Left to Right: John Wittmann, Rebecca Kite, Pete Magadini, Greg Crane.
Presented by John Wittmann, director of artist relations and education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis, and Greg Crane, manager of artist relations, Yamaha Artist Services Los Angeles, the award recognizes distinguished Yamaha Artists and music educators for their extraordinary service to, and impact on, the field of music education.
"Both as players and teachers, Rebecca Kite and Pete Magadini exemplify how music and music education change lives," said Wittmann. "They are among those special artists who can inspire audiences and students alike."
Kite's contributions as performer, recording artist, teacher, scholar, author and inventor have touched percussion players of all levels. Her definitive biography of Japanese marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe, university-level clinics and groundbreaking marimba arrangements have advanced percussion music at the highest levels. Throughout her career, Kite has also remained devoted to fostering new students. She was the first artist to record marimba pieces traditionally played by beginners, allowing them to hear how the music should be played. Her diverse performing career has included stints as an orchestral percussionist (Owensboro Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera) and solo marimba artist playing both new music and adaptations of repertoire originally for lute, guitar and violin. Equally significant has been her long tenure as Percussion Department Technician at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, which led her to design dozens of improvements for percussion instruments (four of which received U.S. patents). She joined the Yamaha artist roster in 1992.
A professional drummer since age 16, Magadini's credits include Diana Ross, George Duke, Bobbie Gentry, Mose Allison, Sonny Stitt, Chet Baker, the Don Ellis Band, Al Jarreau and the John Handy Quintet. He has also performed as an orchestral percussionist at the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, Toronto Symphony, Oakland Orchestra and the Fromm Festival of Contemporary Music. In addition to recording with Ross and others, he has released four albums under his own name. Magadini has published five books on drum set technique and polyrhythms—including 2017's All-in-One Learn to Play the Drumset (Hal Leonard Publishing). In addition to being a highly respected private teacher and mentor, he has served as an instructor at the Dave Brubeck Institute (University of the Pacific), the California Jazz Conservatory, Concordia University, McGill University, the Professional Drum Shop (Los Angeles) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Magadini joined the Yamaha artist roster in 1987.
Each year, PASIC, the world's largest percussion convention, features the top names in drumming and percussion and draws more than 5,000 attendees from around the globe. Previous luminaries who have received the Yamaha Legacy in Education Awards at PASIC include James Campbell, Dave Samuels, Dave Weckl, Jim Petercsak and Bob Breithaupt, among many others.
For more information on the Yamaha Artists roster, visit www.yamaha.com/artists/