Bargain Fun

Celebrating 30 years, community concerts are economical entertainment

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Courtesy photo

Pavlo is a dynamic composer, guitarist and singer and has created a unique style best described as “Mediterranean music.” He mixes the sounds of Greek Bouzouki with Flamenco and Latin influences, which has proven a winning combination.

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Photo courtesy of TCCA

As Pianafiddle, pianist Lynn Wright and violinist/fiddler Adam DeGraff improvise as they go, blending the traditional, the unwritten and the spontaneous in compelling performances that get toes tapping and hands clapping.

It is not too late to get one of the best entertainment bargains around. There are still tickets available for the 30th anniversary season of the Tonto Community Concert Association.

The season has seven concerts remaining, with the next at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20 at the Payson High School Auditorium. For only $80, you can enjoy some of the finest entertainment offered in the state today.

The next concert features harpist Bronn Journey and vocalist Katherine Journey.

The Journeys are highly trained, classically educated musicians. Bronn’s effortless technique and humorous approach continue to make him a favorite with classical concertgoers, while Katherine’s alluring, expressive vocal interpretations keep the crowds coming back.

When first introduced to the idea of a harp and voice concert, many audiences may respond by asking, “The harp? Isn’t that what cherubs play?” The answer in Bronn’s case is, “Perhaps! But do cherubs play everything from classics to folk to Broadway?” Even though he’s not a cherub, Bronn delivers a widely varied repertoire, while Katherine joins him in glorious song.

Bronn holds a degree in harp performance from the University of Washington in Seattle. Katherine holds an undergraduate degree in music education from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa and a master’s degree in vocal performance from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

The Journeys’ musical accomplishments are well known and appreciated both locally in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide. Their 2006-2007 touring season logged 35,000 miles on their “harpmobile” and took them through 44 of the 48 contiguous states. Appreciative audiences throughout the country enthusiastically applauded their performances, and standing ovations were the rule rather than the exception!

As a complimentary service to the youth of the community, the TCCA will also sponsor a special “Student Outreach Program” performance by the Journeys just for elementary students.

This service to the community’s schools is a keystone of the association’s long-running program. This year, four of the eight programs it is sponsoring feature special events for students.

The first group performing for the 2008-2009 season, The Side Street Strutters, gave a program in the schools during their Sept. 16 visit to the community. The Journeys will perform in the schools during the day, Monday, Oct. 20. Also presenting school programs will be the duo Pianafiddle on Nov. 20 and the group Woods Tea Company on Feb. 12.

Pianafiddle will present its public concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, and Woods Tea Company performs in concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12.

The other concerts planned for the 2008-2009 season include performances by Pavlo, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 14; The Duttons, 7 p.m., Monday, March 2; American Jukebox, 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 22; and Corky Siegel, 7 p.m., Saturday, May 10.

“We look for artists who are not just exceptional musicians, but also those who draw the audience into the performance,” said TCCA president Marilyn Wolfe. “Many of the performers are also pleased to interact with attendees after the show, answering questions and signing autographs,” she added.

About the artists

PIANAFIDDLE

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, 7 p.m.

Bluegrass, jazz, classical, old time, ragtime, blues, Celtic or klezmer — Pianafiddle does it all. Pianist Lynn Wright and violinist/fiddler Adam DeGraff improvise as they go, blending the traditional, the unwritten and the spontaneous in compelling performances that get toes tapping and hands clapping. Adam and Lynn love performing, improvising and playing off one another, and ultimately agree that musical boundaries are meant to be crossed. Pianafiddle continues to engross its fans with spontaneous musical creations that unfold on stage.

PAVLO

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, 7 p.m.

Pavlo is a dynamic composer, guitarist and singer and has created a unique style best described as “Mediterranean music.” He mixes the sounds of Greek Bouzouki with Flamenco and Latin influences, which has proven a winning combination. With six acclaimed albums and the Juno award for “2004 World Artist of the Year,” Pavlo continues to grow in demand. He is fast blazing a path toward international superstardom.

WOOD’S TEA COMPANY

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009, 7 p.m.

Wood’s Tea Company is a musical group that defies categorization. They perform bluegrass, Celtic tunes, sea chants and folk songs with equal ease and skill. The group draws on a wide variety of musical experience and expression. They employ as many as a dozen different instruments from banjos, bouzoukis and bodhrans, guitars, ukulele and hammered dulcimer. The Vermont-based group tours the country offering a mixture of lively and dry New England humor. The award-winning band has been featured at Lincoln Center, the Chautauqua Institute, National Public Radio and many public television stations throughout the U.S.A.

THE DUTTONS

Monday, March 2, 2009, 7 p.m.

Featuring a wide array of musical genres, the Dutton family combines beautiful vocal harmony, instrumental virtuosity and high-energy dancing and heart-warming comedy that will keep everyone entertained and will leave all who watch with a smile. The variety and versatility are astounding. Throughout the show, each Dutton plays at least six different instruments and each song features something uniquely different. This talented group has their own theater in Branson, Mo., and is known as Branson’s most versatile group. In addition, the Duttons have toured the world over and hosted their own PBS special.

AMERICAN JUKEBOX

Sunday, March 22, 2009, 2:30 p.m.

Celebrate the very best of America’s Top Pop music with Matt Davenport Productions’ acclaimed show, American Jukebox. The live 6-piece band rocks the house in ’50s, Motown, Disco, Country and Blues styles, as a cast of six incredible singers/dancers make the enormous center-stage jukebox come alive with lights and sound. American Jukebox is a vigorous trip down America’s favorite musical lanes. A condensed version of this show dazzled audiences for 10 years at premiere entertainment park, Bush Gardens Williamsburg, and was awarded its “Best Show.”

CORKY SIEGEL’S CHAMBER BLUES

Sunday, May 10, 2009, 2:30 p.m.

Corky Siegel has earned an international reputation as one of the world’s great blues harmonica masters. He is a composer, blues pianist and singer/songwriter. Siegel is pioneering a new genre, coined Chamber Blues, an innovative sound that blends sparkling classical music with melodic and emotional blues in an intimate setting. Under Siegel’s direction, the West End String Quartet and percussionist Frank Donaldson complete the Chamber Blues Band. Their concerts are remarkable, hot, joyous, outrageously fun and sweep both young and old onto the blissful edge between Beethoven and B.B. King.

Season tickets may be purchased at the door at the Oct. 20 concert or by calling (928) 474-6115.

The Tonto Community Concert Association is a nonprofit organization that brings high quality concerts to Arizona Rim Country at an affordable price. The all-volunteer group, which is in its 30th season, also supports other performing arts activities in the region. The concerts are held at the Payson High School auditorium.

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