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.

NPR: “Derivative” review

May 12, 2022, by Tom Huizenga

The fact that the members of Third Coast Percussion are banging on various types of metal on "Derivative" makes a curious connection to its composer, the electronic music producer Jlin (Jerrilynn Patton). In 2015, when she released her debut album, Dark Energy, she was working in the steel mills near her native Gary, Ind. Jlin has come a long way since, taking her lightning quick pulsations, inspired by Chicago's footwork music scene, worldwide and collaborating with artists such as William Basinski, Holly Herndon, and this Chicago-based percussion ensemble. "Derivative" is part of a 30-minute suite called Perspective, and it uncorks a major, if sometimes woozy, groove, fueled by metal bowls filled with water, various gongs and a kick drum-style beat straight out of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." Jlin created the entire suite as electronic tracks, one layer at a time, without notation. The Third Coast musicians translated her subtle, interlocking patterns into a version they could perform…

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Memphis Flyer: “Metamorphosis” at Crosstown Theater

, by Abigail Morici

In Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, for reasons outside of his control, Gregor Samsa wakes up one day as a giant creepy-crawling critter — some say a cockroach — so Gregor has to navigate the world as a giant bug, which as you can imagine is quite an isolating experience. This isolation, in turn, leads to a bleak ending with neglect, hatred, and ultimately death. After going through a year of isolation ourselves, much like Gregor, it’s likely that some of us have a pretty bleak, Kafkaesque outlook on life. But for others, isolation brought new values and a refreshed will to create, learn, and collaborate. This latter case was true for the Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion and Movement Art Is, founded by dancers and choreographers Jon Boogz and Memphis’ Lil Buck. When in-person interactions could not take place with the two groups based in Chicago and Los Angeles respectively, they worked…

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Hylton Performing Arts Center: Third Coast Percussion Connects Students to STEAM

April 27, 2022, by Hylton Performing Arts Center

The Hylton Performing Arts Center Education Initiative continued its virtual field trips in March with an innovative STEAM-based learning experience with GRAMMY® Award-winning quartet Third Coast Percussion. Three thousand students Grades 2– 8 from Prince William County and the City of Manassas participated in WAVES: the Science Behind Sound. Performances by Third Coast Percussion are interspersed with interactive teaching moments connecting scientific and musical concepts in a six-video series. Students had the opportunity to explore amplitude and dynamics; frequency and pitch; noise versus pitch; and musical timbre and the sonic spectrum. The digital version of WAVES is based on an education program Third Coast Percussion toured in 2014 through 2019. It was developed through a collaboration with a professor at University of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. “We passionately agreed that STEM subjects and the Arts have much more in common with each other than they are often given credit for having,” says Third Coast Percussion ensemble member Sean Connors.…

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The Badger Herald: Metamorphosis at Hamel Music Center

April 6, 2022, by Nick Woodhouse

Grammy-award-winning instrumental group Third Coast Percussion, accompanied by Movement Art Is kicked off the Wisconsin Union Theater’s 102nd annual concert series from the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall at Hamel Music Center on Jan. 28. For Third Coast Percussion, Madison served as their debut stop along a live-audience tour — their first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group’s new program, “Metamorphosis,” is a memorable experience from start to finish. The Chicago-based percussion group consists of four members — Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin and David Skidmore. TCP got its start in 2004 and has since received appraise from audiences and critics alike, perhaps most notably for their album “Third Coast Percussion: Steve Reich,” a tribute to the Pulitzer-Prize winning composer. The album won a Grammy, and this victory made them the first percussion group to win for a chamber music category. In an interview with The Badger…

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The Capital City Hues: Metamorphosis: A Blending of Sight and Sound

April 11, 2022, by Jonathan Gramling

On the one hand, you have the Third Coast Percussion, a classically-trained group of percussionists who trained at Northwestern University and are based in Chicago. On the other hand, you have Movement Art Is, a group of popping dancers who began learning their art on the streets. And when you bring them together in an artistic presentation at the Wisconsin Union Theater on January 27th, you get “Metamorphosis.” “GRAMMY-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion and renowned dance organization Movement Art Is will combine and celebrate U.S. street dancing styles and classical percussion ensemble music as they explore the questions of: what does the world look like to you, and how do where you’re from and your experiences shape that,” said a Wisconsin Union press release. “Through “Metamorphosis,” they work to collaboratively illustrate universal themes cast through the experiential lens of young Black men growing up in America today.” On some…

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Fifteen Questions: Interview with Third Coast Percussion

April 5, 2022, by Fifteen Questions

When did you start playing your instrument, and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it? I started playing piano when I was 7. My grandmother got me a tiny electronic Casio keyboard, then my parents got me a cheap upright and I started taking lessons. I played trumpet for a year, then I picked up percussion when I was 12 and fell in love with music. I had fantastic teachers, I was good at it, and I had some incredible performance experiences in my first year of playing percussion that got me totally hooked. For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? I think emulating others…

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Screen Magazine: Chicago Recording Company Helps ‘Archetypes’ Earn Three Grammy Noms

January 5, 2022, by Daniel Patton

On the 2021 album Archetypes, Chicago Recording Company (CRC) engineer Jonathan Lackey helped transform an ambitious musical vision into a trio of Grammy nominations.  Archetypes is a collection of 12 “collaboratively composed” tracks by Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Assad, Chicago avant-garde classical ensemble Third Coast Percussion and Brazilian-American vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Clarice Assad, who is also Sérgio’s daughter. With an array of Latin accents, tricky beats and easy listening grooves, it sounds like Frank Zappa, King Crimson and Sérgio Mendes walked into a studio full of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Johann Sebastian Bach. According to the Third Coast website, the songs are “portraits of timeless character types that appear in stories, legends, and myths throughout the world.” According to Lackey, who worked with independent engineer Dan Nichols and Cedille Records house engineer Bill Maylone to complete the pictures, the individual compositions have a way of reflecting moods that is “almost cinematic.”  “It opens with ‘The Rebel’, which…

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Chicago Tribune: Chicagoan of the Year for Classical Music: Dan Nichols

, by Hannah Edgar

To date, Dan Nichols has never run a marketing campaign for his multimedia production company, Aphorism Studios. He doesn’t have to. Musicians call him. Even before he founded Aphorism in 2010, Nichols was one of Chicago’s fastest-rising recording engineers in a specific niche: contemporary classical music. Since then, musicians like flutist Nathalie Joachim, Spektral Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the vocal quartet Quince have all called upon Nichols and his growing team to engineer their albums. “All of these artists are trying to recalibrate classical and new music to be inclusive and have a broad appeal,” Nichols says. “We don’t draw genre-specific boxes around ourselves; we don’t want to be part of the problem with classical and new music. We want to be what moves it forward.” To date, five Aphorism-engineered albums have been nominated for Grammys — most recently “Archetypes,” a freewheeling collaboration between Third Coast Percussion, guitarist Sérgio…

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The Arts Desk: “Archetypes” review

August 16, 2021, by Graham Rickson

Archetypes is an engaging act of musical collaboration, four each of its twelve sections written by Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Assad and his daughter Clarice, the remaining numbers composed by the four members of Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion. The aims are lofty, the archetypes selected to reflect the commonality of human experience and culture at a time when the world feels more fractured than ever. Though it’s very easy to enjoy this disc as a sequence of neatly sketched character pieces, the group’s sound enhanced by piano, guitar and Clarice’s vocals. The opener, Clarice’s “Rebel”, kicks off with a flurry of attitudinal drum rolls and cymbal crashes, and Sergio’s “Innocent” is a lovely portrait of wide-eyed innocence The sonorities throughout are so crisp, so clear; I’m fascinated by the guitar triplets and marimba semiquavers overlaid at the start of David Skidmore’s “Lover”, and the calm solemnity of “Ruler”, written by Peter Martin.…

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Memeteria: Third Coast Percussion hits the Sweet Spot at Grand Teton Music Festival

August 13, 2021, by Thomas May

Week 4 of the Grand Teton Music Festival continued with an enthusiastically received performance by Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion making their Festival debut. Presented without intermission, the concert unfolded with unflagging energy as each member of the quartet — David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and Sean Connors — took turns introducing the selections. The entire program consisted of living composers — indeed, composers with whom Third Coast has collaborated. Their style of music making overall synthesizes a kind of surgical precision with frenetic spontaneity — and that intriguing blend is mirrored by their exciting visual performance, a virtuoso choreography that is functional and at the same time abstractly alluring. These are artists who make music by hitting things, their bodies acting, reacting, incorporating the sounds they produce. At times the performance resembled a wild physics experiment trying to calibrate new sources of energy. Expressivity as energy, in different shapes and contours, certainly characterized their renditions…

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