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Bear 54


Bear 54 is a city based ensemble devoted to a range of music, from the loosely termed  “New Music” of downtown that spawned Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, and Laurie Andersen, etc., through pop and dance music. In the latter genre, the group tends to focus on work of the late avant guard pioneer Arthur Russell, as well as on our own compositions and occasional selected covers. Our members have worked (on stage and in the studio) with notable groups and individuals, including the Modern Lovers, David Byrne, David Johansen, the Tricia Brown Dance Company, Paul Simon, Joey Ramone, and Allen Ginsberg—just to give a sense of the group’s diverse reach. Our sound is for both listening and dancing.

Bear 54 formed under the energetic dome created by Arthur Russell as all members were his friends and collaborators in the 1980’s in New York.  Founding members include Ernie Brooks on bass and vocals, Peter Zummo on trombone keyboard and vocals, William Ruyle, Larry Saltzman on guitar, and Joyce Bowden on vocals and acoustic guitar with additional input magic from Mustafa Ahmed on percussion, David Van Tiegham on vibes and percussion, Walter Baker on guitar, and Dan Archer on guitar,  and Jerry Harrison on keyboards.