9:00 – Cascade Quartet
The Cascade Quartet serves as the resident string quartet of the Great Falls Symphony. The ensemble regularly performs concerts, provides interactive school show, engages in community collaborations, and residency activities for rural and urban communities throughout Montana and the Northwest.
9:17 – Tien Hsieh
World-class pianist, Tien Hsieh, “lets her artistry express a warmth and freshness of ideas that surely none but a poet could explain.” Her breathtaking performances of dynamic masterworks have garnered praise from the press. Her numerous accolades include prizewinner of Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, recipient of Roy M. Rubinstein Award, Distinguished Artist Award-Artists International. Tien’s MPAC showcase will include a powerful mix of majestic, stately Bach-Liszt, virtuosic Schubert combined with the intriguingly evocative music of Scriabin.
9:34 – Jet Black Pearl
This fabulous accordion diva from the port of Amsterdam has performed on more than a thousand stages all over Europe and the USA West Coast while singing, rapping and beat boxing about slugs in love, criminal gurus and hallucinating butterflies. In her new solo show, Jet Black Pearl sings in French, English and Dutch, accompanying herself on the accordion, flute, kalimba and toy piano. With her loop-station she turns herself and her minimal equipment into a cabaret orchestra.
9:51 – Lauren Sheehan, Songster
This “one-woman Americana jukebox” celebrates America with music from the 1850’s through modern times, Lauren plays banjo and guitar to accompany her rich and powerful voice, singing blues, ballads, Stephen Foster, Hank Williams, bawdy and silly songs, as well as serious poetic and deeply humanistic ones. Recent appearances on BBC, NPR and inclusion into the Library of Congress along with a Portland Music Award for achievement in Folk, attest to her growing significance as artist, performer and teacher.
10:08 – Aerial Arts of Bozeman
Through beautiful shapes and airy choreography, Karen and Galen add an element of magic and surprise to any occasion. Their inspiring athletic aerial dance performances can be ambient background movement to create atmosphere at en event, they can choreograph short pieces to be performed as unique showcases at an indoor or outdoor venue, or they can even pour wine from above at wedding receptions! Customized performances can be correlated with event themes. Additionally, through aerial workshops, Karen and Galen can introduce participants to the tricks and techniques to get them started on a new circus adventure! Aerial dance is a creative workout for all ages and abilities, and is guaranteed to get your feet off the ground!
10:25 – Jason Ringenberg
Jason Ringenberg was born and raised on an Illinois hog farm that bordered the Rock Island Line Railroad. He left for Nashville July 4, 1981 to pursue his dream of “making a band that could kick American roots music into the modern age!” Little did he know just how far the kick would travel. He immediately formed Jason and the Scorchers and never looked back. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s they tore up venues across the planet and became known as one of the most exciting live bands in music. On classic LPs like Fervor and Lost and Found “they single-handedly rewrote the history of rock’n roll in the South.” (Rolling Stone).
But Ringenberg’s story does not stop there. In 1999 the “Godfather of Americana” (Mojo) decided to go solo. He has released five solo records and everyone from the BBC to USA Today has lauded his songwriting. Touring the world relentlessly, The Times (UK) called Jason Ringenberg one of the most exciting performers of his generation.
12:30 – Jack W. Gladstone
Charlie Russell’s Montana—Heritage and Legacy is a musical, visual narrative that illustrates the legacy, culture and life of Charlie Russell’s Montana (1864-1926).
12:47 – Mud Bay Jugglers
The Mud Bay Jugglers are an artistic juggling ensemble focused on creating unique original performance material. They use ensemble juggling as their backdrop and add layers of physical comedy, choreography and theater to create a depth of experience. Above all, they believe in having fun and sharing it with their audiences.
1:04 – Twin Kennedy
Twin Kennedy is made up of identical twins, Carli and Julie Kennedy from Victoria BC. Recently relocated to Nashville, TN, the duo has toured across Canada, the US, Sweden and Iceland with their fiddle, guitar and sibling harmonies. These sisters are two-time Canadian Country Music Award nominees and 2016 Grand Prize Winners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Known for their heartfelt songwriting and high energy show that blends their classical training with their country roots, Twin Kennedy also offers their “Classical to Country Workshop and School Show” featuring a master class on performance skills for students of all ages and levels. Having recently released their debut album, It’s a Love Thing, produced by Canadian country superstar, George Canyon, these sisters are “Nothing short of awesome!” (Cashbox Canada)
1:21 – Trent Arterberry
Trent Arterberry’s unique style of physical theatre serves up a feast of mime and monologue with a side of audience participation. “A proven crowd-pleaser” (The Boston Globe), Arterberry has performed everywhere from New York’s Radio City Music Hall and the grand ballroom of the QE2 luxury liner to inside the giant ocean tank of the New England Aquarium. He has given thousands of performances at schools, theatres and festivals across the US and Canada.
Appealing to all ages, Artterberry offers a 90-minute adult program and three different school shows for elementary through secondary audiences.
“Arterberry’s genius is two-fold—storytelling that doesn’t patronize and the agility to make it vastly entertaining.” (Monday Magazine, Victoria, Canada)
1:38 – Valinor Quartet
Valinor Quartet is a unique collaboration between a Grammy-winning accordionist, Victor Prieto, and the International String Trio—Slava Tolstoy (guitar, musical director), Jakub Trasak (violin) and Greg Feingold (bass). The all acoustic group encompasses the diverse cultural backgrounds of its members, hailing from Russia, Spain, USA and Czech Republic, to influence its stylistic diversity and unique performance aesthetic. The group’s riveting displays utilize a breathtaking range of styles—from classical to Beatles; from Gypsy jazz to klezmer, from popular movie soundtracks to tango and a few surprises in between.
This multi-cultural concert experience instantly appeals to a wide range of audiences: large and small, young and old, from all walks of life. Their eclectic synergy explodes with buoyant energy, intimate acoustic dynamics, stylistically informed phrasing, and loving attention to detail. The group has honed its energetic concert program into an acoustic collection of articulate arrangements, exclusive to this rare instrumentation. Such shared proficiency is seldom seen or heard in today’s ever-growing market of gimmicks and one-dimensional music making.
1:55 – James Lee Stanley
James will be performing a few selections from his one-man show “Perhaps I Haven’t Thought This Through,” a two-act presentation of music and accompanying comedic dialog.
3:30 – John Roberts Y Pan Blanco
John Roberts y Pan Blanco is an original-sounding ensemble designed to make audiences move, and to bring a positive spirit to the listener’s heart. This ensemble melds high energy, danceable Funk, African and Salsa grooves with blistering instrumental solos aimed at sharing musical diversity. John Roberts brings many years of international touring and recording experience to the multi-lingual, family-friendly performance group.
3:47 – West My Friend
Described as indie-roots to progressive chamber-folk, West My Friend has an acoustic blend of instruments and four-part harmonies that challenges the conventional. The band features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals with arrangements of bass, guitar, mandolin and accordion that draw from a diversity of genres. Forged from a sonically adventurous acoustic music scene on Canada’s west coast, West My Friend is proving to be a key part of a new generation of grassroots folk music.
The wealth of musical experience and classical training in the group creates an interesting backdrop for their songwriting, allowing for levels of detail, intricacy, and counterpoint balanced with moments of simplicity. West My Friend’s commitment to creating original indie-roots music, and their dedication to giving their audiences a meaningful and memorable experience, is sure to catch hold of listeners as they regularly tour Canada, the United States, Europe and beyond.
4:04 – Take 5
Take 5 will perform four musical selections including: “Alice in Wonderland”, “At Last”, a medley of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Swing Low” (with Fort Benton elementary school children) and conclude with “One Note Samba”. The carefully selected musical pieces will showcase the diverse repertoire the ensemble has to offer audiences in a formal concert program as well as the unique musical arrangements, individual musicianship of the artists and quality of the entire ensemble.
4:21 – Tribute to Segovia
Through instrumental selections and short stories, award-winning Spanish/classical guitarist, Andy Hackbarth, pays homage to the Father of Classical Guitar, Andres Segovia. The program also looks at Segovia’s influence on the modern-day guitar.
4:38 – East-West International Project
This charming quartet brings to life a variety of styles, such as classical, jazz, tango, folk and pop. Melody is buoyed with lush harmonies, and rhythm is awash with wide chordal counterpoint.