Darol Anger & Republic of Strings @ Naropa

Article Contributed by McGuckin Enter… | Published on Monday, March 13, 2017

Darol Anger will convene an extra-special edition of his Republic Of Strings band in Colorado in April 2017, featuring Enion Pelta (Fiddle), Emy Phelps (Vocals), Mike Robinson (Guitar) & Eric Thorin (Bass). Catch them in Boulder at Naropa University, April 23rd.

Somewhere beyond or behind all musical borders lies a creative terrain where bluegrass, jazz, classical, pop, and various world musics mingle, played by musicians who care more for inspiration than they do for genre. If that place has a name, it's surely the Republic of Strings, for no one knows its contours better than Fiddle Legend Darol Anger, and a constantly developing population of excellent young string players.  Former RoS members include Brittany Haas, Rushad Eggleston, Sara Watkins, Scott Nygaard, Scott Law, Jeremy Kittel, and Gabe Witcher. Current members include the riveting vocalist Emy Phelps, Clarridge, and young phenom John Mailander. They have all created the visionary musical landscape of their Republic, exemplified by their 2 recordings, Republic Of Strings and Generation Nation, for Compass Records.  Drawing from an array of sources that includes Bluegrass, Celtic and Appalachian musics, Ornette Coleman, Scandinavian string bands, Aretha Franklin and the quartet's own members, Generation Nation documents a unique intergenerational exchange. Compelling musical textures, elegant solos and vocals all emanate from a startlingly diverse group of guests. "There's a lot of respect and love going on among the players," says Anger, "and I think it comes out in the music". One listen proves that he’s exactly right.

The Republic Of Strings has appeared at major music festivals all over the US including Rockygrass, Grey Fox, and Wintergrass. They have toured extensively in all parts of the country and have developed a deep empathy that has developed among its members over years of concert appearances, teaching residencies and informal exchanges.

Veteran legendary fiddler Darol Anger has poured everything he learned over 30 years about music into the Republic Of Strings. Violinist, fiddler, composer, producer and educator,  Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent. He developed his signature sound through working closely with many of the world’s great improvising string musicians, among them Stephane Grappelli, Martin Hayes, Jerry Douglas, Vasen, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, Mike Marshall, David Grisman, and Vassar Clements.

Anger has produced dozens of critically lauded recordings since 1977 which have featured his compositions and performances. His current group, The Republic Of Strings, breaks new territory for bowed string instruments and presents young talent. With the jazz-oriented Turtle Island String Quartet,  Anger developed and popularized new techniques for playing contemporary music on string instruments. His groups The Republic of Strings, The Fiddlers 4, Psychograss, and the Anger-Marshall Duo feature his compositions and arrangements. His group Montreux was the original musical model for the New Adult Contemporary radio format. The David Grisman Quintet forged a new genre of acoustic string band music with Darol’s “fertile inventiveness, surprising touches and technical mastery” often in the forefront. He is an Associate Professor at the prestigious Berkleee School of music and is a McDowell and UCross Fellow.

Emy Phelps does not remember a time when she has not sung. Trained in theater arts at Ashland, Oregon's world-renowned theatre program, she worked for 3 years in The Green Show, an ongoing Festival event. Her vocal interpretations combine virtuosity and passion.

She was a member of Brian Ransom's Ceramic Ensemble, touring internationally from 1980–1987. As a member of that ensemble she did research on indigenous music in Peru. She is a UCross Fellow and a musician of note in the Oregon region and has performed all around the Pacific Northwest since the mid-80's. Her touring career was put on hold while obtaining a degree in education, teaching at elementary and middle schools and successfully raising four children, but now her public work continues as a recording artist,  songwriter, and in a duet with Darol Anger. Her current release with members of The Furies is Look Up, Look Down and Treasures, and she has participated in recordings by Patrick Brayer, Chris Darrow, Norma Tanega, Taarka, and Duke McVinnie. Past venues include the Northwest String Summit, Wintergrass, Delfest, the Peter Britt Festival, Rockygrass & Wintergrass festivals. NewMusic America Festival Philadelphia, North By Northwest, and the Moab Folk Festival.

Darol Anger in Boulder:
7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23
Naropa University Nalanda Events Center, 6287 Arapahoe Blvd.
Tickets: (students free, others $10-20)