Winter Solstice ensemble set to celebrate season |

Winter Solstice ensemble set to celebrate season

Submitted to Prospector

Three captivating artists who rose to fame recording for the Windham Hill label come together to celebrate the holiday season Sunday during a performance presented by the Center for the Arts.

Grammy Award-nominated singer, pianist, fiddler and guitarist Barbara Higbie put together this Winter Solstice ensemble with Grammy Award-nominated pianist Liz Story and the guitar playing Windham Hill label founder, Will Ackerman.

Writer Derk Richardson described Higbie as "a jazz pianist who can write and sing like Laura Nyro and Carol King, a prize-winning folk fiddler who will interpret a John Coltrane tune through a French vocal."

Higbie has performed on more than 65 albums and collaborated with Bonnie Raitt, Bobby McFerrin and Carlos Santana. Story's original compositions draw on influences as varied as: Claude Debussy, Scott Joplin and Joni Mitchell. She has recorded a dozen albums. Ackerman is a gifted Bay Area-raised guitarist with his own label.

A native of California, Liz Story began her musical training as a young child, mastering Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 11 by the age of 11. She studied at the Juilliard School of Music and Hunter College and later went on to study at the Dick Grove Music Workshops in Studio City. While playing piano at a restaurant gig she learned the art of improvisation.

Barbara Higbie is a classic artist who combines elements of jazz, folk, classical, African, Brazilian and Celtic music to create unique compositions that are lyrical, rhythmically playful and harmonically inventive. As a multi-instrumentalist, Higbie is known for her work as co-founder of the acoustic super-group, Montreux. In addition to Bonnie Raitt, she has performed with Kronos Quartet, Milton Nascimento and Spyro Gyra.

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Universally recognized as the preeminent pioneer in the new age music movement, and the founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman's career spans more than three decades. During the last three decades, Windham Hill's combination of folk roots, acoustic guitar and piano has profoundly influenced contemporary music.

Todd Boston is a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist who fuses advanced finger style guitar techniques, wood flute, percussion and instruments of the world together with live looping and computer technology.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 21) performance are $25 for members of the Center, $28 for the general public and are available at the Center's Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384 ext. 14, online at or at BriarPatch Co-op.


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents

WHAT: The Windham Hill Winter Solstice Celebration

Featuring Will Ackerman, Barbara Higbie and Liz Story with Todd Boston

WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 21

WHERE: The Center for the Arts

314 W Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $25 members, $28 non-member

The Center Box Office – 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op or online at


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