What's more exciting than 4 musicians playing four marimbas using up to 16 mallets playing the classics (or jazz)
The Madison Marimba Quartet, founded in 1980, is available for hire. MMQ plays music as you like it for cocktail gatherings, stage concerts, private venues, weddings and receptions, and made-to-order events. For more information email jhlatime(at)wisc(dot)edu
Tim Gruber teaches music in the Madison Schools and is a member of Atimevu Drum and Dance, a group that performs traditional music and dance from Ghana. His study tour of Ghana inspired his composition Ghana Suite. Tim holds the MM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the quartet in 1993.
Laura Guse is Doctor of Physical Therapy and employed at UW Hospitals and Clinics. She is a graduate of UW-Madison and has played marimba from an early age. She joined the quartet in 2003.
Jim Latimer, well-known for his teaching, dedication and promotion of music, was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in December 2015. He is a Fellow at the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Science and Letters and conductor of one of Wisconsin’s finest professional concert bands, Madison’s Capitol City Band. In 1999, he retired from a thirty-one year distinguished career as professor of music at UW-Madison and timpanist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Jim’s passion is playing the marimba. He founded the quartet in 1980.
Tom Shaver is high school band director at Portage WI. His band received top honors for excellence. Tom holds the MS degree from UW-Stevens Point and has been playing with the quartet since 1991.
The sound of four marimbas as an ensemble is amazing from the first note of Amazing Grace through a classical quartet to the last note of the encore. It’s nice, it’s different, it’s refreshing and it is a relatively new art form in music performance.
Jim Latimer’s passion is playing the marimba, something he started about age 6 standing on a Coke box. His mother was his teacher. In 1980, he decided it was time…thus, the birth of the Madison Marimba Quartet. In 1987, they regrouped and have performed professionally from Milwaukee to Marshfield and from Rockford IL to Tulsa OK. In August 2007, they played concerts in Bethesda MD and Washington DC. They have also played live on Wisconsin Public Radio.
MMQ is Wisconsin’s premier professional percussion ensemble. You have to see them to believe what four outstanding musicians can do with eight hands and sixteen mallets to play the full range of the symphonic literature. Unlike quartets of different instruments, there is a smooth transition from player to player especially during improvisations.
The quartet is committed to playing from the standard classical, contemporary, jazz and popular literature. MMQ delights in playing music from around the world for audiences of all ages and performs regularly by invitation for a fee.