Obsessions Octet brings Carnegie Hall home
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 06:00 am
Just over one year ago, eight Edmonton area musicians performed before a sold out house at Carnegie Hall.
On Sunday night, they will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of their New York City debut with a concert at the Muttart Hall in the Alberta College Conservatory of Music in Edmonton.
The crossover ensemble was founded in 2005 by saxophonist Kent Sangster and his wife Joanna Ciapka-Sangster, a classically-trained violinist. The eight-piece group, many of whom also play for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO), is known for their distinct blending of classical with tango and jazz standards.
The octet, which rarely performs in Edmonton, debuted in the intimate Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie and received a standing ovation in 2012.
“It was very surreal and very humbling,” said Neda Yamach, violinist for the octet and a St. Albert native, recalling what she describes as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Although Yamach performed at Carnegie the year prior with the ESO, she said playing with a smaller ensemble in a more intimate setting was just as incredible.
The concert on Sunday will give locals a taste of the compositions the octet performed in New York as well as new music by Sangster and composer Allan Gilliland. The audience will also be treated to bossa nova medleys and music by Astor Piazzolla, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
“There will be something old and something new,” noted violinist Joanna Ciapka-Sangster, referring to the breakdown of the ensemble into different combinations to create new textures of sound.
As a musician with the ESO, Ciapka-Sangster said switching from a classical mindset to that of tango and jazz can be unnerving for some.
“There is always a little bit of unknown in jazz and it’s a bit scary for some people … but it’s something that’s addictive,” she admitted.
“I love playing in this group and can never wait until we play again.”
Other members of the ensemble include: Kent Sangster (director/saxophones), Rhonda Henshaw (viola), Ronda Metszies (cello), Chris Andrew (piano), John Taylor (double bass), and Jamie Cooper (drums).
After their performance at Carnegie Hall last year, the octet has received an open invitation to return.
Ciapka-Sangster said the ensemble is currently planning a tour to Europe in 2014.
The concert will take place on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Muttart Hall in the Alberta College Conservatory of Music.
Tickets are $25 at the door; $20 in advance; $15 students/seniors 55+; (plus service fees) and can be purchased through Tix on the Square at 780-420-1757 or online at www.tixonthesquare.ca.