Jazz singer Debbie Duncan will be leading a quintet in the second half of a feb. 27 performance in honour of The Old School House Arts Centre, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. — Submitted by Ron Hadley

TOSH to celebrate birthday with help of renowned musicians

Russian string quartet, jazz singer to perform Feb. 27, same day TOSH first opened

The Old School House Arts Centre will be getting a particularly special birthday song on Feb. 27.

More than one, in fact.

As part of the celebrations of TOSH’s 30th year (the arts centre opened Feb. 27, 1988, at 122 Fern Rd. West in Qualicum Beach), the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia will perform, as well as jazz group the Debbie Duncan Quintet on the arts centre’s birthday. The performances will take place at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre (747 Jones St., Qualicum Beach).

The Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet formed in 1939 and is a monument to Russian musical history.

Current members Mikhail Bondarev (violin), Ekaterina Belisova (violin), Alexei Popov (viola) and Anton Andreev (cello) are graduates of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory who, by virtue of a shared background steeped in the grand tradition of Russian music-making, achieve organic and convincing interpretations of a diverse repertoire of masterworks, Russian classics, and contemporary masters.

Since 1989, the group has been actively touring abroad and has made appearances at numerous prestigious music festivals. At home in Saint Petersburg, they have appeared at The Music Spring, From Vanguard to the Present Days, Ways of Sound, and Five Evenings festivals.

In Germany, they have performed at the Wurzer Sommerkonzerte and the Wachenheimer Serenade; in Great Britain, at the Oundle International Festival; in Italy, at the Festival Internazionale della Chitarra (Syracuse), Festival Internazionale della Chitarra Nicolo Paganini (Parma), and Palazzo del Priggione (Venice); and in Poland at the Festival of Organ and Chamber Music in Kamen Pomorsky.

The Quartet regularly performs in Saint Petersburg’s Academic Glinka Capella and in the Shostakovich Philharmonic Concert Hall. The quartet regularly collaborates with other musicians from around the world, and has made many professional sound recordings released on labels in Germany, the United States, France, and in Russia.

Debbie Duncan (performing in a quintet alongside Bill Runge on saxophone, Ron Hadley on piano, Rick Kilburn on bass and Buff Allen on drums) may be considered the upper Midwest’s “best-kept-musical secret,” but she has become a local legend and treasure in her home of Minneapolis, Minn.

Her personality, vitality, and versatility all contribute to that fact. She is a terrific entertainer, and this is certainly part of her appeal. Most importantly, however, she’s a great vocalist.

Duncan has sung with Bobby Watson and Horizon, Roy Hargrove, Bobby Lyle, Jack McDuff, John Hendricks, Mark Murphy, Chicago’s legendary Von Freeman, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Rececca Paris.

She received rave reviews opening for greats such as Herbie Hancock, Stephan Grapelli, Miles Davis, Lou Rawls and Joe Henderson. She also sang on Jimmy McGriff’s CD, In a Blue Mood.

As word spreads even more about this talented and versatile performer, she is poised to become a major voice in American music.

While back-to-back art exhibitions (the second running from Feb. 19 to March 17) seek to look back and recognize artists who have contributed and been helped by TOSH over its 30 years, the Feb. 27 concert looks to honour TOSH’s music history of about 20 years, created by Ron Hadley with the Music on Sunday program, TOSH executive director Corinne James said in a previous interview.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased by calling 250-752-6133.

The event runs from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre at 747 Jones St.

For more info, go to www.theoldschoolhouse.org.

— NEWS Staff, Ron Hadley submission

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