By Margit Resch
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” I feel just like the protagonist from Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, although for different reasons. Anne loves the time of year, fall, when nature breaks out in eye-busting colors, when birches turn “as golden as sunshine,” maples are “royal crimson,” and cherry trees become “dark red and bronzy green.” Of course I also love fall’s sartorial splendor, when leaves take wing and float in the air as radiant as spring flower petals. After all, according to Camus, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
But this year I am really looking forward to the return of October because that’s the month when the
concert season of the Fripp Island Friends of Music will commence. Yes, you heard right. After a year of silence because of that pesky virus, we will entertain you with a fabulous series of concerts and, as always, with happy-hour after the performance.
I am not sure how the committee, responsible for composing FIFOM’s musical menu, chose the fabulous performers for this coming season. The committee members must have been inspired by the different and vibrant hues of autumn because our program is so delightfully varied and colorful.
We are going to start our 37th year of concerts in the Community Center on Sunday, October 17 with a burst of colorful tunes performed by Hotlanta: “Jazz with a Southern Accent.” You may have heard this famous musical group in Atlanta or somewhere else in the south and beyond. Hotlanta will transport us back to that early American jazz called Dixieland with songs like “Hard Hearted Hannah” (the vamp of Savannah!) or “Sweet Georgia Brown” (with her “crazy feet that dance so neat.”) You remember musicians like Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, … Well, come on, drum it out of your memory: Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, on and on.
On November 17, the Knific ensemble, composed of Tom, Renata and their offspring Gene, will dig deep into America’s musical past with their instruments–bass, violin and piano, respectively. The Tom Knific Trio, for short, will fill the autumn air with a repertoire they call “The Great American Songbook,” a collection of classics that we all adore. And you will love the trio’s unusual renditions of popular tunes. All three performers are steeped in the fluid world of music. The parents taught at Western Michigan University, and all three have arranged and composed music. They have played together and separately with famous musicians in illustrious venues all over the world.
I also have to rave about the performers who will entertain us in the new year, 2022. They are all eminently rave-able. Just look at our duo performing on January 30. Michele Patzaki is not only a fabulous soprano whose operatic voice is at home in the highest and lowest registers and has been celebrated in concert halls and opera houses all over Europe and the US, but she is also a director, educator and producer. She will be accompanied by John Sawoski, a multi-keyboardist, orchestrator, musical director and composer, who just released a piano album called “Cinema Amore: Movie Love Themes and Other Classics.” He might just play a few for us.
Can you imagine mixing the folksy sounds of Appalachia with high energy Latin tunes and rhythms? That’s what Appalatin has done. Six musicians, originally from Kentucky and from several south American countries, combined their respective musical traditions and personal passions with inspirational results. Their all-acoustic performances with a variety of traditional instruments–guitar, mandolin, upright bass, charango, indigenous Andean flutes, hand percussion, harmonica and vocal harmonies–have brought foot-stomping joy to listeners of all ages. And on February 27, you, too, will be stomping your feet.
By now fall, via a little wintery detour, has burst into spring and, on March 27, Kyshona Armstrong, like our wildflowers, will unfold her petals, albeit vocal, for us. A psychologist, singer, guitarist and songwriter, she believes music is medicine, and, as a therapist, she uses music to comfort and heal her clients. She knows how to tap into her many audiences’s emotions with her unique bluesy and soulful styling that is reminiscent of great singers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Al Green. If for therapeutic reasons or not, come and celebrate spring with uplifting rhythms and, yes, colorful tunes created by this very special performer originally from South Carolina, but now at home in national and international music halls.
For all of our FIFOM members, we have a free concert on April 24 featuring Rebecca Folsom, singer, guitarist, songwriter, teacher, who is coming down the Colorado mountains, here she comes. In this socially and politically challenging world, Dr. Folsom loves to lift people up, to spread laughter, joy and happiness. Those are just some of Rebecca’s ambitious goals when she writes, composes or performs her poetic and, oh, so beautiful songs about heartbreak, redemption and freedom, about life with all its pleasures and sorrows, songs she has performed in places like Tanglewood or Red Rock Amphitheater, or theaters in Israel, Italy and Germany.
Why not become a member of FIFOM right now? Just go to frippfriendsofmusic.com and click on Tickets and Membership, or contact Vanessa Peñaherrera (704) 807-0255. The Basic Membership (which saves you $80) is a great value: it includes admission to six concerts (always on a Sunday at 5:00pm) and, after each performance, an invitation to a reception where you socialize, meet the artists and enjoy the delicious complimentary hors-d’oeuvres created by Harold’s Catering. Your membership also helps us fund our FIFOM’s Music-in-the-Schools program, i.e. pay our guest musicians for playing in a Beaufort school the day after their performance on Fripp and to support young, budding musicians with music lessons and scholarships. Help us bring about change toward a community tuned into music.