How did an all-female group of musicians and vocalists from San Francisco's Bay Area end up shattering preconceived notions of string quartets, folk harmonies and world music?Real Vocal String Quartet began with violinist Irene Sazer's inspiration to combine her musical passions: chamber music, improvising, composing and singing. With violinist Alisa Rose, violist Dina Maccabee and cellist Jessica Ivry, Sazer's vision sparked the creation of a collaborative ensemble that freely mixes and ultimately transcends genres. The group's repertoire embraces the diverse influences of all four players, from classical, jazz and rock to songs and styles from West Africa, Brazil and rural America. Yet while four distinct voices can be heard, over seven years of performing together, the quartet has achieved a true group sound. "The classically-trained players of the Real Vocal String Quartet have lost it," wrote Culturemob.com after reviewing RVSQ's 2010 debut CD. "...They bang on their violins, stomp their feet and allow African trance music to influence their take on old-timey standards. But it's not their sanity that they have lost. Gone is their ability to stay within the constraints of either the old-school classical world where musicians must frequently forsake their creativity for the overall sound of the orchestra or the often unapproachable reaches of the contemporary classical world."RVSQ found a national audience after the release of their 2010 debut, with recent accomplishments including selection by the U.S. State Department to perform as musical ambassadors with the American Voices program, wherein they will visit five European countries for concerts and educational programs this fall. RVSQ has appeared on radio and television, including an appearance with Canadian Grammy nominee Feist on "The Tonight Show," and has been featured in the Christian Science Monitor, Paste, Relix, Strings Magazine and The Strad. They have also collaborated or recorded with Mirah, Beats Antique, Vetiver, Aaron Novik and Spencer Day. Their second album, produced by Lee Townsend, will be released in September.The concert kicks off the 13th season of the Jim Calaway Honors Series at Colorado Mountain College, with the quartet performing at three different campuses Sept. 12-14. The Summit County performance takes place Thursday in the Eileen & Paul Finkel Auditorium at CMC in Breckenridge, near the intersection of Coyne Valley Road and Highway 9. The concert honors Bob and Nancy Follett.Info: Hear the quartet at www.rvsq.com.
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