The Kennedy Center

Third Coast Percussion


Third Coast Percussion uses an impressive array of percussion instruments to create an experience like no other. With exceptional talent and dedicated artistry, this quartet combines the driving intensity of drums, the warmth of marimbas and vibraphones, and the surprisingly exotic sounds of everyday objects to make music that is playful, memorable, and profound. The Chicago-based ensemble has gained national attention for combining the energy of a rock concert with the precision and sophistication of classical chamber music.

Tonight, Third Coast Percussion hails the centenary of avant-garde composer and musician John Cage, playing early Cage works and a major new collaborative work, RENGA:Cage:100. The works by John Cage performed tonight are featured on the ensemble’s new critically-acclaimed CD and DVD released on Mode Records. RENGA:Cage:100 is based on the traditional Japanese poetry practice of renga, in which several poets write a collaborative work; Cage drew on the practice for a number of compositions. Tonight’s work includes miniature contributions from 100 contemporary composers, including Christian Wolff, Missy Mazzoli, Steven Mackey, Glenn Kotche, Augusta Read Thomas, Joan La Barbara, and Mason Bates, among others.

The 2012-13 season includes a major focus on the percussion music of John Cage in celebration of his centenary, and the premiere of a new piece from composer Augusta Read Thomas.

Third Coast Percussion also presents a full season of concert percussion music each year in Chicago. The group performs four to five of these concerts each season, pairing the most popular concert percussion music with lesser-known and rarely performed master pieces. Past Chicago Concert Seasons have featured the premieres of new works by composers David T. Little, Matthew Barnson, Ted Hearne, Kirsten Broberg, and more. Third Coast Percussion has also hosted guest appearances by Lisa Moore, Amy Briggs, and members of eighth blackbird.

The members of Third Coast Percussion—Owen Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore—hold degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, the Yale School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and Rutgers University. Third Coast Percussion performs exclusively with Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/7/2012: Third Coast Percussion

The Chicago-based ensemble uses an impressive array of percussion instruments and everyday objects to create a playful and profound performance featuring the music of John Cage.

Third Coast Percussion