A little night music and daytime concerts, too

Jazz and Classics wraps up its 15th anniversary run with performances Sunday

Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2001

Juneau Jazz and Classics draws to a close this weekend with a unique performance at the Mendenhall Glacier, an up-and-coming jazz guitarist, a little night music and Quartetto Gelato.

Tonight's schedule includes a cabaret workshop concert at 8 p.m. at the Hangar ballroom. Helen Baldassare and accompanist Robert Peaco have been working with Juneau singers this week in preparation for the student concert.

The last brown bag concert of the festival at noon Friday features violinist Linda Rosenthal and composer and pianist Lincoln Mayorga at the State Office Building.

"Poets, Oysters & a Little Night Music" on Friday features baritone Douglas Webster and Mayorga. Both have been to Juneau before separately, but have been touring and performing together lately, Rosenthal said.

"They have a huge range of music, from classical to Broadway shows. They're a perfect match for the festival," she said.

The title of the concert comes from the pieces the pair will be performing. The concert will include "A Poet's Love" by Robert Schumann with poetry by German Romantic poet Heinrich Heine and "The Tale of the Oyster" by Cole Porter, Rosenthal said. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel by the Lake.

A free "Strings at the Glacier" concert is scheduled Saturday afternoon near Nugget Falls at the Mendenhall Glacier. Performers Armen Ksajikian, Gwen Thompson, Juneau's Ursa Major Youth Quartet and local trumpet player Rick Trostel will arrive at the falls in traditional Tlingit canoes.

"It should be fun and really different. It's a way to integrate some Alaskana into the event," Jazz and Classics Administrator Greg Cohen said.

Audience members can meet at the visitors parking lot at 3:30 p.m. for a 20 minute escorted hike. The concert will take place rain or shine, and listeners should bring their own chairs, Cohen said.

Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter is the only performer at Juneau Jazz and Classics this year who is new to town. The Blue Note Records musician plays two shows with Chris Lovejoy, Stephen Chopek and John Ellis on Saturday night at Mike's Place, making a stop here on an Alaska tour.

Quartetto Gelato plays at 8 p.m. Sunday night at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. The group fits in well with the festival's focus on jazz and

classics, Cohen said. Each quartet member plays a number of instruments, including accordion, oboe, guitar, English horn and vocals. They rarely use sheet music, he said.

"They play everything from operatic arias to gypsy fiddling to classical favorites. It makes them more than a string quartet," Cohen said.

The performance will be a wonderful way to end the festival, Rosenthal said, and will feature songs from their latest CD, "Neopolitan Cafe."

"The music is accessible and delightful," she said.

Tickets for the performances are available at Hearthside Books. For additional information, the festival's Web site is www.juneau.com/music/.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.

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