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: 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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Review and Preview: Third Coast Percussion to Continue Live Broadcasts on Saturday

April 6, 2020, by Louis Harris

Sidelined by COVID-19 concert cancellations, Third Coast Percussion took their vibraphones and marimbas into their audience’s living rooms last Friday night with a live broadcast concert over YouTube. They will be presenting a second live concert this Saturday evening in conjunction with University of Chicago Presents, the 92nd St. Y in New York, and the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. Not willing to be completely shut down by the pandemic, TCP are continuing live performances, but at a safe distance from their audience, if not necessarily from each other. To pull this off, they converted their practice space into a sound stage, with well-placed microphones and camera angles. Last week’s excellent concert included Steve Reich’s Mallet Quartet from TCP’s Grammy-Award-winning album of that composer’s work. It also included Death Wish by Gemma Peacocke and Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities by TCP’s own David Skidmore. With YouTube’s streaming and chat capabilities, the broadcast felt more like a happening than a concert. The…

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Assads, Third Coast Percussion bring “Archetypes” to life

January 28, 2020, by Aaron Keebaugh

According to Carl Jung, stories, myths, and legends from around the globe revolve around common characters by which individuals can measure their own personalities and identities. That is the focus of “Archetypes,” a new musical program devised by guitarist Sérgio Assad, his daughter the pianist and vocalist Clarice Assad, and the ensemble Third Coast Percussion. Twelve short, exploratory works spanning the intricacies of classical chamber music and the drive of Latin jazz, the program had its Boston and Celebrity Series premieres on Saturday night at Jordan Hall.  As written by the Assads and the Third Coast quartet, each piece cast a vivid impression of its respective theme. A composition depicting a hero took on a grand sweep, while the zesty rhythms of another piece brought to mind the cavalier persona of the classic rebel. Music contains archetypes of its own, and these works embodied concepts of humanity that exist in all…

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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 talk career, Grammy nomination

January 17, 2020, by Wilson Chapman

When Third Coast Percussion receives a Grammy nomination, the first person Peter Martin (Bienen Masters ‘04, Doctorate ‘11) always hears from is his little sister. “She’s kind of like my number one fan,” he said laughing. “She’s always excited for the Grammys, and she’s always the first person to notify me. She sits on her computer just waiting for the nominations. So that’s always great to hear from her.” Third Coast Percussion is a musical ensemble based in Chicago. Composed of four Northwestern alumni, the group focuses on classical percussion music, especially music commissioned for the group or written by the members. Third Coast won a Grammy in 2017 for its recording of the work of American composer Steve Reich. This year, they were nominated again for their album “Perpetulum,” featuring the work of Philip Glass and Gavin Bryars, as well as original work composed by the members of the…

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TCP Named One of “20 for 20” Artists to Watch by WQXR!

January 6, 2020, by WQXR

What a thrill it is to begin this special relationship with WQXR and its listeners, and to be included among a cohort of such exceptional musicians. We look forward to a fun year of music-making with all these wonderful artists.

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Grammy nominations honor faculty and alumni

January 2, 2020, by Northwestern University

NIU School of Music faculty, staff, alumni and students nominated for Grammy Awards

, by NIU Today

Dan Nichols, Head of Recording Services in the School of Music is nominated in three categories, where he is joined by a current student, an alumna and faculty.

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