Article on Zeltsman Marimba Festival published in Minnesota Percussion News

My article on the 2009 Zeltsman Marimba Festival has been published in the Minnesota Percussion News. This publication comes out a few times a year and is the state version of the larger Percussion News publication from the Percussive Arts Society.

Zeltsman Marimba Festival 2009 by Jeff Sass (on page 7).

Thanks to Nancy Zeltsman for helping to edit the article and to Jenny Klukken for the great quote!

Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba at PASIC 2009

This year’s Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) is going on right now in Indianapolis, Indiana. I will not be able to attend but I wanted to post a couple highlights from “afar”.

The main one is selections from “Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba” will be at the Sagamore Ballroom today at 2pm. One early peek at a track from that performance from Thomas Burritt is “Have You Met Lydia?” which you can listen to at his Tumblr site.

Also be sure to stop by the Steve Weiss Music booth and say hi to (in my opinion) the best percussion store in the US. Pick up a copy of both volumes of the “Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba” book as well as the double CD which is pictured here from the @steveweissmusic Twitter account. If you are not at PASIC, buy Volume 1, Volume 2, and the double CD online!

I would love to hear how the ZMF 2009 session was received. Feel free to comment or include #pasic09 in your tweets so we can all catch the “buzz”!

Katamiya Discussions Part 3

This is my final day to work on Katamiya for at least 2 weeks. I have packed my marimba and will load up the mini-van tomorrow to head to Appleton, Wisconsin for the Zeltsman Marimba Festival.

This week I have 2 new videos. The first I discuss a bit about the other videos and interaction happening with Katamiya so far. I cannot believe that there are 14 videos uploaded as part of this interactive contest. Congratulations everyone and keep it up!

The second video is a clip of my playing measures 2-9. These measures are still pretty rough but I am trying to establish the groove first and clean up the accents next. I also had a personal goal that I was going to put up a video before I left for the festival – no matter where I was in the piece. I have been quite busy working on my 4 other pieces this week.

Stay tuned to this blog for the next two weeks as I will be keeping the blog up to date with information on the marimba festival and the 24 new marimba pieces that will be premiered at this event. I simply cannot wait!

3 weeks until Zeltsman Marimba Festival 2009

Tuesday I received the Zeltsman Marimba Festival 2009 brochure in the mail. I attached it here because it has some very nice photography work by Claudia Hansen.

ZMF 2009

ZMF 2009

Trivia question – which piece is being played in this photo (it appears to need a marimba, gong and triangle) and what is the name of this marimbist? I actually don’t know the answer to either question but please post comments if you do know!

I have a lot of practing left to do on the three pieces that I will have “ready” to play. Currently that list is going to be “Nancy” by Emmanuel Sejourne, “The Offering” by Michael Burritt, “Etude #3” by Gordon Stout.

The next interactive learning piece is “Katamiya” by Emmaneul Sejourne so I will also be spending some time with that. It is doubtful I will have it fully ready for the festival but I am going to try!

Zelstman Marimba Festival – New Music Weekend

As I have posted before, I will be attending this year’s ZMF (Zeltsman Marimba Festival) in Appleton, Wisconsin. All of the participants spots are filled now but there are plenty of opportunities to join in the festival as an observer (that is what I did last year when I drove over for the 5-hour participant’s concert).

This year in the middle of the festival there is a new music weekend July 3-5. You can pay a small fee (roughly $225) to attend 3 concerts, 4 composer talks, and 1 master class. All 24 of the new intermediate marimba solos will be performed by Ivana Bilic, Thomas Burritt, Jean Geoffroy, Beverley Johnston, William Moersch, Gordon Stout, Jack Van Geem, Nancy Zeltsman.

This is truly a great opportunity to participate in the festival if you only have enough time to attend 1 of the weekends. Come be a part of this historic event in marimba history! You have until June 1st to register for this event. For more information and up to the minute information, head over to the official web site of the New Music Weekend. I personally cannot wait for the Paul Simon marimba composition!

Participant at the 2009 Zeltsman Marimba Festival

This summer I will be attending the Zeltsman Marimba Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin. There aren’t that many marimbist in the world compared with pianists or other instruments but there are a number of festivals and seminars to choose from. Luckily for me, this one is within driving distance (especially since I am taking my 5-octave MarimbaOne marimba). Most of the people that attend these events will be college students who are still working on their BS or MS degrees. So maybe I will be the “old guy”. Wait a minute I am not old am I? I might not have their technical skill, but I will have an incredible passion for the instrument that will be hard to be matched! There is a 5 hour marathon concert at the end of the 2 weeks where all of the participants play. Last year I drove over just to see this event and it was worth the drive! Sitting at a 5 hour concert with no break reminds me of a certain 54-hour straight trivia contest that I just finished. But I digress…

One other extrememly exciting part of this two week festival is the introduction of 24 new intermediate marimba pieces. One of them was composed by Paul Simon! I will post more about this exciting event as we get closer. For now, it is time to practice. Playing marimba pieces in front of extremely talented marimbist requires real work and I am up to the challenge.