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Steve Weiss Mallet Festival


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The Steve Weiss Mallet Festival features some of the top mallet players in the world. The festival is dedicated to the memory of Steve Weiss the founder of Steve Weiss Percussion. Steve Weiss is the biggest percussion distributor in the world, and while Steve was alive he helped many of us buy percussion equipment by selling at the best prices in the world. And he was supportive of our work and efforts as percussionists. I had a friendship with Steve that lasted from 1979 until his death in 2014. I’m honored to be able to put this festival on in his memory.

There will be 3 events during the weekend of August 2-4.

  • Friday August 2nd - Barnes Museum 6-9pm

  • Saturday August 3rd - Chris’ Jazz Cafe - 8pm-11pm

  • Sunday August 4th - Barnes Museum (Family Concert) 11am-2pm

  • August 5-9 - Vibes workshop at Settlement Music (Queen Village Branch, South Philly).

  • August 9 - Vibe concert - David Friedman-Tony Miceli Duo. 7pm Settlement Music (Queen Village Branch, South Philly)


The Barnes line up will include:

Leigh Howard Stevens  is a marimba artist best known for developing, codifying, and promoting the Stevens technique or Musser-Stevens grip, a method of independent four-mallet marimba performance based on the Musser grip.

Leigh Howard Stevens is a marimba artist best known for developing, codifying, and promoting the Stevens technique or Musser-Stevens grip, a method of independent four-mallet marimba performance based on the Musser grip.


David Friedman is considered to be one of the most influential vibraphonists in the history of the instrument. Internationally renowned as a vibraphonist, marimbist, composer and jazz educator, he has his own musical message, born of fascinatingly diverse musical influences.


Internationally renowned vibraphonist Tony Miceli has been performing steadily on the jazz scene since 1980.  In All About Jazz, Vic Schermer describes him as ... “a vibraphonist of astonishing virtuosity, musical resilience, and inventiveness. His vibes playing is nothing short of phenomenal.”



As a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician, Andrea Venet maintains an active performance schedule nationally and internationally, having performed in Europe, Japan, and Trinidad. Most recently, she was invited to present at the 2020 World Symposium of Choral Music in Auckland, NZ with Dr. Cara Tasher. Andrea has been a featured performer with SNL percussionist Valerie Naranjo, Ivan Trevino, at the Celebrate Marimba Festival and with the Kutztown University Symphony, the Lawson Ensemble, Project Trio, the Eastman Percussion Ensemble, was a member of the award winning Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, and performed with Grammy winning alternative band TOOL with the Gilbert Drumline in 2001.

A versatile professional, Phil O’Banion performs regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other symphonic ensembles, plays for theater companies and new music groups, and has appeared as both performer and conductor on chamber music programs presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He remains active as both recitalist and clinician, nationally and internationally, and is frequently engaged as a soloist with orchestras, wind ensembles, choruses, and percussion groups. Recent international engagements have included performances and workshops in Ontario, Canada and Patagonia, Argentina, and the South American premiere of Philippe Manoury’s ‘Le Livre des Claviers’ at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.


Andrew Thomson (b.1988) has earned a reputation as a composer, performer, and educator, and has collaborated with a variety of organizations, ranging from the internationally acclaimed choirs of Joyful Noise, Inc. to the United States Marine Corps. Andrew began music at age seven with voice and piano, adding percussion shortly thereafter. Andrew enlisted into the U.S. Marines as a musician (and rifleman), becoming the youngest member of the composition/arranging staff at the Armed Forces School of Music in 2006 at age 18. Following his enlistment, Andrew earned a degree in Composition and Percussion from Ithaca College, under the tutelage of Gordon Stout. Since then, Andrew has continued writing and performing within the U.S and abroad. He has been called a "sensation" on marimba and the "Jimi Hendrix" of bagpipes, having played a variety of Gaelic instruments with  the group Damhsa Ceol. Andrew Thomson's music has been heard all over the world, from Australia to Norway, Japan to Spain. When he's not composing or performing, Andrew gives clinics and masterclasses at schools around the country. Andrew endorses Marimba One instruments and runs his own engraving and publishing business, A. Thomson Music.


Richard Robinson - Balifon -  As an educator, folklorist and musician, Richard’s work is an outgrowth of an African and Caribbean folk arts movement in Philadelphia. He has worked extensively with children throughout the tri-state area in schools and community organizations, where he passes on the traditional values of African and Caribbean Creole culture. Richard teaches young people to value commitment, discipline, respect, leadership and teamwork while also helping them to understand the importance of community support that is inherent to African and Caribbean cultures. Mr. Rich Robinson has a BA in Communications from Penn State University class of 1997.

Richard Robinson - Balifon - As an educator, folklorist and musician, Richard’s work is an outgrowth of an African and Caribbean folk arts movement in Philadelphia. He has worked extensively with children throughout the tri-state area in schools and community organizations, where he passes on the traditional values of African and Caribbean Creole culture. Richard teaches young people to value commitment, discipline, respect, leadership and teamwork while also helping them to understand the importance of community support that is inherent to African and Caribbean cultures. Mr. Rich Robinson has a BA in Communications from Penn State University class of 1997.


Also performing at the Barnes will be the outstanding students of the Temple University Percussion Department.

Also performing at the Barnes will be the outstanding students of the Temple University Percussion Department.

Students from the Temple University Percussion Department will be performing as well. The Temple Perc. Performers will be directed by grad student Alyssa Resh.



The Chris’ Jazz Cafe All-Star Vibe Jam will include:

David Friedman is considered to be one of the most influential vibraphonists in the history of the instrument. Internationally renowned as a vibraphonist, marimbist, composer and jazz educator, he has his own musical message, born of fascinatingly diverse musical influences.


Internationally renowned vibraphonist Tony Miceli has been performing steadily on the jazz scene since 1980.  In All About Jazz, Vic Schermer describes him as ... “a vibraphonist of astonishing virtuosity, musical resilience, and inventiveness. His vibes playing is nothing short of phenomenal.”


Behn Gillece’s talents, as amply demonstrated on his most recent release, Walk of Fire (Posi- Tone, 2017) are propelling him into the realm of modern vibraphone greats, such as Joe Locke, and historic giants such as Bobby Hutcherson."
Paul Rauch, All About Jazz
“Named Downbeat Rising Star Vibraphone 2018"


Joe Doubleday  has toured with Chris Potter’s Underground Orchestra, played at The Village Vanguard with The Kenny Barron Quintet, been a member of the Ralph Peterson Fo’tet, and recorded for Mac Miller.

Joe Doubleday has toured with Chris Potter’s Underground Orchestra, played at The Village Vanguard with The Kenny Barron Quintet, been a member of the Ralph Peterson Fo’tet, and recorded for Mac Miller.


Chien Chien Lu is a jazz vibraphonist, contemporary percussionist, marimbist, educator, arranger, and composer from Taiwan. 

Chien Chien Lu had her first exposure to music when she started learning the piano at the young age of six. At the age of ten, she developed a passion for percussion. In 2008, Chien Chien entered the Taipei National University of Arts (TNUA) and majored in percussion. That same year she joined world renowned Ju Percussion Group and performed throughout Taiwan, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore.