GC Music Festival<br>enters final weekend

After a successful first couple of weeks, the 20th season of the Grand Canyon Music Festival will wind down this week with performances today, Friday and Saturday.

Music festival co-founder Clare Hoffman watches Avalon’s Blaise Magniere play during a Grand Canyon School assembly Thursday. (Photo by Stacey Davenport/GCN)

The Bonfiglio Group and Trio Solisti will be featured in the final days. The festival saw sold-out concerts last weekend, which featured Avalon. Students participating in the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project were a hit with those who showed up a half-hour earlier than the main performance.

Grand Canyon School students got a taste of chamber music during morning assemblies on Thursday. Avalon performed in a presentation that also included festival co-founder Clare Hoffman.

Tonight’s performance features the Bonfiglio Group, which has received rave reviews from various publications around the country. Bonfiglio, the other co-founder of the festival, plays harmonica. He is joined by Joe Deninzon on violin and Chris Milletari on guitar.

Bonfiglio has gained quite a reputation for his skills, even dubbed as the “Paganini of the harmonica” by a reviewer with the Los Angeles Times.

Bonfiglio and his cohorts will explore the world of blues, jazz and rock and roll in the performance at the Shrine of the Ages.

The festival will celebrate its final weekend with Trio Solisti and Michael LaCapa in “Words and Music.”

The final two concerts will spotlight the role of musicians as storytellers and offers a glimpse into a work in progress.

Stravinsky’s “L’histoire du soldat” tells the story of a soldier’s struggle to find his way home after battle as he is tempted and distracted by the devil. Never quite able to make it, the soldier learns too late what really matters — home and family. The archetypal tale will be told by Trio Solisti, whose members both recite the tale and play the music.

LaCapa (Hopi/Apache/Tewa) will re-tell the story from a Native American perspective, the soldier now a warrior struggling to get home to the canyons of the Southwest, but distracted by the trickster coyote.

The festival plans to combine the two performances in 2004. Other works include Paul Moravec’s “The Tempest Fantasy.” Written for Maria Bachmann and Jon Klibonoff, “The Tempest Fantasy” also calls upon the artists’ storytelling talents as they recite excerpts from Shakespeare’s play.

Members of Trio Solisti include Bachmann on violin, Klibonoff on piano and Pia Gerlach on cello. Joining the group and LaCapa as storyteller will be Alan R. Kay on clarinet.

Each of the final three performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., at the Shrine. For ticket information, call 638-9215 or 1-800-997-8285 or go online to: www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org.


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