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 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

Third Coast Percussion’s 20/21 Season: Digital Programs and more

September 16, 2020, by BWW News Desk

Building on the success of their recent livestream performances and virtual fundraiser, Third Coast Percussion (TCP) extends a consistent schedule of online appearances through the fall of 2020. The group has been proactively engaging venue partners and artistic collaborators since March to "keep the music alive" despite the ongoing pandemic. The result of these efforts is a thrilling lineup of events that highlights TCP members' versatility as musicians, speakers, curators, and arts administrators. "Third Coast Percussion was very fortunate to be in a position to begin doing multi-camera, multi-track audio livestreams just nine days after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic," shared TCP Ensemble Member and Executive Director David Skidmore. "Since then we've reached 40,000 screens on five continents and dozens of countries, invited live (virtual) guests such as Danny Elfman and Devonté Hynes, and partnered with institutions ranging from Stanford University to Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot. It feels so good…

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Album review: Fields

June 4, 2020, by Colin Clarke

Immersive, ambient sounds are preserved in a state-of-the-art recording here. The name Devonté Hynes was completely unknown to me, but that is probably because I am hardly a clubber (he is also known variously as “Dev,” “Blood Orange,” and “Lightspeed Champion,” and from 2004 to 2006 as a member of the phenomenally named band “Test Icicles”). It’s nice to know, though, that Hynes was born in Ilford, Essex, just down the road from where this review is being written. For this album, Hynes composed all of the music via a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). A mix of recordings and sheet music was sent to Third Coast Percussion, and the four members thereof orchestrated the music. A dialogue ensued between Third Coast, the composer, and choreographers. The title to this review therefore might be construed as slightly misleading or limiting; the implication from the booklet is that the process was remarkably…

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Third Coast Percussion: The Collaborative Process

May 25, 2020, by Frank J. Oteri

We were thrilled to be the virtual "cover" artist for New Music USA's wonderful publication, New Music Box, May 2020 edition! All four TCP members were interviewed by new music journalist extraordinaire, Frank J. Oteri, and we had a wonderful time. Click here to explore our four-part interview! (Both text and audio available.)

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Interview: David Skidmore speaks with Northwestern University’s “The Garage”

April 30, 2020, by Vivian Xia

Grammy-award winning alumnus David Skidmore (Bienen ’05) spoke Wednesday about why entrepreneurship is an important skill for everyone, especially artists. The Garage hosted the Virtual Founder Talk, an event where founders and entrepreneurs speak to students about their endeavors, over Zoom. Skidmore graduated from Bienen in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music and is an ensemble member and executive director of Third Coast Percussion, a Grammy Award-winning American percussion ensemble based in Chicago. Born and raised in Texas, Skidmore was involved in band-related activities during middle and high school. He became serious about percussion and applied to what was then called the Northwestern School of Music. In 2005, he co-founded Third Coast Percussion, with no examples of other groups making music as a full-time career to follow. “You either are able to surround yourself with people who know how to run a business or you have to learn how to…

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