Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Jane Boxall ~ solo marimba

Marimbist Jane Boxall is an international concert artist. Born in the UK, Jane completed Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music at the University of York, before relocating to the USA. She studied with renowned percussionist William Moersch at the University of Illinois, earning a Doctorate in Percussion Performance. Jane has performed and toured in the US, UK, Italy, Belgium, France and Ireland. Currently living in Burlington, Vermont (USA), she is an enthusiastic music educator, working with students from pre-school to University level. Jane plays and endorses Coe Percussion.

Album ‘Spherical Music’ features exclusive recordings of early marimba compositions and brand new commissions.

Available online:

***precise technique and superb musicianship***Chicago Tribune March 2008

***a diminutive performer who harnesses the sound of the marimba like a lion tamer***www.smilepolitely.com April 2008

***Boxall’s playing has a very high standard and her musicality speaks clearly throughout every piece***Percussive Notes

***marimba virtuoso Jane Boxall delighted a capacity audience***www.ccanw.co.uk Sept 2007

Forthcoming performances:
May 16, 2009 @ Chicago Drum Show (USA)
July 2009 – UK and European tour

janeboxallmarimba_at_gmail.com (replace "_at_" with "@" to send email)

Performance Possibilities

Jane Boxall ~ marimba ~ Performance Possibilities

Solo marimba performances

Generally between 30 minutes and 2 hours in duration.

· Music from Five Continents program
includes diverse marimba works by composers from Australia, North and South America, Europe and Japan.
· Music by Women Composers program
includes extremely rare marimba pieces written between 1945 and 2008. Composers include Keiko Abe (Japan), Vida Chenoweth (USA), Anna Ignatowicz (Poland), Eve Belgarian (USA), Nancy Van de Vate (US/Austria), and Victoria Poleva (Ukraine).
· Drumarimba program
includes pieces in which Jane plays drums and marimba simultaneously, with CD backing tracks, and with drumkit accompaniment from Michael Allen. Musical styles include contemporary classical, jazz, electronic and dance music.
· Kindermarimba program
is designed with young children in mind. A selection of short, characterful pieces are interspersed with opportunities for audience participation (body percussion, singing, movement) and musical stories.
· Marimba Atmosphere program
is ideally suited to luncheons, wine-tastings, functions, art openings, weddings, dinners or other situations where music serves a background purpose. Evocative marimba compositions, alongside transcriptions of classical pieces from Bach to Bartok, create a unique atmosphere. Special requests can be accommodated with advance notice.

Duo recitals
Jane is pleased for opportunities to share recitals with pianist Rose Chancler Feinbloom.

Marimba clinics, workshops and masterclasses
· Presentations can be one to three hours long. (Two hours is most common).
· Jane can tailor a clinic or master class to particular groups of marimbists and percussionists at a university, college, or high school.
· The difference between a "clinic" and "master class" is that the latter includes performances by a few students who wish to receive feedback. Students observing usually benefit from this as well.
· All sessions usually begin with a ten to 20-minute performance by Jane, which is followed by a presentation on various topics. She encourages questions and discussion.

Marimba demonstration for Composers

Includes a ten to 20-minute performance and talk on basic considerations when scoring for marimba. Jane will sight-read and comment on any sketches students have composed for marimba.


Jane Boxall ~ marimba ~ Concert Bookers’ references

Children’s concert at Urbana Free Library, Illinois (2007)

“Jane's concert for our children's series was captivating, enthrallingchildren as young as one with her rhythmical and melodic forty-fiveminute performance. Listeners who have never considered the marimba as a solo instrument will be true believers after hearing Jane. If she still lived in the area, I would book her again withouthesitation. She is a top-notch musician with a top-notch personality,bringing warmth and passion to her performances. Jane is a trulygifted artist who I have no doubt will someday grace some of theworld's best performance halls.”

Elaine Bearden Children's Librarian, The Urbana Free Library urbanafreelibrary.org

To Whom It May Concern:

Jane Boxall is an exceptional marimba player I was privileged to present for two consecutive years in the Boneyard Arts Festival’s Late Night spACE, an immersive arts event which featured live music, projection arts, dance, performance, installations and visual art. One objective in curating this event for 40N88W --Champaign County Arts, Culture and Entertainment Council-- was to present together a dynamic range of eclectic local and national performers. Ms. Boxall’s superbly executed and thoughtful programs of commissioned works and modern scores for solo marimba proved to be an engaging highlight for audiences experiencing in the same event the likes of the prog-rock band vonFrickle and Vernon Reid’s Verntronics AV in 2008, or Bradford Reed and his Amazing Pencilina in 2007. I highly recommend Ms. Boxall for your festival.


Jason Finkelman

Sudden Sound Concert Series, Krannert Art Museum
Global Transfer Series, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Boneyard Arts Festival Late Night space


About the Marimba

Marimba FAQ’s (see http://www.nancyzeltsman.com/)

"Where did the instrument originate?"
The marimba's roots are ancient, as a folk instrument in the cultures of Africa, Latin America and Asia. The first crude beginnings of the marimba were several slabs of wood placed on sticks set over a hole in the ground which served as a resonating chamber. Later, slabs of wood were suspended over large gourds or wooden boxes which served to enhance the tone. Sources differ on the specific area in which the marimba originated; however, the frontrunners in this debate are Africa and the highlands of Guatemala. The modern Western concert marimba is quite different from these original folk instruments. The development of the modern marimba in this hemisphere can be traced to the Central American marimba builders, notably Sebastian Hurtado, who developed a chromatic arrangement of the bars laid out like the piano keyboard during the 1890s. In 1880, John Calhoun Deagan founded the first U.S. company to manufacture percussion instruments, and built the first real precursor to the modern Western marimba in Chicago around 1910.

"Is the marimba what Lionel Hampton played in jazz?"
No - he played a vibraphone. It's a close relative of the marimba with keys arranged the same way, like a piano keyboard, but the vibraphone's keys are made out of metal. Another difference is that the vibraphone has a pedal which can be used for sustain like the pedal on a piano. It also has a motor which can be turned on to rotate discs (one at the top of each resonator tube) which leave-open and close-off the resonators. This gives the impression of vibrato — which is how the instrument got its name.

"Well then, what is a xylophone?"
The xylophone is another close relative of the marimba — like the marimba, its keys are also made of wood and it has no sustain pedal or motorized "vibrato"-discs. However, the xylophone's range includes a full octave above the marimba's — which means it extends up to the top note of a piano.

"What is the marimba made out of?"
The keys are usually made of rosewood, most of which comes from Guatemala. The frame of the marimba could be made out of anything (various woods or synthetics); it doesn't affect the sound in any way. Most resonator pipes are made of aluminum. On some marimbas they are made of brass (but these can be extremely heavy and difficult to move).

"What do the pipes hanging down do?"
They amplify the resonance of the bar. Without the resonators, the bars of the marimba do not make much sound.

"What do you call the hammers or sticks you're playing with, and why are the heads different colors?"
They're called mallets. Frequently, they are different colors simply as a coding system for mallets of varying hardness. In general, softer mallets are most flattering to the lowest notes on the marimba, and harder mallets are most flattering to the higher notes. Players can achieve a wide range of different tone colors by their choice of different mallets, in conjunction the specific type of stroke they use to bring the mallets into contact with the keys.

Repertoire list

Jane Boxall ~ marimba ~ Selected Repertoire

Marimba solo

Trilogy by Dave Maric*
Canyon by Kevin Puts
Invention 1 by Vida Chenoweth
▪ Warm Wind by Victoria Poleva
▪ Thoughts of Home by Marty McCrory
Voice of Matsuri Drums by Keiko Abe
Suite for Marimba by Nancy Van de Vate
Chain by Kazunori Miyake
Merlin by Andrew Thomas
Reflections on the Nature of Water by Andrew Thomas
For Marimba and Tape by Martin Wesley-Smith*
White Knight and Beaver by Martin Wesley-Smith*
Spherical Music by Eve Beglarian*
Toccata by Anna Ignatowicz
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GqtX__H-A8 )
▪ Wood Water and Land by Beata Moon
▪ Haikus I-III by Amy Preece
▪ The Game with the Rain by Maria Karpova
Zamba para Escuchar tu Silencio by Guillo Espel
Kaskada by Eckhard Kopetzski
Birdscape by Takashi Yoshimatsu
Prelude by J. S. Bach
Dream of the Cherry Blossoms by Keiko Abe
Ghanaia by Matthias Schmitt
Rotation no 1 by Eric Sammut
Rotation no 4 by Eric Sammut
Wind Across Mountains by Keiko Abe
Rhythm Song by Paul Smadbeck
Ripple by Akira Miyoshi
Two Movements for Marimba by Toshimitsu Tanaka
Memory of the Woods by Akemi Naito
Popcorn II by Chiel Meijering
Two Impressions by Tracy Thomas
Vidala del Martirio de los Brujos by Guillo Espel
Kaleidoscope II by Sadao Bekku

With piano

Ritual Protocol by Kevin Puts
Hommage a Bartok by Vida Chenoweth
Miniatures by Eloise [Matthies] Niwa
Country Dances by Eloise [Matthies] Niwa
Pleiades Dances by Takayoshi Yoshioka
▪Quay by Giovanni Mancuso
▪ Kalakala by Elvio Cipollone
Matres Dance by John Psathas

With flute/saxophone

Proteus by Per Norgard
Song Book by David Maslanka
Ecologue by Teruyuki Noda

Marimba/percussion duo

Ultimatum II by Nebojsa Zivkovic
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YKFD1w_XHQ )
Nagoya Marimbas by Steve Reich

Percussion solo

Steal the Thunder by Jean Piche*
13 Drums by Maki Ishii
Taking Sides by Damien Harron*
She who sleeps with a small blanket by Kevin Volans


Horsepower (CD album) by Triple Whip
Snake Creeps Down (CD EP) by Triple Whip
Get Set (CD album) by The Sea Set
Brutal Tinkerbell (CD single) by Brutal Tinkerbell
York Millennium Mystery Plays (CD album) OST

(▪ commissioned by Jane)
(* with electronics)

Full Biography

Jane Boxall ~solo marimba ~ full biography

Dr. Jane Boxall (b. 1980) is an award-winning international concert artist. Born in southeast England, Jane’s most prized childhood possession was an eight-note xylophone on which she played energetically and endlessly. When Jane was 11, she jumped at the chance to actually learn how to play percussion, via school lessons with Ron Forbes (previous teacher of superstar percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie). Acing the audition with her ability to move hands and feet simultaneously, Jane went on to perform with various regional groups, including (aged 12) a performance with Ron Forbes’ percussion ensemble in the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Living on a farm, there were few distractions from music practice, and Jane “entertained” her family (and cattle) with enthusiastic drumkit practice throughout her teens. During her last year of secondary school, Jane discovered keyboard percussion, and would spend hours of each day in a school cupboard bashing a vintage vibraphone. Often, these were the same hours during which she was meant to be in Statistics class. Deciding to study music at college, Jane spent most of the next three years in a cupboard at the University of York, where she got to practice marimba for the first time. Falling in love with the warm sound and the melodic possibilities of the marimba, Jane went on to earn a MA in Contemporary Percussion Performance, with a heavy focus on solo marimba music. Largely self-taught during her BA, Jane gained a lot during her MA from study with percussionist Damien Harron, co-founder of BackBeat percussion quartet.

A marimba fanatic by day, Jane spent her nights behind the drumkit. Jane’s drumming with folk-grungers Heroic Trio was deemed ‘spectacular… powerful and impressive’ by York’s Vision magazine, while leedsmusicscene.co.uk noted Jane as ‘one of the most inventive percussionists I've witnessed’ during her tenure with Riot-Grrl trio Brutal Tinkerbell. Around this time, Jane also started teaching in local schools, and was the percussion head honcho at Queen Margaret’s School (York) and Leeds Grammar School. Professionally, she co-founded percussion quartet Big Bang Theory, and piano-percussion duo Jalapeno. Both ensembles were active in commissioning and performing new music, and Jalapeno performed regionally within the UK, and in Italy.
In 2004 Jane was offered the Swanson Fellowship for doctoral percussion studies at the University of Illinois, USA, so she sold her beautiful though unwieldy Malletech marimba and relocated to the cornfields of Champaign-Urbana. Here she studied with, and later taught alongside, renowned percussion professors William Moersch, Ricardo Flores, and Dana Hall. Jane’s doctoral thesis was on the topic of marimba music by women composers, and as part of this project she commissioned brand new works from composers living in Russia, the US, UK, and Ukraine. Jane also remained active as a teacher. She was an adjunct percussion professor at Olivet Nazarene University, and taught several hundred students via Skins-n-Tins Drum Shop, Champaign, and the Illinois Summer Youth Music program.

In 2006, Jane was a prizewinner in Illinois’ Krannert Debut Artist Competition, performing a showcase concert in Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana IL. At the time of this award, Illinois newspaper The News Gazette quoted a judge of the competition: ‘[Jane is] a quintessentially natural performer. . . Incredible presence. Her body sings with movement and pure joy. She bowled [us] over with her musicality and her extramusical capacity to communicate’. In the Urbana-Champaign area, Jane would play frequently in concert halls, music festivals, art galleries, bars, cafes, elementary schools and kindergartens. UK solo tours took in Manchester University, Sheffield Cathedral, Devon’s Centre for Contemporary Arts and the Natural World, and St. Agnes’ Church in central London.

Always overwhelmed and humbled by the positive response of diverse audiences to the sound of the marimba, Jane is equally active in the realms of classical and popular music. Rock and pop musicians Jane has collaborated with include singer-songwriter Lynn O’Brien, indie-rock band Shipwreck, and country artist Angie Heaton. While in Illinois, Jane was the drummer for Triple Whip, a rock trio that evolved into an ‘ultra-tight, ultra-loud’ bass-drum duo. Drumming at a Triple Whip gig one Halloween, dressed somewhat impractically as a green-winged fairy, Jane caught the attention of Chicago drummer Michael Allen. Jane and Michael married in 2007.
Also in 2007, Jane became an endorser of Coe Percussion, and took delivery of her custom-built five-octave Coe marimba. This proved to be a gorgeous instrument with an extremely practical design for solo gigging (instrument design is a serious consideration when your instrument is 9ft long and you are 5ft4).

Since associating with Coe Percussion, Jane has played at The Hand House (Elizabethtown, NY), Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), Cowan Civic Center Theater (Lebanon, MO), Boneyard Arts Festival (Champaign, IL), Aroma Cafe (Champaign, IL) , Music Matters (Batavia, IL), Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, IL), and Smith Recital Hall (Urbana, IL). She also used her Coe marimba to record her debut album, ‘Spherical Music’ in summer 2008. This album features premiere recordings of early marimba compositions by Vida Chenoweth and Eloise Matthies Niwa, and recent commissions by international composers. The title track, composed by Eve Beglarian, saw Jane record 12 overlaid marimba parts, one after the other.
‘Spherical Music’ has received radio play from WPRB (Princeton, New Jersey), Concertzender (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Radio Mona Lisa (Amsterdam, Netherlands), while Jane’s live recordings have been aired by WPGU (Champaign, IL), BBC Radio Devon (Devon, UK), and WEFT (Champaign, IL). A review published in Innocent Words magazine said: ‘The instrument has a natural quality, simply the vibration that occurs when mallets hit wood. It could probably sound clunky in unskilled hands, but Boxall makes it sound light and rhythmic, as if she’s controlling a storm of falling raindrops...sometimes the quick notes make it hard to believe everything is performed by a single person’.

In 2008 Jane left Illinois and relocated to beautiful Burlington, Vermont. Continuing to perform, record and tour as a soloist both regionally and internationally, Jane is also excited to have started two new collaborations – a duo with pianist Rose Chancler Feinbloom, and a drumkit-marimba project with Michael Allen. In the future, Jane hopes to continue bringing new music to new audiences.

Performance Fees

Jane Boxall ~ marimba ~ Performance Fees

Solo marimba performances

Depending on the venue, a sliding scale operates for performances between 30 minutes and 120 minutes duration.
Jane will perform at reduced rates at certain educational institutions, and will play without charge at certain residential institutions.

Marimba clinics, workshops and masterclasses/ Marimba demonstration for Composers
Booked together with a concert performance:
30-180 minutes: possible at $50, preferred at $150

Information for performances outside the US/Canada
Generally, the prices above will be the same in Euros or Pounds Sterling. Other currencies are negotiable. Discounts are available where an institution can provide a marimba or percussion instruments for performance.

If you are interested in hosting a marimba performance, please contact Jane to discuss booking options:

janeboxallmarimba_at_gmail.com (replace "_at_" with "@" to send email)