BRATTLEBORO -- Sam’s Sunday Set & Shed, the monthly music series that presents mentors and protegés together in concert, returns to the Elliot Street Cafe, 134 Elliot St., on June 17 with Sweet Honey In the Rock member Evelyn Harris and 12-year old Ayana Sofia.
Sofia came to Harris with a thorough musical foundation, having played saxophone, flute and violin; but Harris said it was almost immediately evident that she had a gift for singing.
"When she opened her mouth to sing she became another being altogether. I was blown away by the transformation," says Harris. "Our time together has been so rewarding for us both as I can see and hear her enthusiasm from week to week."
As has become the custom during the Set & Shed, the duo will perform a one-hour set starting at 4 p.m., backed by pianist Miro Sprague, bassist Dave Picchi and drummer Jon Fisher. Following a break to share potluck food, the band will invite aspiring vocalists and musicians, as well as seasoned pros, to join them onstage for a "jazz woodshed" session to work on their improvisational skills.
Admission is by a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students ages 18 & under, with proceeds going to the scheduled musicians. Guests are also encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share.
Harris has dedicated her voice to giving depth and meaning to an extensive array of musical styles, creating stirring interpretations of
Harris relocated to the Pioneer Valley in 2002. She currently directs The Ku’umba Women’s Chorus at the Northampton Community Music Center and uses singing as cognitive therapy with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes in the area. During the summer, she is a vocal instructor at the Jane Hanson Vocal Music Academy and the Institute for the Musical Arts Rock ‘n’ Roll Girls Camp.
"Sam’s Sunday Set and Shed" is monthly music series conceived by Silktone Productions’ founder Samirah Evans based on her own experience as an up-and-coming vocalist in New Orleans, where it was customary for seasoned artists to invite young musicians and singers onstage. She hopes that the casual, family-friendly atmosphere of the Elliot Street Café on a Sunday afternoon, and its downtown location, will encourage young musicians to come and practice their craft. Silktone Productions acknowledges the Vermont Jazz Center, the Open Music Collective and Lotus Graphics for support of this program.
For more information, contact Silktone Productions at 802-365-1234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.