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Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors

The Smoke & Mirrors Percussion Ensemble was founded in 2009. The name ‘Smoke & Mirrors' was inspired by a phrase Jack Van Geem, the ensemble's teacher, used during a coaching. It also reflects the aim of the ensemble.

The ensemble has championed not only works by the classic percussion masters such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Steve Reich; but, also the work of young composers who have only just begun their careers. The ensemble has performed with The Colburn Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz, The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Trudl Zipper Dance Studio, the Colburn Contemporary Players, and the New West Symphony. In March 2012 the Smoke and Mirrors Percussion Ensemble performed a concert featuring two premieres, including a piece by ensemble member Joe Beribak (world premiere) and a piece by Kyle Werner (U.S. Premiere).

As supporters of music education, the ensemble has developed outreach programs with the Da Camera Society, which it performed in schools throughout Los Angeles. While always maintaining focus on its artistic development, the ensemble also bears in mind the simplistic joy of banging on pots and pans as they did as children. The ensemble's outreach programs encourage children to experience the world of sound that surrounds us all, a world that The Smoke and Mirrors Percussion Ensemble hopes to share with the whole world. In addition to its outreach efforts, The Smoke and Mirrors Percussion Ensemble raised money at a Fall 2011 benefit concert for the Patongo Fund, which was used to build a music centre for children in Uganda.