A celebrity in our midst, we were treated at our most recent Open Mic Classical to the exquisite playing of local pianist Jacqueline Schwab. Jacqueline Schwab arranged and performed solo piano Americana music for the soundtracks of Ken Burn's documentaries, among them being Burn's famous documentary "The Civil War," which originally aired in 1990 and has been the most viewed program ever to air on PBS.
Caption: GOING ONE, TWICE, THREE TIMES THE LADIES. Featured performer pianist Jacqueline Schwab applauded the hardworking music-community-building of OMC co-founder Monika Woods. On the mics, OMC co-directors Monika Woods and Ellen Adamson discuss the wonderful OMC auction offerings. (There is still time to email in your bids on, among other things, airfare and private music lessons with Monika, who currently has slots for students. See more info below, and email us back for more info.)
It is not surprising that double-Oscar-winner Ken Burn's would have selected Jacqueline for his soundtrack. For not only is she well versed in Americana (she regularly performs surprisingly rollicking piano grooves for local and non-local contra dancing), she brings precision, soul and a variety of sensibilities to her playing. At OMC, her Ravel and her interpretations of spicy Latin-tinged classical compositions were sublime, delicate, and spot-on.
Caption: CHECK-MATE: On some intense Czechoslovakian Martinu that shook the foundations, virtuoso pianist Ana Glig effortlessly accompanies OMC co-founder Monika Woods, as does flutist LeeAnn McKenna on some sensuous Kummer. Young Zsoka Woods (accompanied by quick-to-adapt and always-with-fantastic-groove Ana Glig) rocks some Suzuki pieces in A, showing us that all ages can help build musical community.
Listening to Jacqueline playing Ravel brings to mind jazz pianist Keith Jarrett recording Bach's Goldberg Variations in 1989. (In addition to esteemed jazz trio recordings, in 1975 Jarrett released a solo piano improv album called "The Köln Concert" which became the best-selling solo album in jazz history, and the all-time best-selling piano album.)
Caption: HARMONIC DRAGONFLIES: Not only does Open Mic Classical spontaneously create new ensembles, it creates spontaneous performances as well. Brenda Meehan Rogers arrived at OMC with flute in hand but with no particular intention of playing a piece. However, when she spied her teacher LeeAnn McKenna, the two decided then and there to treat us to some Devienne, with harmony lines dancing like twin dragonflies through the resonant and wonderful UU church. Dan Powers sang us a lovely recitatitvo and aria from Mendelssohn's Oratoriah Elijah and Jared McMurray radiated the 88 with rollicking Chopin.
Both Jacqueline on Ravel and Keith Jarrett on Bach give us a wonderful new angle into those age-old melodic and harmonic constructions. A . . . . . SHALL WE SAY . . . . . DIALOGUE. And so we thank Jacqueline exuberantly for contributing to the dialogue that is Open Mic Classical here on the cape, where trios form, new quartets perform, interesting short lectures are given (what 5-minute lecture might YOU want to share with us?),
and music . . . EVOLVES.
Caption: NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER'S COPELAND!!!: Only Americana wheat swaying gently in a pastoral major pentatonic breeze? Not by a long shot. OMC newcomer Arthur Dimond (center) reminded us that Copeland sowed many a bi-tonal oat in addition to the "typical" and consonant Copeland that garners camera operators their Oscars.OMC newcomer Dana Franchitto (far left) enhanced musical community with a capital C, C as in Chopin, or maybe that's C as in C minor.And, of course, our radiant new OMC advisory board member and outreach co-ordinator Ellen Adamson! So reach out to her (by responding to this email)!
All in all, our recent Sunday was quite a turnout, one of the biggest crowds to date.So to all: thanks again / please come again / please spread the word from valley to hilltop so our wonderful cape classical community can continue to evolve and intertwine on our roads less traveled.