Before the busy season begins, Strings in the Mountains will offer locals a community-orientated concert series.
Tuesdays in the Tent "has been developed for locals," said Betse Grassby, the executive director of Strings. "It gives us a chance to present some up-and-coming artists that may not be appropriate to do later in the series."
The first featured musician is Sean Costello on June 6. "He's an up and coming blues musician who was in Susan Tedeschi's band at 19 years old," Grassby said. He performs Chicago blues with a mixture of funk, soul and rock.
The June program was developed based on the success of the three bluegrass bands that Strings showcased last year, Grassby said. Three new bluegrass groups will perform June 13. This mini bluegrass festival features The Lovell Sisters, Hit and Run Bluegrass and Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem.
The Lovell Sisters began taking classical violin and piano lessons at age 5. The sisters -- now 15, 16 and 19 years old -- were known for their blend of folk, country and contemporary acoustic music. Two years ago, they strayed from their classical roots to start playing bluegrass and now bring a variety of influences to the bluegrass music scene.
Hit and Run Bluegrass formed in 2002 to play a modern-authentic blend of bluegrass. Within a few months of playing together, the band won the 2002 Rockygrass band competition in Lyons. Less than a year later, the band won the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band contest.
Daisy Mayhem is made up of four musicians who play a mixture of vintage swing, country blues and Appalachian folk songs. The band members use unconventional instruments such as a cardboard box with a suitcase bass drum and tin can cymbals. The Boston Globe describes their sound as "neo old-timey with cosmopolitan splashes of contemporary pop and jazz."
Chris Daniels and the Kings play in the tent June 20. The evening includes a community dance with a concert led by this seven piece horn band that plays funk, R&B, "jump blues" and rock 'n' roll. They are in their 21st year of playing together and have toured two continents.
Quartetto Gelato is playing June 27. The four members of the band retired from their full-time musical jobs at the Toronto Symphony, Miss Saigon and the Phantom of the Opera to form this quartet. Their band name translates to the "ice cream quarter" gelato represents their fun, flavorful side, and quartetto explains their classical side. They play operatic arias, classical masterworks, gypsy and folk songs and tangos.
¤ "Tuesdays in the Tent" series
¤ June 6, 13, 20, 27
¤ Strings in the Mountains Tent
¤ Cost varies, tickets go on sale May 8