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. (59 mins).

2014 Happenings

2014 has seen a lot of cool things happening, an interesting year of recording sessions and travel. Gigs, teaching and sessions in Iceland, London, Turkey, Brazil. Let me explain..

In April, I started working on my new album to be released Nov 1st. The goal of the album is to explore the possibilities of vibes and marimba with the folkloric/popular music of other cultures in ways which has never been done before. Pretty lofty, I know, but the music is exciting! And gorgeous! For this project this year I went to Iceland, Turkey and Brazil to record/perform. Mixing will start in the coming weeks. No title yet selected for the album. Planning to include tracks from Ghana as well, with a bonus cut from USA(!) if thereís room..More info about that album in the next update.

Iíve been to Iceland before, but my first time to Turkey. Both amazing! I stayed in each place about a week so had a chance to get to experience the cultures a bit. Can hardly describe it all. And the opportunity to play with local musicians and collaborate was really a lifetime experience, affirming one of the main reasons why I play music in the first place: to communicate with others. The Turkish musicians I played with spoke no English. The vocals from both places are in their native tongue. Fascinating how the instruments blended SO well together!

In other recording sessions, I played steel drums on the new United Airlines in-flight Safety video (Iím at 3:20 if youíre watching). Played vibes on a track for ďMorning JoeĒ Scarboroughís new cd. And am part of a new NYC-based jazz group, as yet unnamed, which recorded a cd for Unseen Rain Records due for release before yearís end. I contributed a couple of new compositions for that.

Appearance of note..Iíll be joining Nanny Assis at NYCís world-famous Blue Note Jazz club Sunday August 24th. Also with Nanny that day will be Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer) and other great musicians. Hope you can make this special gig. All my concert and appearances are listed on this site at Dates.

Thanks for stopping by! I update much more regularly to fb so if we arenít friends please find me.

Musically yours, Arthur

Here's a clip from a recent 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 Premiers!
Talking Sticks had its world premiere at the New Haven Intíl Film Festival in March and has screened several other places since then! It has also at the WIlmFilm Film Festival (DE), Hartfield (VT) Jazz Festival, in Reyjkavik and Istanbul. On November 22, it will screen at PASIC, the largest annual intíl gathering of percussionists in the world, in Indianapolis. We want to bring Talking Sticks your neighborhood! If there is a festival, indy theater, or university which you think would be a good prospect please contact the film team via or the fb page up-to-date screening and other info, liking that page is the best way.

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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Ave Maria Sheet Music
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Performed by Arthur Lipner