s Perspective, the percussion quartet created equally complex textures using only drums of various sizes, creating a contrasting tapestry of dry, discrete sounds that displayed a spectrum of bright, arresting attacks without the halo of resonance the malleted instruments created.…

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‘Metamorphosis’: Percussionists and dancers to transform stage at La Jolla’s Conrad for livestreamed premiere

November 4, 2020, by Elisabeth Frausto

The stage at the La Jolla Music Society’s Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center will transform Saturday, Nov. 7, with the livestream-only world-premiere performance of “Metamorphosis” from Grammy Award-winning group Third Coast Percussion and Movement Art Is. The collaborative performance blends percussion ensemble with street dance choreographed by MAI co-founders Jon Boogz and Lil Buck and performed by movement artists Ron Myles and Quentin Robinson. The dancers will be onstage along with Third Coast Percussion, a Chicago-based quartet of classically trained percussionists who normally perform all over the country in addition to recording music. “Metamorphosis” is a “really fantastic project,” said Rob Dillon, a TCP member. The show’s name reflects the “transformation of music” featured throughout, with a program containing new material composed by electronic music producer Jlin and composer Tyondai Braxton, along with TCP’s arrangements of pieces by Philip Glass, a composer Dillon said TCP “reveres.” “There’s a really interesting expressive range in…

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Two World Premieres by Third Coast Percussion at BGSU New Music Festival

October 22, 2020, by Tracy Monaghan

On October 16, 2020, the Chicago-based performing group Third Coast Percussion presented an evening of music as part of Bowling Green State University’s 41st annual New Music Festival. While most of the festival was live-streamed via BGSU’s YouTube channel, Third Coast Percussion commandeered the live-stream on their own YouTube channel for the special concert, which included a world premiere by the Festival’s guest composer, Augusta Read Thomas. While watching live music is sorely missed, the virtual nature of this concert allowed for a bonus: each piece was flanked by pre-recorded talks by composers on the program or the musicians themselves. Movement 3 from Philip Glass’ Perpetulum served as a short and polite fanfare to open the concert. Commissioned by Third Coast Percussion in 2018, the piece was clearly familiar to the musicians, who played the largely diatonic and major music on pitched percussion instruments with an almost casual ease, despite the shifting meter. The next piece…

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Review: Third Coast Percussion Premiered Two New Works on Friday

October 20, 2020, by Louis Harris

As part of Bowling Green State University’s 41st annual New Music Festival, Chicago’s Grammy-Award winning Third Coast Percussion quartet offered a performance of several works commissioned by or written for them. Friday night’s program, which TCP prerecorded in their studio near Ravenswood in September, included two world premieres. It was the latest in a long running effort by TCP to keep the public entertained during a pandemic that has turned the vibrant world of performing arts into a wasteland. Live music in an auditorium filled with people absorbing aural magic creates a vibe that cannot be fully replicated on a flat screen TV in the living room. However, TCP was one of the first to use virtual technology to infuse new and different performance concepts that live, in-person performances don’t allow. While maximizing the distance between performers and the audience, a broadcast enables things that bridge that distance. This includes a running commentary in…

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Third Coast Percussion to Reach Students and Community Members with Virtual Residency

, by George Mason University

In mid-October, the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Center for the Arts welcome the Grammy® Award-winning Third Coast Percussion as the first virtual Mason Artist-In-Residence for the 2020-2021 season. As previously announced, this initiative—along with most of the College’s and Center’s programming for Fall 2020—has shifted online due to the ongoing pandemic. Nonetheless, this unexpected yet necessary pivot allows Third Coast Percussion and other Artists-In-Residence to engage with the Mason community in varied and meaningful ways, while also connecting with audiences beyond the campus and the Northern Virginia area. “We are so lucky to be working with such an innovative ensemble who is embracing these challenging times and circumstances,” said Adrienne Bryant Godwin, Director of Programming at George Mason University’s CVPA. “Thanks to their flexibility and creativity, we are able to continue serving our community in new and exciting ways!” Based in Chicago, Third Coast Percussion is a percussion quartet…

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Lockdown Recommendations from Musicians: Third Coast Percussion’s David Skidmore

October 15, 2020, by Rebecca McDaniel