Wednesday, June 21, 2006

American Dance Festival: The Musicians' Concert

Tonight my wife and I attended a lovely somewhat informal concert put on by the musicians of the six-week Dance Festival school. It was introduced by the Director of the ADF Musicians, my friend Natalie Gilbert. I enjoyed the many pieces that were played, which were:

  • Gift, Jim Roberts: he used interesting percussion and song in a story-telling mode
  • Resonance, Natalie Gilbert: a beautiful piano solo
  • Sans Souci, Dave Willey: a fun accordian piece
  • Fury's Lullaby, Claudia Howard Queen: Claudia told an engaging story of her as a starving Chicago artist who, she modestly claimed, didn't know much about the piano, but who suddenly got a break playing piano to accompany dancers in an opera school. This beautiful piano solo was inspired by the woman who gave her that break, whose first name was Fury.
  • Off the Top of Our Heads, Michael Wall (piano), John Hanks (drums), Ken Ray Wilemon (percussion): a lively experimental jazz number
  • Blackbird, Jeffrey Dalby (piano), Ken Ray Wilemon (percussion): a nice instrumental rendition of the famous Paul McCartney song
  • La Jengla, Vladimir Espinosa: good Cuban drumming
  • Doundounba in the key of 'D' major, arranged and directed by Khalid Saleem: there was a powerhouse of perhaps ten Afro-cuban drummers on stage - how did all the dance students stay in their seats?! I like the quote referenced in the program here - "The Bend in the Road is not the end of the Road unless you fail to make the turn."
  • John and Jefferson Rock Out!, Jefferson Dalby (keyboard), John Hanks (drums), Willie Painter (guitar), and Craig Dittmar (bass): great 70s and late 60s pop music that got all of us, including my wife and me, up and dancing!!

By the way, I discovered that the local Raleigh News & Observer newspaper has a blog about the festival.


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