Different Drummer is a multi-genre chamber ensemble comprised of violin, double bass and percussive tap dancing. The recipients of a 2015 Artist Support Grant from the Jack Straw Foundation, they have just released a self-titled album of traditional Irish, Scottish, Gypsy, Classical and Jazz repertoire. This unlikely ensemble presents an exhilarating visual and musical show. Brandon and Anna are both members of the Northwest Sinfonietta, the NW regions premier chamber orchestra. Their abilities fluidly cross genre boundaries with this project. Mark has performed on Broadway, television and on concert stages around the world. Watch his choreography, feet moving in time with the precision of an expert percussionist, and the experience becomes visceral.
Perhaps the earliest form of non-indigenous American music, tap is considered a melting pot of African dance, British clogging, and Irish step dance. Fiddlers provided the musical accompaniment for tap in its earliest development, supplying the melodic vehicle for an evolution took it from the plantations to theaters, movie houses and the clubs of New York, laying the rhythmic foundation for the development of American jazz. “Different Drummer” clearly sets its own stage as it explores the possibilities of tap as percussion.
“The styles heard on their eponymous debut range from gypsy jigs to jazzy taps and Irish step. The level of musicianship amongst the three is tonally sculpted, their arrangements complex and disciplined. One example of this can be heard during the track, “Fisher’s Hornpipe.” The track showcases a ferocious synchronization between the double bass and violin, and is followed by an intricate tapping pattern to match. Different Drummer proves that minimalism can bite. ”
–Connor Creighton EarshotJazz Read complete review
Tunes are traditional except where composer is noted.
Recording and production made possible through the Artist Residency Program at Jack Straw Cultural Center
Anna Doak – double bass
Mark Mendonca – tap
Brandon Vance – violin
Paul Beck – cimbolom (4)
Gretchen Yanover – cello (2,5,11)
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