VerRona Grandil (Courtesy of ACTO)
It’s not often that Cottonwood has the privilege of hosting internationally renowned artists and a world premiere concert, but April brings just that.
Discover below the remarkable group of solo artists who, under the direction of world-renowned guitarist William Eaton, will collaborate on the Wisdom Tree Ensemble’s worldwide concert. Later this month, World Class Japanese Taiko Drummers will take the stage in honor of world peace. All of this will happen in April at the Old Town Center for the Arts.
Tree of Wisdom Set
Saturday April 23, 7 p.m.
The Wisdom Tree Ensemble will make their world premiere appearance at the Old Town Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. The concert will be dedicated to global and local environmental initiatives in honor of Earth Day, and locally to celebrate the Verde Valley Birdwatching and Nature Festival.
The Wisdom Tree Ensemble includes harp guitarist William Eaton, violinists Allen Ames and Carrie Caruso, violist VerRona Grandil, cellist Melanie Yarger, double bassist Felix Sainz Jr. and flautist Claudia Tulip.
The seven musicians are soloists in their own right, have performed with many diverse musical groups across Arizona, and come together to express their collective and shared experience in human emotion and nature-inspired music. The concert will include written and improvised pieces drawing from the depths of classical, folk, rock, jazz and world music.
Together, the ensemble has amassed over 280 years of experience playing musical instruments made from trees around the world, which still record over 2,000 more years of growth and ‘aging’ experience. .
William Eaton, who has been building stringed instruments for over 50 years, said: “Our instruments put us in close contact with the forests of the world. We now know that trees have been communicating with each other for millions of years through extensive underground mycorrhizal networks. Listening to nature and communicating through music further extends our search for meaning and our desire to share inspirations and ideas.
Where else could you find performance on one-of-a-kind exotic and traditional stringed instruments and silver and ethnic flutes? Music has the power to evoke feelings and emotions that take us to new heights. Come enjoy an evening with the Wisdom Tree Ensemble, bringing a new world chamber fusion sound to the Old Town Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m.
Ken Koshio and Kenzoo
Taiko drum concert
Drum for world peace
Saturday April 30, 7 p.m.
Ken Koshio is a world class Japanese taiko drummer. Taiko is a Japanese style of percussion, which combines music, movement and spirit. Ken pushes the boundaries of Taiko through various collaborations, creating a totally authentic and unique style of Taiko music and performance art.
Koshio was born in Japan and has traveled the world as a street musician and singer. Currently based in Phoenix, he creates fusion music with Native American artists and has produced a Japanese folk tale musical story: “Sakura no Ne”, a collaborative project with the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. In addition to his role as a musician, he also acts as an ambassador for Japan, linking his cultural roots to the rest of the world. Since moving to the Southwest, Ken has worked with Native American artists to find common ground and collaboration with their dance, music, drumming and singing. He toured Japan with several Native American artists to create new exchanges in the era of globalization, recognizing that music and art are one of the great tools of communication between peoples and cultures.
Mark your calendars for these special events and stay tuned for more events at the Old Town Center for the Arts coming this spring.
Tickets are available online at www.showtix4u.com or at Cottonwood at Mysterium and in Sedona you can find tickets at the Mary D. Fisher Theater. For ticket prices and more information on these and other upcoming events, visit www.oldtowncenter.org, or call Elena Bullard at 928-634-0940.