A more-than-extraordinary musical experience

Art Juncker and Marti.

Grace and groove filled the stage of the sold-out Bach to Blues
festival at Gavilan College on Friday night. From the first notes
of the Brandenberg Concerto played so beautifully by the South
Valley String Quartet to the last scat uttering by Nate Pruitt, the
concert was a smash.
Grace and groove filled the stage of the sold-out Bach to Blues festival at Gavilan College on Friday night. From the first notes of the Brandenberg Concerto played so beautifully by the South Valley String Quartet to the last scat uttering by Nate Pruitt, the concert was a smash.

This was not a night of all imported talent. This was a night of our own homegrown vintage uncorked for our pleasure and delight.

The incredible piano of Maria Amirkhanian was followed by the brave and undaunted Art Juncker whose comic relief admitted to reluctance to follow such an outstanding performer as Amirkhanian.

Just as we were lured into the cabaret, Albert Marques beckoned our souls to Spain with hot-blooded Flamenco guitar. As his ensemble grew to include friends and father, the speed of the dance became intense until the final heel stomp and click of the castanets.

I’m sure I heard long time Gavilan student and arts supporter Eve Prince stand up and shout “olé!” Or could that have been the ever enthusiastic Paul Myrvold sitting in the front row? Seated with Mr. Myrvold were other Out and About contributors Sylvia Myrvold and Debe and Paul Stieber.

Returning to her native area is vocalist Cori Pfeffer-Coetzee. Ms. Pfeffer-Coetzee is a recent graduate of the Berkelee School of Music and performed with the Marques Flamenco Ensemble. Ms. Pfeffer-Coetzee stated she is eager to become active in the musical life of South County, and we surely welcome her talents!

Gavilan organizers Fran Lozano, dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Marilyn Abad-Cardinalli, Fine Arts chair, along with their committee, thought of all the details, even providing intermission entertainment.

The Gavilan College Performance Ensemble played for coffee-drinking patrons from a courtyard stage decorated in white lights during the concert break. The committee created a mood of musicality and carried it out through the evening with great success.

There to show their support for the arts (and maybe take a break from calculations) was a considerable roster from the Gavilan math department including Lynn Lockhart, newly elected Santa Cruz Union School District Board member and math faculty Ken Wagmen and his wife Branwyn Wagman, Dan and Marlene Dewyer, and Elena Dachkova.

Among the 436 audience members Kirk Berkland was spotted drumming on his lap right along with Nate Pruitt’s son on drums. C.C. Johnston, former writer for the Pinnacle, and Bunny Gromeeko, former South Valley Symphony Board member found ideal seating with tickets purchased in advance of the show. Lozano stated the turnout “exceeded our expectations. We are now planning next year’s concert with the possibility of adding a second performance.” According to Lozano, early estimates of proceeds raised from the event are now at $2,000 but may go higher.

Sunday evening watching the upset at the Oscars was handled with a glass of Clos LaChance Cabernet and a big screen in the winery’s elegant party room. It was a BBOF (bring your own food) gathering with friends of the Murphys and friend’s of friend’s of the Murphys. Dave and Shelly Fry revisited the site of their wedding reception and toasted Clint’s Oscar with Maurizio and his wife enjoying a night off from the kids and cooking. Visitor Emily Blatt from Arlington, Mass., sat with friends Eddie and Cathy Chandhok of Monte Sereno and Denise and Geoff Yates. The Yates say hi to Gilroy friends Andrew and Katherine Bruno. The party’s at your house next year!

Ciao for now.

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