WWU Steel Band to Hold Concert at Gesa Power House Theatre

Steel Band will Perform With Award-Winning Gary Gibson and Mike Agidius

WWU Steel Band

Gary Gibson

After a successful tour to the East Coast in March, the Walla Walla University Steel band is joining with award-winning composer and performer Gary Gibson and local jazz legend Mike Agidius to perform a concert at the Gesa Power House Theatre on Saturday, April 27, at 8:30 p.m. The concert will feature a variety of musical styles including Caribbean (calypso, soca, cha-cha), samba, beguine, jazz, rock, and classical, as well as original music by Gibson.  Gibson and Agidius will perform with the university steel band, in addition to a few solo performances.  

Gary Gibson first showed interest in the steel drum after hearing a performance by the U.S. Navy Steel Band when he was 8-years-old. Thirty-five years later he joined the 120-player “Exodus Steel Orchestra” in Trinidad for the 2004 Panorama competition and became a national champion when the group won the competition. His most recent award from Trinidad came as first prize winner in two out of three categories of the 2008 “Symphony and Steel” orchestral composition contest.

Gibson began seriously playing the steelpan as a college music student in 1979. While still keeping one foot firmly planted in his classical roots as a composer and performer, and another firmly planted as a jazz vibraphonist, he has embraced the steelpan as his primary vehicle for jazz improvisation.

Gibson has released four CDs to date. He has drawn the attention of steelpan aficionados as well as the jazz community for his unique approach of applying sophisticated jazz harmony to the infectious traditional forms and rhythms of the Caribbean.

Steelpan virtuoso Liam Teague says, “When I first heard Gary Gibson’s music and playing, I was absolutely blown away! His compositions are highly creative, challenging, and by no means are they predictable. The steelpan world is blessed to have an ambassador like Mr. Gibson who, obviously, is doing his utmost to promote the steelpan in a progressive direction.”

Terry O’Mahoney, a reviewer for “Percussive Notes,” the journal of the Percussive Arts Society, also praised Gibson’s music, saying, “Gibson’s soloing is melodic and self-assured, and his compositions are sophisticated and totally enjoyable.”

The Walla Walla Valley is well aware of Mike Agidius as the director of the Walla Walla University Big Band, and the award-winning McLoughlin High School and Central Middle School Jazz Bands in Milton-Freewater. As a performer, Agidius is a saxophone soloist and has been a member of the group “Power Swing” and John L. Holmes’ band "Los Amigos" on his “Holmes Stretch” album featuring Latin Jazz infused compositions. He has also been a member of the summer musical bands for “Grease” and “Foot Loose” as well as joining the Walla Walla Symphony in the Duke Ellington version of the "Nutcracker Suite."

Tickets are available for cash or check at the bookstores for Walla Walla University and Whitman College as well as the Book and Game store in downtown Walla Walla.  General tickets are $10.  Tickets to sit in the front four rows on the floor cost $15, and it costs $20 for seats on the stage sides.  To order with credit card by phone, please call 509-527-2561.

To view the concert seating chart, visit:

phtww.com/events/walla-walla-university-steel-band-performs-on-the-gesa-power-house-theatre-stage

For more information on Gary Gibson visit:

twotreesmusic.com/biography.html

Published April 9, 2013

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