Happy New Year all. I am hoping 2009 will be the best year yet - but certainly much better than last year.
I got my button for First Night Virginia and attended four concerts - all of which were very good and entertaining. All of the individuals and groups I saw are from in or nearby Charlottesville so I thought I would recommend you give them a listen when you get a chance.
My first show was to see Brass 5. I always have enjoyed brass ensembles and having two trumpets, trombone, French horn, and tuba (with one percussionist) is a lot of brass. The group is from Roanoke area so they are not likely to be around Charlottesville very frequently, but they were a fun group to hear and they seemed to enjoy performing at first night VA too.
Second show was Terri Allard & Paul Reisler. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Terri Allard sing and Paul Reisler can do some fabulous and full sounding guitar pieces. Terri Allard is playing in Charlottesville often, but seeing (and hearing) Paul Reisler was really a treat.
For my third show, I chose to see Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun. I have seen them listed for local concerts but knew nothing about them. But, this show was truly worth seeing. Both Morwenna (electrified violin) and Jay (electrified guitar) played their instruments and performed their own compositions with incredible punch and creativity. I will surely go hear them in concert in Charlottesville soon. Go see them.
And finally, I went to hear Alegria Latin Combo. It was really a fun show with some fabulous musicianship on guitar, bass, and percussion - and Anita Oliver captured me with her really direct singing style. The songs were all in Spanish, and my Spanish is nowhere, but the show was really terrific. I could have listened well into the night. They play at Maya on W. Main Street and I hope I will get to hear them sometime there (or elsewhere) soon.
So, I had a great time and discovered some wonderful local talent I will visit again, besides.