Weiss Guy was written by Tony Miceli and James Armstrong in tribute to Steve Weiss, founder of Steve Weiss Music — the largest percussion retailer in the US, who tragically passed in 2014. Miceli writes of Weiss:
…as I was writing Weiss Guy and messing around with minimalism in my own way, Steve died. I thought about how simple and basic this guy was. He had the biggest percussion store in the world… Despite that, he seemed to be a bare-bones, hippie-lifestyle kind of guy. At that point, I kept thinking of Steve as I wrote the piece and it became his.
Scored for 12 players, Weiss Guy is a mixed percussion ensemble piece that infuses minimalism with jazz quartal harmonies and plenty of room for improvisation, anchored by Armstrong’s Afro-Cuban drums and percussion accompaniment. A tribute fitting of the man whose name the piece bears.