Percussion at its Best — An Explosive, Riveting, Energetic Force of Nature
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Percussionist Chen Zimbalista is a force of nature. Exhibiting preternatural musical skills since he was a child, this Israeli-born performer has gone on to master over 40 exotic instruments from dozens of countries, and has proven himself equally adept at performing complex Classical compositions as he is at home with World music and jazz.
On stage, Zimbalista is an explosive, riveting presence. His energetic shows are a visceral experience that must be seen, not only heard. His disarming stage manner and raw physicality manage to engage even the most reserved audiences to become active participants in the event. He's an international 'best kept secret' -- about to electrify America.
Soon to tour the U.S. as a headliner (and to guest with Chamber Ensemble Concertante as well,) The Los Angeles Times took note of his show-stopping performance as a Guest Performer with the LA Jewish Symphony, raving that Chen “ought to be” a household name in this country. “Zimbalista is a young, muscular, intense dynamo with charisma to burn and a precise technique that knows no stylistic bounds. He's also a showman who knows how to make an entrance.” He “reeled off an extraordinary solo, one with kinetic impact, a sense of direction and melodic logic “and it swung like mad. Why can't all drum solos be like this…?”
Chen Zimbalista has dazzled audiences around the globe with his popular solo percussion performances.
He studied with Mr. Alon Bohr (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra), at the Tel?-Aviv Academy of Music, Professor Morris Lang (New York Philharmonic), and with Professor Bent Lillof in Copenhagen.
Chen has performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, and all of the leading orchestras in Israel. In the United States, he has performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players.
Chen has won several prizes, including the Francois Shapira Prize, the Young Artists Performing Israeli Music Prize, and the first prize from the National Council for Culture and Arts for performing his work Impulse 1.
Chen's unique creativity has inspired composers to write especially for him: Noam Sheriff, Menachem Weisberg, Benjamin Yosopov and Mark Hagerty.
He has recorded a CD with the cooperation of the Jerusalem Music Center, as well as a solo CD, Desert Beat, on Koch Discovery.
He has toured China, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Italy, Africa, Turkey, England, France and Taiwan. Chen has performed at Festivals all over the world, including the Israel Festival, The Tel?-Aviv Museum Biannual for Contemporary Music, and Kfar Blum Music Festival, where he serves as Musical Consultant in Israel; the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Bahnhof Rolandseck Music Festival in Germany; The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC) and Art Midwest festival in the U.S.; Stresa Music Festival in Italy and Kaohsiung Arts Festival in Taiwan.
A believer that music transcends all boundaries, and can demonstrate the importance of respecting and appreciating others' differences, some of Chen's most successful performances have been in Turkey, in Africa at a special Peace Concert, in Germany with the Stuttgart Percussion Ensemble as well as at the Israel Festival 2000.
He has also played the opening outdoor concert for the Israel Festival in 2001. He is currently the Music Director for the Tom Tom Festival in Natania, Israel.
Zimbalista draws his programs from Classical, blues, jazz and world music. His range is evident in the variety of repertoires he delivers, from the sublime melodies of Bach to the rhythmically, hard-driving Ney Rosauro Concerto for Marimba & Orchestra to the modern works of Israeli composer Benjamin Yusopov. Chen's Classical activities include recitals, solos with orchestra and chamber music. Recitals are Solo, Duo and Trio with Piano, Cello and two percussion players. His Concertos feature Bach, Bizet, Ney Rosauro, Lena Sokolovsky, Eugene Levitas, Chen Yi, Galin, Yusupov. The music ranges from Menachem Weisenberg, Rich O'Meara, Shostakovich, Miki, Bizet, and Villa Lobos to original compositions by Zimbalista.
The World Percussion music concert includes two or three percussion players and piano/keyboard player. The music ranges from Japanese, Brazilian, American, and Middle Eastern Improvisation to his Bach in Africa project. He has also performed at the Peace concert in Angola collaboration with a dance company. Chen does Master Classes, as well as Education and Family concerts. His ZIMBA show is an interactive concert for audience and five performers - percussionist/drummer, dancer, singer, and bass player. His ARTDUO program is collaboration with Zahi Patish, dancer and Video artist.
Mysticism or happenstance, Chen Zimbalista traces his name to an eastern European ancestor who played the cimbalom.
During 2002-2003 Chen served as the Artistic Director of Ashdod Orchestra. Since 2004 he is the Artistic Director of the Science and Music Festival at Weitzman Institute and The Artistic Director of TAM TAM, an annual International Percussion Festival.
ZIMBALISTAS workshops will take his audients into a gurney of body percussion , clapping ,singing & music making .Finding your own charisma & music loving in a group that learn & support each other.
Chen's workshops could fit any age or professional needs; everybody can drum, conduct or lead his group.
Taking part in a rhythm circle or conducting a percussion group will take each of us into a different journey with lots of new experiences
Zimbalist’s master class