Ke-Nekt series to offer five fabulous concerts

Miro QuartetSUNY Oswego’s Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series will connect musical styles including Grammy-winning world beats, American Civil War brass sounds, jazz numbers and classical compositions.

The series will kick off Wednesday, Oct. 11, with the Eugene Friesen Ensemble, which fuses world music with classical, folk and rock. Grammy-winning cellist Friesen will lead veteran frame drummer and major label recording artist Glen Velez and Tim Ray, also known as Lyle Lovett’s pianist. Faculty members Julie Pretzat and Aaron Reece will host the show, with the band’s program to include a Reece composition.

The Excelsior Cornet Band –– winner of a Syracuse Area Music Award for their CD “Cheer, Boys, Cheer!” –– will appear Nov. 8. Dressed in Civil War-era formal clothing, the group is New York state’s only brass band playing music exclusively from that era. Selections will range from patriotic tunes and operatic melodies to marches and dance music. Antique instruments from the 1860s and musical arrangements from band books and sheet music from the Civil War era preserve the band’s authentic flavor. Faculty host will be faculty member Terry Caviness.

Instead of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, music lovers can sample “Devils, Soldiers and Souls.” Directed by theatre department Chair Mark Cole and choreographed by Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell, this Faustian- flavored story sprinkles in the music of Stravinsky and Schubert.

Special guest artists will include Todd Graber and Janet Brown in a show hosted by faculty member Juan F. La Manna.

The Eastman Jazz Trio will take the stage on March 7 with a blend of classical and experimental jazz. Drummer Rich Thompson, who has toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, will supply the beats. Pianist/composer and ASCAP Award winner Harold Danko will keep the tempo. Jeff Campbell, a member of the Rochester Philharmonic bass section, will add to the improvisational flair. Hosting and performing with the trio will be new SUNY Oswego faculty member Eric Schmitz.

Closing out the series on April 11 will be the Miro Quartet (pictured) featuring John Largess on viola, Joshua Gindele on cello, Daniel Ching on violin and Sandy Yamamoto on violin. From Bangor to Baltimore, the press has praised the group’s “youthful energy” that “brings a touch of spontaneity.” The quartet, named after Spanish surrealist Joan Miro, has toured internationally, recorded two albums and played on NBC’s “Today” show, ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NPR’s “Performance Today.” Robert Auler will serve as faculty host and perform with the group.

All concerts will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Sheldon Hall ballroom on campus.

WCNY Classic FM 91.3 provides media support.

Tickets for each performance cost $15 ($10 for seniors and students, $5 for SUNY Oswego students). Discounted season tickets cost $60 ($40 for seniors and students, $20 for SUNY Oswego students).

For information or reservations, visit, call the Tyler box office at 312-2141 or e-mail

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(Posted: Sep 06, 2006)