Friday, June 13, 2014

Another High Energy Visit by “The Divas” to the Edge in Bigfork

If you made it to “The Divas” concert last year, calling it high energy is a good description. Their signature is Close Harmony with Lots of Fun. "The Divas" will do it again this month with a “Summer Fun” show. New songs, lots of laughs and fun will be included. The Divas’ music is sung in close harmony by three talented women using an amazing array of instruments that will make audiences appreciate every song and the talent needed to play them. By mixing the sounds of several decades, their shows keep audiences appreciating and amazed at what is happening on stage. The instruments are varied, but the fun is constant.  “Fun” is the key to this show brings. The Edge Center in Bigfork, Wednesday June 25th at 7PM.  Price $10 adults. Children $5.

The instruments at a Divias concert could include keyboard, ukulele, guitar, and lots of rhythm instruments including congas, “rain stick,” “egg,” tambourine, and Cabasa (made from and African gourd).  You will be surprised what they play and the music that comes from center stage.

“The Divas” are made up of Rosie Gams, Sharon Rowbottom and Shannon Lee Gunderson. Rosie and Sharon are from Minnesota, and Shannon Lee is from Wyoming. They bring a versatile assortment musical tastes, particularly enjoy playing "their” arrangements.

“The spectrum” of music played by the Virginia, MN based Divas, comes from 15 years of experience playing together.  Their specialty is the close harmonies from past music.  This nostalgic style has been adapted to the large variety of music in their program. This show will have a summer theme designed to fit the fun and relaxed mood of the season, “The Divas” laughter and high energy will be a special experience. Their venues are mostly in Northern Minnesota and neighboring states.  Summer finds them on the beautiful lakes in Northern Minnesota, nightspots on the Iron Range, and now on stage at the Edge Center in Bigfork.

After a quiet winter, to which the weather certainly contributed, things are getting busy again. They have been asked back for a repeat performance for the SAMBOREE-Sam's Good Will Organization, and will be traveling to Hastings Nebraska in early June. Shannon Lee, the pianist will be traveling to Estes Park, Colorado the 2nd weekend of June, as a guest soloist at an outdoor jazz festival. Percussionist and guitarist; Sharon plays every Tuesday up on Lake Vermilion, for a very popular jam session.  The Divas also perform at Olcott Park in Virginia, Minnesota for the Land of the Loon, which is the 37th year for this arts and crafts ethnic festival.  Other venues include Fortune Bay Casino, on Lake Vermilion, The Voyagaire on Crane Lake, and, of course, Bigfork this month.

With the years of singing together, “The Divas” blend popular, country, western, pop, folk, blues and jazz, which pretty much covered the bases in familiar music. About the Bigfork “Summer Fun” show, Shannon Gunderson says, “A lot of our music will be totally different from our last show. We LOVE our audiences to enjoy the warmth of our close knit harmonies, and to see how music can bring so many people together.  We love to laugh, enjoy what we are doing and SHARE it with our awesome audiences! Besides our vocal work, and musicality...we like to include some great old fashioned humor!  We know our audiences will love what we are bringing!”.

Shannon Lee Gunderson, above, was born and raised in Rawlins, Wyoming.  She began piano lessons at age four, and was performing in talent shows and other venues throughout grade school.  Musical theatre was a great love, and she was active all through high school and college.  She received a scholarship and attended Hastings College, in Nebraska.  As well as performing as a soloist and with other groups (WHATT, Seattle, Shannon and Friends), Shannon played with a show band, The Bijou Revue, from Lincoln, Nebraska, for over 8 years.  That group toured all over the United States and on a USO tour in the Mediterranean. She has lived in Virginia for almost 32 years.

Rosie Gams, above, is originally from Embarrass, Minnesota where she began singing in grade school and entertaining at local PTA meetings.  In high school, she was active in the local musicals. In 1975, she started singing with Nostalgia, a 50's and 60's rock and roll band and later with Rendezvous, Cornerstone, and currently with The Divas.Rosie sings lead in the group, plays ukulele, and rhythm instruments, among the more unusual ones are the "rain stick", the "egg”, and the cabasa (made from an African gourd). She is always keeping the sound interesting and alive!

Sharon Rowbottom, above, is a native of Virginia, Minnesota. As the youngest of four children, her three teenage siblings exposed her at an early age to different musical styles, among which were the Beatles and Latin dance music.  She sang from age 10 in various choirs and received a vocal scholarship to attend Mesabi Community College in Virginia.  A trio, LIVE BAIT, formed through friendships there still performs.   Some of her bands include: The Schwartz Brothers Band, Slim Pickens, The Electric Loons, and The Dog Soldiers. Along with The Divas she performs as a duo with her husband, Dan. Sharon sings lead vocal and harmony.  She plays the congas, guitar, and ukulele.

Make sure to put "The Divas" on your calendar for a mix of several decades of lively music dedicated to the nice weather this time of year. Come and hear "The Divas" perform their "Summer Fun" show. It is tailored to lift your spirits and make the Edge Center full of wild and beautiful sounds. It is going to be great to have them back, and find our what new material they bring with them. The Edge Center in Bigfork, Wednesday June 25th at 7PM.  Price $10 adults. Children $5.

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