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Classical and Pop should be separate, says Bermel

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With talents ranging from a pop singer to a West African xylophone player, it's hard to give just one title to Derek Bermel. Through his many releases, including his most recent 'Canzonas Americanas,' the composer is able to effortlessly float between genres, including funk, classical, jazz, zydeco, and everything in between. His musical prowess stretches to all forms of musicianship, notably his vocal talents and his artistry on the clarinet.

A man of many talents, and no stranger to writing pop music, Bermel still thinks they should be kept separate. "For me, they're two separate things," he says. "Each is a different model of creativity. Pop music is about icons and identification. Classical music is about communicating an experience that can be reflected on. How do they intersect? I don't really know-I don't feel they do intersect."

Regardless of feeling that way, Derek Bermel is still a master at both. His pieces are thoughtful and intricate, without being excessive.