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.

Review: An Evening of Amazonian Beauty with Third Coast Percussion

September 22, 2022, by Kathy D. Hey

Philip Glass is considered one of the greatest living composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. His spare and layered compositions can be interpreted in many ways other than as written, and that is the beauty of his music. Third Coast Percussion brings even more layers to Glass’ Aguas de Amazonia-Waters of the Amazon suite. The quartet consists of Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore, all percussionists who call Chicago home. Each of these musicians brought an exquisite sense of joy to their performance of a concert of Philip Glass music. Third Coast Review has covered TCP extensively in the past but this performance was done in conjunction with a department of the Field Museum. A presentation and discussion with scientists from the Field’s Keller Science Action Center took place before the music. These scientists have been studying the Amazon River, which, while mainly in Brazil, flows through many countries in…

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Third Coast Percussion’s respun Glass makes a captivating Amazon journey

September 14, 2022, by Lawrence A. Johnson

Third Coast Percussion opened its 15th season Tuesday night, not at a concert hall, but at the Field Museum. With the main work on the agenda being Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia (Waters of the Amazon), the museum provided a wholly apt venue. In addition to the fine acoustic of the James Simpson Theatre proving a receptive space for the group’s kaleidoscopic brilliance, the Field Museum made an ideal philosophical partner for this environmentally minded work. Charles Katzenmeyer, the museum’s vice president of institutional advancement, explained in an introductory speech that the Field has devoted a great deal of time and resources to studying the Amazon and working to protect and preserve it for future generations. As the audience filed in, photos by museum personnel were projected on an overhead screen of Amazonian inhabitants, creatures and flora and fauna. The origins of this music date to a Glass piano work…

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Album review: Perspectives (Textura)

August 11, 2022, by Textura

The performances on Perspectives by Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore) are dynamic, but it's the programme that recommends the recording most. While the group's re-imagining of Philip Glass's solo piano setting Metamorphosis No. 1 is memorable, the other works are powerful too. Danny Elfman engages with his four-movement Percussion Quartet, flute duo Flutronix collaborates with the Chicago-based quartet for the three-movement Rubix, and electronic musician and composer Jlin (Jerrilynn Patton) adds a funky dance music dimension to the album through her seven-part Perspective. The four works speak to Third Coast Percussion's open-minded sensibility and the daring with which it's expanding the percussion repertoire. Adding to the project's appeal, all are world premiere recordings. Though some might identify Elfman as the one-time frontman for Oingo Boingo, even more recognize him now for his work as the composer of film soundtracks for Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and others. In titling…

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Album review: Perspectives (Classical Candor)

, by John J. Puccio

To say there isn’t an abundance of purely classical percussion recordings around might be an understatement. Perhaps it seems odd, given that every classical orchestra has a percussion section, that the percussion should not have as much day in the sun as the violin and the piano have enjoyed. Maybe it’s because percussive instruments don’t make as persuasively plush, mellifluous sounds as violins and pianos. I mean, you can’t really wax too very lyrical on a drum. Anyway, such paucity of percussive recordings makes this new album from Third Coast Percussion all the more appealing. The players are quite good, and the four selections they chose for the program are all world-premiere recordings. ... So, the first selection on the program is the Percussion Quartet by American composer Danny Elfman (b. 1953). Although Elfman is primarily known these days as a film composer (Batman, Darkman, Spider-Man, Men in Black, and the like), he has also…

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Album review: Perspectives (WRTI)

, by John T. K. Scherch

Maybe music that is entirely comprised of percussion isn’t what one would consider “classical music” (feel free to write me about my own expansive definition of the term), but whatever you want to call it, Third Coast Percussion’s newest record is a great listen, featuring music from more familiar names like Danny Elfman and Philip Glass to electronic musician Jlin and Flutronix, who are flutists and composers Allison Loggins-Hull and Nathalie Joachim, both of whose work I would recommend as well. Also recommended: Augusta Read Thomas: Bell Illuminations (Various artists/Wyastone) Click here to read the original article.

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Album review: Perspectives

July 29, 2022, by Laurence Vittes

It was only six years ago that Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion became the first percussion group to win a Grammy in the chamber music category, with an all-Steve Reich CD celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday. Since then percussion groups have become increasingly popular, and this new recital of four premiere recordings demonstrates the kind of high-quality repertoire that is emerging through new compositions and collaborations. In Danny Elfman’s entertaining, finely structured Percussion Quartet there are moments of poetry and, in the last movement, a spectral haunting with chimes. The electronic musician known as Jlin has created in her Perspective a series of stunning études that originated as electronic tracks, from which Third Coast created this performing version, with the painful beauty of ‘Obscure’ and the exquisite chrysalis of ‘Duality’ among the highlights. Third Coast’s arrangement of Glass’s Metamorphosis No 1, inspired by the recording made by Uakti, is dazzling. After all of this…

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Album Review: Perspectives (BBC Music Magazine)

July 13, 2022, by Michael Beck

Third Coast Percussion and Danny Elfman are a match made in heaven. The American composer's scintillating approach to rhythm and orchestral colour is showcased in a dazzling percussion quartet, while Chicago's finest breathe thrilling new life into Glass' Metamorphosis No. 1.

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Review: Third Coast Percussion Bangs Out a Quartet of Premieres

June 30, 2022, by Richard S. Ginell

Always on the prowl for new music, the four members of Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion came up with a quartet of world-premiere recordings on their latest album, Perspectives (Cedille). Well, three of the four if you want to get technical about it, since one of the premieres is a transcription for percussion of an existing piece. Onetime rockstar, now full-time film composer Danny Elfman has been making inroads into the concert hall with variable success, and his rather pleasing new Percussion Quartet marks the first time that he has written for this configuration. He goes about it in the timeworn format that Haydn and Beethoven would have recognized — a four-movement (fast, slow, scherzo, finale) structure lasting 20 minutes. The movements launch with what sound like homages to Philip Glass or Steve Reich — repeated minimalist patterns in their styles — yet they all find their way out of the initial repetition machine with a firm grip…

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Album review: Perspectives

June 17, 2022, by James Manheim

"[T]here are so many ways to create classical music," note the members of Third Coast Percussion, "and this album explores four very different approaches that all, in their way, eschew the paradigms of classical music." Third Coast Percussion is a cracklingly good ensemble, but with Perspectives, the group has also created a program that can serve as an introduction to new modes of creation that fall under the large "classical" umbrella. The opening Percussion Quartet of Danny Elfman, more famous for film music and for membership in the rock band Oingo Boingo, is the most conventional of the four works in that it is specified by the composer and realized by the ensemble, but it is a kaleidoscopic and attractive piece incorporating influences from West African balafon music, Indonesian gamelan, and more. The rest of the pieces are more deeply collaborative. Third Coast's reading of Philip Glass' Metamorphosis No. 1 is unique, fusing Glass'…

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Review: Third Coast Percussion’s borderless music finds inspiration in fleet-footed beats

May 16, 2022, by Tom Huizenga

The style of electronic music and dance known as footwork might appear a strange bedfellow to classical music, but the Grammy-winning group Third Coast Percussion embraces the fleet-footed sound on Perspectives, a new album that pushes the notion of a percussion ensemble into fresh territory. Footwork is the hyper-beat music born in Chicago's underground dance competitions and house parties in the late 1990s. On Third Coast Percussion's album, the style undergoes a mesmerizing transformation in a seven-movement suite called Perspective. The music, which often clocks at 150 beats per minute or more, is by Jerrilynn Patton, a footwork fan who began slicing up her own electronic beats at her parent's home in Gary, Ind. She was working in a nearby steel mill when Dark Energy, her debut album, won her critical acclaim in 2015 — although she says she's tired of journalists trotting out the story. Going by Jlin, the electronic artist has absorbed footwork, but turned it…

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