The New York Times calls red fish blue fish a "dynamic percussion ensemble from the University of California." Founded 20 years ago by Steven Schick, the San Diego-based ensemble performs, records, and premieres works from the last 85 years of western percussion's rich history. The group works regularly with living composers from every continent. Recent projects include the world premiere of Roger Reynolds' Sanctuary and the American premiere of James Dillon's epic Nine Rivers cycle with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). In the Summer of 2011 red fish blue fish collaborated with George Crumb, Dawn Upshaw and Peter Sellars to premiere the staged version of The Winds of Destiny. Eighth Blackbird invited red fish blue fish to join them in performances of works by American icons John Cage and Steve Reich at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The New York Times called their "riveting" John Cage performance the "highlight" of the program. Recordings of the percussion chamber music of Iannis Xenakis and Roger Reynolds on Mode Records have been praised by critics around the world. Recordings released in the 2012-13 season included the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi and rare works of Iannis Xenakis.
In 2012 red fish blue fish presented four concerts of percussion music alongside Percussion Group Cincinnati at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington, D.C., where they performed highlights from Cage's collection of percussion works.
RFBF has had a huge impact on new music percussion performances, recordings and education. Successful RFBF/UC San Diego Department of Music alums include Ross Karre, now with ICE; Aiyun Huang, who heads the percussion department at McGill University; Morris Palter, an assistant professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he is also the artistic director of the 64.8 percussion group; and Justin DeHart, who is a member of the Chapman University faculty and of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.