Violinist Nick Kendall believes collaboration and a willingness to experiment are two qualities that helped launch Time for Three to its recent Grammy-winning success.
Inspiring views of Sun Valley may have helped some, too.
“We’ll sometimes bring ideas to the group one or two of us have been working on and then workshop it, which several times that happened in Sun Valley where we retreat to write,” Kendall said.
Time for Three will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at The Argyros in Ketchum to celebrate their win.
They refer to themselves as a “classically trained garage band,” since their music ranges in styles from rock to jazz, hip hop, classical and more. The trio is comprised of Kendall (violin and vocals), Charles Yang (violin and vocals) and Ranaan Meyer (double bass and vocals).
“Time For Three are local favorites and almost like a house band,” said Casey Mott, executive director of The Argyros. With sponsorship from Zions Bank, the venue is pricing tickets at $33 each, Mott said.
Time for Three won two Grammy awards, for Best Classical Instrumental Solo and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The solo award was for the album “Letters for the Future” and the composition award for the triple concerto “Contact” by Kevin Puts. Both were conducted by Xian Zhang and accompanied by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“This definitely changed our lives and an enormous hats off to our peers for helping take time to develop this body of work,” Kendall said. “It was almost six years really figuring out what we wanted this to be.”
They first started out just playing together and sharing life histories, dreams of where they wanted to take the trio and what the sound would be.
“It’s hard in the classical music world because it’s very small and niche. With those of us doing different things in classical music it’s even harder,” Kendall said. “When Charles came into the picture, he stood out and was the perfect fit.”
Kendall has been playing music since he was a small child. He comes from a very musical family, with his grandfather John Kendall at the head of the family. His grandfather was very influential, introducing the Japanese Suzuki method of teaching music to the United States in the 1960s.
“I would go watch him teach and seeing the room filled with kids laughing but also with great discipline,” Kendall said. “He was a total goofball, but an amazing educator. He is my biggest influence.”
He took being an educator to heart as well. Along with playing in Time for Three, he also tries to inspire young musicians with his concerts, “Listen Up: Music is a Language!”
Aside from classical composers such as Johannes Brahms, who Kendall fell in love with as a teen, he also said bands such as Nirvana, The Offspring, Nine Inch Nails and more influenced his style of music. If he could play with anyone, Kendall said he would love to collaborate with American folk and jazz singer Bobby McFerrin.
“He is the real thing and an innovator before that was even a term,” Kendall said.
Coming to Sun Valley allows the trio to try new material, as Kendall said they feel so supported by the local audience.
“We are very inspired by the surroundings of Sun Valley—you’d have to be dead as a person not to,” he laughed. “The endless views and stillness definitely plays into being an artist and writing.”
Kendall said the band members feel delusions of grandeur because they practically get noticed the moment they step off the plane.
“New York, no one cares,” he said with a laugh.
The trio would love to do a music video in Sun Valley eventually when they find the right song to do, Kendall said.
“It’s such a gem of a place, we don’t want to ‘waste’ it on just anything,” he said. “We are holding on to that idea for something special.”
Being in Sun Valley also helped them get into the film score industry. When they played for a private audience, a producer saw them and sent a video to actress Robin Wright, who ended up attending another show of theirs in New York and offered them a place on her directorial debut “Land.”
“We were so nervous, but it was an amazing exchange, and as an artist herself she understands us,” Kendall said.
Kendall said that in the classical music world, it can be judgmental and experimentation is hard to accept.
“We have always been an experimental group and not always feeling like we belong,” Kendall said. “After we found out we were nominated for the Grammys, we went in not expecting anything for our sanity. When the name of the album was read, we all exploded with emotion. We are very much looking forward to being back in the beautiful community of Sun Valley and sharing the win.”
For tickets and more about Time for Three, go to theargyros.org. ￼
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.