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Dead Perhaps, But Filled With Life

On a trip to Bogota several years back, I began hearing about this incredible group from Medellin that blended Colombian music with jazz called Puerto Candelaria.  From the first listen I was hooked.  Pianist, composer, and bandleader Juan Diego Valencia inventively fuses modern musical elements with traditional Colombian rhythms and...

It’s Virtually Music!

The Internet changed just about everything for musicians: how we market, connect with fans, distribute recordings, disseminate press releases, experience videos, network.  In fact, just about the only thing that hasn’t changed is the simple fact that musicians must physically be in the same location to create a unified musical sound. ...

Where Classical and Heavy Metal Intersect

At 24 years of age, acoustic and electric cellist Tina Guo is enjoying a varied career as a classical and heavy metal musician.  Equally devoted to both styles, Tina hopes to open the hearts and ears of audiences of these seemingly juxtaposing genres.  She balances the spiritual and technical eloquence of classical music in manipulating the...

Parodying the Classics

History has produced few artists as versatile as the incomparable Dudley Moore (1935-2002)–actor, singer, comedian, pianist, and composer. Though best known for his acting in films like Arthur, Micki & Maude, and 10, his first love was music.  I have always been enamored with the ways in which he combined superb skills as a jazz...

Juggling Rhythm

Rhythm may just be the most universal and powerful element of music. But it’s not something most jugglers think much about.  That is, except for Michael Moschen.   Ranked as one of the world’s leading jugglers and one of America’s most visionary performing artists, Michael Moschen has transformed this ancient circus art into...

Bowed Piano Ensemble

Last week, when visiting Colorado College for a performance of with North Indian Kathak dancer Cynthia Ling Lee, I had the pleasure of meeting composer Stephen Scott. Scott is most known for his piano music, which explores ways to play this keyboard instrument from the inside.  Among other techniques, his 10-person ensemble bows the strings...

The Piano’s Newest Relative

The piano undoubtedly has many advantages over other instruments: the possibility of thick harmonies, complex textures, and a wide range.  But it also has limitations, especially in terms of  tuning and inflection.  During a performance, it is impossible to play notes “in between the keys.” Pianists are not able to perform...

Hallelujah–Silent Monks!

It’s not often that a group of monks bring down the house at a holiday concert.  Especially if they’ve been sworn to silence.  Yet, that’s exactly what happens here.  Please enjoy this rendition of 100% mute monks performing Handel’s Hallejah Chorus.  (OK, maybe they’re...

The Christmas Miracle–10 Years Later

Below are several clips from the a capella vocal group Straight Note Chaser.  Not only is the music fun, but their unlikely rise to success illustrates the power technology can play in determining success for musicians. Straight Note Chaser was formed as a group of mostly non-music majors at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1996.  Members...

The A Capella Auto

It may seem strange for us to feature a singing car on The Savvy Musician Blog.  But this commercial, by Honda, features a 60-person a capella choir performing the soundtrack.  And instead of singing, they make all kinds of wonderful and bizarre sound effects that really “drive” home the experience of this motor vehicle.  In...

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