Friday, September 28, 2012

Swing Music from the 30s and 40s with Mellow Jazz in Bigfork

The Sam Miltich Quartet with Charmin will be on stage at The Edge Center in Bigfork Saturday October 6th with the smooth swing sounds of an earlier time, and easy-to-listen jazz favorites with an invite to dance in the orchestra pit. Sam has been here before and this year brings new friends including international singing star Charmin Michelle and Minneapolis’ sax-specialist Doug Haining. They are joined by Sam’s father Mathew Miltich who is the stand up bassist, and Mike Miller another area professional on drums. The five-piece ensemble will delight newcomers to The Edge as well as returning visitors. The time is 7PM and the price is $10.

About coming to Bigfork, Sam says, “We're always very happy to play at the Edge Center -- it's a beautiful venue with intimate seating. It's a concert venue where we'll have a more formal performance and presentation and we'll be working with some excellent musicians from the Twin Cities. I feel strongly about the importance of bringing high quality art to small, rural communities -- even those of us in remote regions of the state deserve fine art…The Edge is an artist-friendly space for a musician -- the connections to the audience and acoustics are great. We've had such a great time playing in the past that we're eager to do it again.”

“Sam Miltich is a jazz guitarist born and raised in the woods of northern Minnesota. He is a musician by profession and plays regularly in the Upper Midwest as a soloist and with his bands the Clearwater Hot Club and Big Dipper Jazz Band…At age fourteen he began playing folk and bluegrass guitar. He'd been playing piano since age four when his favorite musicians were Duke Ellington and George Gershwin, but in guitar he found his true passion…(From Sam’s web site:

“Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Charmin moved to Minnesota while still a child and has called it home ever since…(she) began touring internationally in 1986. She has performed at jazz festivals throughout Europe…On her last tour to Spain, she recorded with…saxophonists Harry Allen…Grant Stewart…(and) Scott Hamilton, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and Barcelonan musicians Ignasi Terraza, and the Toni Sola Quartet. (From Charmin’s web site:

“Doug Haining is a music graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he studied classical clarinet. He has performed professionally since 1974, backing national artists such as Steve Allen, Don Rickles, Bob Hope, and others, and Broadway shows such as West Side Story, Cats, A Chorus Line and many others. He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra…” (From the twin cities web site: (photo: Howard A.Gitelson)

Jazz and swing music are interrelated American art forms dating back to the early 20th century and are a mix of African and European music traditions. Jazz music is hard to define and even harder to characterize. Swing music was born out of jazz styles and sounds in the 1920s. By then larger ensembles of jazz musicians showed a shift in stylistic rhythm and included written forms of music. Like Jazz, Swing music has African American roots and its popularity spread worldwide with a force so strong that it named a whole era…the swing era.

Duke Ellington Band

Jazz music can have almost as many styles and sounds as the number of musicians and/or groups playing the genre. Musicians many never play the same piece exactly the same twice. They can and will match a particular performance to the audience’s energy and composition, possibly their own mood, maybe the weather or setting or just because they want to…what a wonderful art form.

Billie Holiday

Vocalists, both men and woman, have a strong tradition in jazz roots with the one of the first Jazz recording in the 1917 “Original Dixieland Jass Band” including Sarah Martin as vocalist. Billie Holiday came on the Jazz scene in the early 1930s with a new approach. In her words, “I don't feel like I'm singing, I feel like I'm playing the horn.” She was the band’s foundation: her timing implacable, phrasing incredible and emotional connections to the music unmatched.

Benny Goodman Band

Swing music’s background has its origins in jazz. With many jazz musicians considering it a serious art form, when swing went mainstream and even created a dance craze, swing lost its appeal to them. It made some of the serious jazz artists feel that it was no longer “their” music and was best suited to selling records. Swing's timeline included the public’s embracing in the mid 1930s, a dance craze into the 40s, migration from “big band” to smaller groups due to wartime economics, and a work strike in the 1948 that helped swing to evolve into blues and bebop.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Native American Flute Music and “Grass” Dancing on Stage in Bigfork

On September 16, a family oriented program of traditional Native American music and dancing will be at The Edge in Bigfork. The smooth sounds of flute playing and the flowing grace and beauty of Native American “grass” dancing by Art Cleveland Red Horse will treat the audience. He is an enrolled member of the Din’e Nation and taught himself to play and make Native American flutes, plus he designs and creates his own regalia’s beadwork and headgear including porcupine hair roach, spreaders and feather plumes. The performance will be at 7PM on Sunday September 16. The price of admission is $10 per adult, $5 for children and $20 per family. Children will get the opportunity to receive an autographed copy of the performance poster and meet this extraordinary artist.

Grass dancing, reflecting the importance of grass in the warrior’s life, has origins that probably go back to the practice of stomping down a flat area of an encampment or Pow Wow in an earlier time. The grace, balance and symmetry of the performance is characterized by a broad range of moves and kicks to a medium beat that are often unique to the dancer, but all reflecting the history and tradition of the practice.

One tradition about the origin of the Native American flute is an inspiration from the sound made by the wind through a tree with holes in it from a woodpecker looking for termites.  The result was an instrument used by a warrior for courting. Early examples of the flute reportedly go back 60,000 years and is one of man’s earliest musical instruments. They can be made from different types of wood, depending on what is available, and include a various number of holes. Used for dancing, spirit calling, courting and many other purposes, Art Red Horse will play flutes made from Cedar and Black Walnut with six holes when he performs in Bigfork

The following is from material provided by the artist:

Art Cleveland Red Horse has always loved creating art; as a child he would draw on paper grocery bags with the charcoal from the wood stove used to heat the family home. Red Horse was inspired in high school by a teacher who encouraged him to do various art projects, which he would send on to art shows…(he attended)...the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Red Horse received an Associates Degree in Fine Arts in May 1980…with a Native American Drum group called the White Eagle Singers (he) made several nationally known recordings. After leaving the drum group…(he)...has won numerous dance competitions for performing the Grass Dance...

Red Horse met his wife, Nicomas in 1998 at a wacipi (powwow) in North Dakota… they both attended SDSU in Brookings, SD…taught Native American the Expanding Harmony Dance studio in Brookings…started a Native American Dance Club for children at a BIA boarding school…(performed in)...a cultural presentation in Poland…(and presently) in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Red Horse is best known for his oil paintings on canvas, leather and buffalo skulls, where he depicts natural landscapes, wildlife, and culture...His paintings have won award...(and one)...of his murals “Fancy Dancers” can be seen at the Red Rock State Park outside of Gallup New Mexico…

Above is Art Red Horse and Nicomas in Poland.

Bring your whole family to see this very talented musician, artist and performer at The Edge Center and maybe leave with a special appreciation for his talents and a signed poster for your children.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Movie Cabaret Coming to The Edge in Bigfork

You’d think the movie Cabaret with roots from the Broadway show of the same name, The Berlin Stories of Christopher Isherwoood and the play I Am a Camera might have an identity crisis. But it really is a show of its own, and is its own identify with lots of entertainment. Set in the 1931 Berlin, with all the dark background of an upcoming world war, this movie has an amazing ability to provide great music, comedy and Bob Fosse dancing that changed the movie industry’s approach to dance. It will be shown along with an informative discussion about the movie at The Edge Center Theater in Bigfork Thursday, September 13.

The movie is presented by the CLASSIC MOVIE SERIES with a cartoon from the same year and a background presentation by Jack Nachbar. Here are his thoughts about the film.

“No sense sittin’ alone in your room,” because the Classic Movie Series at the Edge Center for the Arts begins it’s 1912-1913 season with the best musical of the 1970s, CABARET (1972), winner of 8 Academy Awards. CABARET stars Oscar winners Liza Minnelli as the loveably irresponsible Sally Bowles and Joel Grey as the diabolical Master of Ceremonies. The picture, directed by master choreographer Bob Fosse, set new standards for modern dance in a movie musical and influenced most filmed dance that came after it, including the famous moves of Michael Jackson.

CABARET will be shown Thursday, September 13 at 6:30 at the Edge Center Theater in Bigfork. “Come to the Cabaret, Old Chum. Come to the Cabaret” IT’S FREE.

There are all kinds of top movies of all time “lists” around. Here is one list that had CABARET as a top ten selection. Here is what they said and here is the link to see the whole list of their top 25:

“This film will remain in most Top Ten lists if only for the fact that it was the moment we all sat back and watched Liza Minnelli become a legend before our eyes. It really barely resembles the Broadway show, as much for jettisoning some of the best songs (“So What?” “Meeskite,” “Why Should I Wake Up?” “Perfectly Marvelous” and “Don’t Tell Mama” among others) as for introducing the homosexual undertone and all but omitting the role of Fraulein Kost, but to call it anything less than delectable would be a disgrace”

This is the first in the CLASSIC MOVIE SERIES for this season. Here are a some of the upcoming classic movie gems.

Thursday, October 11. DR. STRANGELOVE, OR, HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964), with Peter Sellers

Thursday, November 8. ELECTION SPECIAL! MEET JOHN DOE (1941), with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyk.

Thursday, December 13. Holiday Special. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.

This is a great start to the season of classics at The Edge. Come to the Cabaret and enjoy yourself and learn some of the hidden background to this great movie that most of us have heard before from Mr. Nackbar.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Migration: Inspirations from Poetry Photography & Calligraphy

See the special way that life’s migrations can inspire art. An exhibition of poetry, photography and calligraphy at The Edge Center in Bigfork this month explores these mediums in a creative way. This is a first for the gallery along with an opening reception that includes poetry readings associated to the photography. Four area artists meld these art forms into an enjoyable experience for seasoned as well as new art enthusiasts.

The exhibit runs from September 6 through the 29 with an opening reception on Friday, September 7 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. Associated poetry and photography reading is at 6:00PM. The opening is free and open to the public with the chance to see the artwork, talk to the artists, and enjoy the treats.

The poetry involves the images in migration themes that can enrich the both experiences, and the calligraphy helps unite the mediums in thought provoking ways. All this can be a reflection of the human experience and its continual evolution from the known to the unknown along with a celebration of our ability to adapt to different and changing environments.

The artists Jackie Solem, Bovey photographer, Susan Hawkinson and Loree Miltich, Grand Rapids poets, and Meridith Schifsky, Duluth calligrapher, present this collaboration. The exhibit, Migration to the Edge explores different types of migration including people and animal in their environments. Also considered is realistic to abstract movement of images. You will see different lifestyles, places and surroundings. Images, as on the featured poster, sometimes details subjects and provides new perspectives.

Jackie Solem, has been an award-winning artist of more than 40 years experience and says about her art, “The greatest influence is the awakeness I experience when I truly see something for what it is, in a new and fresh way…“

Susan Hawkinson is the co-author of Timber Connections: The Joyce Lumber Story and is retired from teaching writing at Itasca Community College in 2008.  She now primarily writes poetry.

Loree Miltich’s poetry has appeared in publications such as The Georgia Review and To Topio: Poetry Internationa  She teaches at Union Institute & University.

After retiring from teaching nursing, Meridith Schifsky now has sufficient time for her love of combining calligraphy with watercolors and acrylics. She has been a member of Colleagues of Calligraphy for 12 years.

Certainly as our experiences become global on all levels, from the role of consumers, to communications, to travel, to entertainment, it is often the arts that can make the most sense of the changes. This show provides an interesting look at these vital “Migrations”.

Come to The Edge Center Gallery and see how this very special group of artists are able to show the meaning of such changes on our environments and in our daily lives.