Flounder to play in Grass Valley on Sunday | TheUnion.com

Flounder to play in Grass Valley on Sunday

The ensemble Flounder is set to play the Wild Eye Pub in Grass Valley on Sunday, Nov. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Flounder, consisting of David Dvorin (guitar/modular synthesizer), Randy McKean (saxophone and bass clarinet), Clifford Childers (bass trumpet, trombone, harmonica and euphonium), and Tim Bulkley (drums), formed in 2018 after a highly successful concert at California State University, Chico’s Zingg Recital Hall, where Dvorin is a Professor of Music.

The collaboration was so enjoyable that the four musicians decided to keep the project going, naming the group “Flounder” after Dvorin’s composition “I’m the Flounder” (itself a nod towards John Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus”). Since then, the group has gone on to present their special blend of Space Age Jazz, Mid-Century Blues, and classical chamber music throughout their native Northern California, performing in diverse venues ranging from concert halls to jazz clubs.

Part of the ensemble’s distinctive sound comes from its unusual instrumentation – a combination of the retro and the futuristic – with traditional orchestral wind instruments, vintage electric guitars, acoustic drums, and even the wild electronic sounds of the modular synthesizer all sharing the sonic landscape. Taking into account that each player also doubles on multiple instruments that are pulled out for specific pieces of music, the quartet can sound like a much bigger band.

“I find writing for this particular lineup to be a uniquely challenging and rewarding experience,” Dvorin states emphatically. “While the group doesn’t have a bass player in the traditional sense, the low end can be occupied by any player in the group, whether it’s Randy’s pulsing bass clarinet, Cliff’s expressive trombone or euphonium, Tim’s grooving bass drum, or my electric guitar. I’m also relying on the fact that these guys are really, really good improvisers and bring a lot of themselves to the table. They are equal collaborators – not just manifesting what is written on the page, but breathing life into each piece of music by adding something uniquely their own.”

Currently, Flounder is presenting an all-new program of original music entitled “Space Age” for the Fall, 2019 season, including a return engagement at California State University’s Zingg Recital Hall as well as participating in the California Jazz Conservatory’s “Way Out West” series. There are plans on the table to go into the studio in early 2020 to record the band’s debut release.

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