“These are two remarkable artists whose voices blend seamlessly in a dazzling display
of marimba performance at its highest level.”
— Scott Stevens, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra percussionist
Escape X Percussion Duo was formed by Dr. Annie Stevens (Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech) and Dr. Andrea Venet (Assistant Professor, University of North Florida). Their name originates from their trademark “roadtrip” style performance tours in a Ford Escape with many miles traveled on I-10.
Remaining passionate about exploring all genres and expressing these creatively through the world of percussion, their repertoire includes innovative arrangements and compositions commissioned exclusively by the duo. Through collaboration with composer Eric Guinivan, they are the recipients of a marimba duo commission awarded from the prestigious Fromm Foundation, completed in 2018. Recent commissions include world premieres by Aurél Hollo, Joe Locke and Michael Burritt at PASIC, 2300 Degrees by Ivan Trevino, premiered at Spivey Hall (Atlanta, GA), and the wind ensemble arrangement of Séjourné’s Double Concerto, premiered at VMEA
In addition to regular appearances at percussion festivals across the country, Escape X have been featured artists in Trinidad, at the Barnes Foundation, the Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Seminar, CSU Summer Arts Festival, Heartland Marimba Festival, Rhea Miller Concert series, Musica Viva Concert Series, McCormick Marimba Festival, Interlochen, the International Trombone Festival, VMEA, PMEA, and the Virginia Humanities Conference at Roanoke College.
Their first album, Colours of a Groove, was released in 2014. Their second album, My Favorite Things, is to be released by 2019. Escape X proudly endorses Malletech, DREAM Cymbals, and Remo, and have their own publication series containing several of their commissions through Keyboard Percussion Publications.