Talking Sticks Trailer is Here!
Vibes and marimba are the focus of this extraordinary and compelling film about creativity, culture and connection. Leading percussionist Arthur Lipner is our journeyman. His personal experiences and search for fulfillment bring us to a small village in Ghana, Carnival in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, a marimba factory in Mexico, improvisation on an ice xylophone in Norway, and much more. Talking Sticks includes a brief history of vibes and marimba, footage of the instruments being made by artisans in several countries, and glimpses of the critical role of music in different cultures. Grammy-winning vibes player Gary Burton, jazz legend Mike Mainieri, ice musician Terje Isungset (interviewed in an igloo!) and other top musicians discuss percussion and music in their lives. Talking Sticks brings performances, education and extraordinary locations together to create a unique and inspiring documentary for all ages. To be released in 2014. (59 mins).

2013/2014 Happenings
Just returned from an 8-university 11-day tour in Al/GA/MS. Thanks to all my hosts, the great students I met, and sponsors Musser Instruments/Mike Balter Mallets. Wrapped it up with a performance of my concerto Mallet Fantasia at Jacksonville State Univ in Jacksonville, AL. After that I attended PASIC in Indianapolis, where I saw many friends from around the world and judged the Vibes Competition.

Here's a clip from the August Nanny Assis/Brasilian Vibes gig at The Blue note in NYC. Check it out!!

To all you APAP 2014 attendees, we will be presenting three showcases with a special guest, the unbelievable Brazilian dancer, Joao Gaucho. This will be John's USA debut. Exciting!!

Here's a video of our band playing live in Sao Paulo on Programma Do Jo, Brasil's version of David Letterman:

But before that, I'll be performing as guest with the NYU Music Ed Jazz Ensemble Thurs Dec. 12 8p at the Loewe Theatre in NYC. We'll be doing two of my compositions arranged for Big Band by Bob Mintzer.

Talking Sticks Almost Finished!
The documentary Talking Sticks is almost finished! We will be finished with video and audio post-production in early May. Location shooting includes Ghana (small village), Mexico (Chiapas region where marimbas first landed from the Africa), Brasil (National Symphony of Brasil and Carnival) and Norway (where I made an ICE xylophone!). Interviewees include vibraphone legends Gary Burton and Mike Mainieri. Please visit  to learn more about this amazing project.

The TALKING STICKS facebook page is the place for news so please "like" us to stay in touch during this exciting final phase of production:

Brasilian Vibes
My latest CD is BRASILIAN VIBES, available on iTunes. Physical discs are available at the link at

There are numerous vocal tracks on this record, something a bit different for me. It includes jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon (he scats on "Four Brothers") and Brasilian guitarist Nelson Faria.

Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, NYC and CT, I went back to Rio for 10 days to mix it. On this recording I reach to my keyboard roots, recording piano/keys on 3 tracks - along with my Vibes, Marimba and Steel Drums (1 track). Brasilian Vibes presents my instruments (vibes and marimba) in a hybridisation of Brasilian styles. This mixture of pop, jazz and percussion energy reunites my instruments with their African percussion roots, Brasilian-style, to present a cross section of the vast energy in Brasilian music with funky, grooving tracks including vocals and a few originals of mine.

We are in rehearsals now for an upcoming instrumental jazz release from Unseen Rain Records. This will be a gorgeous acoustic quintet album, and will feature my latest compositions. The band includes old friend Jack DeSalvo (guitars, alto guitar, mandola, cel) with whom I recorded the duo CD Liquide Stones more than 20 years ago!

A special note: I will personally sign all CDs of mine bought via the Malletworks Web site.

- Arthur and team
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Performed by Arthur Lipner