Jazz performance in Rossland

A Rossland-based band puts a twist on classical music by adding a vocal etude.

Tune into a quartet.

La Cafamore String Quartet is performing in the old BMO building (formerly known as the Rouge Art Gallery) in Rossland on Oct. 1 (7:30 p.m.) but it won’t be to the same old tune.

The Kootenay-based foursome is known for playing classical music like Beethoven and Brahms, but its upcoming gig is catering to a slightly different crowd. The program features one of the “romantic and evocative” Brahms’ clarinet quintets, and a rock/jazz quintet by American composer Bill Douglas, complete with a vocal etude mid-performance.

“It’s kind of jazzy and it’s pretty cool because at one point we sort of break into this vocal rhythm where we stop playing and just start pounding out a rhythm with our voices,” violinist Carolyn Cameron said, comparing her musical training with “large” orchestras in Saskatoon.

“It’s a bit foreign to me actually, I was finding it a little hard. We don’t usually do that kind of thing— it’s not really in the classical comfort zone—but we’re going to go for it anyways.”

La Cafamore String Quartet was formed in the West Kootenay during 2008. It also includes celloist Jeff Faragher and viola-ist Alexis More.

On Oct. 1 the group will be joined with guest performer Angela Snyder on violin. Snyder is from Front Royal, Virg., and is Cameron’s sister.

Clarinetist Nicola Everton will be joining the group for this performance, too. Everton recently moved to the Kootenays after spending more than 20 years performing in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

She has toured in Asia and North America, performing with Diana Krall, Leslie Feist, the Chieftans, Yo-Yo Ma, and for dignitaries like the Dalai Lama and Queen Elizabeth. Now she directs several concert series in the region and works as an educator and performer.

“Most of the time we’re a string quartet but when you’re lucky enough to have a collaboration—especially with someone as talented as Nicola—you go for it,” Cameron said.

The group was especially pleased about performing in the old BMO building, across from Ferraro Foods.

“Chamber music was meant to be . . . well, it’s intimate, conditionally. Or historically it was played in a rich person’s parlour or ballroom or whatever,” she said. “It was generally meant for a smaller venue so if you can get a nice intimate place with good acoustics, you’ve sort of struck gold.”

She explained how playing in halls that are too dry can kill a note in mid-air, or how if it’s too moist, the sound will reverberate like inside a big church. Cameron concluded that the old BMO building had a good temperature, which created a “nice combination.”

“It’s perfect,” she said.

Tickets for Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. are $15 for adults, $12 for students (under 18) or $45 per family, and are being sold at Café Books in Rossland and Clive’s Coffee Bar in Trail.