Julia Wolfe

Dark Full Ride (Movement 1)

Dominic Shodekeh Talifero

Vodalities: Paradigms of Consciousness for the Human Voice (Movements 1 & 2)

Jason Treuting


Pauline Oliveros

Rolling Meditation

Bryce Dessner

Music for Wood and Strings

Event Info

Sō Percussion, Princeton University’s Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence, are joined by guest artist beatboxer/vocal percussionist Shodekeh Talifero for a FREE concert to celebrate the Department of Music's first live concert since the pandemic.


We can't wait to welcome you back to the concert hall safely, working with Princeton University officials to take precautionary measures and develop a continually evolving set of protocols. In accordance with university policy at this time: all concert attendees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to wear a mask whenever indoors. We are unable to allow entry to unvaccinated children.


About the Artist:

With innovative multi-genre original productions, sensational interpretations of modern classics, and an “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), Sō Percussion has redefined the scope and role of the percussion ensemble, placing it at the leading edge of 21st-century music.

Sō’s repertoire ranges from contemporary “classics” by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, et al, to commissioning and advocating works by living composers such as David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Steven Mackey, and Vijay Iyer, to distinctively modern collaborations with arists who work outside the classical concert hall, including Shara Nova, the choreographer Susan Marshall, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, The National, Bryce Dessner, and many others.

Sō has recorded more than 20 albums, including 2021’s Narrow Sea (by Caroline Shaw) with Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish, released by Nonesuch Records; and A Record Of... with Buke & Gase, on Brassland; appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, the Barbican, the Eaux Claires Festival, MassMoCA, and TED 2016; and performed with Dan Trueman, Dan Deacon, Jad Abumrad, JACK Quartet, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, among others.

Rooted in the belief that music is an essential facet of human life, a social bond, and an effective tool in creating agency and citizenship, Sō Percussion enthusiastically pursues a growing range of social and community outreach. Examples include their Brooklyn Bound presentations of emerging artists and composers; commitments to purchasing offsets to compensate for carbon-heavy ac>vi>es such as touring travel; educational programs including the new Collaborative Workshop, and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI), an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for percussionists and composers. Now in its second decade, SōSI features community performances, new work development, guest artist workshops, and an annual food-packing drive, yielding up to 25,000 meals, for the Crisis Center of Mercer County through the organization EndHungerNE.

Sō Percussion – the Edward T. Cone ensemble-in-residence at Princeton University – is Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting.

With 34 years of personal, professional and community-based experience, Dominic “Shodekeh” Talifero continues to make musical strides as a groundbreaking and highly adept Beatboxer, Vocal Percussionist, and Breath Artist who pushes the boundaries of the human voice within and outside the context of Hip Hop music and culture. As the first vocal percussionist to do so, he formally served as a dance technique musician and composer-in-residence for Towson University’s Department of Dance for 12 years. He is also the founding director of Embody, A Festival Series of the Vocal Arts, which strives for artistic and cultural convergence through a variety of vocal art traditions from a multitude of the worlds, such as opera and throat singing to the many forms of vocal percussion which has featured such vocal luminaries as Madison McFerrin, Alash Ensemble, Dan Deacon, Raul Midon, Navasha Daya, and Joyce J. Scott.

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion born within the world of Hip Hop, and easily exists as one the most highly advanced vocal art forms to known within the diversity of the human voice. Imitating and often replacing a drum set, drum machine, or drum loop through a series of vocal effects or percussive sounds primarily produced by the larynx, nasal, and oral cavities, Beatboxing exemplifies the Hip Hop philosophy of creating meaningful artistic expressions with limited resources at its most extreme. It replaces the source of the timeless Break Beat with the human voice, becoming a ubiquitous feature of the American city experience and soundscape.

Shodekeh now serves as Towson University’s very first Innovator-in-Residence anchored by the College of Fine Arts and Communication, allowing him to lecture, collaborate, experiment, and perform within many of the university’s arts and culture related departments.

In previous years, Talifero served as music faculty of the American Dance Festival at Duke University and has served as the chosen musician for a variety of master class experiences led by such luminaries as Ailey II of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Ensemble, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. In his close relationship with the world of dance, he has acquired a wealth of experiences of applying his vocal and rhythmic skills in the movement context of ballet, capoeira, fire movement, belly dancing and a wide range of modern dance techniques pioneered by such legends as Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, and Lester Horton. 

He currently serves as one of the first dance technique musicians of the brand-new Peabody BFA Program of Johns Hopkins University, alongside such master dance technique musicians as pianist Ayal Yariv & dance choreographer & drummer Jabari Exum of Marvel’s Black Panther.

Over the years, Talifero has moved from Beatboxing’s Hip Hop roots to explore innovative and convergent collaborations with a wide range of traditional and classical artists. He serves as the Beatboxer and vocal percussionist for the globally renown Alash, one of the world’s leading Tuvan Throat Singing ensembles, and features on their recent Smithsonian Folkways album release of Achai; has become a recent collaborator with the exquisite Silkroad Ensemble based at Harvard University and founded by legendary cellist Yo Yo Ma; and is serving as the resident Beatboxer and cultural ambassador of the local Baltimore chapter of Classical Revolution, following his U.S. premier performance of Jennah Vanio’s Fujiko’s Fairy Tale with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Shodekeh has also become more immersed in recent years within the realm of Hip Hop-inspired research and Science Communication, which includes creating the math + music notation course Beatbox Algebra, which was designed to counter internalized math anxiety among young students as well as adults. He premiered the course in collaboration with the Homewood Arts Center of Johns Hopkins University.  He has also served as the host and musical collaborator for World Voice Day, presented by the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, and has served as a panelist and musician for The Neuroscience of Art, a week-long conference presented by the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. 

Other collaborations include his compositional and curatorial participation in the One Beat / U.S. State Department Bureau of Education / Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation remixes of NASA’s Voyager Golden Record, For Whom It Stands: The Flag & the American People exhibition hosted by the Reginald F. Lewis Museum & the USA Science & Engineering Festival in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.

Beyond the stage and lights of his work as a performing artist, Talifero also currently serves as an active board member of the Asian Arts and Culture Center, the Baltimore Sister Cities Program of the City of Baltimore’s Office of the Mayor, and the Arthur Friedham Library of the Peabody Conservatory.