CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 20, 2002
GUEST ARTISTS PRESENT STEEL PAN/PERCUSSION PERFORMANCE AT UI OCT. 4
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Teague + Robert Chappell, an instrumental duo featuring Teague playing
Caribbean steel pans and Chappell playing piano, marimba and tabla, will perform
a University of Iowa guest recital at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in Harper Hall
of the UI Voxman Music Building.
The recital will be free and open to the public.
The duo was formed in 1998 to demonstrate that the steel pan, the national
instrument of Teagues homeland, Trinidad and Tobago, is capable of more
than playing lilting melodies on cruise ships or island-theme parties. Combining
classical arrangements, original works by Chappell and Teague, calypsos from
Trinidad, and even 1920s Ragtime, the duo aims to demonstrate the lyrical,
rhythmic, and improvisatory possibilities of the steel pan.
Teague and Chappell have performed at the Percussive Arts Society International
Convention, at universities throughout the United States, and traveled to
Taiwan in September to perform at the National Concert Hall in Taipei and
at regional cultural centers.
The program features a number of works recently recorded on Teague and Chappells
new CD, For Lack of Better Words. Classical transcriptions include
Niccolo Paganinis Moto Perpetuo and Chappells adaptation
of Bartoks Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm. Originally for solo
piano, Bartoks pieces have been expanded with improvisational sections
alternating between steel pan and piano.
Four original works that expand the solo and chamber repertoire of the steel
pan will be performed. Chappells For Lack of Better Words
for tenor pan and marimba is a Latin-tinged piece that highlights the disparate
timbres of the marimba and steel pan. In One Breath might be called
jazzical, since it contains elements of both intricate written
composition and improvisation. Written for pans and tabla drums, Panoraga
is based on the Hindustani classical music of North India, including a hybrid
scale and a 16-beat cycle.
Teague will play his own dynamic solo pan compositions, including the award
winning, A Visit to Hell, Raindrops or his new solo
work from the CD, The Honeybee.
Hailed as a prodigy in the West Indies, Teague won his first national steel
pan competition at the age of 13, one year after he began playing the instrument.
Teague premiered the Jan Bach Concerto for Steel pan and Orchestra with the
Chicago Symphonietta in 1995 at Orchestra Hall. Since then he has performed
this piece with eight orchestras including the Czech National Philharmonic,
the Buffalo Symphony, the Sinfonia da Camera and the St. Louis Symphony as
their national concerto competition winner.
The Chicago Sun-Times critic wrote, Liam Teague is a certified virtuoso.
Wielding his mallets at top speed, he unleashed cascades of sound as dazzling
as the violin arpeggios and cadenzas of a Midori or a Gil Shaham. John
Von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune commented, In soft lyrical passages
Teague coaxed sweet, bell-like tones from the soprano steel pan . . . In the
neo-baroque Toccata finale he seemed the musical equivalent of Leroy Burrell
running the 100-meter dash . . . The audience exploded in cheers and whistles
refusing to let Teague leave the stage until he had given them a solo encore.
Teague has released four CDs on the Engine Room label. He has performed throughout
North American and the Caribbean as soloist with orchestras, in recital with
the Teague/Chappell Duo, as soloist with college steel bands, and with the
Liam Teague Caribbean Jazz Group. He has recently been appointed research
scholar at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches steel pan majors
from the United States, Trinidad, Jamaica and Grenada.
Chappells career has encompassed an inclusive range of musical styles
and genres in performance, education and composition. After he received degrees
in percussion performance from Ohio State University and the University of
North Texas, Chappells interest in world percussion resulted in continued
study of Ugandan amadinda xylophone, West African drumming and East Indian
tabla. He received an Indo-American Research Fellowship in 1990 for study
with renowned tabla master Ustad Alla Rakha in Bombay, India.
He has performed with the Columbus, Ft. Worth, Dallas and Indianapolis Symphonies,
and toured internationally and recorded with the Paul Winter Consort and his
own world-jazz group, Rhythmic Union.
Active as an educator for 24 years, Chappell has taught at the University
of North Texas and Indiana State University, and is currently head of percussion
studies at Northern Illinois University (NIU). He is also Program Director
at the Birch Creek Music Center in Door County, Wis., where he leads the Percussion/Steel
Band Camp every summer.
A composer in contemporary, jazz, and cross-cultural idioms, Chappells
works have been extensively published. His steel band composition Wood-N-Steel
was premiered by the NIU Steel Band in Taipei, Taiwan, and an orchestrated
version has been performed with the Chicago Symphonietta, the Rockford Symphony
and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Wood-N-Steel was the top-scoring
composition in the World Steel Band Festival 2000 held in Port of Spain, Trinidad,
when the NIU Steel Band placed second in the world in competition with six
international and eleven Trinidadian steel bands.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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