Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium
Mike Dillon's Punk Rock Percussion Consortium draws from Dillon’s formal percussive training at the University of North Texas, decades of experience as a band leader, and the inspiration sparked by the hundreds of percussionists that have crossed his path along the way, to realize his longtime ambition of creating a do-it- yourself percussion ensemble. In true punk rock fashion, MDPRPC brings together a dynamic rotating roster of up to 20 percussionists to play music written and/or arranged by Dillon, on instruments—marimbas, xylophones, drum kits, bells, chimes, bass marimba, congas, tablas drum, bongos, timpani, steelpan drums, timbales and so on—that the artist has collected over the course of his career. Since its inception, MDPRPC has featured artists Jason Marsalis, Stanton Moore, Earl Harvin, Jean- Paul Gaster (Clutch), Claude Coleman Jr.(Ween), Otto Schrang, Paul Thibodeaux, Simon Lott, Doug Belote, Brian Coogan, Brandon Bull, Jesse Paige, Stephen Montalvo, Aaron Walker, Luke Quaranta, Michael Gourdin, Daria Dzurik, Helen Gillet, Travis Montalvo, Anthony Cuccia, Weedie Braimah, Tiffany Lamson (The Givers), Nathan Lambertson, Cliff Hines, Brian Haas, Mark Southerland, and Clint Maedgen (Preservation Hall Band). After premiering in January 2015 at Dillon’s Gasa Gasa weekly residency in New Orleans, the MDPRPC has gone on to perform at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Bayou Boogaloo Music Festival, VooDoo Music and Arts Experience in New Orleans, and most recently at the Music Box Village during Jazz Fest 2017 in New Orleans.
As like vibration attracts like vibration, it’s no surprise that after years of collaboration, vibraphonist Mike Dillon, pianist Brian Haas, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich should finally become one with the formation of the NOLAtet. These four men have been in each other’s lives for as long as they can remember. Vidacovich and Singleton have been New Orleans’ best rhythm section since 1977, having backed everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Professor Longhair to James Booker. Dillon and Haas have been sharing bills and sitting in with each other’s bands, including Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Garage A Trois and Dead Kenny G’s, on the same touring circuit since the mid-’90s. All four have played together countless times in numerous configurations. Individually, they are fiercely independent iconoclasts and bandleaders who compose, play and navigate their musical lives true to their own idiosyncratic visions.