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: 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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Review: Third Coast Percussion Releases Their CD Perspectives With an Excellent Performance

, by Louis Harris

No musical techniques benefit more from visual performance than percussion. The number of ways that percussionists can produce sounds is limited only by the number of objects humans and nature have created. Many objects are deliberately made for making music. Some objects produce sounds that are not intended for making music. Most objects are not intended for making sounds at all. Even to the well-trained musician, the item being used to make a sound on a recording is not always obvious. A live performance allows one, for example, to watch a performer rub water-filled bowls or move a bow across a marimba or crotales. Most of the objects onstage at Third Coast Percussion‘s excellent in-person concert on Thursday night were created for making music. The event was billed as a record-release party for TCP’s new release Perspectives, which was reviewed here. In addition to pieces on the new release by Danny Elfman, Phillip…

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Third Coast Percussion rebuild Jlin’s experimental footwork by hand

May 13, 2022, by Philip Montoro

I love Third Coast Percussion—I ranked their 2018 release Paddle to the Sea number one on my list of the best Chicago albums of the 2010s—and I’m a big fan of Jlin. So when I heard that TCP had commissioned music from my favorite experimental footwork producer, I started counting down the days till they’d get a recording out. It took a couple years, but the wait is over: on Friday, May 13, TCP release their new album, Perspectives (Cedille), whose centerpiece is a seven-movement, half-hour suite by Jlin called Perspective. She wrote the suite using software, never creating a notated version, and then TCP worked with her to develop an arrangement, searching through their vast collection of instruments to take optimal advantage of their dazzling variety of sounds, densities, and energies. Jlin’s mutable tracks—sometimes brooding and severe, sometimes frenetic and exhilarating—translate beautifully to an acoustic setting. When their programmed layers are played by hand, they lose the superhuman bass…

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Review: Cedille Records Continues to Release Excellence

May 12, 2022, by Louis Harris

In their latest CD Perspectives, set to be released on May 13, Grammy Award winner Third Coast Percussion continues to expand the concept of classical music composition. Perspectives includes music from composers using traditional, five-lined musical scores with time and key signatures, to artists creating sounds in an environment completely free of traditional notation. Perspectives opens with Danny Elfman’s “Percussion Quartet,” a four-movement work that was specifically written for TCP. Elfman is a very accomplished writer of film scores and onetime front man for the wonderful alternative rock band Oingo Boingo. He was approached for this project by American composer Philip Glass, transcriptions of whose work TCP has recorded several times. Perspectives includes their transcription of Glass’ “Metamorphosis No. 1.“ Electronic Dance Music producer Jlin from Gary, Indiana, uses a different approach. She wrote Perspective using the layering, recording process. TCP premiered this excellent work in a virtual performance in October 2020 and are presenting it here on CD. TCP will be…

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Third Coast Percussion, ‘Derivative’

, by Tom Huizenga

The fact that the members of Third Coast Percussion are banging on various types of metal on "Derivative" makes a curious connection to its composer, the electronic music producer Jlin (Jerrilynn Patton). In 2015, when she released her debut album, Dark Energy, she was working in the steel mills near her native Gary, Ind. Jlin has come a long way since, taking her lightning quick pulsations, inspired by Chicago's footwork music scene, worldwide and collaborating with artists such as William Basinski, Holly Herndon, and this Chicago-based percussion ensemble. "Derivative" is part of a 30-minute suite called Perspective, and it uncorks a major, if sometimes woozy, groove, fueled by metal bowls filled with water, various gongs and a kick drum-style beat straight out of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." Jlin created the entire suite as electronic tracks, one layer at a time, without notation. The Third Coast musicians translated her subtle, interlocking patterns into a version they could perform…

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Metamorphosis at Crosstown Theater

, by Abigail Morici

In Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, for reasons outside of his control, Gregor Samsa wakes up one day as a giant creepy-crawling critter — some say a cockroach — so Gregor has to navigate the world as a giant bug, which as you can imagine is quite an isolating experience. This isolation, in turn, leads to a bleak ending with neglect, hatred, and ultimately death. After going through a year of isolation ourselves, much like Gregor, it’s likely that some of us have a pretty bleak, Kafkaesque outlook on life. But for others, isolation brought new values and a refreshed will to create, learn, and collaborate. This latter case was true for the Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion and Movement Art Is, founded by dancers and choreographers Jon Boogz and Memphis’ Lil Buck. When in-person interactions could not take place with the two groups based in Chicago and Los Angeles respectively, they worked…

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Third Coast Percussion Connects Students to STEAM

April 27, 2022, by Hylton Performing Arts Center

The Hylton Performing Arts Center Education Initiative continued its virtual field trips in March with an innovative STEAM-based learning experience with GRAMMY® Award-winning quartet Third Coast Percussion. Three thousand students Grades 2– 8 from Prince William County and the City of Manassas participated in WAVES: the Science Behind Sound. Performances by Third Coast Percussion are interspersed with interactive teaching moments connecting scientific and musical concepts in a six-video series. Students had the opportunity to explore amplitude and dynamics; frequency and pitch; noise versus pitch; and musical timbre and the sonic spectrum. The digital version of WAVES is based on an education program Third Coast Percussion toured in 2014 through 2019. It was developed through a collaboration with a professor at University of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. “We passionately agreed that STEM subjects and the Arts have much more in common with each other than they are often given credit for having,” says Third Coast Percussion ensemble member Sean Connors.…

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Performance review: Metamorphosis at Hamel Music Center

April 6, 2022, by Nick Woodhouse

Grammy-award-winning instrumental group Third Coast Percussion, accompanied by Movement Art Is kicked off the Wisconsin Union Theater’s 102nd annual concert series from the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall at Hamel Music Center on Jan. 28. For Third Coast Percussion, Madison served as their debut stop along a live-audience tour — their first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group’s new program, “Metamorphosis,” is a memorable experience from start to finish. The Chicago-based percussion group consists of four members — Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin and David Skidmore. TCP got its start in 2004 and has since received appraise from audiences and critics alike, perhaps most notably for their album “Third Coast Percussion: Steve Reich,” a tribute to the Pulitzer-Prize winning composer. The album won a Grammy, and this victory made them the first percussion group to win for a chamber music category. In an interview with The Badger…

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Third Coast Percussion and Movement Art Is Collaborate on the Production Metamorphosis: A Blending of Sight and Sound

April 11, 2022, by Jonathan Gramling

On the one hand, you have the Third Coast Percussion, a classically-trained group of percussionists who trained at Northwestern University and are based in Chicago. On the other hand, you have Movement Art Is, a group of popping dancers who began learning their art on the streets. And when you bring them together in an artistic presentation at the Wisconsin Union Theater on January 27th, you get “Metamorphosis.” “GRAMMY-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion and renowned dance organization Movement Art Is will combine and celebrate U.S. street dancing styles and classical percussion ensemble music as they explore the questions of: what does the world look like to you, and how do where you’re from and your experiences shape that,” said a Wisconsin Union press release. “Through “Metamorphosis,” they work to collaboratively illustrate universal themes cast through the experiential lens of young Black men growing up in America today.” On some…

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