Orchestra, jazz-rock band partner for western show
Published 10:26 am Friday, February 20, 2015
A classic western
The Austin Symphony Orchestra is about to get spacey, western-style.
Orchestra players will collide with members of the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, a funky jazz-bluegrass-rock quartet with local roots, for their latest western-themed concert, “Wild Wild West,” starting at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Paramount Theatre.
“These are four amazing musicians,” said Stephen Ramsey, orchestra director.
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The two groups connected after GCO violinist Elisa Wright, a Blooming Prairie native, approached the orchestra about the group after Ramsey and company previously worked with Billy McLachlan.
For Wright, the shared concert is not only an honor to work with an orchestra, but a treasure to play with her peers, among them Sue Radloff, her private violin instructor.
“This is kind of a full-circle moment,” she said with a laugh.
The two groups will perform separate, though they’ll come together for four of the GCO’s tracks, including what Ramsey describes as an East Indian raga.
“If this is the wild, wild west, we’re going really, really far west,” he said.
The orchestra will perform several notable pieces, including parts of Aaron Copeland’s “Rodeo,” a John Williams overture entitled “The Cowboys,” music from the movie and TV show versions of “Wild Wild West,” and more.
In addition, the GCO will not only play their music backed by an orchestra — a first for the band — they’ll also play a few of their own songs separately, which will include some of their broad musical stylings.
As a classically trained violinist, Wright is excited for the opportunity to showcase the GCO’s talents in such a grand fashion.
“This is the first time we’re going to be performing our original music with an orchestra,” she said. “So it’s just going to be crazy, crazy awesome.”
Tickets start at $12 and can be purchased from the Paramount Box Office or online at www.austinareaarts.org.
Though the Twin Cities-based GCO won’t be in town for long, Wright did promise she would contribute to the local economy.
“We’re for sure getting George’s Pizza after one of the rehearsals,” she said with a laugh.