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6 MAR 2021 at 7:30 PM :: Authentic folk music reveals the joys and cares of real people. These three composers explore that authentic music through the lens of their own experience to reflect their own voice and choices in a program titled “HOMECOMINGS: The Musical Journeys of Uncommon Folk.”

Hungarian composer Béla Bartók had a life-long passion for the traditional music of his homeland. He wrote his Romanian Folk Dances as a suite of six short piano pieces in 1915, during World War I,  and in 1917, he orchestrated it for a small ensemble. Taking real folk melodies that he collected in the villages of Transylvania, Bartók shared the rich harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic elements of the original music.

American composer Gabriela Lena Frank (b. 1972) is fascinated with the music of her mother’s homeland and has been inspired by Peruvian writer José Maria Arguedas whose philosophies propose a world without dominance and subjugation. Taking the forms, instruments, and folk personalities of Peru, the young American imagines and recreates these elements in her own music.

Our guest artist, Sarah Jarosz (b. 1991) was born in Wimberley Texas and was nominated for a Grammy Award for her debut 2009 Country Instrumental album Song Up in Her Head. She’s received various nominations for awards for her subsequent albums and won two Grammy Awards (Best Folk Album and Best American Roots Performance) for her album Undercurrent and the song “House of Mercy.” With a degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory, Jarosz plays mandolin, banjo, guitar, and is a singer-songwriter.

Béla BARTÓK:  Romanian Folk Dances
                          I.  Stick Dance (“Jocul cu bâta”)
                         II.  Waistband Dance (“Brâul”)
                        III.   Stamping Dance (“Pe loc”)
                        IV.   Hornpipe Dance (“Buciumeana”)
.                           V.   Romanian Polka (“Poarga româneasca”)
.                          VI.   Quick Dance (“Maruntel”)
Gabriela Lena FRANK:  Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout
.                             I.   Toyos
.                            II.   Tarqueada
                         III.   Himno de Zamponas
.                           IV.   Chasqui
.                            V.   Canto de Velorio
.                           VI.   Coqueteos
Sarah JAROSZ:   “Eve”
                         “Maggie”
                          “Orange and Blue”
                          
What Do I Do”
.                           “Hometown”
.                           
“Up in the Clouds”
                         “Pay It No Mind”
                         “Build Me Up from Bones”
.                           “Johnny”

TEDDY ABRAMS, conductor
SARAH JAROSZ, singer-songwriter

THE BROWN-FORMAN FOUNDATION ORCHESTRA SERIES
Spring 2021

This performance will be available for on-demand viewing FRI 19 MAR – SUN 2 MAY


With her captivating voice and richly detailed songwriting, Sarah Jarosz has emerged as one of the most compelling musicians of her generation. A three-time Grammy Award-winner at the age of 28, the Texas native started singing as a young girl and became an accomplished multi-instrumentalist by her early teens. After releasing her full-length debut Song Up in Her Head at 18-years-old, she went on to deliver such critically lauded albums as Follow Me DownBuild Me Up From Bones, and 2016’s Undercurrent, in addition to joining forces with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan to form the acclaimed Grammy-winning folk trio I’m With Her.

In the making of her new album World On the Ground, the New York City-based artist collaborated with producer/songwriter John Leventhal: a five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his work with Elvis Costello, Shawn Colvin, and his wife Rosanne Cash. Working almost entirely on their own, the two musicians crafted a subtle tapestry of sound perfectly suited to Jarosz’s lyrical storytelling. In a departure from the nuanced introspection of her previous work, World On the Ground unfolds as a finely wrought collection of stories from her hometown of Wimberley, Texas (population: 2,626), presenting a series of character sketches nearly novelistic in emotional scope. As she inhabits characters both real and imagined—exploring the tension and inertia of small-town living, the desire for escape and the ease of staying put—Jarosz reveals her remarkable gift for slipping into the inner lives of others and patiently uncovering so much indelible insight.

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