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Brighton Fringe 2017

American Contemporary Ensemble (ACE)


Genre: Live Music

Venue: St Nicholas' Church


Low Down

American Classics with Valeria Guidotti & The Kemp Duo.


Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 pm, The Kemp Duo at the piano performed Aaron Copeland’s “Hoe Down” from “Rodeo”, George Gershwin’s “Three Preludes” arranged by Gregory Stone, and Aaron Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Melody” from “Appalachian Spring,” faultlessly to a spell-bound audience.

Valeria Guidotti sang the lyrics to selections from West Side Story, “America”, “Maria”, ”One Heart”, “Tonight”, and “Somewhere”. She appeared in a red evening gown, and captured the innocence and beauty of this classic Bernstein musical.

The program finished with Leonard Bernstein’s “Glitter and be Gay” from Candide sung by Miss Guidotti.

Valeria Guidotti is a graduate of the Conservatoire in L’Aquila Italy and studied languages in France before she began her professional career. She is accomplished in both piano and voice.

Zhanna Kemp and Norman Jacobs are the Kemp Duo, presenting four hand piano performances in Brighton. It is not often we see piano duets of pieces originally composed for two hands instead of four, and the effect is delightful. The two are talented musicians and bring a wonderful energy to the music they played that afternoon. Jacobs added a bit of panache with the Statue of Liberty embossed on his tie.

Jacobs is the founder of MOOT, Music Of Our Time in 2011 and has created more than 100 events presented in Brighton at St Nicholas’ Church on Dyke Road, each one an interesting combination of classic and contemporary music.

“American Classics” is the third program in The American Innovative Music Series, called “Listen, America” being presented throughout the Brighton Fringe Festival. Each program has wide appeal and great musical interest. The series began with the Ligeti Quartet and continued throughout the month culminating with the American Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Dr. Joel Sachs, Juilliard School of Music, New York. This final program will be Saturday, June 3, at 7:30pm and will feature Stephen Montague’s “Wild Nights”, sung by soprano Sarah Gabriel, John Cage’s “Aria”, “The Widow of Eighteen Springs” and pieces by Morton Feldman and Ruth Crawford. The concerts are held at St Nicolas’ Church on Dyke Road in Brighton.

Each one of these concerts are professionally polished performances that represent an overview of the contemporary American classical scene. The music is lovely and inspiring and flawlessly performed. Norman Jacobs is to complimented on his eclectic selection of pieces that paint an interesting and enjoyable overview of America’s musical taste.