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Release: June 16, 2000

'Percussion Band' with UI faculty member Dan Moore and guests will perform June 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Britain-Moore Duo -- consisting of UI percussion professor Dan Moore and musical partner Mat Britain -- will be joined by percussionist Tom Roady to present a free concert featuring a dizzying variety of musical styles at 8 p.m. Friday, June 30 in Clapp Recital Hall.

The Britain-Moore Duo (BMD) is a unique combination of Caribbean steel drums -- played by Britain -- and marimba -- played by Moore. Adding percussionist Roady creates a combination so original that there's no word for it. "I call us a 'Percussion band,' meaning we're located somewhere between a jazz band and a percussion ensemble," Moore said. "We play world-influenced, electro-acoustic, improvisation-based music with a capital M."

The critics like the result, but they don't come any closer to defining what the group does. "These guys are definitely working the deep grooves," one wrote, while another commented, "If this group were a sports car, they'd be a Porsche."

Stressing the group's versatility in programming, Moore said, "We are able to perform a variety of musical styles and rhythms from around the world. You can hear hints of Mexico, the Caribbean, Brazil, Cuba, the Far East and the good ol' U.S.A. We bring an eclectic mix of styles, from John Cage to Miles Davis and from Lester Flatt to Beethoven into our own unique brand of music."

The program for the June 30 concert reflects this eclectic approach, with versions of classic American songs, such as Gershwin's "Summertime" and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You"; pieces by jazz greats Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk; Moore's "Headlong," "Ebineezer's Day" and "Little World of Rhythm"; and "Life is Great in 13/8," a Britain-Moore Duo original.

Moore and Britain have been working together as the BMD for 15 years. They met as students at Wichita State University where they played in the school's steel band. The duo was formed when they composed a simple duet for steel pan and marimba for a recording session. Their CD, "Cricket City," which includes "Summertime" and several other pieces on the June 30 program, has been described by Pan-lime Magazine as "a brilliant collage of pan-marimba pieces."

The duo is currently working on a new recording.

The steel drums in the duo are actually 55-gallon oil barrels that have been carefully crafted into tuned musical instruments. Originating on the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, these tuned drums have a remarkable timbre that is immediately recognizable as a Caribbean sound.

Britain followed his love of steel drums to Trinidad, where he performed with the Amoco Renegades Steel band in the 1992 "Panorama" competition. He is a frequent performer in Nashville's active live music scene and toured for several years with country/pop singer and song writer Lee Greenwood. He has recorded numerous advertising jingles, and his music has been heard on several episodes of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Nashville session player Tom Roady began working with the BMD about five years ago and now works with the duo on about half of its dates. Roady plays percussion for many of Nashville's best known performers, including Brooks and Dunn, the Dixie Chicks and Reba McIntyre. In the 1995-96 season he played on no fewer than a dozen multi-platinum CDs, 11 of which were Grammy nominees.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic and multi-percussion, he is considered a "total percussionist."

In 1998 Moore received a grant from the UI Central Investment Fund for Research Excellence to produce a CD of his arrangements of the Percussion Pops music of legendary percussionist Dick Schory, a pioneer of the contemporary percussion ensemble. "Percussion Pops 2000 presents Jungle Fever: The Music of Dick Schory" was recorded by the UI Recording Studios and released in 1999.

Moore joined the UI music faculty in 1995. Only the second full-time professor of percussion at the UI, he succeeded Thomas L. Davis, who taught percussion at the UI for more than 35 years. He is a performing artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, Sabian Ltd., and Innovative Percussion. He has written for Jazz Player, Sticks and Mallets and Percussive Notes magazines.

Prior to coming to the UI, Moore taught percussion at Montana State University. He recently received a doctorate in percussion from the University of Kentucky.

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