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2/7/2013 Love it or hate it, you’ll gain a new appreciation of the banjo on Sunday

That familiar twang will take on new meaning during this weekend’s In Concert performance

In Concert is pleased to present award-winning Canadian banjoist Jayme Stone and his “Room of Wonders.” Stone will be performing with his unusual quartet at Westcliffe’s Jones Theater at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Feb.10.

The quartet includes Stone on banjo; Denver-based Grant Gordy on guitar; violinist Enion Tiller of Lyons; and Andrew Small on bass.

Stone’s award-winning albums both defy and honor the banjo’s long role in the world’s music, turning historical connections into compelling music. In addition to two earlier Junos, Canada’s “Grammy,” one for a solo instrumental album and another for a collaborative bluegrass/African fusion album with Malian Mansa Sissoko, Stone received the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award for Instrumental Artist of the Year.

Stone’s music is inspired by sounds from around the world, bridging folk, jazz, and chamber music. As Stone puts it: “As I got into my instrument and found my own sound, I guess I absorbed a lot of influences, and I’m just fascinated by the world of music. But I don’t see much of a point in doing what other people are already doing. I like to cross boundaries.” In doing so, Stone has garnered critical acclaim. Canada’s Globe and Mail critic declared him “the Yo-Yo Ma of the banjo” while the Edmonton Journal called him “one of the most adventurous banjo players out there;” Georgia Straight stated, “The music is as spirited as its creator. It’s hard to imagine a room large enough to contain the talent that went into its making or the varied sounds it surveys.”

The other members of the quartet are equally talented. Gordy has studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music as well as performing with various bands, mastering improvisation and other concepts. Gordy states, “At heart, I am an improviser; that’s what…first drew me to playing music… but I’m also very interested in composition.”

Tiller began classical studies at age three, but her education was supplemented with improvisation lessons from her jazz guitarist father. She attended Peabody Institute in Baltimore, finally playing with groups combining her love of classical with free jazz and punk. She and her husband David co-founded the group Taarka, and she is a respected teacher as well as composer and performer.

Double bassist Small is a classically trained musician with a unique interest in performing folk and other traditionally-rooted styles of music. He received his BA in Music from the University of Georgia and is currently working toward a Master’s degree in performance at the Yale School of Music. Also a composer, he was the concerto competition winner at the 2008 Philadelphia International Music Festival. In addition to bass, he performs on fiddle, guitar, and banjo.

Sunday’s program is an interesting mix of the various types of music the quartet members play. The repertoire includes a Bach fugue, a Moorish sword-fighting dance, Malian melodies, an Appalachian barnburner, and Stone’s own tiny symphonies as well as traditional music from Bulgaria and Norway.

As always, concert attendees may view art works during the intermission and after the concert in Studio 2. Local assemblage artist Annie Dawid will exhibit several of her works based on the members of London’s Bloomsbury Group, which sought to bring art into everyday life. Concertgoers may also meet the performers at a reception following the concert.

Tickets at $15 for adults and $5 for students are available at Candy’s Coffee or at the door the day of the concert. For more information, call 783-9709 or 783-0422.