Described by the New York Times as possessing an “edgy, unflagging energy,” Talujon has committed itself to the growth of contemporary percussion music through diverse performance, commissioning, educational, and outreach activities.
Highlights of Talujon’s recent engagements include appearances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon, Carnegie Hall, ISSUE Project Room, Miller Theatre, and New York Historical Society. International performances include Taipei’s Lantern Festival and Italy’s Sound Res Festival. In addition to its diverse performance schedule, Talujon has conducted residencies, clinics, and master classes at institutions across the US. Collaborators include Dewa Alit, Nick Brooke, Chien Yin Chen, Alvin Lucier, Eric Moe, Steve Ricks, Ralph Shapey, Henry Threadgill, Ushio Torikai, and Julia Wolfe.
Talujon partners with New York City Public Schools and the Midori and Friends organization to produce educational programming across New York City’s five boroughs. The ensemble’s playing can be heard on the Cantaloupe, Tzadik, Unseen Worlds, New World, Bridge, Albany, and Capstone record labels.
Tom Kolor (percussion) specializes in 20th and 21st century music, and holds degrees from William Paterson University and the Juilliard School. He is currently an adjunct professor at Purchase College and William Paterson University. Kolor is a member of Talujon Percussion, Columbia Sinfonietta, Ensemble 21, Sospeso, American Modern Ensemble, Newband, and New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. He is a frequent guest of such ensembles as New York New Music Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, Continuum, Da Capo Chamber Players, Group for Contemporary Music, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. As a soloist, Kolor has given dozens of premieres by such composers as Milton Babbitt, John Zorn, Wayne Peterson, Tania Leon, and Jerome Kitzke, and has recorded for Bridge, New World, Albany, Capstone, Innova, Wergo, Naxos, CRI, Koch, RCA Classics, Tzadik, and North/South Consonance.
Michael Lipsey (percussion) has performed at festivals in Bali, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin, Mexico City, Taipei, Macao, Tokyo, La Jolla, New York, Moscow, Bogota, and Lille, France. Michael is the founding member of Talujon Percussion and has also performed with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Steve Reich, Bang on a Can, Tan Dun, New York New Music Ensemble, and Riverside Symphony. He has recorded for Sony Records, Red Poppy Records, Nonesuch, Albany, Capstone, and Mode. As a soloist, Michael Lipsey has performed on the Sonic Boom Festival in New York, Festival of the Arts in California, and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Nashville. He has given master classes at Juilliard School of Music, California School of the Arts, Purchase College of Music, University of Maryland at Baltimore, and many universities around the country.
Michael has also worked with many musicians from around the world. Recently, he has been performing with Gamelan Dharma Swara, a Balinese gamelan located in New York City. He recently performed and recorded with DS as the first American gamelan at the PKB in Denpasar, Bali. He has studied other musical languages and worked with a diverse blend of musicians like Subash Chandran, Ganesh Kumar, Glen Velez, Carlos Gomez, Antonio Hart, Roland Vasquez and most recently he formed a duo with percussionist River Guerguerian. He has received funding from the PSCUNY-36 Award for a solo CD which was released in October, 2006. The music on the CD contains recently commissioned works for solo hand drums and includes composers Jason Eckardt, River Guerguerian, Mathew Rosenblum, Arthur Kreiger, Eric Moe, Dominic Donato, David Cossin and David Rakowski. All the pieces from the cd are also published by Calabrese Brothers Publishing, LLC.
Michael is a full-time Associate Professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY, Queens College. He is the Director of the Percussion Program and the New Music Ensemble.
Matt Ward (percussion) is dedicated to performing and commissioning new music and has been cited by the New York Times as “a fine soloist.” With a particular interest in chamber music, he is a principal player with the Argento Chamber Players, Talujon, and American Modern Ensemble, and is also co-founder of the percussion trio Timetable. Dr. Ward also performs regularly with groups such as the Albany Symphony, Talea Ensemble, SEM Ensemble, The Orchestra of the League of Composers, Sequitor, and the Riverside Symphony. Dr. Ward was the recipient of the Ridley-Tree Fellowship at the Music Academy of the West in 1998, and in 1999 he participated in the Tanglewood Music Center under the direction of Seiji Ozawa and George Benjamin. He returned the following year for the American Premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Sur Incises at the 60th Anniversary TMC Alumni Concert. Recent performance highlights include the American Premieres of works by Bernhard Lang, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Philippe Hurel.
Dr. Ward holds a BM degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a MM and DMA degree from SUNY Stony Brook. He is on faculty at Queens College, The Aaron Copland School of Music, and Brooklyn College. Through organizations such as the 92nd Street Y, Westchester Philharmonic, Marquis Studios, and Carnegie Hall, Dr. Ward has worked with elementary school children throughout New York City and the surrounding area. He can be heard on the recording labels Aeon, Argo, Cantaloupe Music, Capstone Records, Newport Classics, Soundspell, and Albany Records.