There has been a lot of chamber music in my life lately, and that isn’t likely to change soon. And that’s a very good thing!
Last Sunday, the Arnica String Quartet played our first concert with founding cellist Heather Blackburn back in her rightful spot. It was for the wonderful Camerata Musica series in Salem, Oregon. We played music of Mozart (two of his final “Prussian” quartets) and Arriaga (his first quartet). When we originally planned this season’s programs, we decided to do some of what we thought would be less challenging repertoire. Mozart is hardly less challenging in some ways, especially musically, but technically it can be a bit less demanding than late Beethoven, Bartók, or contemporary pieces. It made for a nice way to gradually get the quartet back into the swing of things after a couple years without all of our regular members present.
This Tuesday, December 4th, the Arnica Quartet will be playing a happy hour concert at Picnic House restaurant from 4-6 p.m. Picnic House is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Portland, and they also happen to be located just across SW Salmon Street from the stage door of Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. So, if you come, what will happen, exactly? Well, I don’t really know! We have arranged to get some space set aside in the restaurant, which is anticipating relatively heavy dinner rush before the show that happens at the Schnitz that evening. It’s not exactly a “sit down and listen quietly” sort of event, but it’s also not exactly “just background music”, since this is a fully rehearsed, serious, classical program of three great string quartets by Beethoven and Schubert. It’s more of an experiment: what happens when you plunk a string quartet down in a busy restaurant? Come find out with us!
There is no cover charge, but we do ask that you help support Picnic House by enjoying a cocktail or some appetizers, even if you’re just coming to hear us play.
Drinks, Dinner, Dessert – String Quartet! Tuesday, December 4 @ 4 p.m. Picnic House – 723 SW Salmon Street Call 503.227.0705 for table/dinner reservations
Latin Songstress Jessie Marquez Performs ‘Cool Cool Latin’ Concert Featuring the Arnica String Quartet
Friday, March 30, 8pm-midnight, $12 Jimmy Mak’s, 221 Northwest 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209 (503) 295-6542 www.jimmymaks.com
Fans of Latin music are in for a treat on March 30th at Jimmy Mak’s. Vocalist Jessie Marquez brings her ensemble and The Arnica String Quartet together for a night of intoxicating Cuban/Brazilian/jazz/pop. Expect to enjoy lush harmony, richly textured, sexy, cool and inviting music. Marquez has a magnetic stage presence. She weaves together Spanish and English lyrics and compelling stories about her artistic life in Cuba.
Marquez’s latest release, All I See is Sky, was produced and co-written by pianist Clay Giberson (Upper Left Trio, Go By Train) and bassist Phil Baker (Pink Martini, Diana Ross). The Arnica String Quartet is featured on the recording, and creates a lush soundscape alongside the singer’s intimate and understated approach. Continue reading “arnica quartet with jessie marquez and friends”