SCI’s Jason Hann Tells Us His Top 10 Favorite Percussionists

first_imgWith The String Cheese Incident set to make their debut at the renowned Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY (tickets), we asked percussionist Jason Hann to give us a little taste of his musical influences. In turn, Hann wrote out a list of his ten favorite percussionists, spanning genres, eras, countries and more. No stranger to the rhythms of the road, Hann has been an integral part of Cheese’s iconic sound, and his work in EOTO, with Isaac Hayes an the legendary Brothers Johnson only furthers his love of percussion-based music. Read on for Jason Hann’s ten favorite percussionists, and be sure to enter the contest below to win tickets for their upcoming run at the Kings Theatre from August 13-14!Indigenous percussion instruments are a lifetime of study in order to incorporate the history and breadth of expression that these instruments can produce. A percussion instrument is really any object you can pick up, but many modern percussionists might take random sounds and play them in a way that fits into film scores, sound design, and avant guard music. I didn’t include any vibraphone or marimba artists in this list, as it’s so specific, melodically, I felt like I would have had to include piano players as well. My favorite part about percussion is that you can go to any region in the world and chances are, they have a unique percussive instrument that has a deep history to it. Many of these places are creating their own voice and bringing it to the rest of the world as they combine their rich heritage with modern forms of music. Not ranked in any order, and far from any complete list…Don Alias – he’s my favorite percussionist, if anyone needs a quick answer. I remember when I was first starting to pay attention to percussion on recordings, I would hear something and run to the album cover to look at the musician credits. Don Alias’ name would always come up. Such great parts and vibe on everything, and his interaction with the music while grooving always felt like the most musical for my taste. You can hear him on Jaco and Miles Davis recordings, and he also plays some of the grooviest drumset playing you’ll ever hear on Joni Mitchell’s “Shadows and Light” live recording. Check out Jaco Pastorius’ “Word of Mouth” recording to hear a great example of his playing. Giovanni Hidalgo – Puerto Rican percussionist taking conga technique to levels way beyond the original style of the instrument. But that’s what master drummers do. He learned to apply drum rudiments to the congas from José Luis Quintana (Changuito) – the famous and most innovative congero from Cuba – and has continued to add new techniques to his repertoire. Known for being on Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum recordings as well, but maybe introduced to most of the world while touring with Dizzy Gillespie.Zakir Hussain – virtuoso tabla player from India, the son of another legendary Indian percussionist, Alla Rakha. One thing about tabla players who play music for a living, there is already a stunning amount of technique and depth of rhythmic phrasing that you need just to accompany another classical player or dancer. To achieve a level of mastery and push beyond the language of the instrument is something Zakir has done. You can hear him on Diga Rhythm Band, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, and Shakti recordings. His work with Tabla Beat Science (Bill Laswell) puts tablas in a modern dub setting. Aloke Dutta is another tabla player that pushes tabla to new mastery levels. He only plays solo tabla as there was a time in the early 1900s when playing tabla in India was revered as a lead instrument of India, more so than the Sitar. Aloke is more known as the tabla teacher to amazing drummers like Terry Bozio (Frank Zappa) and Danny Carey of Tool. He has done some solo performances opening for Tool.Assane Thiam – the Tama drum is one of the lesser known percussion instruments in the West. It has lots of strings that attach 2 heads of a drum onto a body of a drum. It’s held under the armpit or by the drummer’s waste. The strings are squeezed with one arm to change the tension and pitch of the drumhead, while the other strikes the head with a curved stick, and imitates the language of the region that it is played. It’s more commonly known as a “talking drum”, though there are many styles of “talking drums” such as the larger, lower, melodic drums of Ghana and Nigeria that you would hear in music by such artists as King Sunny Ade. Assane Thiam plays the Tama “Talking Drum” in the style that they play in Senegal, Mali, and Gambia. It’s a smaller drum with amazing hi pitched articulation that can cut through the loudest of Sabar (traditional drums) drums of Senegal. Assane has released his own recordings which feature the Tama, but he can be mostly widely heard on the recordings of famous Senegalese singer, Youssou N’Dour. The clarity he displays on the Tama within a band or traditional setting is unparalleled for my ears. It’s like a musical guide for the drums to follow. Check out his solo recording “Li Tama Di Joy Wax La” if you can find it. I also got to see Tama player, Petit Madou, from Mali play a 30-minute solo tama party at the Festival in the Dessert in Mali, that had the whole Malian community dancing and singing with his every phrase. He plays with Habib Koite.Naná Vasconcelos -a true soundscape master of sonic expression from Brazil. When I think of his playing, I can see the story he’s telling. It’s always a story. He creates moods with sounds and takes me through the forests, along the rivers, sitting with the tribes. His main instrument is the Berimbau, which has a long stick connected to a gourd with wire and played with a smooth stone in one hand to control the pitch, while a smaller stick strikes the wire, and controls the resonating gourd by bringing it to the body to give it a “wah wah” effect. One of my favorite recordings he plays on is “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. His “Africadeus” recording from 1973 is one of those “turn the lights out” recordings that you’ll want to spend time with.Airto Moreira – another Brazilian percussionist. Seems like Brazilian percussionists, in particular, have this sound quest that always goes beyond the drums that are featured in their indigenous or popular Carnival settings. Airto just swims in all of the instruments and sounds from the region – that includes the sounds of the Amazon rain forest. He’s combining his voice along with sounds, and instruments and always creates an entire percussion section on his own, whether he’s playing percussion or combining it with drumset. Everything he picks up is another expression played with fluidity or recklessness, depending on the moment he’s creating. All sounds are fair game: bird calls, shakers, tree branches, pandeiro, surdo, repinique, caixa. Having been with Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Chick Corea’s Return to Forever project, Airto is one of the most influential percussionists by far.Paulinho Da Costa – from Brazil, maybe the most recorded percussionist of all time. You probably hear him playing on something at some point in your day. He’s played on over 2000 albums and over 150 films. From films like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, to modern TV shows like American Horror Story. I remember before I was playing percussion, I would pick out his parts that would jump out on Michael Jackson’s debut “Off The Wall” recording. The way his percussion parts were arranged in that setting was sooooo deep for me. Lots of parts that just added to the groove and never got in the way of other parts. Just about every album I checked out the liner notes on, I would see his name. When I actually started playing percussion, I went back to all of those records and listened with a more sensitive ear to what he was doing. He’s also played on Miles Davis recordings, all of the Michael Jackson recordings, Madonna…really too many to list. All Music Guide has him with over 900 artists playing all styles of music.Kim Duk Soo – from Korea. At the age of five he was getting awards from the the Korean president for his performance of traditional drumming from Korea. If you haven’t seen Korean drumming it’s one of the most incredible visual and rhythmic treats. the drums are hourglass shaped Janggu, strapped in to be played horizontally with drum heads on each side, played with sticks. The technique crosses sticks across the drum, while the drummer moves their head in a circular pattern to note the breathing cycle that is their method of keeping time. You know that you’re inside of the music if your head pattern allows a 5-foot ribbon attached to your hat to do circular and figure 8 patterns while you play. All of this while dancing at the same time. This dance also involves all of the drummers whirling and doing flips while everything else is going on…and Kim Duk Soo single handily brought this traditional farmers music to the world stage. Shunned as “music of the farmers” and not considered valuable to cosmopolitan Korea, Kim Duk Soo made it so popular in Korea again through his group SamulNori, that colleges continue to have national competitions the way the US has Drum and Bugle Corps competition between elite marching bands. I was fortunate to go study in Korea with Kim Duk Soo in 2 different years and participate in his international drumming competition.Manolo Bedrena – from Puerto Rico. My dad was always playing Weather Report records when I was young. Badrena is on almost all of the different eras of that band. There’s so much about his playing that I love. The way he jumps into phrases, does a certain thing that seems to move the whole band to the next level. You can almost hear the band react to certain things that he does, and it feels right. I wasn’t sure if I was just making that up in my head but I got to see him with Joe Zawinul’s band in the mid 2000s and, watching his interaction with other musicians, it confirmed so many things that I pictured from listening to the recordings. He has such a creative way of having one hand in the world of congas, while his other hand plays timbales and bells at the same time, whether there’s a stick in his hand or not. Super musical at all times. In those settings with Zawinul, Weather Report, or Sixun where he can be creative with no rules on how a type of music is traditionally played, is some of my favorite playing.Djembe – Ha. I just wanted to list this as an instrument and list different players to look up. You can do a similar thing for any percussion instrument. You can follow recordings for the conga drum back to the 1930s and there were moments in American culture where percussionists like Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria had an incredible influence on popular music in the US through the conga drum. It’s really in just the last 20 years that the djembe drum has spread to the rest of the world, with it’s largest impact in the US being mostly seen at drum circles, while the culture of serious study that supports it is much greater, but not as often seen. It seems like every 5 years, though, I hear another evolution of phrase and technique on the instrument. There weren’t many recordings to check out when I was younger. I would order from overseas music catalogs to get all of the Les Ballets Africans, Mamady Keita, and Famadou Konate recordings. Now, there’s a ridiculous amount of resources for hearing new djembe music coming out of that area of West Africa (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal) as well as hearing players that have moved to the US. Some of the players that have made me rethink what’s possible on the Djembe are Moussa Traore (Mali), Bassidi Koné (Mali), Sidiki Dembele (Ivory Coast) …so many more on the list. Weedie Braimah (US/Ghana) is part of the new generation that’s taking it to another level.I’d also like to address some players that play the smaller, middle eastern/North African, goblet shaped drums known by names such as Doumbek, Darbuka, Darabukkeh, Tombak and Tablah (not to be confused with the pair of drums from India called “tablas”). Hossam Ramzy might be one of the most well recorded of these artists, releasing many solo recordings of middle eastern percussion, as well as playing with Robert Plant during his exploration of Middle Eastern music. You can see these drums as usually the smaller and lighter drums at a drum circle that look like mini djembes, but the traditional/classical way of playing these instruments is as deep as any other instrument can get. The traditions of these instruments go back to 1100 BCE with a continued evolution by younger generations. The finger and snap techniques on these drums are so intricate in getting so much expression out of the drum. Check out artists such as BURHAN ÖÇAL (Darbuka), ‪Erdem Dalkiran (Darbuka), Misirli Ahmet (Darbuka), Mohammad Mortazavi (Tombek), and the young Servan Gider (Darbuka).Win two tickets to see The String Cheese Incident at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY by entering the contest below!last_img read more

Heritage Dinner celebrates SMC

first_imgThe Heritage Dinner brought together Saint Mary’s students, faculty and alumnae to share in food and friendship in Stapleton Lounge of Le Mans Hall on Wednesday evening.Sarah Prezek, senior and student government association (SGA) mission chair, said the event is one of the best-loved traditions of Heritage Week at Saint Mary’s.“This is the most formal event of the week, where students have the chance to attend a nicer meal than the average dining hall dinner and to meet other members of the Saint Mary’s community who share in the College’s sisterhood,” Prezek said.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer The dinner featured various members of the Saint Mary’s community as “special guests,” among Assistant Director of Alumnae Relations Shay Jolly, Director of Campus Ministry Judy Fean, Vice President for Enrollment Management Mona Bowe and Assistant Director of Phonathon Kelly Courington, Prezek said.Also on the guest-list were a number of sisters from the Congregation of Holy Cross, including professor of English Sr. Eva Hooker and Sr. Veronique Wiedower, current president of the Congregation, who delivered the keynote address, Prezek said.After a three-course meal, Sr. Wiedower gave a presentation called “Belles Then and Now” on the history of the College. Prezek said the presentation included a slideshow of photos from past students and places on campus that have changed drastically through the years.Senior Madison Maidment said this was her favorite part of the event, as she learned more about the College than she knew before.“My favorite picture shown during Sister’s presentation was of an equestrian competition in front of Le Mans Hall,” Maidment said. “Sister said the green field in front of the building that we know as ‘alumnae green’ used to be used for horseback-riding by the students back in the day.”After the presentation, students mingled with other guests and were encouraged to share in their “Saint Mary’s heritage” from the “past, present and into the future,” Prezek said.“I think one of the most successful parts of the dinner was that students were able to just sit with sisters at their tables and get to know them,” Prezek said. “It’s so important for current students to realize how much the sisters do and have done for the College through the years, and having that solidarity with them is one of the best parts of attending Saint Mary’s.”Senior Nora Clougherty said she was also thankful for the opportunity to socialize with the sisters.“I loved getting the chance to talk to some of the sisters because they are such wonderful women,” Clougherty said. “Sharing stories with them was so great, and the presentation of ‘Belles Then and Now’ was awesome to see how much Saint Mary’s has grown and to see how much it still remains the same.”There more events scheduled this week will further showcase Saint Mary’s heritage and traditions. A poetry reading is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. in Cushwa-Leighton Library, where Prezek said students and professors will read poems that address the theme of Saint Mary’s. Some poems date as far back as 1892 from the College’s earliest publications, she said.At 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday, there will be tours of the Heritage Room in the convent.“The tour is a great way for students to learn more about the sisters – the people who founded the College and made it into the place it is today,” Prezek said.The week’s events conclude Friday with a trivia game during lunch in Noble Family Dining Hall, where students can win a variety of prizes based on heritage and history questions about Saint Mary’s.Tags: heritage dinner, Heritage Week, heritage week 2015, saint mary’s, saint mary’s heritage, sarah prezek, sister veronique wiedowerlast_img read more

It’s been a long ride, says Perreira … To retire from cricket broadcasting

first_imgAFTER almost 48 years as one of the most recognised voices in cricket broadcasting, Guyanese-born cricket commentator Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira has decided to retire.Perreira, who announced his retirement yesterday at the Tower Hotel poolside, is set to end his career at the end of the historic Day/Night First-Class match between hosts Guyana Jaguars and Barbados Pride, which commences today at 15:00hrs at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.The late Tony Cozier will always be rated as the most famous of West Indian broadcasters, but Perreira’s contribution has been significant too.His voice, clear, loud, and with no hint of a stammer, goes on to boom through radios across the world for decades.It’s a remarkable story. Reds, who is a former adviser to ex-Sport Minister Shirley Field-Ridley, covered 147 Tests and over 200 ODIs and regards himself lucky to have had the career he has had.“It’s been a long ride, a great time in my life, I was very lucky, and thanks to people, and if wasn’t for Rafiq Khan, the GBS, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, GBC, who really made great openings for me in 1973 when Australia toured, and Jerry Richards in Barbados, I probably wouldn’t have got the opportunity,” Perreira said.At 76, Perreira did not complete high school but he possessed infinite determination and an amazing ability to take risks, attributes that permitted him to overcome his speech impediment and become a rare Caribbean sports jewel.He did cricket commentary all over the world, expect in Bangladesh.“I saw the best, I met the best, I broadcast with the best, and maybe it’s not recorded but the World Series of 1978 was the fieriest among the cricket I have ever commentated on. You had the best players in the world brought together by the Kerry Packer organisation,” Perreira pointed out.Perreira launched his broadcasting career in 1968 with the-then Guyana Broadcasting Service. He spent four years with the station before joining the broadcast circuit full-time and becoming closely associated with the late Cozier, who was considered the Caribbean’s foremost cricket commentator.However, when asked what prompted him to actually follow a career in cricket broadcasting, the former St Lucia Tourist Board sports consultant said, “I supposed listening to West Indies in England in 1950, listening to John Arlott, Rex Alston, and then I followed the ’51 tour in Australia, I was listening to Jonny Moyes, Michael Charlton and Alan McGilvray.”Perreira broadcast his first Test match at Bourda in 1971.Perreira mentioned that the quarter-final match between West Indies and Pakistan in 1975 and a Test match between the West Indies and Australia at Adelaide in January 1993, which West Indies won by one run, are the two most memorable cricket matches, where he was a part of the commentary panel.Perreira, a National Sports Council chairman acknowledged that the region has produced many great cricketers but Sir Garfield Sobers is the greatest player he has seen.Meanwhile, Perreira called on the regional commentators to unite, support, and help each other. He also advised them to pace their commentary accordingly, and at the same time to deal with off-field matters in a balanced manner.He also made an appeal to both the government and opposition to be a part of the game, which he said has held us together as a people.He suggested that a Prime Minister’s X1 versus an Opposition X1 cricket match, where all the funds generated would go to charity. This according to Perreira can further strengthen social cohesion.Finally, Perreira is urging Guyanese to come out and support the day/night fixture, which he said will be a fitting farewell for his career.last_img read more

National Junior Cricket Super League Kicks off Friday

first_imgOthers are Ogun State representative Lisabi High School, Abeokuta, Obele Community High School, Surulere, Lagos,Scholar imperial school, Benin City, Edo and Kaduna College, Kaduna.The venue for this year tournament will hold at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos.As part of efforts by the foundation to re-establish cricket in tradition cricket playing schools and breaking new ground, it is opening new cricket grounds for school boy cricket and seniors.The foundation is partnering with the Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School to hosting this year tournament.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Howzat Foundation for Cricket has scheduled Friday April 19 to Sunday April 21, for the 23rd Howzat National Junior Cricket Super League for Chief Philip Asiodu Trophy.According to the organisers, eight schools have been invited for this year tournament.The schools are, Ansar-Ud-Deen College, Isolo, Lagos, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Surulere, Lagos, Federal Government College, Warri, Delta and Government College, Ibadan, Oyo State.last_img read more