University Relations and Communications

Montana Day of Percussion at MSUB April 24

April 15, 2015



Music Department, 657-2350
University Relations & Communications, 657-2266


Open to the public, the Day of Percussion will be held in Cisel Recital Hall, on Friday, April 24, at 9 a.m.


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The Montana State University Billings Music Department along with the Percussive Arts Society presents the annual Montana Day of Percussion on Friday, April 24, in Cisel Recital Hall on the MSUB university campus.



The Day of Percussion is open to the public and aspiring percussionists are encouraged to attend. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the first clinic starting at 9 a.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and is free for all PAS members and MSUB students.


The day concludes with an evening concert featuring the MSUB Percussion Ensemble including this year’s guest artists including jazz musician Joe Labarbera, percussionist Joey De Leon and Dr. Ben Stiers from Illinois State University Drumline. The all-day event is made up of master classes and clinics and performances geared toward all levels of percussion performance and education.


About the Artists:

Joe LaBarbera is regarded by his peers as a musical drummer and a supportive accompanist. Jazz great Bill Evans summed it up best when he said, "Joe is very dedicated to playing quality music and he's willing to make the concessions of dues toward that end. He's a top soloist and he does the right thing at the right time." Currently residing in Los Angeles, LaBarbera is involved in a wide range of music locally, nationally and internationally. Recent dates in North America include performances with Bill Mays, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker and brother Pat LaBarbera. During the last few years, Joe has toured Europe with Kenny Wheeler, Bassline (with Hein Van De Geyn and John Abercrombie) and the WDR Big Band. Most recently, he toured Japan with Lee Konitz, Europe with The West Coast All Stars and with Karrin Allyson and South America with Bud Shank. In 1999 along with Tom Warrington, Larry Koonse and Clay Jenkins, Joe created Jazz Compass, an independent recording company dedicated to the kind of creative music that has always been close to his heart.


Classically and street-trained percussionist Joey De Leon, Jr., has held the bongo chair for Grammy Award winner Poncho Sanchez for the last five years and is now the band's timbalero and drummer. The band's latest album, a joint project with another Grammy Award winning artist, Terence Blanchard is a heartfelt tribute to two iconic figures: percussionist Chano Pozo and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Both are largely responsible for creating the "Cubop" genre.


De Leon has the distinction of holding a Bachelors Degree in Classical Percussion Performance from the highly prestigious Manhattan School of Music. He comes from a legacy of well-known musicians in the Latin music genre. His father was also a percussionist and an early artist for LP in the 70's and was a founding member of a band that played a pivotal role in New York City Salsa, Bobby Rodriguez Y La Compania. His father's oldest brother Santos Miranda, was the family's first true all-around percussionist who played congas, bongos, timbales) as well as drumset. He works with Grammy Award winner Arturo Sandoval in both his LA All-Star Big Band and with his West Coast Sextet. He also plays with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, a slew of Los Angeles' top session musicians.


Dr. Ben Stiers is the Assistant Director of Bands at Illinois State University, where he directs the Pep Band and Drumline and serves as assistant director of the Big Red Marching Machine. Prior to his time at ISU, he served as percussion instructor at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. In addition, he is a member of the marching percussion faculty for the Music for All Summer Symposium, and is employed as a writer, arranger, instructor and consultant for several high school percussion programs in Illinois, Nevada and Kentucky.


Schedule of Events:


8:30 a.m.—Registration begins

9-10 a.m.—FUNdamentals; A hands on clinic with Luke Kestner and Matt Devitt

10:10-11:10 a.m.—Ben Stiers; Finding Your Voice: Exploring Expression in Percussion Music

11:20 a.m.-12 p.m.—Showcase Concert featuring the MSU Billings Percussion Ensemble and The Senior High Drum Line

12-1 p.m.—Lunch

1-2:15 p.m.—Joey De Leon, Latin Percussion Clinic

2:30-3:45 p.m.—Joe Labarbera, Drum Set Masterclass

7 p.m.—Evening Concert Featuring the MSU Billings Percussion Ensemble with guests Joe Labarbera, Joey De Leon, and Ben Stiers


For more information, please contact the Music Department at 657-2350.