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Of tangos and lullabies

Our January event this past Tuesday was a classical open mic, hosted by pianist Joseph Fernando and featuring the Silverwood Trio, Eugene Kirton, and me (Matt Heller).

Debussy by lamplight with pianist Joseph Fernando.

Joseph started off the night with reflective music by Debussy and Chopin, then welcomed the Silverwood Trio (pianist Bart Hicks, violinist Diana Piggott, and cellist Judy Dofoo.) The Silverwoods played three separate sets, including music by Mendelssohn, Piazzolla, and others. They recently played a run of the musical Evita in a local theatre production, and they shared some infectious tango music from that show. They also broke the news that I'm now the lucky father of a baby son, Blake Heller -- and then played a rousing set of waltz variations on happy birthday.

It's been a crazy few weeks for me since Blake's birth (he and my wife Jen are both doing well!) Still, I managed to bring my bass in and perform a set of lullaby-esque pieces: a sarabande by Bach, a movement from Mieczyslaw Weinberg's sonata for solo double bass, and Ernest Bloch's Prayer (originally for cello and piano.) I don't have any photos of myself to share here, but I can vouch that I was having a great time!

Silverwood Trio performing their first set of 2019.

Joseph plays in a band called Total Gadjos, described as "Eastern-European Folk Roma Klezmer Balkan Post-Punk". He welcomed his band mate, multi-instrumentalist Eugene Kirton, for a set of tangos. Eugene then performed a waltz of his own composition, written to portray the struggles of mental illness. The evening closed with a Chopin Nocturne, performed again by Joseph Fernando.

We're looking forward to monthly events throughout 2019, and hoping to spread the word and welcome new performers and audience members! We will have a mix of open mic events and featured performers. Our next event, on Tuesday, February 26th, features a string quartet of Calgary Philharmonic members performing music by Janaçek and Sibelius.