Garry Kvistad: Blog

NEXUS in Potsdam

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In 1974, I performed with the Blackearth Percussion Group at the State University of New York at Potsdam. The young percussion teacher at that time was Jim Petercsak. Last week, 43 years later, history repeated itself, but this time it was with the percussion group NEXUS. The instructor in charge was, yes, Jim Petercsak. Professor… Read more »

Unusual Instruments – Log Drum

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Wooden boxes with carved tongues are musical instruments found all over the world. They go by lots of names such as Log Drums, Slit Drums, Kulkul and Teponaztli, to name a few. In this video, I demonstrate some of these instruments from my collection which have a range of sizes and styles. They are universally… Read more »

Broadway, CIA and Timpani

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  Every so often I have the pleasure of playing timpani with a full orchestra. This was the case recently when I played with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra led by Kathleen Beckmann. This concert featured the Broadway star Craig Schulman. The program included big hits from many different Broadway shows, including Les Misérables and The Phantom of the… Read more »

Woodstock, the Most Famous Small Town in the World

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On Friday night Jack DeJohnette played a spectacular piano concert at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild to an overflowing audience. He called it the Concert for Inner Peace. Jack is known as one of the very finest jazz drummers on the scene today, but his first instrument was piano and his range of styles and his… Read more »

Mohonk Concerts

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Brubeck Brothers Band

Diane and I attended a day of jazz at the Mohonk Mountain House yesterday with friends. We saw two absolutely amazing concerts and had a wonderful dinner at this historic resort right here in the Catskill Mountains. One concert was a trio led by the fabulous Janice Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer with pianist John… Read more »

Chimalong

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We designed the Chimalong® to help children develop creativity at an early age. When our two daughters were young, I found little on the market that would inspire them to learn music, so I decided to create a metallophone from musically tuned Woodstock Chime tubes, and the Chimalong was born. Little did we know that… Read more »

My Generation and the Next

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People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) This is my generation This is my generation, baby Those are some of the… Read more »

MAD about Bertoia

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A fantastic exhibit of the amazing tonal sculptures of American artist Harry Bertoia is showing at the museum of arts and design (MAD) in New York City through September 25th. I was thrilled to be able to spend an afternoon walking through this exhibit and learning more about one of my favorite artists. I have… Read more »

Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice Orchestra Rehearsal at Woodstock Chimes

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How many companies can boast they held full opera orchestra rehearsals in their factory? Well, we can! The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice [phoeniciavoicefest.org] is in its 7th season and going strong. Phoenicia is a rustic town with some cultural flair nestled in the Catskill Mountains not far from our headquarters. The festival was founded… Read more »

Mind Over Matter

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                    If you could live forever, would you want to? I will be 67 by the end of this year. I’m generally the oldest person in the room and in good health and mentally sound, or so I believe. I work with tremendous people both in… Read more »

“On the Road Again” with NEXUS

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NEXUS has always been a groundbreaking ensemble and Saturday night, June 4th was no exception. We had the honor of being the first percussion group to play at the 35-year-old Rockport Chamber Music Festival in the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. One feels like a 3-D component of a Norman Rockwell painting… Read more »

My TEDx Talk

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On April 9, I had the tremendous pleasure of speaking to an audience of 800 attendees of the TEDx Makers conference at Monmouth University in New Jersey. It was an honor to be among 30 “Makers” chosen to talk about what we had created. In my case, I talked about the quest to hear ancient… Read more »

Steel Pans and Glass Music

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I recently attended a performance of the New York Theatre Ballet entitled Legends & Visionaries. It took place at the cool little theater of New York Live Arts on 19th Street in Manhattan (newyorklivearts.org). The dance performance included a work by Philip Glass entitled Etudes for Piano, nos. 1-10, arranged by Josh Quillen, the director… Read more »

Pierre Boulez

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Pierre Boulez, composer and conductor, passed away on January 5 at the age of 90. It is said that conductors live long lives due to their intense mental and physical activity during performances. His compositions are still considered by many to be avant-garde due to their complexity. Composer Edgard Varèse has attributed this attitude to… Read more »

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