concert preview: Fall season kicks off at Kerrytown Concert House with annual Parisian Soiree celebration
“It’s turned into kind of a showcase of who we are and what we do,” said Deanna Relyea, KCH founder-director and Soiree performer, of the event.
“We have a bit of classical—although never too heavy. We have a lot of singing and cabaret kind of stuff going on, and jazz. It’s always fun and we’ll include things that are related to Paris, like Cole Porter, who spent a lot of time in Paris in his life. And some Jacques Brel and Erik Satie.”
Performers will include sopranos Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers, Liz Pearse and Anna Relyea; mezzo-sopranos Deanna Relyea and Monica Swartout-Bebow; singer-actress Shelley MacMillan; baritones Glen Thomas Rideout and Roger Chard; bass baritone Gary Relyea; violinist Gabe Bolkosky; saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen; jazz guitarist-violinist Michele Ramo; and pianists Kevin Bylsma, Michele Cooker, Kathryn Goodson, Maurita Holland and Allison Halerz.“It’s a lot of people who care about the House and who are very good at what they do,” Relyea said. Sparkling wine will be served, to add to the festive atmosphere.
Besides reuniting her with brother Gary and sister-in-law Anna, Relyea said this year’s program includes plenty of original moments.
“This year Kathryn Goodson has worked up a kind a shtick with a suite of Erik Satie’s very light piano pieces—in the music himself he has written a kind of script that sets the mood. It’s quite amazing. While she’s playing she’s doing a kind of dramatic reading occasionally as the music changes. It’s original, she’s an original.
“Shelley MacMillan—she never sings without acting she goes way back in the Ann Arbor area as an actress and singer. Anything she does is a little jewel, really.”
She said Soiree regulars Chard and Holland always offer something interesting, and Bylsma, also a regular, puts most of the lineup together. “Kevin is quite an amazing pianist,” she said.
Relyea encouraged anyone interested in attending the Parisian Soiree to call for reservations. “We used to do two nights, but the scheduling this year is such we can only do one night,” she said.
The Soiree is just the beginning of a busy season for KCH. She said highlights of the fall schedule include the annual three-day avant-jazz Edgefest; jazz singer-pianist Freddy Cole, accompanied by Ann Arbor native and now sought-after New York guitarist Randy Napoleon; and 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Sheila Jordan.
“I love her singing, it’s so personal to her,” Relyea said of Jordan. “Even at her age, she’s always pushing the envelope. She never does anything the same way twice. It’s her first KCH appearance in 20 years and we’re really happy to have her back.”
Relyea said she hopes Freddy Cole’s appearance—this year for two shows—becomes an annual event, and had high praise for Napoleon as well. “Randy is becoming a very famous jazz guitarist in New York and in the world. He is Freddy’s right-hand guy. And Freddy Cole is an amazing performer. You could think of him just as Nat King Cole’s brother, but he is very, very special. He knows every song in the book.”
Sept. 28: Vincent Chandler Septet
Oct. 3: Trio X
Oct. 4: Pauline Martin and Yoonshin Song
Oct. 6: Sheila Jordan
Oct. 7: Frank Wiens’ Grieg Project
Oct. 19: Paul Keller Quartet featuring Sarah D’Angelo
Oct. 26: Elina Duni Quartet CD release party
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: Edgefest
Nov. 11: Freddy Cole Quartet
Nov. 16: Aaron Berofsky Trio
Jan. 25-27: Wine, Women and Song