Moab, Utah — Musical traditions blend in joyful fusion during the opening weekend of the 18th Moab Music Festival in a pair of concerts at Red Cliffs Lodge under the Festival tent. Saturday September 4th marks the return of Moab favorite Paquito D’Rivera in a genre-bending gem of a program featuring the Western US premiere of the chamber version of his jazz concerto for clarinet/alto sax and double bass, Conversations with Cachao—an homage to the “inventor of the Mambo,” Israel Cachao Lopez, for whom the piece was written and who performed the concerto with Paquito at its premiere at the Caramoor Music Festival in 2007. This sunset program, sponsored by Zions Bank, on the banks of the shimmering Colorado River also includes Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue & Riffs and Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird, with Robert Black, double bass, Synchronicity—Garah Landes, piano and Gregory Landes, percussion—joining composer D’Rivera on clarinet and saxophone in a classy, jazzy mashup that brings traditions of three continents together.
Sunday September 5th Red Cliff hosts diamond-bright ETHEL, New York’s ebullient quartet comprised of Juilliard-trained performers Cornelius Dufallo, violin, Ralph Farris, viola, Dorothy Lawson, cello, and Mary Rowell, violin. This musically omnivorous foursome has been described as “the fiercest string quartet this side of hell,” and “the most bad-ass quartet around,” and will wow one and all with its thrilling playing, boldly infusing contemporary concert music with fierce intensity, questioning the boundaries between performer and audience, tradition and technology
Sandwiching this glittering pair of concerts is—
—The Festival Opening Night concert on Friday, September 3rd at historic Star Hall featuring two former Festival Composers-in-Residence; Lou Harrison and John Musto, appearing at the Festival this summer. Harrison’s Varied Trio from 1986 is an elegant modern take chamber music for violin, piano and percussion. The five-movement work combines both a European traditional poise with exhilarating Asian-inspired effects. Musto performs with soprano Amy Burton, a selection of his songs in an evening launching the Festival’s Masterpieces in the Red Rocks retrospective of past composers-in-residence. Schumann’s Piano Trio in d minor, Op.63 and Bach’s Concerto for two Keyboards in C Major, BWV 1061 round out the evening, which is sponsored by Eastern Utah Community Credit Union. Artists for the evening are Amy Burton, soprano Michael Barrett, Garah Landes, John Musto, Eric Zivian, piano Cornelius Dufallo, Ayano Ninomiya, Axel Strauss, violinKenji Bunch, Leslie Tomkins, viola, Dorothy Lawson, Tanya Tomkins, cello Gregory Landes, percussion
—On Saturday morning the 4th at Star Hall, 11AM, a conversation with the artists moderated by Festival Music Director Michael Barrett following an open rehearsal for upcoming performances. Questions from the audience are encouraged and welcome.
—On Sunday morning September 5th at 9 AM is a Classical Music Walk, a unique and now sought-after music-in- concert-with-the-landscape experience, offering unparalleled musical intimacy and engagement. Patrons will be shuttled to a “secret location” for a hike to a natural concert hall where world-class violists Festival artistic Director Leslie Tomkins and Kenji Bunch will play Bunch’s 3 American Folk Hymns for 2 violas and Daugherty’s Viola Zombie for 2 violas. The hike is of about 30 minute’s duration and requires a moderate level of agility and comfort with uneven footing.
All concerts are supported in part by a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces – Chamber Music grant.
Spend Labor Day, Monday, September 6, shaded by old cottonwood trees in Old City Park at 2 PM for a free concert. Bring a picnic and settle in for an afternoon of songs from the American Songbook, fun with Paul Woodiel and Christopher Layer, Paquito D’Rivera, Ethel and more. The afternoon is made possible through the generosity of Rocky Mountain Power.
For more information about the Festival or to purchase tickets for the 18th Moab Music Festival, please visit www.moabmusicfest.org or telephone the Box Office at (435) 259-7003. You may also visit the Festival Office at 58 East 300 South, Moab, UT 84532.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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