KIN Global 2017 went out with a literal bang with Global Heartbeat, an international percussion showcase conceived especially for the KIN by renowned, multi-Grammy-winning composer and performer Peter Erskine.
First performed in 2009 as part of KIN's Etudes for Innovation program,
Global Heartbeat is an adaptation of earlier work by Erskine that combines percussion virtuosi from across a range of world cultures: a composition in spiritual tune with the ethos of KIN Global. It masterfully combines the sound of the jazz big band—another key element in Erskine's musical palette—with the percussionists' rhythmic artistry.
This year, Global Heartbeat’s big band component was performed by the acclaimed Chicago Jazz Orchestra (scored by Erskine for five saxophones, three trombones, one bass trombone, four trumpets, bass, and keyboard.) Featured were virtuoso percussion soloists representing a broad range of world cultures: tabla player Aditya Chaitanya Kalyanpur (India), conga/bongo player Aaron Serfaty (South America,) parade field drummer Mark Beecher (Europe,) taiko drummer Hiroyuki Nakagawa (Far East,) talking drum player Sikiru Adepoju (Africa) and jazz drumset player Peter Erskine (North America).
To maximize the international and musical diversity of the entire ensemble, each percussionist was given an “in the clear” solo to showcase the rhythms, timbres, phrasing and dynamics of their respective traditions. Then the percussionists played as one, joined by the jazz band, with the music alternating exploring the contrasts between the brass, the woodwinds, the keyboard and the alto saxophone.
Global Heartbeat was enthusiastically received as it was conceived: as an experience far more than the sum of its parts.
Through the unique, ineffable power of art we can see, hear, feel and know the potential for global coherence and unity in a world of increasing dissonance and complexity.
— Jeffrey Ernstoff, Creative Director, KIN