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.

Third Coast Review: Third Coast Percussion Unveils Between Breaths in Music and Film

September 5, 2023, by Louis Harris

Third Coast Percussion opened their 2023-24 season Saturday night with a celebration and performance of Between Breaths, their new CD on Cedille Records that will be released later this week. Originally part of another festival that had been cancelled, Saturday’s performance ended up taking place at the Logan Center for Performing Arts in Hyde Park. As it turned out, there is no better venue for this percussion quartet to show off its immaculate playing and multi-media presentation. Having been around for over 15 years and with a Grammy Award to their credit, Third Coast Percussion offers one of the most riveting performances of any classical ensemble in Chicago. The entire stage is cluttered with marimbas, drums, xylophones, bells, glockenspiels, cymbals, and an extraordinary number of noisemakers. Each piece requires movement, both in hitting the instruments and in switching between them during the performance. TCP combines perfect playing and magnetic stage…

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Third Coast Review: Third Coast Percussion Adds Transcendent Movement Art to Metamorphosis

May 10, 2023, by Kathy D. Hey

How could Third Coast Percussion top their gorgeous rendering of Metamorphosis by Philip Glass? Stir in some gravity and body structure-defying dance. What TCP does with percussion is make music out of objects that are not always instruments per se. At their performance of Rituals and Meditations at DePaul, we were treated to a banquet table of toys, doodads, and doohickeys. On Tuesday, three movement artists were added to notch things up at the Harris Theater. The result is called Metamorphosis and it is a delight for the eyes and ears. Third Coast Percussion is a Chicago-based quartet that is known all over the world. Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore are innovators and collaborators who elevate the art of percussion. They have commissioned pieces from newer artists and widened the diversity of performers and composers of contemporary classical music. It is always great to watch the…

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Chicago Tribune: Third dancer’s the charm in unforgettable collaboration between Third Coast Percussion and Movement Art Is

, by Hannah Edgar

It had been a hectic 24 hours for Third Coast Percussion. As ensemble member David Skidmore told Tuesday night's audience at Harris Theater, the percussion quartet spent the previous day preparing "Metamorphosis," an exuberantly staged performance to choreography by multidisciplinary dance organization Movement Art Is. But when dancer Trent Jeray came down with a sudden illness so severe he had to bow out, Ron Myles - a specialist in the same Memphis street dance style as Jeray, and who had worked on "Metamorphosis" during its inception in 2020 - was flown to Chicago to take his place on short notice. Turns out, though, the infirm Jeray woke up on Tuesday "feeling like a million bucks," per Skidmore. So, Third Coast moved forward with three dancers instead of the usual two - a first for "Metamorphosis," which has toured the U.S. since last year. It was an aptly sensational frame for…

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San Francisco Classical Voice: Third Coast Percussion’s Smooth Playing Hits Stanford

February 1, 2023, by David Bartman

Quartets from all the other families of musical instruments are common ensembles, so why not a percussion quartet? Third Coast Percussion is four men from Chicago who lay out their battery of instruments across the stage in patterns dictated by the content of the piece they’re going to play, and then they have at it. They displayed their work on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall, their first appearance there, though not their first in the Bay Area. The concert featured four works, all recent and designed expressly for Third Coast, each slightly less than 20 minutes long. This turned out to be a good length for listening to a particular expression of percussive sound before it got tedious. A listener might expect all-percussion music to consist of a lot of deafening thumps, but Third Coast stays far away from the style of a marching band. This group’s…

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New York Classical Review: Third Coast Percussion winningly melds music and dance traditions in Carnegie debut

January 23, 2023, by George Grella

The Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion made their Carnegie debut Friday night in the in-the-round setting in Zankel Hall. TCP is a fine group bringing modern and contemporary music to listeners, so this was immediately a notable occasion.  But the show (titled “Metamorphosis”) was more than just a concert and an excellent performance—it was an involving and supremely entertaining concept brought to life. The judgment about what to play was imaginative and displayed important thinking about just what it means to perform in front of an audience. The music was terrific and that was the least of it. The group played an appealing, near-seamless sequence (without intermission), that began with arrangements of Philip Glass and included Sonny X, a recent work by Tyondai Braxton, interlaced with the seven sections of Jlin’s Perspective weaving in and out.  Arranging Glass’ Metamorphosis No. 1 and Amazon River for percussion quartet, of course, allowed the group to perform this attractive music;…

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American Record Guide: “Perspectives” review

December 13, 2022, by Barry Kilpatrick

Mesmerizing works presented by the Chicago-based ensemble Third Coast Percussion. Danny Elfman's 4-movement Percussion Quartet is minimalist in its repetitive but slowly changing rhythms and harmonies. Scored for both pitched (mallet) and non-pitched (drums) instruments, the two types often seem to battle for supremacy. TCP's version of Philip Glass's haunting Metamorphosis I is based on Glass's original piano piece and the setting by Brazilian percussion ensemble Uakti. The variety of timbres produced by marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, and melodica is remarkable. I'm especially moved by the marimba's deep, husky sounds in the beginning of the piece. The amount of variety of in the 7-movement, 31-minute Perspective is almost bewildering. What we hear is TCP's take on electronic tracks presented to them by composer Jlin (Jerrilynn Patton). Most of the movements include a quirky noise that's heard a few times during a basic sound tapestry: a chirping little bird in I ('Paradigm'),…

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Third Coast Review: Third Coast Percussion Premieres New Work With Joy, Magic and Mischief

December 12, 2022, by Kathy D. Hey

If you have not listened to any Third Coast Percussion music, I highly recommend that you set aside a couple of hours and get on it. This quartet has expanded on percussion as a means of creating music for reflection, and meditation, and in the words of ensemble member Robert Dillon, sometimes it’s “just bananas!” The first time I saw them at the Field Museum they were accompanying a slide show of flora and fauna in the Amazon basin. It was then that my eyes opened to how every sound is percussion, whether it is a piano, xylophone, or actual drum, to the fact that sound is reflected off of a drum in our heads. That was expanded on December 7th at the Holtschneider Performance Center at DePaul University. Third Coast Percussion is a quartet of classically trained percussionists who have elevated the art of music in a novel way.…

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Chicago Classical Review: Third Coast Percussion shows dynamic versatility in three varied premieres

December 8, 2022, by Tim Sawyier

Chicago can feel proud to call Third Coast Percussion one of our own. The dynamic percussion quartet of Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore has an increasingly international presence, and they are up for multiple Grammys again with their most recent album Perspectives. After opening their season with a program of Philip Glass, on Wednesday night, TCP debuted their latest touring program, “Rituals and Meditations,” at DePaul School of Music’s Gannon Recital Hall, before taking the show on the road in the new year. The group raised the curtain Wednesday with Chicago native Ayanna Woods’ 2018 Triple Point. Commissioned by TCP and also featured on their pre-pandemic program at the University of Chicago, the work made an excellent overture. The “triple point” of a substance is the temperature and pressure at which it can exist simultaneously as a liquid, gas, and solid, a site of both wild…

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NPR Classical: “Perspectives” review

, by Tom Huizenga

Third Coast PercussionPerspectives For Those Who Like: Jlin, Bang on a Can, banging on cansThe Story: These four Grammy-winning gents from Chicago, who pound on anything from vibraphones to steel pipes, found a surprisingly simpatico collaborator in Jlin, whose suite Perspective is this album's centerpiece. The electronic music artist and Gary, Ind. native has transformed the hyperbeat footwork style of music and dance from the clubs and house parties of Chicago into a realm wholly her own. She crafted a 30-minute suite for Third Coast Percussion, which the band transcribed to its unconventional arsenal of instruments.The Music: At upwards of 160 beats per minute, Jlin's suite is far more than just a toe tapper. Metal bowls filled with water give the third section, "Derivative," a woozy swagger. Elsewhere, the album offers more traditional fare from some familiar names. Danny Elfman's Percussion Quartet weaves colorful threads in a transparent way, while a laid-back arrangement of Philip Glass' Metamorphosis No. 1…

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Shepard Express: [“Archetypes” is] appealing music with a universal context, played at the highest level

January 12, 2023, by Brendan Fox

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center is an attractive arts venue that on Friday hosted an attractive program. Guitarist Sergio Assad and his daughter, pianist/singer Clarice Assad, joined Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion to play through their new collaborative album Archetypes. Each piece was a portrait of a type of a character across human cultures, like a sage or a jester. Sergio and Clarice composed the bulk of these pieces, with four authored by members of the percussion quartet. I was familiar with Third Coast Percussion as a well-respected entity in the contemporary music scene, but at this event I saw an ensemble earnestly trying to shatter conventions of a “classical” music concert. The pieces were not listed in the program booklet, so they could be breezily introduced from the stage. And the music itself bore traces of contemporary art music, but also crossed over into cinematic styles. Highlights abounded over these 12…

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