Pied Piper of Percussion comes to N.C. Transportation Museum this weekend

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Day Out With Thomas at the N.C. Transporation Museum in Spencer this weekend will also feature an interactive percussion show, “The Rhythm is Going to Get You!”
The 35-45-minute show stars Steve Gryb as The Pied Piper of Percussion in a show that will involve both children and adults.
There will be four shows per day Oct 3-5, with show times of 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Gryb grew up in the Atlantic City, N.J. area and eventually moved to Miami in 1974 to pursu undergraduate and graduate degrees in music at the University of Miami.
He considers himself a performer/educator in addition to being an internationally known multi-percussionist and jazz guitar virtuoso.
He has taught music courses at several major universities in Florida and is the author of “Listening to Jazz,” which was released on DVD earlier this year.
Gryb has an extensive collection of exotic percussion instruments collected from around the world. He has more than 1,500 instruments in his ever-expanding collection.
He’ll be bringing more than 300 of them to the performance at Day Out with Thomas.
Gryb has been performing as The Pied Piper of Percussion for more than 10 years and has been a professional musician for almost 35.
As a guitarist, he performed throughout New Jersey and Florida, in addition to several Caribbean cruise ships. He directs several music ensembles that perform throughout Florida, including The Steve Gryb Swing Band, The Steve Gryb Jazz Ensemble, Dr. Rock and the Starlites, and The Steve Gryb Latin Ensemble.
When Gryb was performing a History of Jazz program with his jazz ensemble for several Miami area schools, he noticed that students got very excited when he passed out instruments.
“I realized then that I could get kids interested in music by using the power of percussion to entertain and educate them at the same time,” he says.
“This is how I developed my ‘edutainment’ concept utilizing my personal percussion collection and developed ‘The Pied Piper of Percussion’ persona by having the kids follow me with their instruments.”
Now, Gryb performs more than 150 shows a year.
During the show, Gryb performs and plays multiple percussion instruments as a warm-up and demonstration of the use of percussion with songs such as “Conga” and “Rhythm is Going to Get You.”
The audience interaction portion of the show begins with the tambourines , which are distributed to whoever wants to play. Gryb teaches the proper way to play a tambourine and the concept of rhythm known as the “back beat.”
“Then the fun begins with the music and everyone following the Pied Piper,” he says. The song is usually “The Boot Scootin’ Tambourine Boogie.” Prizes are awarded to everyone that participated in the round.
The famous bongo round is the biggest hit of the show, Gryb says. More than 40 inflatable bongos are passed out to the audience. After a bit of instruction, the audience plays along to the percussion classic “Wipe Out.”
Gryb works on the three Cs รณ coordination, cooperation, and concentration. A prize is awarded to the best bongo player of them all. Other rounds also get participants moving and having fun with percussion.
Tickets are still available for the Day Out with Thomas events this weekend.
For more information, call the museum at 704-636-2889 or go to www.nctrans.org.
Tickets can be ordered online at ticketweb.com.