Music Monday – The Marimbist

Today’s Music Monday post is very personal as it takes me back to the very genesis of my interest in percussion.  I was just a wee lad, watching the 1992 Miss U.S.A. pageant on television with my ma and pa, when Mr. Regis Philbin introduced an artist who would change my life forever.

Until that point in the talent portion of the competition, the performances had been pretty boring.  Lots of dancing and Broadway show tunes, and one decent baton twirler.  But then Miss South Carolina took the stage, and this marimba virtuouso gave the performance of a lifetime.

Her performance was a rare combination of technique, phrasing, and showmanship.  She flew up and down the keyboard, her hands a blur.  It was the talk of the percussion world the next day, and I dare say many young musicians, including yours truly, were inspired to take up this noble instrument.

For many years, this video was only circulated amongst the marimba cognoscenti.  Thankfully, technology has evolved and her talent, her joie de viver, can now be shared with everyone.

Take it away, Regis.

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