Summer Drum and Percussion Festival - Josh Quillen w/ CASYM Steel Orchestra
Time & Location
About The Event
Josh Quillen has forged a unique identity in the contemporary music world as all-around percussionist, expert steel drum performer (lauded as “softly sophisticated” by the New York Times), and composer. His collaborations with other composers frequently incorporate the steel drums as a core element.
A member of the acclaimed ensemble So Percussion since 2006, Josh has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Lincoln Center Festival, Stanford Lively Arts, and dozens of other venues in the United States. In that time, So Percussion has toured Russia, Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany, and Scotland. He has had the opportunity to work closely with Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, Paul Lansky, David Lang, Matmos, Dan Deacon, and many others.
Josh started performing on the steel drums at Dover High School in Ohio, an interest that continued at the University of Akron, where Dr. Larry Snider founded one of the first collegiate steel bands in the United States. He traveled to Trinidad & Tobago in 2002, performing with the “Phase II Pan Groove” ensemble under Len “Boogsie” Sharpe. This interest in the traditional steel drum music of Trinidad ran in parallel with Josh’s education in western music, first at Akron, and then at the Yale School of Music with marimba soloist Robert Van Sice, where he received his Masters degree in 2006.
These parallel interests led Josh to break ground in the use of the steel drums in contemporary classical music. To date, he has commissioned over a dozen pieces for steel drums from composers such as Stuart Saunders Smith, Roger Zahab, Dan Trueman, and Paul Lansky. In 2010, Steven Mackey’s quartet It Is Time – commissioned for So Percussion by Carnegie Hall and Chamber Music America – featured Josh on a new microtonal lead pan in its Carnegie Hall premiere, receiving rave reviews in the New York Times.
Josh’s compositions for So Percussion are featured in Imaginary City, an evening length work that appeared on the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2009 Next Wave Festival, as well as the site-specific Music for Trains in Southern Vermont. Other ensembles to play his pieces and arrangements include Matmos, PLork, The Janus Trio, Adele Meyers and Dancers, The University of Akron Steel Band, and the New York University Steel Band.
An avid educator, Josh is a performer-in-residence at Princeton Unviversity with So Percussion, as well as co-director of the So Percussion Summer Institute, an intensive workshop for college-aged percussionists on the campus of Princeton University. He is also co-director of the percussion program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and is the director of the New York University Steel Band.
CASYM STEEL ORCHESTRA
CASYM is the acronym for the Caribbean American Sports and Cultural Youth Movement. Since its inception in 1983 as a non-profit organization, CASYM has provided academic, recreational, social and cultural activities for young people in the Crown Heights, Flatbush and East Flatbush sections of Brooklyn.
Through mentoring, tutoring, homework assistance, college preparation and other academic support services, CASYM strives to foster the quality of youth empowerment and development. Its motto: “Education a Must” is evident by the provision of scholarships for every high school graduate in its program since 1990.
CASYM's mission is to provide an alternative to the “street life" and the organization works closely with other civic, cultural and education organizations like Crown Heights Youth Collective, Medgar Evers College and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
CASYM Steel Orchestra comprises of 90 young members between the ages of 7 to 21 and it is the most visible and successful aspect of CASYM’s program. The orchestra has performed throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and has performed with jazz legend Lionel Hampton, the Harlem Boys Choir, the Calypso King of the World, Mighty Sparrow, and Calypsonian David Rudder.
The orchestra has also performed at the world famous Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. In addition, the orchestra has performed at several colleges and universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell and Rutgers Universities. Recent achievements include the 1st place championship in the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006 West Indian American Day Carnival Steelband Panorama Competition and 9th place in the 2000 World Steelband festival held in Trinidad and Tobago. In 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011 the orchestra placed 2nd in the West Indian American Day Carnival Steelband Panorama Competition.