Future Leaders are Facilitators

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For the past several years, I have given presentations to classes of future leaders here in the Hudson Valley at the invitation of the Ulster Leadership Development Institute. This twenty-five-year-old program is sponsored by the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation. It is coordinated by the foundation’s Executive Director, Ingrid Kulick. Through the nine months of the program,… Read more »

Spring News Round-Up: recordings, books, seminars, concerts, compositions!

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It has been an incredibly busy spring for NEXUS members.  After our March and April residencies in Houston TX and Potsdam NY, June 5 took us into Noble Street Studios in Toronto,  joined by Jamie Drake and Dan Morphy of TorQ, to record Russell’s “Birth of Time”. June 10 and 11 will see Russell and… Read more »

Colleague Russell Hartenberger wins big time!

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I have been working with Russell since 1979 as a member of Steve Reich and Musicians and since 2002 as a member of NEXUS. Anyone who has had the honor of working with Russell knows the joy of music making with someone with such insight and musicality. I doubt the music of Steve Reich would… Read more »

More honours: Bill and Ruth Cahn for music education

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May was certainly a month of honours for NEXUS members!  Bill and Ruth Cahn were both recognized by the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at their final concert of the season on May 14th at Roberts Wesleyan College near Rochester, NY. Bill is a founding member of NEXUS and apart from his many astonishing performing accomplishments… Read more »

Russell Hartenberger receives the 2017 Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts!

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EXCITING NEWS! NEXUS founding member Russell Hartenberger has received the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts from the World Cultural Council!! We have always known that Russell is an extraordinary musician, colleague and friend, but these wonderful words express beautifully just HOW extraordinary! “Russell Hartenberger is considered a musical visionary and one of the… Read more »

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 »

Heading to sunny SUNY-Potsdam

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Did you miss us? Yes, we had some technical issues with our blog, but all is “good to go” once again, thanks to our tech wonder Alex Kessaris. Coming up is our residency this weekend at SUNY-Potsdam with a concert on Friday evening (April 21st) in Hosmer Hall, start time 7:30 pm. As part of… Read more »

Bob’s interview with Greg Giannascoli

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In 2016 I received a request from marimbist Greg Giannascoli to answer a series of questions for an upcoming publication. Greg’s questions and my answers are below. GG: Hi Bob, I am writing a book with a series of interviews with the important marimba and xylophone artists of the 20th century and I would be… Read more »

San Jacinto College, Pasadena TX – see you soon!

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San Jacinto College Central has invited us for a March residency that’s going to cover a LOT of ground! The emails have been flying about the concert programming and it’s going to be a lot of fun, with fanfares and ragtime and Bob Becker’s “Palta” arranged for steel band – it’s going to be great.

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 »

Coming Up! Texas and New York!

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The NEXUS members never sit still. Even a winter “respite” has taken Russell to the Sacher music archive and its Steve Reich Collection in Basel, Switzerland; Bob’s heading out on U.S. tour dates; Garry is heading to warmer climes to the south. Bill and Ray are hardier types enjoying brisk temperatures and a multitude of… 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 »

Steve Reich’s 80th Birthday Parties

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On October 3, 2016, Steve Reich celebrated his 80th birthday. This festive occasion was the catalyst for a year-long tribute to the man who has been acclaimed as “our greatest living composer” (New York Times) and “the most original musical thinker of our times” (The New Yorker). A quick glance at the concert section of… Read more »

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