There certainly was music in the air around Carson City last week. It started Tuesday night when the Mile High Jazz Band was joined by local poets at the outdoor patio of Comma Coffee. The band was swinging as usual (right word for big band music) and poetess Krista Benjamin read some easy and funny poetry. Would be nice if the Comma or somebody would put up a temporary board fence between that patio and Carson Street " those trucks are pretty loud as they roar down Carson Street.
Wednesday night the Toccata Tahoe Symphony Orchestra played at the St. Teresa de Avila Church to a good-sized audience, offering Beethoven's First Symphony (rarely heard, it was his transition from the classical to the romantic period) and Johannes Brahms "A German Requiem." The Toccata is a small orchestra but made itself heard in the vastness of the "minimalist" church center area. Stuart Duke was excellent in the baritone solos, and Katherine DeBoer, Anna Helwing and Joy Strotz were fine sopranos. I don't get to hear much Brahms these days, particularly in such a fine setting. Not a lot of religious symbols about.
Then Saturday night at the Brewery's Performance Hall George Winston played for a full house, alternating between his popular tone poems about seasons to a rollicking blast in tribute to the survivors of hurricane Katina in New Orleans. The Brewery managed to snag Winston, who often plays in major venues, after something fell through about his Reno appearance. Lucky for Carson City. While his original compositions were well played (and received) it was his variations on Pachabel's "Kanon" that really set the gig on fire.
Winston, who is a fan of the slack key guitar, also offered two pieces on that instrument, as well as a harmonica solo. Both sounded modest after his dynamic piano works. He turned out to be a very understated performer in jeans and an open shirt. Thanks to the sold out house there's a good chance we'll be getting more top acts in the future.
The Capital City Arts Initiative held a reception for its new show at the Carson Courthouse Friday as it displayed photos by Nevada Appeal photographers along with some from the Reno Gazette-Journal staffers, plus Nevada Historical Society and Nevada State Museum collections.
This is a free show and well worth a visit. Only complaint was that there should have been more of Appeal crew's works. Only gallery type opening I've been to where there were police with handguns at the ready. Show will be there through Jan. 2.
The Reno Chamber Orchestra will premiere Pulitzer Prize Winner Joseph Schwantner's newest opus, "Chasing Light," Saturday night at the University of Nevada, Reno, Nightingale Hall. For modern concert music, this concert is not to be missed. Check UNR Web site for details.
And here's a real heads-up for rock fans: the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter 2008 Tour is coming to Reno Friday, Nov. 14.
At the Carson Library Jean-Paul Perrotte will discuss experimental contemporary music at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Free, of course. Also at the library Wednesday Nov. 12 is Howard Goldbaum speaking on "What We Know and How We Know it," history and photograph combined.
The rockers War play at Harrah's Lake Tahoe Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Conflict, yes, war not exactly. On Oct. 11, Starship starring Mickey Thomas plays at Harrah's, $68. Call (800) 786-8208 for tickets.
At John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks, David Sanborn plays Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. This is smooth jazz at its most imaginative. At Harveys in South Shore, it's the Improv and Cool Black Kettle. Improv at 9 p.m, Kettle at 9:30, tickets $25 at nugget.sparks.com.
Lisa Lampanelli sings at the Silver Legacy Saturday Sept. 20 at 8 p.m, tickets $148. Ted Nugent follows her Sept. 26, tickets $105-$159, (886) 785-2482.
The Peppermill is bringing Paul Anka to town Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $56; Starlight with Joey Yung is Saturday at 8 p.m., $68 tickets. Check PeppermillReno.com.
At the Reno Events Center "So You Think You Can Dance" is the show Saturday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m., $49.50 to $99.50; this is an offshoot of the popular TV show. Santana rolls into there Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. And at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Queensryche plays Sept. 27, call (800) 648-3568 for ticket info.
FROM THE VAULTS
Here's another loser from the film factories of France: "Time of the Wolf," starring Isabella Huppert. A French family goes to its country cabin in the wake of a national catastrophe of some sort, never spelled out. Others have occupied their cabin and in a dispute the father of the family is shot dead. The rest of the film has Huppert wandering the countryside with her daughter and son and finally winding up at a remote train station with other lost souls. Most of the movie is shot "black on white," or in the daylight but using underexposure readings so all appears murky, much like a Burning Man whiteout. Many long shots of nothing happening, which seems to be the new wave in French cinema. Don't bother to get it. Rated R, release 2003, one hour 49 long minutes.