DeMania Trio makes debut at Center for the Arts
“deMania Trio is truly a world class group of players” – Joe Franklin, arbiteronline.com
When tabla meets acoustic guitar and electric bass in an eclectic mix of music from Mingus to Bach, India to Appalachia, the result is a wealth of sound that makes the deMania Trio a treat to hear. And although each of the musicians is well-known in his own right, this is a local debut as a trio.
Grammy nominee Alex de Grassi is a top fingerstyle, steel-string acoustic guitarist who enjoys exploring folk melodies from around the world and interpreting jazz classics. He has recorded on a number of labels, including RCA Novus, and has been a driving force behind Windham Hill music. In fact, says Peter Wilson of The Center for the Arts, “Alex de Grassi was the first hit artist in the whole ‘new age’ music back in the late ’70s. He has performed in our area regularly over the years and has developed a good following.”
Percussionist Chris Garcia has spent 27 years perfecting his tabla technique, studying under the guidance of masters at the California Institute of the Arts. He has played with the fusion group Continuum, the world chamber ensemble Quarteto Nuevo, and currently performs and records with the Grande Mothers Re-Invented (remember Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention?).
Michael Manring’s teacher was the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius. Having built on that influence, Manring has developed an entirely new approach to the bass that incorporates unorthodox tunings and techniques. A Grammy and Bammie nominee, Manring has also contributed to two gold records and has toured for years as a solo act, which is pretty amazing for a bass player.
Oh, yes, the name of the trio is an acronym made up of their three last names, but is also sounds like manic, which, says deGrassi, reflects the craziness of the group. “We play music that’s fun to play with a lot of improv.” Take, for instance, the song he wrote, “McCoy.” It starts on a Brazilian fast up-tempo beat, the middle is free improv with the tabla and maybe even the udu (a kind of drum) joining in, and before you know it, the samba beat has morphed into something very East Indian.
“We’ll also be doing “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones, only in 7/8 time, making it sound sort of Balkan.
“I love playing (in Grass Valley); they have great audiences,” says the man who has performed here solo a number of times, including the World Music Fest.
Here’s a tip: Listen for their music on KVMR radio this week. De Grassi had warm words for the station.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: deMania Trio
WHEN: Saturday, 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley
ADMISSION: $18. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling the box office at 271-7000.
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