Patricia and Noel Brennan first performed at EAC in 2015—presenting “Insights from the Outside Edge: A Musical Journey from Mexico to Maine” for Eastport students and an evening crowd, plus a group of children of migrant workers from the Milbridge area. The couple—daughter-in-law and son of EAC staff member Alison Brennan, have presented an engaging mix of workshops and concerts at EAC over the years; one highlight for this editor was a session in which Noel taught a mix of adults and children how to perform complex rhythms with nothing but five-gallon buckets as the drums!
Patricia and Noel have been very busy with the transition to online teaching during the pandemic, but have nevertheless managed to keep a steady output of performance videos. “The preparation to do things online is taking much longer than doing lessons in person,” noted Patricia. “We still have a lot of students however. Now we are producing music videos with all of our music students. We have been teaching a group class with over 20 kids all at once. Noel has also been leading percussion ensembles of the same number where we are learning about west African drumming. In addition to this we have been playing duo a lot, and preparing for upcoming projects including our own duo. Also, some composing and continuing to learn whenever there’s extra time. Aside from music, I’ve been having time to cook a lot more which is my other passion, and have started to document in video form family recipes from pre-hispanic Mexican dishes including red mole, amongst others. I’m hoping to add all of this to my YouTube channel!”
Mexican born vibraphonist, marimbist, improviser and composer Patricia Brennan “Has recently started to make her presence known on the New York avant-garde, working with such prominent bandleaders as Matt Mitchell and Michael Formanek,” observed The New York Times. Brennan is a member of Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus. She is also a member of Phalanx Ambassadors, a project led by pianist Matt Mitchell, and a member of drummer Tomas Fujiwara’s 7 Poets Trio along with cellist and composer Tomeka Reid. Among Patricia’s own projects include the newly recorded solo project Kaleidoscope, MOCH and a newly formed quintet. Patricia will be releasing her debut solo album in the Fall of 2020. Patricia Brennan is a BlueHaus Mallets Artist and currently teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. www.patriciabrennanvibes.com
Noel Brennan is a percussionist/turntablist based in Brooklyn NY. He has won Swiftstyles “Keep Scratching” contest in 2017, and was selected as a “promising” artist by Half Note records executive in 2012. He maintains an active drum studio and works as a music educator at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
Additional information about Noel and Patricia’s music, and their teaching studio, may be found at dirigomusic.com.