La Cafamore return to Trail stage Aug. 16

Violinist Carolyn CameronViolinist Carolyn Cameron
Violinist Kaito TakedaViolinist Kaito Takeda
Violinist Alexis MoreViolinist Alexis More
Cellist Maria WangCellist Maria Wang

La Cafamore returns to the stage in the Trail United Church in a few short weeks.

On Aug. 16, the string quartet will perform a concert featuring the sounds of America through the string quartets of Florence Price and Antonin Dvorak.

“My family had been to a concert where a movement from one of Florence Price’s quartets was played,” explains violinist Carolyn Cameron. “It was my daughter’s favourite piece from the entire concert, and she began to listen to other Florence Price works.”

Cameron’s daughter also introduced her to the string quartet #2.

“There seems to be a rediscovery of her music in the past few years, which is about time.”

In spite of being an African American woman of the late 19th and early 20th century, Price was able to have several of her works performed by major symphony orchestras during her lifetime. But it wasn’t until 2009 that the full extent of her creative genius was discovered in an abandoned house in St. Anne, Illinois.

Then, when La Cafamore cellist Maria Wang had Dvorak’s “American” quartet on her bucket list, the program was set.

“We were a little hesitant to put both pieces in,” Cameron noted. “But I think you will see that they are different enough to make it enjoyable.”

Price in many ways follows the idioms characteristic of European music of the day with lush chromaticism and rich harmonies. Where Price really comes into her own is the third movement, Juba, which is based on an African dance and would have been familiar to the African American population of the time.

Even in her most romantic of moments, she is still able to introduce the lowered third or “blue note” which is used so much in jazz.

Dvorak’s piece, while unmistakably classical in nature is true to his conviction that American music should derive from its folk roots with the use of pentatonic scales, ostinato and drone accompaniment.

“There are no ‘blue notes’ here, but we do hear the sounds of railways, horses galloping, and birdsong,” Cameron adds. “Probably that of the Scarlet Tanager, who pestered Dvorak during his stay in Spillville, Iowa, where he composed the quartet.”

La Cafamore is also welcoming violinist Kaito Takeda to round out the quartet.

“It has been many years since our group has done string quartets and I am really looking forward to it,” said Cameron. “The Trail and District Arts Council have supported this group for many years, and we are extremely grateful. And the Trail United Church is one of my favorite places to play in the Kootenays with its wonderful acoustics.”

The concert goes Tuesday, Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m., at the Trail United Church, 1300 Pine Ave.

Tickets are $20 at the door or can be purchased at The Bailey Theatre box office or online at:

Besides Trail, the group will be taking the concert to Invermere, Fernie, Creston, and Nakusp.

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