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Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion will be a highlight at the annual Oregon Fringe Festival.

Oregon Fringe Festival at Southern Oregon University

Fine and visual artists, performance artists and bold new creators will celebrate zany, alternative forms not found in traditional gallery and theater spaces at the annual Oregon Fringe Festival at Southern Oregon University.

Past festivals’ featured performances that varied from beat-boxer and juggler Bronkar to composer Mark Applebaum and the SOU Percussion Ensemble, along with pop-up art galleries, flash-mobs, installation art, interdisciplinary stage performances and a rap-show garage sale.

The boundary-breaking platform engages students with the community, creating an inclusive space for education and nourishing open perspectives.

The 2018 Oregon Fringe Festival takes place Tuesday through Sunday, April 24-29, at various locations on or around the SOU campus in Ashland.

Third Coast Percussion — a Grammy-winning quartet of classically trained percussionists hailing from Chicago — will be the headlining musical group at this year’s festival.

For the past 10 years, Third Coast Percussion has forged a path in the musical landscape with virtuosic, energetic performances that explore the depth and breadth of musical possibilities in the world of percussion.

A direct connection with the audience is at the core of all Third Coast’s work, whether the musicians are speaking from the stage about new compositions, inviting audience members to play along in a concert, or inviting fans around the world to create new music using one of their free mobile apps.

Curiosity and eclectic taste leads the group to unlikely collaborations that produce innovative new art. That art includes work with engineers at the University of Notre Dame, architects at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, dancers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and musicians from traditions ranging from the mbira music of Zimbabwe to rock bands and concert musicians.

Third Coast Percussion will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in the SOU Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $10, $5 for seniors, and can be purchased at oca.sou.edu/box-office or by calling 541-552-6348. The program, “Lyrical Geometry,” will include work by by Philip Glass, Thierry De Mey, Robert Thomas, Steve Reich and David Skidmore. Full-time students get in free.

Interdisciplinary artists Erin Bednarz of Seattle and Zoey Cane Belyea will present “Was It the Wind?” an outdoor performance piece that explores the space between us with sound installed in unlikely places, performances in the round, poetry and movement, at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in Glenwood Park, just southeast of the SOU campus.

Bednarz is founder of new play accelerator Umbrella Project and is a member at Annex, Live Girls! and Washington Ensemble Theater. She was named a RAW Artist of Seattle in 2015 and awarded a sound design apprenticeship with Intiman Theater in 2016.

Belyea moved to Ashland from Austin, Texas, where she was a member with Gale Theatre Company and artistic director of Tether theater and dance. Her collaborative piece, “An Unimportant Failure, was named one of the best at Frontera Festival in 2015.

More exhibits and performances take place at the Oregon Fringe Festival throughout the week.

Look for student art exhibits in the Center for the Visual Arts, next to Schneider Museum. A reception for the artists will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 24.

SOU’s Left Edge Percussion will perform composer Michael Gordon’s “Timber,” a polyrhythmic and dynamic piece that brings the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level, at 9 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the Music Recital Hall.

Theater group A Muse Zoo will present “The Truth,” a physical comedy show using using neo-classical clowning, modern mime and vaudevillian humor to deconstruct the historical genre that has been dominant for years. at 10 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the Music Recital Hall.

Musician Tessa Brinckman will present “When Flutes Spoke Words” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, in the Center for the Visual Arts galleries; Sara Mitchell will present “Artichoke Hearts” at noon Sunday, April 29, in the Meese Auditorium of the Art Building; and Desiderata will perform a newly commissioned piece by Judd Greenstein at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29, in the Music Recital Hall.

See oregonfringefestival.org for details.

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