Debra Ayers and Sarita Uranovsky (left and right center), of Boston's Montage Music Society, join clarinetist Molly Walker to perform in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday in a concert presented by Colorado Mountain College. The program includes classical works influenced by jazz and tango music. (Montage players Marc Moskovitz and Bruce Creditor, also pictured, are not performing).
- Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
- United Methodist Church, Eighth and Oak streets, Steamboat Springs
/ $5 - $15
Debra Ayers is looking forward to a chance for three classical musicians to loosen up.
In a concert titled "Jazz, Tango & Amore," pianist Ayers joins fellow Montage Music Society members Sarita Uranovsky on violin and Molly Walker on clarinet for a program of classical music that's been influenced by dance numbers and love.
"We always try to put some sort of theme into the program, and this time I thought it would be fun to combine music influenced by jazz and tango," Ayers said. "And the amore - there's always a little bit of love mixed into all of that."
The concert, presented by Colorado Mountain College's Center for Excellence in the Arts, is the last in the 2008-09 Jim Calaway Honors Series. Opera singer Keith Miller performed for the concert series in December and the Paonia-based band Sweet Sunny South played old-time bluegrass music in January. "Jazz, Tango & Amore" is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at United Methodist Church.
The program includes a trio of preludes by George Gershwin, a tango by jazz pianist Fred Hersch, a frantic trio by cafe composer Paul Schoenfield - whose music Ayers describes as "just certifiably crazy" - and an excerpt from Igor Stravinsky's "L'histoire de Soldat." Each piece on the program includes some jazz or dance influence, Ayers said.
"I happen to love that type of music myself, and it's evident that a lot of classical composers and musicians share an interest and love of that type of music," she said. "There's a wonderful freedom in playing it."
The program also features a piece by composer Andrew List commissioned for the Montage Music Society and based on a famous painting by Paul Gauguin. An image of that painting, "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" will be projected over the trio while it plays the piece.
"We all do that when we go to movie theaters and see a film, and we rarely separate the music from the visual. In this case, we're bringing the visual into the concert hall," Ayers said. That part of the program is where the "amore" component of its billing comes in, she said.
"The composer was very clear that in today's crazy world, with everything that is happening, the most important thing for all of us to remember is to love each other. And that's a very important theme in this piece," Ayers said.
The Boston-based Montage Music Society focuses on classical repertoire and contemporary pieces, and it includes five freelance musicians; Ayers and Uranovsky are permanent members, and Walker occasionally sits in on clarinet.