Seasons Archives: Summer 2018

FREDERICK MOYER – Genius on the Keys: Classical to Jazz

Give yourself a refreshing break from from heat of summer to be inspired and uplifted by the extraordinary celebrated keyboard artistry of FREDERICK MOYER – Genius at the Keys:  Classical to Jazz  on Sunday, July 15 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg.“  

Frederick Moyer excelled in the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto and dazzled — almost stunned — the audience with his solo encore, a Busoni version of Liszt’s ‘La Campanella.’ .. Moyer’s performance, one by a talented, well-prepared, committed and inspired artist, reminded us of the wonder of being human.”    The Milwaukee Journal

The concert format will be delightful and simple; the first half is classical (solo piano), the second half jazz.   The classical repertoire points out the links between classical music and jazz. Most of the great classical composers were great improvisors, and many compositions started life as improvisations. Theme and variations, a common form in classical music is the model for most jazz. Many of the harmonies that we associate with jazz were first invented by classical composers. Finally, some “classical” works such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue straddle both worlds.

Frederick Moyer is one of the most exciting pianists before the public today.  Equally at home with Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg as well as Ellington and Peterson, his recitals are creative, engaging and entertaining and generally include time honored favorites as well as pieces that audiences may be hearing for the first time. Also featured will be his MoyerCam, a projection system that allows the audience to see his hands as he plays.”

Tickets are Adults $25, ARCA Members $20 and Students $5.   You may reserve tickets by calling 724-659-3153 or may purchase tickets online here.

After the concert, meet this extraordinary artist and join us for the opening reception for the exhibit of painter Jason Floyd Lewis and potter Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell at the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop on Main Street, Foxburg.

Just an hour and half north of Pittsburgh, Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall has intimate acoustics which provide a truly inspired environment to enjoy pianists performing on its 7 foot Steinway. Built in 1909, the stage’s backdrop is an original hand-painted canvas of an actual scene downstream on the Allegheny River.  Lincoln Hall has a capacity audience of 120 and is located on the second floor of the Foxburg Free Library.

Plan to Make a Day of it in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley and Foxburg!  Enjoy the glory of summer with a walk along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles or do a Segway tour of RiverStone Estate with Foxburg Tours.  Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza.  Plan to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  Or spend the night in the lovely Foxburg Inn, where every room has a river view.

Frederick Moyer 

During over thirty years as a full-time concert pianist, Frederick Moyer has established a vital musical career that has taken him to forty-three countries and to such far-flung venues as Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Sydney Opera House, Windsor Castle, Carnegie Recital Hall, Tanglewood, and the Kennedy Center. He has appeared as piano soloist with most of the major orchestras of the United States as well as many orchestras of Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia.

Moyer was born into an artistic family. On his mother’s side, his grandfather, Paul Green was a Pulitzer‐prize‐winning playwright, and his grandmother, Elizabeth, a poet. His other grandfather, David Moyer was a concert pianist and professor of piano at Oberlin College, a student in Berlin of Ferrucio Busoni and Ernst von Dohnanyi. His grandmother, Jessie, was a singer. Moyer’s father, Bill, a trombonist, was a member of the Boston Symphony for 35 years, and his mother, Betsy, a pianist, harpsichordist and singer.

Moyer began piano studies with his mother at the age of seven. Musically eclectic from the start, his youthful obsessions moved from the Tijuana Brass to Oscar Peterson to Sergei Rachmaninoff. In junior high and high school, he studied jazz intensively. Moyer received a full scholarship to attend the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia while still in high school. He later attended Indiana University. His major teachers were his mother, Theodore Lettvin, Eleanor Sokoloff and Menahem Pressler. Shortly after graduation, his acclaimed New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall launched Moyer on a career that has flourished ever since, taking him to 43 countries, to Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Sydney Opera House, Windsor Castle and the Kennedy Center. Moyer has appeared as piano soloist with the major orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minnesota, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, Boston, Singapore, Dallas, Buffalo, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. Conductors under whom he has performed include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Gunther Schuller, and David Zinman.

Moyer’s repertoire reflects an affinity for the complete range of classical music and beyond. He has recorded five Mozart concerti for the Norwegian radio, and performed three Rachmaninoff piano concerti with the Japan Philharmonic. His 24 recordings span the piano repertoire from Baroque to contemporary works. Composers who have written for Moyer include David Ott whose Second Piano Concerto Moyer recorded with the London Symphony, Donal Fox whose Etudes of 2002‐2006 were commissioned under a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, and Pulitzer Prize winners George Walker and Ned Rorem. Moyer has performed with chamber ensembles at Marlboro Music Festival and Tanglewood, in collaborations with baritone Benjamin Luxon, violinist Salvatore Accardo, cellist Nancy Green and the Muir String Quartet, among others. As a member of the Fred Moyer Jazz Trio, he performs note-for-note transcriptions of such jazz pianists as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Erroll Garner, bringing this great American music onto classical music stages. Moyer’s enthusiasm, artistry, and adventurous programming have made him a favorite among audiences of all ages. In recital, his delightful commentary from the stage takes the audience into the heart of the musical experience.

Moyer’s wide‐ranging interests have contributed to classical music in unique ways. Art museums have engaged him to create art‐music presentations that interpret works of visual art. He contributes his musical talents to causes including Habitat for Humanity and the Holy Trinity Music School in Port‐au‐ Prince, Haiti, which he has visited many times. His activities have been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, the United States Information Service, the Alcoa Foundation, the Astral Foundation, the Paul Green Foundation, Affiliate Artists, Concert Artists Guild, the Western States Arts Federation, the US China Arts Exchange and the Korean Cultural Foundation.

In 1992, Moyer started JRI Recordings, which has since produced CDs by numerous world-class musicians. His many recordings on this and other labels comprise works by over thirty composers and reflect an affinity for a wide variety of styles. His CD of Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto was the first commercial recording of a large-scale Romantic work using an orchestra created from sampled sounds. His Mussorgsky/Mendelssohn CD was the first using the the Bosendorfer 290 SE Recording Piano. Other recordings include David Ott’s Second Piano Concerto with the London Symphony which was written for Moyer. Many other composers have written for Moyer including Pulitzer Prize winners George Walker and Ned Rorem, and Donal Fox whose Etudes of 2002-2006 were written under a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Frederick Moyer, Classical to Jazz

The concert format will be delightful and simple; the first half is classical (solo piano), the second half jazz.   The classical repertoire points out the links between classical music and jazz. Most of the great classical composers were great improvisors, and many compositions started life as improvisations. Theme and variations, a common form in classical music is the model for most jazz. Many of the harmonies that we associate with jazz were first invented by classical composers. Finally, some “classical” works such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue straddle both worlds.

Bernie CunninghamLead Singer & Guitarist
Bob ArtisMandolinist
Karen ArtisString Bassist
Radford VanceBanjo Player
Michele Birkby-VanceFiddler

Come on out and hear the NEW SOUND of audience favorite, the Allegheny Drifters. Yes, it’s a Bluegrass Jamboree in Foxburg – Back by popular demand –  Bob and Karen Artis and Berne Cunningham, and BETTER THAN EVER with their new banjo player and fiddler – Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance who rocked Lincoln Hall last year with fancy fiddling and banjo strumming.

Gather by the river as ARCA brings to the beautiful Allegheny River Valley the uplifting and energetic bluegrass of the Allegheny Drifters in concert in Lincoln Hall on Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 PM!  It’s musical fun for the whole family that will remind you what country living is all about.  The stunning vocal harmony, blazing instrumentals and soulful singing and good old-fashioned bluegrass energy of western Pennsylvania’s finest blue grass ensemble will set your down-home toes a tapping!

Take a break from the summer heat in Lincoln Hall’s air conditioned comfort and have a country-good time enjoying Bluegrass at its Best.  From the western foothills of the Alleghenies, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Drifters have presented their exciting style of bluegrass to audiences across the country for more than a decade. Their engaging, fast-paced show with bluegrass instrumental fireworks and heartfelt vocals appeals to all ages, as seen in this performance at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh in June of 2014.

Bring ALL the generations of your family and your friends.  Tickets are $15 for Adults and $5 for students.  Children under 6 Free.  Beer and Wine available by donation,

About the Allegheny Drifters

Allegheny Drifters Banner

Internationally acclaimed Bluegrass recording artists, The Allegheny Drifters have earned a reputation with their superb song selection and good old-fashioned blue grass energy and drive – and are audience favorites right here in western Pennsylvania.

Bob Artis and Bernie Cunningham’s natural duet blend echoes the sound and feeling of the golden age of bluegrass. When joined by the high harmony of bassist Karen Artis, this band presents a warm, authentic sound that touches the heart. Add Bob’s soulful mandolin and the exciting banjo and fiddle work of Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance and you have an unbeatable bluegrass sound straight from the heart of the old Alleghenies.

Enjoy the “new fiddler” and banjo player additions to the group in this performance from the 2017 Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival.

In response to their CD, Can’t Wait, Canadian disc jockey Howard Bonner wrote, this is “a regional group who belongs on the national scene … a smooth but steadfast adherence to bluegrass music. Great CD release!”

The Allegheny Drifters are known and loved for their… “Tremendous talent and deep respect for the soul of the music they perform.”  Make a night of it –  Join the toe-tapping fun on Saturday, July 29 and experience their soulful music making in Lincoln Hall at 7:30 PM – and Bring the whole family.

About the Musicians

bernie-bioLead singer & guitarist Bernie Cunningham has one of the finest voices in traditional bluegrass today.  A born bluegrass singer, Bernie is the product of a West Virginia coal mining family, raised on traditional music. He and Bob have performed together for over 30 years. Bernie’s talents are in high demand; he’s recorded with several regional bands, released a solo CD and is a gifted and versatile multi-instrumentalist. The Allegheny Drifters is the first band in which he takes center stage as lead singer and guitarist. Bernie makes his home in rural Fombell, Pennsylvania.

bob-bioMandolinist Bob Artis is a veteran of the western Pennsylvania bluegrass scene. Playing professionally since the early 1960s, he began a tenure with Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers in 1968, recording nearly 80 songs for the Rural Rhythm and County labels. Bob’s deep feeling for the music is reflected in his book Bluegrass, the first-ever history of the music, and in his classic modern song, “Blue Ridge”. He’s appeared on PBS’s “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and over his long career, has played or recorded with bluegrass legends Red Allen, Hylo Brown, Clyde Moody and Larry Sparks.

karen-bioBassist Karen Artis drives the beat with her rock solid rhythm on the upright bass and is an excellent singer whose high harmonies add warmth and depth to the band’s vocals. Also a talented songwriter, she contributed the title song for the “Climb Heaven’s Ladder” CD project. An award-winning designer, she handles all the graphics for the band. Karen’s outgoing personality and enthusiasm both on and off stage continue to win new friends and fans for the Allegheny Drifters. A native Pittsburgher, she and husband Bob live in suburban Forest Hills.

Banjo player Radford Vance
has been playing the banjo since he was 8 years old. Born in Richlands, Virginia, bluegrass was in his blood. Since age 12, he’s spent his years traveling the country playing the music that he loves, and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many of the musicians who forged the path of bluegrass music, including Carl Story, Hylo Brown and Lawrence Lane. He formed his own band, Tradin’ Post, based in Mansfield, Ohio during the 1980s, and added his banjo expertise to the Ohio-based band Northwest Territory for 20 years. Radford brings his experience, vocals and banjo style to the Allegheny Drifters. From straight-up banjo rolls to melodic pickin’ he adds drive and feeling to the band’s sound.

Fiddler Michele Birkby-Vance  If you’ve gotta have a fiddle in the band, Michele Birkby-Vance will delight you with her talent and enthusiasm. From a family of Grantsville, Maryland fiddlers, at age 10 she learned to play from her Dad, and went on to become a five-state fiddle champion. Along with husband, Radford Vance, she played bluegrass with Northwest Territory for 21 years. She also played fiddle on the very first IBMA award-winning “Daughters of Bluegrass” recording, and toured for 2 years with the New Coon Creek Girls. Always smiling, Michele brings a fifth vocal harmony to the band, and adds smooth backup and superb fiddling. She and Radford now reside in Garrett County Maryland.

History of the Allegheny Drifters

In 2002, veteran western Pennsylvania bluegrass mandolinist Bob Artis was invited to put together a one-show-only bluegrass band to perform with the Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra at their debut concert to be held in April 2003. Bob’s wife Karen Artis was the obvious choice to play bass, and friend and former bandmate Bernie Cunningham was called in to sing and play guitar. With the addition of Alabama transplant Jake Abrams on banjo, the Allegheny Drifters were born and were an instant hit.

At the time, Jake and his wife Lisa were busy with their own band, but Jake continued to help out on banjo when he could. In 2005, Keith Beaver, banjo picker from Leetonia Ohio was invited to join the band, and remained a popular member for nearly a decade until his departure at the end of 2013. Young med school student and Banjo player Gregg Welty joined the band in 2014, leaving in the summer of 2015 to resume his medical career.  He was replaced by the talented multi-instrumentalist, Jim Scott, in 2015, and in 2016 banjo player and fiddler – Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance –  joined the Allegheny Drifters.

Hallmarks of the Allegheny Drifters are their stunning vocal harmony and their total commitment to professionalism. Through their many years of performing they’ve learned what audiences enjoy seeing and hearing, and work hard to please and entertain. They are a traditional bluegrass band without being overly bound to convention or restrained by the past. Bob, Bernie and Karen, all talented songwriters, add fresh material to the band’s catalog and continue to seek new ways of reaching out to audiences with their heartfelt message of real bluegrass.

The Allegheny Drifters released their first CD, Out of the Woods, in the spring of 2006. It was produced by David Mayfield and included guest fiddler Jeremy Abshire, who later went on to play with the Grascals. The project received great reviews – County Sales said “good songs, good singing, excellent listening” while Bluegrass Unlimited described it as “refined and well produced… traditional in the best possible way”.

In 2008, the band released Can’t Wait, featuring the outstanding fiddling of internationally acclaimed Michael Cleveland. WYEP’s Bruce Mountjoy referred to the material as “great original additions to the bluegrass songbook…tasteful arrangements that make each song come alive”. With a nod to Bob’s catchy title tune, Bluegrass Music Profiles enthusiastically declared, “Can’t Wait? Don’t wait! Get it!”

Their latest project, an all gospel CD, Climb Heaven’s Ladder finally debuted in 2014, delayed by a series of family losses and band members’ health issues. The titel cut was penned by Karen, and once again guest Michael Cleveland provided his blazing fiddle. All three projects have been well-received by national and international audiences worldwide via broadcast radio and streaming audio.

Over the past decade, the Allegheny Drifters have earned a solid reputation as one of their region’s most popular and hard-working bluegrass bands, performing at festivals, county fairs, corporate events, community day celebrations, universities, weddings, arts and crafts fairs, churches, rural grange halls and urban summer concerts.

Exciting to hear…fun to watch…the Allegheny Drifters enjoy what they do, and that joy is shared by their audiences and growing number of followers and fans.

 

Dane Vannattervocalist
Clifford Barnespiano
Tony DePaolisbass
James Mooretrumpet
Dane Vannatter

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts will welcome back by popular demand nationally acclaimed vocalist and recording artist, Dane Vannatter, on Saturday evening June 16 at 7:30 PM.  Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall will be aglow with candlelight and nightclub cabaret table-style seating, a perfect setting for a relaxing, romantic night out, enjoying this masterful entertainer and cabaret artist and his jazz trio of consummate musicians on Father’s Day weekend!

Performing songs “From Broadway to Motown” as well as from his celebrated fourth CD – Give Me Something Real – you won’t want to miss his inimitable style of intimate cabaret singing. “His voice has a floating quality that gets in your head and won’t leave…his music is a swinging, soaring adventure!” The Boston Globe

And be sure to wear your dancing shoes so you can take a spin with your sweetheart at the back of the hall.  Wine and beer will be available by donation.

In his last visit to Foxburg Dane left the audience begging for more of his unique vocal artistry and sensitive interpretations of the classic American songbook. Dane’s singing runs the gamut of emotions, as he performs heartfelt passionate, humorous, joyous and touching songs that span seven decades.   Once again, an outstanding trio of jazz artists will provide the background over which Dane will display his vocal palette of emotional colors.

dane vannatter trio 2014

Daniel May, Dane Vannatter, Tony DePaolis, Mike Tomaro

The jazz trio backing Dane is composed of nationally-known jazz artists whose careers go beyond live performance into the areas of composition, movie scores, touring, recording and education. Joining Dane in creating musical magic in the intimacy of a Lincoln Hall’s acoustic and cabaret environment will be Clifford Barnes (piano), Tony DePaolis (bass) and James Moore (trumpet).

Enjoy a romantic night out enjoying smooth and grooving jazz in a candlelit night club style setting. With table seating for the cabaret, seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your tickets or your table early!

Adults: $25, ARCA Members $20, Students $5 Beer and Wine by donation.
To reserve tickets: 724-659-3153  or buy online here.

Dane Vannatter in Lincoln Hall

Dane Vannatter

Dane Vannatter

“Vannatter is one of the most jazz-savvy cabaret singers around”.  Boston Globe

Acclaimed by Carol Sloane of Concord Records as ‘my favorite among the new young male singers’, Dane Vannatter has been celebrated for his naturally beautiful voice and tasty jazz style.  Montreal’s George Evans said, “Dane Vannatter makes it sound so easy – his style is so natural and his sound so free that one could get the mistaken impression that singing isn’t work to him at all, but as simple as breathing and just as organic.”

Dane Vannatter hails from Muncie, Indiana where his grandparents were Church of God ministers who traveled the country playing and singing for death row prisoners. He attributes his love of music to his grandmother, who lovingly taught him to play the piano and introduced him to the wonderful complexities of harmony. Equally influential in Dane’s early musical experience was his father’s love of jazz and masters of the song, such as Kay Starr and Billie Holiday. His father’s extensive and varied album collection provided the vehicle through which the young Dane began to learn and experience the art of interpreting song. Whether they use their talents in the popular or classical music genres, most singers begin to reach a vocal maturity in their late 20’s or early 30’s. It was at this age that Dane began to approach singing very seriously as a result of an invitation to participate in a contest in Boston.

Currently living in Pittsburgh, Dane has received Bistro awards for Outstanding Vocalist and for his recording, Flight, by the critics of BackStage in New York. He has been acclaimed by reviewers at The New York Post, The Boston Globe and BackStage for a style that “blends facets of cabaret and jazz with intelligence and care”.

The Boston Globe remarks: “Dane Vannatter’s distinctive style leaves an imprint on whatever music he sings. His voice has a floating quality that gets in your head and won’t leave…his music is a swinging, soaring adventure!” He has been nominated for four MAC awards and has been a Nightlife Award finalist.

Patti LaBelle and Dane Vannatter

Patti LaBelle and Dane Vannatter

Dane has performed for several years at the annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention at Town Hall in New York City and performed in venues nationally and internationally. In Pittsburgh, Dane has performed for the First Fridays at the Frick series and sings regularly at the Fairmont Hotel’s Jazz at Andy’s and James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy.

On July 31, 2015 Dane was called to the stage by Patti LaBelle during her concert in Columbus, Ohio. After hearing Dane sing and inviting him to duet on her classic “Lady Marmalade” Patti exclaimed “You better sing, fool. My God!.”

Dane is a gentleman with a particular passion for lending his considerable talents in support of such noble causes as pancreatic cancer research and the Adagio Health Organization, which serves more than 100,000 Western Pennsylvanians regardless of income or insurance.

 

The review of Dane Vannatter’s fourth CD Give Me Something Real in Cabaret Scenes:

Dane Vannatter imageJanuary 31, 2016
Reviewed by John Hoglund for Cabaret Scenes

Many have asked, “Where are the torchbearers for the Great American Songbook today?” There are wannabes floating around who have gotten serious star attention that’s arguably not warranted (like Michael Bublé or Diana Krall who are not quite the real deal or bore), but have been lucky enough to be churned out like butter and packaged well. But, today’s cabarets and jazz clubs have some great singers who deserve a shot. Welcome Dane Vannatter, who has been kicking around Boston, New York and, more recently, Pittsburgh clubs for almost two decades and has built a loyal following. He’s someone the Concord or Telarc labels might consider, especially since there is a paucity of good jazz vocalists on the market today.

While there’s no magic formula to being a great singer, some just have what it takes. Vannatter fits that bill. Whenever this jazz/swing singer hits the stage, he is known for putting his best foot forward. He never disappoints. His fourth CD, Give Me Something Real, is no exception. His rangy jazz tenor caresses songs with ease. Insightful phrasing matches the quality of his full-voiced vocals, which remain flawless.

Unlike his previous three albums, this particular disc has a more personal touch as he blends etched-in-wood classics with contemporary story songs that soar. This is obvious on beautifully realized cuts like “But Beautiful” (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen), “Blame It on My Youth” (Edward Heyman/Oscar Levant) and the album’s title cut from 1998 by Clark Anderson and Meryn Warren which stands out for its heartfelt clarity. These are sung with an intelligence and bright musicality that excels with every note. A lot of heart went into recording these gems. Kicking off with a strong bass line, the frolicsome “I Love My Bed” (Bob Haymes) is a refreshing lighthearted romp that’s given a terrific arrangement. He digs deep while retaining a strong drive on the Billy Strayhorn beauty “Something to Live For.” Such versatility only adds to the surprises on this disc that mixes the old and new. One of the CD’s most intense and trenchant cuts fuses the Coldplay hit “Fix You” (Chris Martin/Jonny Buckland/Guy Berryman/Will Chapman) with Leonard Cohen’s legendary “Hallelujah.” Joining these unique songs of shattered love and sadness is inspired, making for the album’s finest cut. They unfold a tale of wrenching drama and heartbreak in a stunning arrangement that is about riveting as it gets. Vannatter shows his level of interpretive gifts with these two formidable songs. The burnished bruise in his expressive, softer moments underscores a natural vibrato that is heartbreaking. This pairing is worth the price of the album alone, which is a hands-down winner by a singer who deserves more exposure and recognition.

The exceptional band is led by Fred Boyle (piano), with Ron Ormsby (bass), Bart Weisman (drums), Steve Ahern (trumpet), Bruce Abbott (sax/flute), Jon Evans (bass), Eric Susoeff (guitar) and Daniel May (keyboard).

Dane

Navigation

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts