Gene & The Percussionists – The Percussion Music of Gene Pritsker
Composer/guitarist/rapper/Di.J. Gene Pritsker has written over five hundred eighty compositions, including chamber operas, orchestral and chamber works, electro-acoustic music and songs for hip-hop and rock ensembles. All of his compositions employ an eclectic spectrum of styles and are influenced by his studies of various musical cultures.
He is the founder and leader of Sound Liberation; an eclectic hip hop-chamber-jazz-rock-etc. ensemble who have released cd’s on Col-legno, Composers Concordance and Innova Records. He is also the co-director of Composers’ Concordance, a new music presenting organization with a 30 year history of producing concert in NYC. Other organization he is associate with include the Grammy nominated Absolute Ensemble, which he co founded in 1993 with Kristjan Jarvi and has been a composer in residence and guitarist with ever since. Gene’s music has been performed all over the world at various festivals and by many ensembles and performers, including the The Adelaide Symphony, MDR Symphony, The Athens Camerata, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Brooklyn, Shanghai and Berlin Philharmonics, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Orchester des Pfalztheaters, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Anhaltische Philharmonie as well as such soloists as Anne Akiko Meyers, Lara St. John, Sarah Chang, Kathleen Supové, Martin Kuuskmann and Simone Dinnerstein. He worked closely with jazz fusion legend Joe Zawinul and has orchestrated major Hollywood movies, including ‘Cloud Atlas’, for which he wrote additional music and composed his ”Cloud Atlas Symphony’.
The New York Times described him as “…audacious…multitalented.” Joseph Pehrson, writing in The Music Connoisseur, described Pritsker as “dissolving the artificial boundaries between high brow, low brow, classical, popular musics and elevates the idea that if it’s done well it is great music, regardless of the style or genre”. Raul d’Gama Rose writes in All About Jazz: “Barring the obvious exceptions, much of 21st century composition appears to be thinning in significance, but this might be about to change. Gene Pritsker is one of a very spare handful of composers effecting this change.” Evan Burke writes in ICareIf YouListen: “Pritsker seems to look at all music as one genre, in which all other possible styles, sounds and traditions are meant to be used as building blocks and palette colors, combined in various configurations to create a boundless whole. This result is almost always more interesting, and representative of how most new music will be born in the 21st century, as genres and barriers begin to vanish, and as styles begin cross-fertilizing in previously unimagined ways.” Classical Music Sentinel writes: “His expressive reach is so wide as to encompass everything from ethno/techno, rock/jazz fusion, classical opera and more, and it all seems to be effortlessly integrated within his anima and comes out through different facets of his persona. You could almost see him as a modern day renaissance man. “
Organizations he is associated with include: Co-director of Composers Concordance & Composers Concordance Records, co-founder/guitarist of Absolute Ensemble and artist-in residence at the Austrian Outreach Festival. Gene Pritsker’s music is published by: Falls House Press, Gold Branch Music, Periferia Sheet Music & Calabrese Brothers music. Recorded on: Col Legno, Enja, Eutrepe, Wergo, Innova , Composers’ Concordance Records, SONY Classical, and Capstone record labels.
Peter Jarvis is a percussionist, drummer, conductor, composer, music copyist, print music editor, and college professor. He teaches music at Connecticut College and William Paterson University.
Over the years Jarvis has performed as a Broadway musician, soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and in several films. He has conducted the Saint Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, New Jersey
Percussion Ensemble, CompCord and several other groups. He has composed for large ensembles, chamber ensembles and several solos. According to the NY Times, “Peter Jarvis led the New Jersey Percussion ensemble in a precise, tactile performance with an elastic pulse.”
Dr. Patti Cudd is active as a percussion soloist, chamber musician and educator. She teaches percussion and new music studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the College of St. Benedict/ St. Johns University. Dr. Cudd is also a member of the new music ensemble Zeitgeist. Other diverse performing opportunities have included Sirius, red fish blue fish, CRASH, the Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble, SONOR and such dance companies as the Minnesota Dance Theatre and the Borrowed Bones Dance Theater. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Contemporary Musical Studies at the University of California studying with Steven Schick, Master of Music Degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo where she worked with Jan Williams, undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and studied in the soloist class with a Fulbright Scholarship at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Cesare Papetti is a percussionist who lives in Brooklyn and works in and around New York City teaching and performing. He studied classical percussion at Purchase College in New York and Music Education at Hofstra University. Influenced by all sounds resonating from New York’s vibrancy, he pursues a multitude of different performing opportunities. He has played orchestral percussion with Regina Opera, Camerata Orchestra, Staten Island Philharmonic, Centre Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic, and the South Shore Symphony. In addition, Cesare collaborates with Composers Concordance and the International Street Cannibals in chamber settings. He is also player in several bands including Peter Kerlin Octet (vibes), John Clark Nonet (drums), and Barbaric Yawp (drums). Cesare is a founding member of Occasional Noise Trio (William Lang, trombone, and Derin Oge, piano), Just Music duo (Alice Jones, flute), and Firebird Art Rock Ensemble (featuring the compositions of Dana Richardson). Recently released recordings include: Samplestra (NAXOS), a CD featuring his performance of Gene Pritsker’s solo percussion and electronics piece entitled “Destined to Shed,” Salamander (Innova) featuring vibraphone work with the Peter Kerlin Octet., and Bonds of Life (Dionysian) featuring drum set work with Firebird Art Rock Ensemble.
Percussionist Michael Lipsey has performed at festivals in Bali, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin, Mexico City, Taipei, Macao, Tokyo, La Jolla, New York, Moscow, Bogota and France. Michael is the founding member of Talujon Percussion and has also performed with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Steve Reich, Bang on a Can, Tan Dun, New York New Music Ensemble and Riverside Symphony. He has recorded for Sony Records, Red Poppy Records, Nonesuch, Albany, Capstone and Mode. Michael has performed throughout the world and given master classes at numerous schools including the Juilliard School of Music and California School of the Arts.
Michael has also worked with many musicians from around the world, most recently including Gamelan Dharma Swara, a Balinese gamelan located in New York City. He performed with DS at the first American gamelan at the PKB in Denpasar, Bali. He has worked with musicians Subash Chandran, Ganesh Kumar, Glen Velez, Carlos Gomez, Antonio Hart, Roland Vasquez, and River Guerguerian. His book and solo CD contains recently commissioned works for solo hand drums by Jason Eckardt, River Guerguerian, Mathew Rosenblum, Arthur Kreiger, Eric Moe, Dominic Donato, David Cossin and David Rakowski. The book is available at http://store.calabresebrothersmusic.com/08-00209.html and the recordings at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaellipsey.