A large number of percussionists from all over the world come to Toronto to teach and perform. Since this city is the home of Nexus, many of their students have emerged as virtuoso performers and teachers and have remained to participate
Whether it's a seminar to illustrate the similarities of Latin styles to African drumming or an intensive workshop on polyrhythms and their use in Elliot Carter's music, Batterie Park will design an exciting and illuminating event.
The increase in calls for this unique collective has also enabled Canadian composers to write for instruments and numbers of players without restriction.
Percussionist Mark Duggan has been active in the Canadian music scene for many years performing and recording with such artists as Don Ross, the Lee Pui Ming Ensemble, Ramiro's Latin Orchestra and his own "global jazz" group Vuja de. His interests in world music and improvisation have led to performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Festival de Musique Actuelle in Victoriaville, and the Lincoln Center in New York as well as appearances with the percussion group NEXUS and the Ensemble Intercontemporain de Paris directed by Pierre Boulez. Mark is a founding member of the Evergreen Club, Canada's first performing gamelan and has performed in a wide variety of musical contexts with New Music Concerts, the Esprit Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. As a composer Mark has written for concert, dance, video, and various commercial settings and in 1994 he was nominated for both the Juno and East Coast Music Awards for his first compact disc release, We Were Talking. His recent projects include composition residencies in Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil. Mark's music has been performed in North and South America and Europe along with numerous broadcasts on CBC radio and television.
Paul Houle is graduate of the University of Ottawa where he studied with Ian Bernard and Pierre Beluse. Since arriving in Toronto 11 years ago to study with Russell Hartenberger, he has appeared with a wide variety of ensembles including the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, the Esprit Orchestra and the Evergreen Club Gamelan. Recently, Paul has been exploring the world of global percussion through the development of education programs for the North York Board of Education and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Loving the outdoors and early mornings, he has recently returned from Wildcat Lake in Haliburton where he performed in R. Murray Schafer's "Princess of the Stars". The downbeat was at 5:45 AM!! That's late in the day compared to the wake up call! Paul has been on the faculty at the RCM since 1989.
Blair Mackay is an active percussionist in the Toronto area. His diverse interests have enabled him to perform with the Toronto Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, New Music Concerts, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the eclectic jazz group "Mosaic", and African master drummer Abraham Adzenyah. Having recently recieved his Master's degree in music from the University of Toronto. Blair is Artistic Director of the Evergreen Club Gamelan Ensemble.
Andy Morris was born in Montreal and raised in various parts of Quebec, Ontario and Scandinavia. He is presently completing his final year at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music where he studies percussion, contemporary music, African drumming, jazz and bureacracy. His teachers include Russell Hartenberger, Robin Engleman and Phil Nimmons. Andy has performed with many local orchestras as well as appearing with Music Continuum and the Ardeleana Trio.
Paul Ormandy is a freelance percussionist in Toronto. He attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan and holds his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Toronto where he studied with Russell Hartenberger and Robin Engleman. Paul continued his studies at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts where he performed in several new music, musical theatre and performance art projects. In addition to The Evergreen Club, Paul has performed with Nexus, Keiko Abe, New Music Concerts, the Canadian Opera Company and has been recorded for CBC radio and television. Paul's interest in contemporary and global musics has inspired him to study and perform in the Caribbean, Europe, and throughout North America. As steel panist, latin and contemporary percussionist he is active in concert performance and appears on a number of radio, television and CD releases.
Rick Sacks holds a masters degree in percussion from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has toured extensively through Europe and Asia with ARRAYMUSIC, The Glass Orchestra and The Evergreen Club Gamelan. He is also a regular performer with New Music Concerts, Esprit, the Canadian Opera Co., Tapestry Music and others. He has recorded with most of these groups as well as with the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble (Nonesuch Records). Mr. Sacks works extensively with contemporary dance and theatre productions. He was a Dora award nominee for his sound scores of Pinnochio (YPT) and Gravity Calling (Tarragon). On the internet, Rick is the proprietor of Rik's Cafe Canadian (www.vex.net/rikscafe) and is the creator of an internet version of Kafka's Metamorphosis at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's multi object oriented environment (telnet to moo.hawaii.edu 9999).
You turn your attention back to the café crowd at Rik's..