Sea and Sky musicians Joan Blackman (violin), Francois Houle (clarinet), and Jane Hayes (piano) will perform at Langley Community Music School March 4. Submitted photos

Enchanting folk-inspired trio perform in Langley March 4

Concerts Café Classico event features musicians Joan Blackman, Francois Houle and Jane Hayes

Langley Community Music School (LCMS) welcomes Vancouver’s renowned Sea and Sky trio as the feature performers at Concerts Café Classico on Sunday, March 4.

Musicians Joan Blackman (violin), Francois Houle (clarinet), and Jane Hayes (piano) will treat audiences to an eclectic mix of rhythms, ranging from a contemporary Canadian-composed Tango (by Patrick Cardy) to the dramatic sounds of early 20th century Russian folk-music (Igor Stravinsky).

“This is going to be a fun and engaging concert. The folk-inspired programme promises to bring audiences on a dramatic and lively journey through multiple cultures,” said LCMS Artistic Director Elizabeth Bergmann.

“We are also delighted to feature such wonderful home-grown talent as the renowned Sea and Sky chamber music ensemble.”

The program will feature five works from Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat. In particular, “two march-inspired movements, Tango-Waltz-Ragtime and Devil’s Dance, are kind of a Russian hoe-down, all telling the magnificent tale of a soldier selling his soul to the devil,” said Hayes.

The program will also include the works of Jewish-American composer Paul Schoenfeld, and Largo (1901) by composer Charles E. Ives, who is known for his distinctive blend of American hymns with traditional European music.

Originally established in 2014, the Sea and Sky chamber group has performed across Canada and abroad. Their CD recording Sassicaia was nominated for a 2014 West Coast Music Award for best new classical recording and best new classical composition. The group continues to expand their clarinet-piano repertoire with the addition of violin and saxophone and have recently released two more CDs, Dream Tracks and Chromaticity.

The Concerts Café Classico event starts at 2:30 p.m. with a pre-concert conversation with the trio, hosted by Bergmann. This commentary will explore some career anecdotes and highlight insights into the selected repertoire. There will be a short break with coffee and refreshments, before the performance from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Call the box office at 604-534-2848.

The event will take place at the LCMS Rose Gellert Hall, 4899 207 St.


Clarinetist Houle is noted as a “Rising Star” and “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” (Downbeat Magazine) and “a spectacularly versatile clarinetist who appears to have no limitations stylistically or sonically” (LA Times). He is also a prolific recording artist, with over 20 recordings that have earned multiple Juno Awards. Houle has significantly expanded the clarinet repertoire, having commissioned and premiered over 100 new works by many of today’s leading Canadian and international composers.

Violinist Blackman is artistic director of Vancouver’s Vetta Chamber Music Society and former associate concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony. She is also an active chamber musician, performing with diverse groups throughout B.C.

Pianist Hayes has performed globally and is an active recording artist, with 20 CDs in her repertoire. Formerly with the Toronto Symphony, she is currently on sabbatical from her position as director of keyboard studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and has recently been appointed guest professor at Henan Polytechnic University in Jiao Zuo, China.

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