— The New York Times
This concert generously underwritten by:
HEAR THE MUSIC
Glen Velez Percussion Hall of Fame
How-to with Rhythm Vocalist Loire Cotler
LIVE — Rapid Fire Vocal Percussion
LIVE — Vocal Percussion for Two Voices
LIVE – Glen Velez Blue Tambourine Solo
When the Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm by Layne Redmond
For instructional method books by Glen Velez visit: glenvelez.com/shop/books
FOUR-TIME GRAMMY AWARD WINNER, Glen Velez is the founding father of the modern frame drum movement and is regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences worldwide. Velez brought a new genre of drumming to the contemporary music scene by creating his own performance style inspired by years of percussion and frame drumming studies from various cultures. Velez’s virtuosic combinations of hand movements, finger techniques, along with his original compositional style, which incorporates stepping, drum language and Central Asian Overtone singing (split-tone singing), has undoubtedly opened new possibilities for musicians around the globe, resulting in a shift in modern percussion.
VELEZ IS THE FIRST PERCUSSIONIST to gain international recognition as a successful solo artist using frame drums. In 1989 Velez’s undeniable mastery caught the attention of twentieth century composer John Cage, who wrote Composed Improvisation for One-Sided Drum with or without Jingles especially for Velez. His extensive array of frame drum innovations and sounds have inspired decades of collaborations with an epic and eclectic list, including Steve Reich, the Paul Winter Consort, Suzanne Vega, Maya Beiser, Tan Dun and Pat Metheny. Other collaborations include: Israel Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonia, Opera Orchestra of New York, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Zakir Hussain, Sonny Fortune, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, David Darling, Howard Levy, Eugene Friesen and Coleman Barks. Live performances also include radio concerts and interviews broadcasted on Spanish National Radio 4, German Public Radio, Italian National Radio 3, Radio Freistadt (Austria). Velez maintains an International touring schedule as a soloist and continues to collaborate with prominent artists in many styles. His Ta Ka Di Mi Duo with virtuoso Rhythm Vocalist Lori Cotler has garnered critical and audience acclaim around the world.
THE VELEZ SIGNATURE SOUND CAN BE HEARD ON NUMEROUS FILMS, television commercials and modern dance scores. He is also an experienced collaborator in Early Music, including two renowned recordings with the Ensemble for Early Music entitled Istampita I and II. Velez has recorded on hundreds of albums on ECM, CBS, RCA, GRP, Warner Brothers, Deutsche Gramophone, Geffen, Nonesuch, Capital, CMP, Music of the World, Sounds True, Interworld, Ellipsis Arts, Daftof Records and Sony. In addition he has released numerous recordings of his own music. Glen’s most recent recordings are Glen Velez Solo and Breathing Rhythms Duo – Glen Velez and Lori Cotler (Daftof records).
GLEN IS A PROLIFIC COMPOSER whose compositions have been used extensively by dance companies, and he has written numerous compositions for his own ensembles as well as chamber music for various combinations. His compositions have been commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, American Music Center and Reader’s Digest. Velez wrote a solo cello piece for Cellist Maya Beiser, entitled Kinship, which Beiser chose as the title for one of her recent CD’s. Another of Glens compositions, Sol Tunnels, was commissioned by the Ethos Percussion Ensemble and is the title of one of their new recordings. In 2009 the Ensemble DuoJalal premiered his composition Homage for Viola and Frame Drum. His most recent composition is entitled Intarsio for String Quartet and Frame Drum, commissioned by the Lark String Quartet.
“Ta Ka Di Mi Doo-dn Be-Op Di Mi Ta Ka thom doom DHUM Jaah nu sah pah … “ Don’t ask. Just listen. Because you have to hear it to believe it. It’s a staccato swing that’s alive– essential and timeless – passionately explored by an artist named for a river that has spawned centuries of accomplishment and creativity.
For Rhythm Vocalist Loire Cotler, life has always been about the natural rhythm of the universe which has propelled her into a life, like her music, that is defined by pure cadence and pulse. Loire has now done no less than create an entirely new genre using the intimate power of her voice as a rhythm instrument.
She calls upon a distant past of sacred ritual and echo vocal traditions (the Jewish nigunim, Middle Eastern taksim and Konnakol Indian drum language). Improvising compositions that are both hypnotic and playful, she’s an artist in total command of her unique craft. Phrases like “Peerless artistry” (The Jerusalem Post), “Astonishing” (Chicago Tribune), “Jaw dropping dexterity” (Chicago Classical Review) are commonly used to describe her.
Becoming a Rhythm Vocalist wasn’t the point at the beginning. Loire’s childhood break from the constraints of rote learning like the Suzuki piano method into early study of Music Therapy and eastern philosophies led beyond western discipline and into musics of the world. There was no way to keep a classical leash on her training. An incredible solo by the legendary Cuban percussionist Cándido when she was eleven actuated her own sense of timing and space, launching lifelong karmic encounters with master drummers and percussionists all over the world.
But her work today is a culmination of so much exploration and acclaim: WNYC, PBS, CBS, Italian and Spanish National Radio– Loire is accomplished in all genres. Her first jazz mentor as a teenager at the Long Island HS for the Performing Arts, Dave Burns (Trumpeter with Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk), quickly recognized her innate ability and introduced her to the art of scat-singing.
Creating herself as a world class Rhythm Vocalist only happened as a result of first mastering a bold, eclectic repertoire from Medieval to Be-Bop and World Music to Avant-Pop. She sings from the Great American Songbook with a jazz style all her own, and often bridges both in the same performance. She is as adept with piercing Konnakol as she is with, say, her own original compositions or a dreamy interpretation of the Carmichael/Mercer jazz standard “Skylark.” The New York Times has called her work “explosive.”
On then, to collaborations with Grammy Award winners Glen Velez, Howard Levy, Eugene Friesen, and performances with Chitravina Ravikiran, Nina Stern, Kepa Junkera and Milica Paranosic. These iconic artists have helped create the perfect combustion to ignite the multi-directional textures of her work that include recording for film and TV with film composers Robert Miller, Edward Bilous, sound designer Bill Chesley and film editor Bruce Ashley.