January is turning into a busy musical month. Already there have been two special programs — Trouble in Paradise entertained at the First Friday celebration at the Community Presbyterian Church Jan. 4 and the Tonto Community Concert Association resumed its 40th Anniversary Season with a program of classical crossover music by Vox Fortura Jan. 8.
Up next the local duo, Sound Tapestry, comprised of a classical guitar and flutes (classical silver and Native American) performs from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 E. Tyler Parkway.
The result of this unique collaboration is an intricate mosaic of sound and includes classical, Latin, Celtic, popular and original songs.
The performance by Sound Tapestry is a free event, but donations are encouraged. Light refreshments will be served after the concert. Any donations received will support St. Paul’s Ladies Group outreach activities. The group distributed $2,400 to local community programs in 2018.
Jazz returns to the Rim Country at 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.
Featured artists for the performance are pianist Mary Louise Knutson and saxophonist Mary Petrich.
Jazz pianist-composer Knutson has been called “one of the most exciting artists to happen to jazz piano in quite some time.” Her warm, inviting tone, broad range of emotional expression, and distinctive compositions have brought her much recognition nationally.
Knutson’s latest trio CD, “In the Bubble,” charted in JazzWeek’s Top 10 and remained in the top 50 for 19 weeks straight. Six standards and four originals complete this accessible yet sophisticated mainstream-to-modern collection.
Knutson tours regularly with former “Tonight Show” band leader trumpeter Doc Severinsen. She has also toured the U.S. with her own group, The Mary Louise Knutson Trio, and in Italy with singer Debbie Duncan.
Knutson was a Minnesota Music Awards nominee for both Jazz Artist of the Year and Pianist of the Year and she was a finalist in the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz International Pianist Competition.
Knutson’s debut jazz trio CD, “Call Me When You Get There,” charted in JazzWeek’s Top 50 for eight consecutive weeks and earned her the award for Top New Jazz Instrumentalist of the year from KWJL Radio in California.
Knutson has performed with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Diane Reeves, Kevin Mahogany, Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Peter Erskine, Slide Hampton and many more.
Creative saxophonist Mary Petrich has been developing her own vision for the past 20 years. Her desire to push the boundaries has led her to many projects and collaborations, the latest being the album “Murmuration” with her quartet, Open Hand.
With her abiding love for freestyle improvisation and the intimate collaboration of small group settings, she is equally at home playing standards and working in larger groups, some of which includes the Phoenix Symphony, the Grammy award-winning Phoenix Chorale, the AZ Music Festival Orchestra, and The Nash Composer Coalition.
Completing the quartet performing with Knutson and Petrich are Sean Brogan playing acoustic bass, and Gerry Reynolds playing the drums.
A $5 donation is requested. Reservations are advised. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Payson Friends of Jazz and the Community Presbyterian Church are helping make the performance possible.
End the month at another Tonto Community Concert Association 40th Anniversary program at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 27. The group Vocal Trash is the featured act at the Payson High School Auditorium.
The seven-member troupe rescues items from landfills to create a meaningful experience unlike any other with toolbox guitars, a milk-urn bass and numerous repurposed industrial percussion props accompany singing, break dancing, and comedy.
All concerts are held at the PHS Auditorium. Subscriptions are $100. Children and students under the age of 18 are admitted at no charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult. A limited number of single performance tickets are offered at the door, 30 minutes before the performance, for $25 each.
For more information visit the Tonto Community Concert Association website at www.tccarim.org or call 928-472-2423 or 303-903-2895.