Jazz musician Erika May Randolph is currently serving as Artist in Residence for the Steelville Arts Council. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist is residing in Steelville this spring as she prepares material for a public concert scheduled for Friday, May 23 at the Gallery Zeke art gallery and performance space in downtown Steelville.
Erika May, a classical and jazz flutist, vocalist, and cellist, will perform the wildly popular Tango Etudes for solo flute by Astor Piazzolla. These etudes are known for their technical, yet highly emotional, content. Erika May is also writing compositions for flute, cello, voice, and interpretive dance based on her experience while living in Steelville, nestled in the beautiful Ozarks.
You may be wondering who is Astor Piazzolla? He was an Argentinean bandoneon player who composed many pieces for orchestras and various ensembles. The bandoneon is an instrument similar to an accordion. The bandoneon became popular as the instrument to accompany dances in the bordellos of Buenos Aires. This is the birthplace of the tango, the sensuous dance of passion.
Astor Piazzolla became a master of the bandoneon and the tango. He performed and wrote pieces to great acclaim throughout the world. His tango compositions are known for their brilliance, technical requirements, and rhythmic intensity.
You can experience his music, as performed by Erika May, at her free concert at Gallery Zeke on Friday, May 23. Also, you will hear her pieces composed with layered and looped cello, voice, and dance, as she is pushing new boundaries within her own music by combining traditional acoustic instrumentation with electronic looping effects.
Through its Artist in Residence program, the Steelville Arts Council hosts artists throughout the year to promote the dynamic local culture and a more vibrant arts scene. The program is designed to bring professional artists of all mediums to the area, where they may work creatively and explore their talents while also influencing and being influenced by the community itself.
For more information about the Steelville Arts Council, check out steelvilleartscouncil.org and follow the Steelville Arts Council and Gallery Zeke Facebook pages for regular updates. You can learn more about Erika May’s music and her activities at zgoddessmoon.wordpress.com or by searching online for her ReverbNation account.