Menu

Music

Singers link Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday in Strathmore concert

Catherine Russell 16 Print 1 copyCatherine Russell, jazz singer to perform with John Pizzarelli. COURTESY PHOTOFor Grammy Award-nominated jazz singer Catherine Russell, juxtaposing the music of Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday in her upcoming Strathmore concert was a given, as was performing with jazz guitarist and bandleader and vocalist John Pizzarelli.

It is to Pizzarelli who Russell attributes the idea of blending those world-class vocalists in one program. 

 “It's a natural fit since Sinatra was a great admirer of Billie Holiday and her unique singing style,” said Russell. “Both singers came up working as vocalists during the Swing Era, with big bands, before leading their own groups.”

Read more...

Local student enters national voice competition

amandagallerymain RRAcademy of the Holy Cross senior and aspiring opera singer Amanda Primosch will compete in January at the 37th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami. COURTESY PHOTOBETHESDA — A Montgomery County student is one of 21 finalists who will perform in a national art competition next month. 

Amanda Primosch, an aspiring opera singer and senior at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, will compete at the 37th annual National YoungArts Week, held in Miami Jan. 7 through Jan. 14. The competition is put on by the National YoungArts Foundation, which presents awards to high school students around the country in a variety of creative and performing arts disciplines. 

“I actually used to be terrified to sing in front of other people,” said Primosch, who serves as president of AHC's Madrigal Singers, as she explained how her sister – who is four years older– was the reason she got into singing.

Read more...

Local singer-songwriter releases debut of ‘Prototype’ in Takoma Park show

Ronnita Freeman Photo by Sam PascalRonnita Freeman performing at the Electric Maid in Takoma Park. COURTESY PHOTO BY SAM PASCALTAKOMA PARK — Singer-songwriter Ronnita Freeman’s set at the Electric Maid in Takoma Park last Friday started out with only two things; her voice and her guitar. Her minimalist approach soon transformed into a bombastic display of energy with her and her three-piece backing band, creating tremendous musical peaks and valleys.

The performance marked two firsts for Freeman: the debut of her first record “Prototype,” and her first performance with her backing band. Her songwriting on the five-track extended play CD features R&B tinged confessionals, sounding like a blend of Frank Ocean and Fleetwood Mac. 

“I finished the songs a year ago. The theme is of things I needed to say that were overdue,” said Freeman. “Songwriting got me reflecting on my relationships and other people’s stories.”

Read more...

Renowned pianist Andre Watts to perform with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Andre Watts credit Steve J. Sherman copyAndre Watts performs with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Music Center at Strathmore and Meyerhoff Hall in Baltimore. COURTESY PHOTO BY STEVE J. SHERMAN  The beginning of pianist Andre Watts’s career was like a sunburst, introduced as a teenager onto the national stage to play with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.

Now, with a music career that has spanned more than 50 years, Watts is returning to an orchestra with whom he has played many times – the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Music Center at Strathmore as well as Meyerhoff  Hall in Baltimore on the weekend of Nov. 17 through Nov. 19.

“Mr. Watts has had a long and very popular association with the BSO, having first performed with the orchestra in 1973,” said Miryam Yardumian, interim artistic administrator. “He has appeared with the BSO a dozen times since.”

Read more...

Strathmore concert highlights diversity in Jewish music

Yasmin Levy 3 1 copyLadino singer Yasmin Levy collaborates with Klezmatics at Strathmore.   COURTESY PHOTO  The concert series currently playing out at the Music Center of Strathmore is celebrating global music and divergent cultures.

“The thematic thread through Strathmore’s 2017-2018 season is ‘Windows,’ concerts in which international artists share the sonic riches of their heritage and homeland,” said Joi Brown, vice president of programming. “This is our effort to showcase music that reflects different perspectives, places, cultures, and eras.”

However, the Nov. 7 concert highlights the musical diversity within one culture alone.

It pairs Israeli singer Yasmin Levy, who performs primarily in Ladino – Judeo-Spanish language – with the Klezmatics, an ensemble that sings classical klezmer music from Eastern Europe.

“I started to sing songs in Ladino, then modern, Spanish and flamenco and moved to Turkish and Persian songs and Brazilian tango,” said the Jerusalem-born Levy.

Read more...

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conquers MoCo

P4010213 copy Baltimore SymphonyMarin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. COURTESY PHOTO  The story of Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” has had a lasting cultural impact.

Many literary critics and authors consider the classic book by the 17th-century Spanish writer to be the first modern novel, with an immense influence on language that continues to the present day. Consider the expression “tilting at windmills” or the word “quixotic.”

“Don Quixote” and Cervantes’s dramatic life also have inspired other works in many artistic genres – including short stories, novels, ballets, operas, classical music pieces, plays, films, and of course, the hit Broadway musical “Man of La Mancha.”

Among the classical music pieces that have drawn inspiration from “Don Quixote” is the eponymous tone poem by Richard Strauss for cello, viola, and orchestra, which will be part of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s program for their Oct. 21 concert at the Music Center at Strathmore.

Read more...

Multicultural music at Strathmore

Tararam copyTaharam group opens the Washington Jewish Music Festival. COURTESY PHOTO  When cultural organizations interact, they enrich the community.

AFI Silver Theatre, AMP Powered by Strathmore, the Music Center at Strathmore, and Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center – all Montgomery County arts groups – are serving as sites for the 11-day-long Washington Jewish Music Festival.

The Festival, the flagship of the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington D.C.’s year-round music program, starts formally on Nov. 2 with a group called Taharam, considered “Israel’s Stomp.” It continues through Nov. 12 with the silent film version of “Humoresque” and a performance by Nomadica, which performs music of Arabs, Roma, and Jews.

“The 19th Washington Jewish Music Festival’s lineup is a very exciting alchemy – it brings together some of the most prestigious, original and boundary-pushing artists from around the world working in the Jewish space, and encourages them to experiment in the nation’s capital,” said Festival Director Ilya Tovbis. “Additionally, we’re doubling down on highlighting and elevating the work and artistry of local D.C. musicians whose output spans hip-hop, klezmer, bossa nova, and cantorial repertoires.”

Read more...

Two local tribute bands explore classic rock

Quads Sabbath banner 1 1Two local musical groups are celebrating classic rock music with their tribute to some of the heavy hitters of the past.

Celebrating  50 years of The Who , The Quadropheniacs channel their inner Keith Moon and celebrating 45 years of Black Sabbath the Disciples of Sabbath are biting the heads of the bats and channeling their inner Ozzy.

Read more...