Fresh Classics 

Brass and percussion group likes new music -- unless it's polka.

Classical music combos rarely talk smack. But Jon Nelson, trumpet player for the Meridian Arts Ensemble, refers to most of his group’s peers as “well-dressed polka bands.” Ouch. The N.Y.C.-based sextet has pushed the boundaries of brass and percussion music for more than 20 years. “Most brass groups ignore contemporary music altogether,” says Nelson. “I don’t know why. I think it’s a pretty bad policy. They’re not advancing the medium.” The Meridian players are committed to contemporary American music. They consistently champion music that might otherwise fall through the cracks. They also employ living, breathing composers to write new pieces for them. “We steadfastly try to advance and influence the medium,” says Nelson.
Mon., April 2, 8 p.m.

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