The groundbreaking, category-shattering trio Time for Three transcends traditional classification, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. The members -- Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violin; Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass -- carry a passion for improvisation, composing and arranging, all prime elements of the ensemble's playing.
What started as a trio of musicians who played together for fun while students at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute for Music evolved into Time for Three, or Tf3 for short -- a charismatic ensemble with a reputation for limitless enthusiasm and no musical boundaries. Violinists Zachary De Pue and Nicolas Kendall first discovered their mutual love of fiddling in the country western and bluegrass styles. Bassist Ranaan Meyer then introduced them to his deep roots in jazz and improvisation. After considerable experimentation, the three officially formed Tf3. The ensemble gained instant attention in July 2003 during a lightning-induced power failure at Philadelphia's Mann Music Center. While technicians attempted to restore onstage lighting, Ranaan and Zach, who were both performing with The Philadelphia Orchestra, obliged with an impromptu jam session that included works as far afield from the originally scheduled symphony as "Jerusalem's Ridge," "Ragtime Annie," and "The Orange Blossom Special." The crowd went wild.
To date, the group has performed hundreds of engagements as diverse as its music: from featured guest soloists with The Philadelphia Orchestra to opening for k.d. lang.
Tf3 sets itself apart not only with its varied repertoire performed with astonishing technical acuity, but also through its approach. Its high-energy performances are free of conventional practices, drawing instead from the members' differing musical backgrounds. The trio also performs its own arrangements of traditional repertoire and Ranaan Meyer provides original compositions to complement the trio's offerings.
Tf3 has performed on many of the nation's impressive stages, including the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Joe's Pub in New York. They have performed their own original works with over 60 orchestras. The group recorded the soundtrack to the History Channel's production, The Spanish-American War, and in January, 2010, on the E1 Music (formerly Koch) label, will release its third CD, 3 Fervent Travelers. Their first recording, titled Time for Three, was released in October 2002, followed by a second CD released in January 2006, We just burned this for you! In addition, Time for Three has made a selection of its music available for digital download.
The ensemble has begun a major commissioning program to expand its unique repertoire for both symphony orchestras and concert series. One of these projects has involved a new work written by celebrated composer Jennifer Higdon, premiered in six performances by Tf3 with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach in January 2008. Future commissions will include works by Chris Brubeck and William Bolcom. www.tf3.com