Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On March 12th Andy Dahlke cracks the whip!!!

Greetings DEC Family!
Many peoples idea about the saxophone don't go far beyond scenes of smoky (well, not any more…) jazz rooms. I know you, dear Denver Eclectic concert goer, are much more sophisticated. If you want  to give more proof of your intellectual musical sophistication come check out Andy Dahlke on saxophones, Anne Breeden on piano and yours truly on bass for genre smashing music this Thursday.
Now we have a new temporary location, but please don't let that put you off. And yes it's a church, but our good friend there, pastor Bruce Swinehart is going to allow us our libations!
But back to the concert…
Andy is nuts, I'll just say that for the record. It's a good kind of nuts, the kind you get from being able to do so many things so damn well that you just expect your compadres to follow along, which Anne and I are more than willing to do. 
There's a Bach Flute Sonata, there's Bach SOLO CELLO music people, (not played by me, folks…) there's that crazy, luscious classical french saxophone sound that composers  Darius Milhaud and Roger Boutry loved. And speaking of Milhaud, if you ever wanted to know why the name 'Scaramouche' is stuck in your brain randomly you will get to find out why on Thursday. We also have a brand new piece titled 'There Is No Quiet In Brooklyn' for soprano sax and bass.
And oh yes, did I mention there will be jazz? 
Something for everyone barely covers the description, so take that, you 'Classical Music is Dead!' journalists.

We need you all to make this come to life, and to help us with this transition to our temporary home. Speaking of home, our good friends on Pearl street and I are working hard to get the series back in the 'hood, but alas it will no longer be at the Plum building on Pearl and Mexico. We want to thank Mortgage West owner Mark Gill for all his support over the years and allowing us to use that beautiful space. Unfortunately the yoga studio that now occupies the space was not compatible with the series, but we have a strong lead on another location right down the block. 

So we hope to see you on Thursday night, 7pm at:

St. James Episcopal Church, 8235 West 44th Ave. 

Come be a part of the crazy!

Sue and Scott

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January 8th: UKULELE!

Who out there needs a little purge after the holidays? 
The Denver Eclectic family sure is ready. We had a home basement flood, 24 Nutcrackers, too much candy and a bunch of lego building. It’s time. If you come out and visit us this Thursday night you’ll experience one of the forms of music that Denver is increasingly known for in the country. Aaron ‘Ukulele Loki’ Johnson has been creating interesting sounds and musical events for years here in Denver, and if you haven’t seen him yet, or even if you have, you will be a proud Denverite who knows that the creativity of this place is boundless. 
So what is this form? I hate to even classify it to completely. And classifying Aarons approach to it is even harder. 
 I could give you one of those “_______ meets_______” comparisons or “if ______and _______ had a baby” bits, but I tend to think that is PR double speak that boxes in the experience. Check out this link to a video that Aaron and his Gadabout Orchestra made a few years back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6a0Vzcw8pA
And remember what Duke Ellington said about music “If it sounds good and it feels good, it IS good!”

But.... for those of you who really want to know what folks are saying, here is a good blurb about Aaron:

Ukulele Loki is at the root of the ukulele revival, not a recent branch. Or, as Aaron Keim of B.A.S. puts it: "Ukulele Loki is the original alt.rock, indie ukulele player." As one the instrument's ardent devotees, Loki started proselytizing the ukulele--Johnny Appleseeding it across the US, on the radio, and online--nine years ago, as well as traveling annually to Tokyo's fashion central (Harajuku) three times since 2004. He began lovingly covering 80s new wave hits years before it became the hipster de rigueur modus of Youtube irony. His original songs are noted for their melancholic sincerity and the uncanny blend of nostalgia with contemporary innovation. Scratch a ukulele player and you'll find Loki as an influence--in most cases by only a degree or two of separation. Having introduced the ukulele to some of the biggest names on the current indie uke scene, Loki's place in the pantheon of ukulele is well established among players, even if this far-reaching influence has managed to fly under the national popular radar. But such is the curse and blessing of the "Denver ph

In other astounding DEC News, we are close to securing our future regarding the performance space . I don’t want to jinx it yet, but rest assured we are hard at work. We are not ready for any youtube-flashmob approaches to concert venues. I just like a roof over my head, what can I say. We are also hard at work with our board development. Talk to myself (Sue here...) or Scott for more news on this front. And special super thanks to all of you who donated before the end of the year! Don’t forget our donate button always works at the DEC site. 
Go to http://www.eclecticconcerts.com to donate I hope you all had a joyous holiday season, and we really look forward to seeing you soon at Denver Eclectic and I promise I won’t make you sit through pictures of my torn up basement carpet!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Not Xmas!

Okay all you hum bugs, if you haven’t already made your plans to check out our concert tomorrow night then now is your chance. Cellist Charles Lee (aka ‘the fresh doctor VC’) will be joined by pianist Margaret McDonald (no aka, she’s a respectable lady...) and I promise, there will be nary a Christmas tune to crush your scrooge groove. 

Seriously, we don’t really hate Christmas music here at Denver Eclectic. As the angels on high know, it’s how most musicians make a good portion of their scrilla for the year. It’s just that we all need a break and Charles and Margaret have been sent by that crazy guy in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to keep you off the railing of the bridge. 

The lowdown is this: Some Britten (the coolest movement from his cello sonata) some Arvo Pärt, (for those of you needing to meditate) some Shostakovich, DeFalla and even some Piazzolla.  Oh and of course, some original music by the Doctor VC himself. 

Now I’ve known Charles a long time, and Margaret and I have played together and perhaps also shared a glass of eggnog from time to time. So believe me when I tell you this will be entertaining. I’ve hear rumors of a wardrobe change. And I know there will be  hilarious extemporaneous comments by the best Korean-raised-in-Germany-moved to America-son of a composer-cellist you are likely to ever come across. All of this made even more enjoyable by a nice glass of wine.

I’ll be there (Sue) but we will have a moment of silence for my poor dear husband and co-director who will be in the midst of Nutcracker number 7 of 24. 
What is a Mirliton, anyway? Whomever can give me the answer tomorrow with a proper use or preparation gets a glass of wine on me. 
See you there!!!

December 11th at 7pm.  Mortgage West Building, Mexico and Pearl Street.

www.eclecticconcerts.com to buy tickets!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Musicians are danger junkies

Hello friends!

So you might have noticed that Scott did some of the blogging for this concert.  Now Scott went to great pains to explain how athletic this concert will be, and this is indeed the case. One thing he did not mention was how musically diverse the program will be. Unlike last month where we went totally nuts exploring tango, tomorrows concert will almost have an anti-theme. One of my favorite parts of being in charge of Denver Eclectic Concerts is finding out what music other musicians are excited about playing. I figure if the musician is really excited about their music, has chosen it themselves and is willing to stand up in front of a crowd, mostly by themselves, and play it then that enthusiasm will transfer to the audience. It doesn't mean that sometimes you aren't scared and feel during those first notes that you would rather eat glass then try to play the piece, but you do it anyway.  It's our own personal form of skydiving.  The view is almost always worth the jump.

Now I'm pretty sure that Dorian Kincaid, our amazing violinist for tomorrow, won't read my entry tonight.  Knowing Dorian she is practicing (something I have to get to soon!) So I can safely write embarassing things about how great she is, and how cool this Prokofiev solo violin sonata will be tomorrow. You don't get to hear this piece live too often, and it has a great neo-classical and very buoyant feel. Nothing like the Prokofiev 4th Symphony that Dorian and I are playing with the CSO this week. If you want to study the contrasts in Prokofiev, check out both performances.
Mike Thornton, Kelly Shanafelt and myself will help Dorian out with her heavy lifting on this concert, although I'm pretty sure I'm still going to owe her a weeks worth of frappuccinos for the sheer number of notes she is playing this week. Mike and I will assist Dorian with the Haydn Divertimento and Kelly joins Dorian for the not oft-enough-played Martinu 3 Madrigals. Mike will also create some techno magic with 8a piece for horn and tape by Paul Basler.

Sometimes we in the music world have to play pieces that don't get performed much and when we get done we say to ourselves, "well, that's why we don't play the piece too much…it's kind of a dud". That being said all of the pieces this week are not often played and I assure you they are not duds.
As for those pieces that that don't get played much but that are duds?  Most recently the CSO played a piece by Beethoven that was a dud. Now, a dud by Beethoven is still better than most composers works on their very best day, but when speaking comparatively, it is possible to classify a piece or two by Beethoven as not-so-good. I'll tell you what, show up tomorrow with the name of piece by a famous composer that you think is a dud, give me a good reason for it's dud-id-ness, and I'll give you a glass of wine to enjoy Denver Eclectic's decidedly not-duds.  See you there!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

OK, so...

Ok.  We have all enjoyed the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year.
But if you want to see true professional athletes in action, come to the
Denver Eclectic Concert this Thursday, March 13th at 7pm, at the
Mortgage West Gallery, 1705 S. Pearl Street in Denver, CO.

Check it out -

Mike Thornton, the french horn athlete, has to warm-up with 100 jumping jacks to play
the schreeching-ly high A-flats in the Haydn Divertimento.

Susan Cahill, the double-bass athlete, her hands are SO strong that her fret board is made of a titanium alloy!

Kelly Shanafelt, the viola athlete, is actually 247 years-old.  I think playing viola is the
ultimate anti-aging medicine!


Dorian Kincaid, the violin athlete, has won the Boston Marathon 10 times.  The last two
marathons, she was playing the complete violin sonatas by J.S. Bach while running!

See you there!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014



why should you come to this amazing concert?


Bohuslav Martinu (Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola, H. 313) was one of 
Burt Bacharach's (What's new pussycat? and Raindrop keep fallin' on my head)teachers!

Sergey Prokofiev (Sonata for Violin in D, op. 115) said at the first performance of
Peter and The Wolf that the"...[attendance] was poor and failed to attract much attention".
Wow wee, that audience was missing a classic children's musicial tale.

Paul Basler (Dance Fool, Dance! for horn and synthesizer) His compositions have been described 
by the New York Times as “virtuosic and highly athletic.”  Good thing Mike Thornton is 
a trained athlete!


Joseph Haydn (Divertimento in E flat (1776) for violin, horn and cello) His Symphony No. 103 was nicked-named the 'The Drumroll' for the long timpani solo in the beginning.  Cool, huh?

Goto www.eclecticconcerts.com to buy tickets!  Hurry before we run out of seats!!!

March 13th

March 5th, 2014

An amazing concert is coming soon (March 13th)!

The Intermezzo Chamber Players

Michael Thornton, horn, Kelly Shanafelt, viola
Dorian Kincaid, violin,  Susan Cahill, bass

Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola, H. 313                          Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959)

Sonata for Violin in D, op. 115                                                     Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Dance Fool, Dance! for horn and synthesizer                           Paul Basler (1963-)

Divertimento in E flat (1776) for violin, horn and cello          Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)