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.

Concert Review: Back to the future: Third Coast Percussion winningly melds music and dance traditions in Carnegie debut

January 23, 2023, by George Grella

The Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion made their Carnegie debut Friday night in the in-the-round setting in Zankel Hall. TCP is a fine group bringing modern and contemporary music to listeners, so this was immediately a notable occasion.  But the show (titled “Metamorphosis”) was more than just a concert and an excellent performance—it was an involving and supremely entertaining concept brought to life. The judgment about what to play was imaginative and displayed important thinking about just what it means to perform in front of an audience. The music was terrific and that was the least of it. The group played an appealing, near-seamless sequence (without intermission), that began with arrangements of Philip Glass and included Sonny X, a recent work by Tyondai Braxton, interlaced with the seven sections of Jlin’s Perspective weaving in and out.  Arranging Glass’ Metamorphosis No. 1 and Amazon River for percussion quartet, of course, allowed the group to perform this attractive music;…

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Album Review: Perspectives (American Record Guide)

December 13, 2022, by Barry Kilpatrick

Mesmerizing works presented by the Chicago-based ensemble Third Coast Percussion. Danny Elfman's 4-movement Percussion Quartet is minimalist in its repetitive but slowly changing rhythms and harmonies. Scored for both pitched (mallet) and non-pitched (drums) instruments, the two types often seem to battle for supremacy. TCP's version of Philip Glass's haunting Metamorphosis I is based on Glass's original piano piece and the setting by Brazilian percussion ensemble Uakti. The variety of timbres produced by marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, and melodica is remarkable. I'm especially moved by the marimba's deep, husky sounds in the beginning of the piece. The amount of variety of in the 7-movement, 31-minute Perspective is almost bewildering. What we hear is TCP's take on electronic tracks presented to them by composer Jlin (Jerrilynn Patton). Most of the movements include a quirky noise that's heard a few times during a basic sound tapestry: a chirping little bird in I ('Paradigm'),…

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Concert Review: Third Coast Percussion Premieres New Work With Joy, Magic and Mischief

December 12, 2022, by Kathy D. Hey

If you have not listened to any Third Coast Percussion music, I highly recommend that you set aside a couple of hours and get on it. This quartet has expanded on percussion as a means of creating music for reflection, and meditation, and in the words of ensemble member Robert Dillon, sometimes it’s “just bananas!” The first time I saw them at the Field Museum they were accompanying a slide show of flora and fauna in the Amazon basin. It was then that my eyes opened to how every sound is percussion, whether it is a piano, xylophone, or actual drum, to the fact that sound is reflected off of a drum in our heads. That was expanded on December 7th at the Holtschneider Performance Center at DePaul University. Third Coast Percussion is a quartet of classically trained percussionists who have elevated the art of music in a novel way.…

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Concert Review: Third Coast Percussion shows dynamic versatility in three varied premieres

December 8, 2022, by Tim Sawyier

Chicago can feel proud to call Third Coast Percussion one of our own. The dynamic percussion quartet of Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore has an increasingly international presence, and they are up for multiple Grammys again with their most recent album Perspectives. After opening their season with a program of Philip Glass, on Wednesday night, TCP debuted their latest touring program, “Rituals and Meditations,” at DePaul School of Music’s Gannon Recital Hall, before taking the show on the road in the new year. The group raised the curtain Wednesday with Chicago native Ayanna Woods’ 2018 Triple Point. Commissioned by TCP and also featured on their pre-pandemic program at the University of Chicago, the work made an excellent overture. The “triple point” of a substance is the temperature and pressure at which it can exist simultaneously as a liquid, gas, and solid, a site of both wild…

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“Perspectives” on NPR Classical’s Top 10 of 2022

, by Tom Huizenga

Third Coast PercussionPerspectives For Those Who Like: Jlin, Bang on a Can, banging on cansThe Story: These four Grammy-winning gents from Chicago, who pound on anything from vibraphones to steel pipes, found a surprisingly simpatico collaborator in Jlin, whose suite Perspective is this album's centerpiece. The electronic music artist and Gary, Ind. native has transformed the hyperbeat footwork style of music and dance from the clubs and house parties of Chicago into a realm wholly her own. She crafted a 30-minute suite for Third Coast Percussion, which the band transcribed to its unconventional arsenal of instruments.The Music: At upwards of 160 beats per minute, Jlin's suite is far more than just a toe tapper. Metal bowls filled with water give the third section, "Derivative," a woozy swagger. Elsewhere, the album offers more traditional fare from some familiar names. Danny Elfman's Percussion Quartet weaves colorful threads in a transparent way, while a laid-back arrangement of Philip Glass' Metamorphosis No. 1…

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Concert Review: Third Coast Percussion’s ‘Archetypes’ at Wilson Center

January 12, 2023, by Brendan Fox

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center is an attractive arts venue that on Friday hosted an attractive program. Guitarist Sergio Assad and his daughter, pianist/singer Clarice Assad, joined Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion to play through their new collaborative album Archetypes. Each piece was a portrait of a type of a character across human cultures, like a sage or a jester. Sergio and Clarice composed the bulk of these pieces, with four authored by members of the percussion quartet. I was familiar with Third Coast Percussion as a well-respected entity in the contemporary music scene, but at this event I saw an ensemble earnestly trying to shatter conventions of a “classical” music concert. The pieces were not listed in the program booklet, so they could be breezily introduced from the stage. And the music itself bore traces of contemporary art music, but also crossed over into cinematic styles. Highlights abounded over these 12…

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Album review: “Perspectives”

December 12, 2022, by Andrew Timar

Perspectives takes listeners on a stylistically wide-ranging, musically rewarding, journey. The opening four-movement Percussion Quartet by prolific film composer Danny Elfman effectively juxtaposes the warm wooden sound of the marimba with the sharp sounds of pitched metal pipes and tubular bells, the work very effectively rendered by Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion. Philip Glass’ Metamorphosis No.1, originally for piano solo is here arranged for TCP. Beginning darkly with repeated low marimba eight-note chords, the arrangement blooms to include electronic organ, vibraphone, tubular bells, decorated with glockenspiel and crotales sparkles. A wistful major key melodica melody floats over the bubbling percussion along the way. Rubix is a playful three-movement collaboration between TCP and flutists Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull, collectively known as Flutronix. Rubix imaginatively overlaps the short sonic envelopes of keyboard percussion with the sustained melodies of the duo flutes. Electronic music producer Jlin’s impressive seven-part Perspective highlights TCP’s conceptual, arranging…

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Album review: “Perspectives”

November 15, 2022, by Take Effect

The Grammy Award winning outfit Third Coast Percussion bring us a set of world premiere recordings of works either penned for the quartet or arranged by the Chicago luminaries. “Percussion Quartet”, by Danny Elfman, opens the listen with playful and mesmerizing vibes that are complemented by serene moments as well as busy bursts of the cinematic song craft that Elfman is known for, and it even recruits African balofon, Indonesian gamelan, and Shostakovich nods. Phillip Glass’ “Metamorphosis No. 1” follows with a calm spirit that showcases intimacy between the marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, and melodica, which is a far cry from the solo piano of the original, while Jlin’s “Perspective” flows across 7 movements of dreamy, adventurous songwriting that was originally composed as electronic tracks. Flutronix & Third Coast Percussion collaborate for the record ending “Rubix”, where the duo flutes from Flutronix add much charm and allure to the very precise…

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Concert Review: Third Coast Percussion Impresses at Kimball Hall on Wednesday

, by L. Kent Wolgamott

Third Coast Percussion had an impressive Lincoln debut at Kimball Hall on Wednesday, presenting a program of contemporary classical pieces played on a vast array of instruments, from marimbas and water-filled bowls to chimes, drums and shakers. The first event in the Lied Center for Performing Arts’ Danny Elfman Week, the 75-minute concert was highlighted by a performance of Eflman’s Percussion Quartet. Written for Third Coast, the piece took full advantage of the range of instruments, bringing in hand drums and cymbals on the warm, gentle second movement before delivering the rhythm of the third “dance” movement on the way to the exuberant conclusion. The program was drawn from the Chicago-based quartet’s new album “Perspective” and concluded with five of the seven movements of it’s title cut, a piece written for the ensemble by electronic dance music composer JLin, who sent them computer created tracks to transform in their distinctive…

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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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