World Peace Through World Music
Since the beginning of the New Year I have really hit the ground running at full speed! During the month of February my program with Charles Williams and my solo shows presented 25 performances throughout the east coast for schools, universities and public concerts. These programs were supported by Young Audiences of Virginia, Virginia Commission for the Arts and CHIME (Community Help in Education). Some of these performances were filmed for local TV stations and I hope to have footage to share soon.
In-between performances I was in residency at the University of Maryland on February 15th where I was guest lecturer for an ethno-musicology class and then performed an evening solo concert for a full house. At George Mason University I have completed two of three residencies. The Director of Percussion, John Kilkenny is building a great program there and I am honored to participate. It was especially gratifying to see percussion majors, majors of other instruments and non-music students coming together to share drumming techniques, rhythms and concepts. Put April 6th at 7pm on your calendar if you are interested in attending the last program in this series. Contact JKilk72176@aol.com for more details. I also had the honor to collaborate with gifted Anusara yoga instructor Dianne Falk for the Intersections Arts Festival at The Atlas Theater. In the future there is a possibility of an instructional yoga DVD with live music as well as yoga with live music retreats as Dianne and I continue our collaboration. On March 5th I rejoined Red Well Theater for a program in NYC for the American Psychotherapy Association Conference. As always it was a pleasure to work with these gifted therapists who have a love for theater.
Constellation Theatre and Tom Teasley receive Second Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Sound Design
I am so honored to announce that my score and performance of last year's production, The Ramayana, was nominated for another Helen Hayes Award. Any recognition of my work is really very much of a team effort. Allison Stockman's expert direction gives my music form. I am blessed to have a collaborator with such simpatico! Fellow designers A.J. Gubin and Kendra Rai always inspire me with their set, lighting and costumes. As always the actors inspire my every performance and it is the interaction of the music, design and the gifted acting that provide the living inspiration at every performance. Please join us May 5th for the opening of "The Green Bird" at Source Theater, which will run through June 4th. This commedia dell'arte fantasia involves a lovesick king, a greedy fortuneteller, an insatiable sausage-maker, a seductive statue and a magical green bird. This vibrant world combines philosophical ideas about truth, love, sacrifice and compassion with inventive physical comedy. I have lots of surprises and new instruments including a percussion sculpture I built that I will play with mallets and a cello bow. From August 4th -21st we will have a repeat run of The Ramayana. Last year's shows were almost all sold out so be sure to get your tickets well in advance. Visit Constellation at www.constellationtheatre.org/bird.html
Performance of "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" at Lorton Workhouse
I am very excited about a new project that I have recently undertaken. I'm performing my original live music to the amazing animation of Lotte Reiniger,"The Adventures of Prince Achmed". This film premiered in Germany in 1926 and features hand-cut color tinted silhouette animation. You will be amazed at how contemporary this looks today. I have composed an original score that draws from music of Arabic, African and Far Eastern influences. I'm using a combination of ancient instruments including balafon, frame drums, djembe and gongs in combination with electronic instruments and digital looping. I have a rare local performance planed at The Workhouse at Lorton Arts Center. This is an exciting new performance space that should be supported. This concert which will also feature a talk back about my recent travels to the Middle East including my tour of Iraq will take place March 27th at 7:30pm. Please go to www.workhousearts.org/events/380/workhouse-film-institute-the-adventures-of-prince-achmed-with-special for more information and to purchase tickets. The video below will provide a small preview:
This Month's Free Download is "Dirt Road Dancin" from my CD Global Groovilization
I'm delighted to once again offer a free MP3 download this month. My offering this month is "Dirt Road Dancin". This is a humorous, grittier take on Yo-Yo Ma's brilliant Silk Road project of a few years ago. This track features vocal percussion, drum set, marimba, frame drum and several other instruments. This is a fun way to celebrate my upcoming performance of "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" which also celebrates music of the Middle East, Africa, China filtered through my perspective of an American jazz musician. I hope you enjoy it and I invite you to preview my other music selections. Feel free to purchase from iTunes, cdbaby or my site.
"Fusions between American and Eastern schools are old news, yet seldom has any percussionist drawn so deeply from both wells and come up with a blend as bewitching and original as this." -- Drum! Magazine
"The evening's dazzler..." -- The Washington Post
"No Instrument has a limitation for him" -- Modern Drummer Magazine
" ... a highly imaginative conceptualist... a colorful, intellectual musician, employing his talents in the orchestration of sound... ingeniously deploys unusual uses of unusual percussion... unlimited talents.
" -- Allaboutjazz.com
Jam Session in Basra, Iraq"Washington D.C.-based percussion wizard Tom Teasley deserves his own slot in the CD bins. Maybe his own store." -- Jazz Improv Magazine
Until next time, Peace, Salam, Shalom, Tom