Alt-classical-jazz-indie-rock-folk with bicycles! The C’mon Festival is Edmonton’s summer festival for the musically curious. Known for its smart, eclectic, and provocative programming, it returns for the fifth year July 14-16 with three programs of intoxicating and witty chamber music in the hospitable ambience of Studio 96.
Serenade to Little Italy (Friday July 14, 8 p.m.) celebrates the festival’s host neighbourhood of historic McCauley (Little Italy) with all things Italian, from opera to the movies, with guest soprano Janet Smith. The ink isn’t yet dry on the genre-blurring soundscapes of living composers from around the world featured in Sonic Wonders (Saturday July 15, 8 p.m.). Musical Rides (Sunday July 16, 3 p.m.) showcases the versatility of the festival house band, the seven-piece C’mon Ensemble, with special guest, Edmonton singer/songwriter Andrea House.
The festival was started by artistic director Kathryn Macintosh and a few of her colleagues from the Edmonton Symphony. Its aim is to break down barriers for new audiences to the riches of classical music, through a less formal presentation and with creative programs of traditional and contemporary classical music mixed with other genres. The versatile C’mon Ensemble, seven of Alberta’s finest professional classical musicians, are: Virginie Gagné – violin, Janice Quinn – double bass, Echo Mazur – clarinet, Matthew Howatt – bassoon, Brian Sand – trumpet, Kathryn Macintosh – trombone, and Timothy Borton – percussion.
Friday’s program features film music by Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone, along with Red Deer Symphony music director Claude Lapalme’s tailor-made arrangements for the C’mon Ensemble of music by Puccini, Donizetti and Verdi. Highlights of Saturday’s program include septets by Pulitzer Prize-winning Caroline Shaw (“Leo”) and Fay Wang (“Polar Carnival”), and Derek Charke’s “Tree Rings” for violin and marimba. On Sunday, violinist Virginie Gagné will perform Jeffrey Ryan’s powerful “Bellatrix,” and Andrea House’s most tender songwriting talents will be on display in collaboration with the C’mon Ensemble.
Audience participation is a unique component of the C’mon Festival, and this year will be no exception. There will be several potentially subversive opportunities for festival-goers to be directly involved in the performances!
Admission is by donation
Friday July 14 and Saturday July 15 at 8 pm Sunday July 16 at 3 pm
Studio 96: 10909 – 96 Street