83.6 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 14, 2024


The St. John School of the Arts 2000-01 concert season will comprise four classical music recitals and four non-classical concerts – two blues bands and two cabaret shows. Plus, there'll be an added classical attraction that isn't a part of the subscription series.
All nine performances represent bookings in partnership again this season with the Arts Alive organization at Tillett Gardens. And two "are return bookings by popular demand," School of the Arts director Ruth "Sis" Frank says.
Here's the schedule:
Thursday, Oct. 26 (classical) – Double Exposure – Thomas Bowes on violin, Eleanor Alberga on piano
Saturday, Dec. 2 (blues) – the Bill Sims Blues Band
Thursday, Dec. 28 (classical) – Dennis Koster on classical-flamenco guitar, last year's holiday season hit
Thursday, Jan. 25 (classical) – the Innuendo quintet featuring Keith Lockhart on piano, returning from two seasons ago
Thursday, Feb. 8 (blues) – Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
Saturday, Feb. 24 (cabaret) – guitarist Jorge Morel with the voice and guitar duo Heidi & Ramos
Thursday, March 15 (classical) – Terrence Wilson on piano
Saturday, April 7 (cabaret) – vocalist Rebecca Parris with Paul McWilliams on piano
For classical music lovers, this season will bring a special added attraction that isn't part of the concert subscription series: a performance by Austrian classical pianist Gottlieb Wallisch on Tuesday, March 6, in cooperation with the Embassy of Austria Cultural Department.
Double Exposure and Innuendo will also appear on Tortola at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, and Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers will also perform on St. Croix at a venue to be announced.
Background on the artists
Following is a brief description of the artists performing in the 2000-01 season:
Double Exposure, the London-based duo of British violinist Thomas Bowes and Jamaican pianist Eleanor Alberga, has won audience and critical acclaim around the world with concerts spanning the baroque, classical and romantic masterpieces, as well as works by Alberga herself and other contemporary composers. Bowes has performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic and has been guest concertmaster with such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas and Sir Georg Solti. Alberga's musical background includes not only classical training but also performing with the Jamaican Folk Singers and an African dance company.
– Blues guitarist/vocalist Bill Sims has been around show business his whole life. His uncle played guitar with Billie Holliday, and he has embraced the history of the blues – from front-porch banjo strains to '70s soul grooving to New Orleans rhythms. He has won praise for his "honey-mustard voice and his snarling, Albert King-influenced guitar style." His face is familiar in millions of homes because his family was featured last September in a five-part PBS realism documentary, "An American Love Story." Sims composed several pieces for the series soundtrack, and this led to a record deal with Warner Bros.
– Classical and flamenco guitarist Dennis Koster won a legion of new fans at last year's yearend holiday concert in Tillett Gardens. Trained initially in flamenco guitar, Koster took up classical studies in his 20s, becoming equally at home with both genres, and found an affinity for creating his own transcriptions and arrangements of the classical masters. After two decades of studying, performing as a soloist and accompanying major Spanish dance troupes, he has the rare opportunity to study under the legendary flamenco virtuoso "Sabicas." His commentaries provide audiences insight into the cultural and musical complexities of flamenco.
Innuendo is a classical string quintet featuring pianist Keith Lockhart, who is best known as the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, which regularly presents concerts on public television. His appearance with what was then called the Seranac Quartet two seasons ago drew the biggest audience ever for a Classics in the Garden concert. The ensemble's return performance is sure to put that record to the test. The instrumentalists are violinist Lucia Lin and cellist Owen Young from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, violinist Christopher Wu from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and violist Amadi Hummings from Norfolk, Va.
– Blues guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Thackery and his three-piece band, the Drivers, have drawn enthusiastic audiences at local clubs over the years. This will be their first performance in the islands in a concert setting and their only one on St. Thomas this season. Thackery made his mark in the '70s and '80s as the "heat, soul and adrenalin" of the Nighthawks, recording more than 20 albums and touring worldwide; in 1991, he formed the Drivers. Known for his guitar pyrotechnics performing what Guitar Player magazine has called "industrial-strength roots rock.," he's joined by Jimmy Carpenter on sax, Kenny Faltinson on bass and Mark Stutso on drums and vocals.
– Argentinian guitarist Jorge Morel has won plaudits at the great recital halls of the world with a style that reflects the influences of classical, South American and '30s-style jazz music in the Gershwin tradition. Hailed by The New York Times as a sophisticated artist who shines performing his own arrangements of folksongs, show tunes, the classics and the various Latin genres, he is also an accomplished composer. Italian guitarist/violinist Michele Ramo and American singer/lyricist Heidi Hepler, performing as Heidi & Ramo, blend classical, jazz and Latin music, as well. "They celebrate music," one critic said.
Gottlieb Wallisch, just 22 years old, performed last year with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and made his debut last spring with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared in recital and with chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States. In 1995, he became the first pianist in the history of the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition in Illinois to win all four of the top prizes.
Terrence Wilson, at 24, has established a reputation as one of today's most gifted classical pianists. Since his professional debut two years ago with the Philadelphia Orchestra, his credits also include solo appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. His recital debut at the Kennedy Center in 1996 was highly acclaimed.
Rebecca Parris started out at age 6 singing in musicals with her father in summer stock.. Dizzy Gillespie said she reminded him "musically of Carmen McRae with the diction of Margaret Whiting." A Jazz Times critic calls her "that rare bird: the true jazz singer with the soul of an entertainer." Equally at home with ballads, blues, standards, Latin and contemporary tunes, she brings a passionate, engaging voice, consummate musical skills, witty humor and a dynamic presence to the stage. Many St. Thomas jazz fans will recall her gigs at the old Blackbeard's Castle Hotel piano lounge.
The season provides three examples of the variation on a saying that "the couple that plays together stays together." Double Exposure is a husband-and-wife duo. So is Heidi & Ramo. And two of the five members of Innuendo are married to each other – pianist Keith Lockhart and violinist Lucia Lin.
Ticket information
Individual concert tickets are $25 for the Double Exposure, Dennis Koster, Terrence Wilson and Rebecca Parris concerts, with a special student rate of $15. Tickets are $30 for the Bill Sims Blues Band, Innuendo, Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, and Jorge Morel with Heidi & Ramos, with a student rate of $25. For season subscribers, the cost is $190 for all eight performances, with a student rate of $125.
Pricing for the Gottlieb Wallisch
concert will be announced.
For reservations and further information, call 779-4322 or 776-6777.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.