AU Press Releases

Renowned drummer to present concert, master class, forum

Drummer, composer, producer, and multiple Grammy winner Rodney Holmes, along with fellow musicians, will visit Alfred University (AU) for a two-day residency, Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5.

During his stay, Holmes will present a Bergren Forum program, Thursday, April 4 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center; give a master drumming class, Thursday, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Miller 301; and on Friday, April 5, with his band, Lithium Tree, perform an 8 p.m. concert in Miller II Theater.

All three events are free and open to the public. The residency is co-sponsored by the AU Honors Program, the Division of Performing Arts/College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Center for Student Involvement and the David and Elizabeth Miller Guest Recital Series.

Holmes is considered one of the most outstanding drummers of our time. He has collaborated with musical legends such as the Brecker Brothers (on their 1994 Grammy winning album, “Out of the Loop,” and the song, “African Skies,”) Wayne Shorter, Santana (with whom he toured, along with Bob Dylan in 1993, and from 1997-2000) Steve Lukather, Joe Zawinul, Steve Kimock, and Rob Thomas.

The current members of Lithium Tree are Jim Kost, keyboards; Beledo Bele, guitar; Ken Dow, bass; and Holmes, drums and occasional vocals. Lithium Tree’s music is mostly a hybrid of electronica, dance music, and what some would consider to be Progressive Rock. Sometimes it sounds like the coolest movie soundtrack you would ever want to hear, but Lithium Tree is a band with many layers: fat grooves, lush sounds, memorable songs and completely original.

Holmes is considered by many musicians as well as music fans to be one of the very best drummers in the world. Throughout his dynamic and ever-evolving career, Holmes has defied all efforts to pigeonhole and categorize him as a drummer. His interest in Drum n Bass, Down Tempo or Trip Hop, Ambient, Trance, and different variations of Techno, Industrial and electronic music led him to write songs for his first solo album. He is now a creative force in rock guitarist Jim Weider’s Percolator Project and they continue to write original music for a forthcoming album.

Trained at the Berklee College of Music and Rutgers University, keyboardist Kost is best known for his current work as a studio musician in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as recordings and club dates with Zozo Afrobeat featuring Fela Kuti alumnus “Kaleta” and Kunle Ade. Kost studied extensively with jazz master Jaki Byard and has shared the stage with many well-known artists such as Branford Marsalis, Ku-Umba Frank Lacy, Philly Joe Jones, Woody Shaw, and Wallace Roney.

Dow has played both upright and electric bass for a quarter-century. He has toured all over Europe and the United States playing jazz, classical, funk, folk, hip-hop, soul, blues, bluegrass, rock and music that defies conventional classification, working with a wide array of distinguished artists including Pete Townshend of The Who, Brian May & Roger Taylor of Queen, Peter Sprague (Chick Corea, Al Jarreau), Sara & Sean Watkins of Grammy Award-winning Nickel Creek, and Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band), as well as sharing the stage with the likes of Steve Vai, Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Carmine Appice (Rod Stewart), Cliff Almond (Michel Camilo, The Manhattan Transfer), and Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea).

He currently performs with the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys,” (winner of the 2006 Grammy Award for Platinum-selling Best Original Cast Album, as well as four Tony Awards, including Best Musical). He has also worked with international film and theater stars Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Theodore Bikel, Marilu Henner, and Tony Award nominee Tom Wopat, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt, David Norona (Six Feet Under) and Billy Zane, as well as musician Ray Manzarek of The Doors.

New York based guitarist Bele was born in Montevideo Uruguay. He gained guitar-hero status in his teens, playing every theater in his hometown and captivating audiences in Uruguay and Argentina. After a brief tenure with Uruguayan rock and blues super-group, Dias de Blues, Bele pioneered the jazz-rock band, Maytreya, and later on, the mythical Siddhartha, inspired by the burgeoning jazz-fusion movement (Chick Corea, Weather Report, Soft Machine & etc.). His fusion efforts of the early ’80’s in South America, during which he appeared at top venues and recorded with Pedro Aznar (formerly with Pat Metheny Group), Ruben Rada, and the legendary band, Opa, attracted media attention in the United States, where he gained recognition as an upcoming talent.