Col. MaCaw's Magical Cure-All
Col. MaCaw's Magical Cure-All, the itinerant, eclectic concert series produced by local musician Randy McKean, returns with a bang Saturday night, October 5, at the Unitarian Universalist Community in the Mountains in Grass Valley. The autumnal extravaganza features a baker's dozen of musicians and performers in a double-header that features elements of fine art and the theater.
When McKean's frequent collaborator Ross Hammond told him about a new piece Hammond was writing for sextet, "The Humanity Suite," based on the work of artist Kara Walker and commissioned by Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum, McKean was determined to find a way to bring a performance to Grass Valley. Walker, an African-American women born in Stockton and raised in the South, has been named one of Time magazine's most influential people. As the Crocker notes, using the art of the silhouette, "[Walker] has made slavery and its ongoing impact the primary subject of her critique of power, freely mingling romance for the antebellum era with slavery's bitter realities."
Hammond's musical response to Walker's work is a jazz suite, a long-form composition with six connected themes and room for group improvisations. The band that Hammond assembled for the project features powerhouse saxophonists Vinny Golia from Los Angeles and new York-based Catherine Sikora, recent L.A.-transplant Cliff Childers on trombone, Sacramento heavyweights Kerry Kashiwagi on bass and Dax Compise on drums, and Hammond himself on guitar.
"Kara's work is very powerful. It deals with themes of slavery, racism, sexism, and history, and conjures up a lot of emotions. I'm trying to convey those emotions with this music," says Hammond. "The suite was written with these particular players in mind and I have no doubt that my band will take it to the stratosphere."
Considering Hammond's focus on art and African-American creativity, McKean saw it as a perfect opportunity to revive a work of his own that features paintings and elements of theater connected to his fictional creation and alter ego of sorts, the jazz maverick Lemuel Crook. Originally staged as part of the Nevada County Composers Cooperative's Meet the Composer series, "The Dreams of Lemuel Crook" is a whimsical chronicle of Crook's expatriate years delivered in a mock-lecture format. McKean's wife, Lindsay Dunckel, who has appeared locally in The 24 Hour Plays and Our Town, portrays Frenchwoman Bridgette Pakeet, an expert on the music and art of Crook's down and out years in 1960s Paris. McKean will accompany these fevered visions with his new group Their Majesty, featuring McKean and Dunckel's children Sophia and Callum on clarinet and trombone, Murray Campbell on oboes and violin, plus special guests Wes Steed on electronics and Kevin Corcoran on percussion. "'Dreams' is a work about taking one's imagination to its limits and the labors involved in making those visions a reality," says McKean. "It's about the struggle to transcend barriers that are so often imposed upon all of us when we endeavor to be our true selves."
Hammond and McKean invite you to enter their respective imaginations on Saturday night, and hope you depart closer to your true selves.
Ross Hammond Sextet:
Ross Hammond guitar
Vinny Golia, Catherine Sikora reeds...
Cliff Childers trombone
Kerry Kashiwagi bass
Dax Compise drums
Randy McKean reeds
Sophia McKean clarinet
Callum McKean trombone
Murray Campbell oboes, violin
Wes Steed electronics
Kevin Cororan percussion
Lindsay Dunckel as Bridgette Pakeet
More info: 530-575-8218 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains (View)
265 South Church Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|