Rebecca Kite is an internationally recognized marimba soloist, author, and teacher. In her musical career of more than 40 years, she has been a featured performer in concert, concerto performances, recitals, master classes, residencies, and clinics in venues throughout the United States, Europe, Central America, South America, and Japan.
Her debut solo marimba album, Across Time (released in 1993), received high praise, especially for her recording of the "Chaconne in d minor" by J.S. Bach. Reviewed in Fanfare Magazine, Kite was described as "a fine performer with an impressive technique and the ability to exploit all of the nuances of the marimba." Her second album, Prism (released in 1996) quickly became one of the most popular recordings of solo marimba music, selling thousands of copies. Both recordings are now distributed world-wide both in hard copy and digital downloads.
Highly respected as a musical mentor and teacher, Kite has been Artist in Residence at SUNY Fredonia (spring semester 2016) and the University of Miami (fall semester 1999). She has held a number of university teaching positions, including the University of Maryland at College Park, University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota), and the University of Minnesota, in addition to teaching in her private studio.
As an author, she devoted six years to researching and writing the biography Keiko Abe: A Virtuosic Life - Her Musical Career and the Evolution of the Concert Marimba (undertaken with Abe's permission and assistance). It was published and distributed internationally in 2007 and is available in Japanese (translated and published in Japan by Yamaha Media in 2011) and Spanish (translated and published in Mexico by the Chiapas University Press in 2015).
Other publications include numerous articles in Percussive Notes (a publication of the Percussive Arts Society), a reading method book – Reading Mallet Percussion Music, and the Anthology of Lute and Guitar Music for Marimba. All books are distributed world-wide by Alfred Music.
In addition to her primary artistic focus as a marimbist, Kite's timpani and percussion performance career includes positions with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and the Plymouth Music Series Orchestra in Minnesota. She was timpanist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Symphony of Nicaragua.
Kite pursues her interest in contemporary music by commissioning and premiering works for solo marimba. She is working on an extended collaboration with jazz composer Joan Griffith (the two works produced thus far are Baiao and Jazz Suite for Marimba). Other commissioning projects include collaborations with Bruce Hamilton (funded by an American Composers Forum Grant), resulting in the composition, Recurrences; with Nebjosha Zivcovic, resulting in Ilijash; and with Evan Hause, resulting in the six-mallet work, Circe.
Rebecca has been playing the Yamaha YM-6000A marimba exclusively, since 1985. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia.