throw down or shut up
Patrick Sutton, guitar; Daphne Leong, piano; Michael Tetreault, percussion; John Gunther, saxophones and flute

Bios:  John Gunther   Patrick Sutton   Michael Tetreault   Daphne Leong

The quartet, characterized by a spirit of musical adventure, plays a diverse repertoire sassy and serious, experimental and canonical, challenging and comfortable. Our mission is to bring new music to audiences of all kinds, in venues of all kinds. We present music in traditional and non-traditional settings, including teaching and interaction; we have played in concert halls, jazz clubs, and created interactive concerts for children. We are named after our first collaboration, on Vineet Shende’s piece Throw Down or Shut Up!, fittingly inspired by the music of Olivier Messiaen and James Brown.

Current concerts

"Patterns at Play"
College of Music Faculty Tuesday Series.
Tuesday October 13, 2015, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Hall, University of Colorado Boulder
Don't like new music? Love new music? Join us for an interactive exploration of adventurous, imaginative, and fun pieces by Reich, Muhly, Shende, Stravinsky, Ewen, and Gunther. inspiration for these pieces ranged from Mario Brothers to hero's legends to cake baking to the tango. You'll hear the world premiere of Ewen's "Cake of 1000 Waterfalls," written for us. Be ready to be involved...

"Imaginary Realms"
The Dairy Center Soundscape Series
Wednesday April 13, 2 p.m., the Dairy Center, Boulder
Let us take you on a journey of the imagination—through Chick Corea’s "Children’s Songs," Hunter Ewen’s larger-than-life "Cake of a Thousand Waterfalls," Vineet Shende’s funky "Throw Down or Shut Up!," Stravinsky’s earthy Tango, and the sweet and scary "Wild Things" of Maurice Sendak and John Gunther. 


John Gunther is a composer and multi-instrumentalist playing Saxophones, Clarinet, and Flute. With a restless musical spirit, he enjoys exploring all forms of jazz from traditional to avant-garde as well as classical music, world music and experimental electronic music. He has performed or recorded with many notable jazz artists including Dave Douglas, Ron Miles, Christian McBride, Bobby Watson, Wallace Roney, Larry Goldings,Tom Harrel, Dewey Redman, Joe Williams, The Woody Herman Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and The Maria Schneider Orchestra.

As part of New York city's "downtown" music scene for many years, he produced five recordings for Creative Improvised Music Projects (CIMP) and is co-founder of the contemporary jazz ensembles, "Spooky Actions" and "Convergence." John is Associate Professor and Director of the Thompson Jazz Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received a Ph.D. from New York University where his research examined incorporating techniques of serial music with improvisation. In 2007 he was awarded an "Innovative Seed Grant" to create the Boulder Laptop Orchestra [BLOrk] and to further explore the intersection of music, performance, art, and technology. His work with BLOrk has led to further collaboration with the STEM program at CU exploring informal science education through the arts. His most recent recording, "Safari Trio" with Brad Shepik and John Hadfield, can be found on the Dazzle Jazz Record Label and his website.

Patrick Sutton is quickly gaining a reputation for his virtuosity and artistic sensitivity. Recent highlights include engagements with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Boulder Symphony and the Lakewood Symphony as well a month-long concert tour of South Africa with flutist Cobus du Toit. Chamber music is Patrick's favorite expressive outlet.  He has received chamber music instruction from some of today’s most important composers for the guitar, including Robert Beaser, Gilbert Biberian and Stephen Goss. His collaboration with cellist Kimberly Patterson has led to recitals and lectures across the country as well as a guest-artist residency at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. The Patterson/Sutton Duo’s debut album, Cold Dark Matter: Music for Cello and Guitar (MSR classics) was released in 2013 to critical acclaim.

After studying with Ricardo Iznaola at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, Patrick earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado under the tutelage of Jonathan Leathwood. He is currently on the music faculty at Community College of Denver and Naropa University.

Michael Tetreault holds a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and a Master of Music Degree from the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK. He holds positions as Principal Timpanist of the Central City Opera, Fort Collins Symphony and Percussionist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Boulder Philharmonic. He is also on the percussion faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder. Michael has performed domestically and abroad with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Colorado Symphony, Colorado Ballet, Orchestre de Paris, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), Ulster Orchestra (Belfast), and the Halle Orchestra (Manchester). As a chamber musician he has collaborated with Quattro Mani, Alarm Will Sound, and Ann Murray. He has performed at festivals in England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Germany, and France and has recorded extensively for Albany Records, Warner Bros. Records, Bridge Records, Sony Classical, RTE Radio/TV and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

In recent years Daphne Leong has performed in the United States, Canada, England, Romania, and Hong Kong.  Her repertoire ranges from Bach to premieres of current music; her principal teachers were David Burge, Douglas Humpherys, and Robin Harrison.  As well as appearing as pianist and chamber musician, Daphne is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her publications, on topics including analysis and performance, rhythmic theory, and the music of 20th-century composers such as Ravel, Bartók, Babbitt, and Nancarrow appear in Journal of Music Theory, Perspectives of New Music, Music Theory Online, Theory and Practice, Intégral, Gamut, and Acta Musicologica, as well as in edited collections. She was recently elected Vice-President of the national Society for Music Theory. Daphne has received numerous accolades for her teaching, including the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award of the University of Colorado Boulder Faculty Assembly. She holds a Ph.D. (music theory), M.Mus. (piano performance), and M.A. (music theory) from the Eastman School of Music.