Sunday, November 12th marked our 8th Music Salon- and I must admit they keep getting better and better! This spectacular event was themed “Love of a Place”, an opportunity to be transported to far away times and places through music. A home full of music lovers, talented musicians, and a space designed to promote musical camaraderie and conversation: It all added up to a most enjoyable night!
Rather than just another concert, this event was more of an “experience” that left us with sweet memories of places we visited in the company of great composers, transporting us magically to Spain, to Venezuela, to Brazil, and to the Deep South of the United States.
The performances served as small windows into the feelings that beautiful places have evoked for the longest time. As if to complement it, the Japanese garden offered a gentle background and sparked in everyone a lust for other lands.
Christiano Rodrigues, doctoral student in violin performance, and Karen Nguyen, master student in piano performance at ASU opened the night. Christiano dazzled the audience. His communication with the audience, in the true spirit of “Salon”, was just superb. It was a fascinating presentation of works by Fritz Kreisler and Manuel de Falla.
The Conner Sisters, Ashley and Sydney were amazing young dancers. With a long history of regional and national competitions and championships, alongside organizing dance events and workshops in the valley, their talent had the whole room rocking and tapping along to their sure-footed antics. They led the spell-bound audience into a frenzy of swing dances, including some of their own original choreography, based on music and steps from the 20s and 30s. Their dance routines brimmed with energy and joy, and the audience literally gasped in amazement when they disclosed their ages being only 16 and 17 years old!
Christiano Rodrigues, returned to the stage again, this time with Diego Miranda, a master student in guitar performance at ASU. This time the place evoked was Rio de Janeiro and the composer was Tom Jobim, one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century. The performance included some of Jobim’s classics: Chega de Saudades (No More Blues),Samba do Aviao, One Note Samba, Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar (I Know I Will Always Love You). Christiano’s masterful interpretation of The Girl from Ipanema was truly memorable and left the audience asking for more!
Gaiteros del Valle, an amazing crew of exciting musicians from Venezuela, provided our finale. Their connection with the audience, both in explaining their music and theme, as well as the music itself, was incredibly engaging. It was a truly hot performance of traditional and dance music from Venezuela. The rhythms of the cuatro (Venezuelan guitar), drums, maracas, and piano raised the heartbeat of everyone in the room. It was impossible to restrain oneself to the chairs and many started their own ‘conga-like’ lines, dancing in and out of the isles of the room. The band accommodated! Those who stayed on their chairs never stopped swinging the shoulders. What an awesome closing to a truly special night.
We hope you will enjoy the video collage as a quick taste of what ‘the love of a place’ came to represent.
The next Salon is on March 4, 2018. Make a note in your calendar.