The birds of Pagosa sing mellifluously as the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts readies for an outstanding concert by The Sandra Wong Trio, 7 p.m., Thursday, May 3.
The Sandra Wong Trio plays an original form of acoustic music that blends influences from Western classical, folk, bluegrass, jazz and world music.
Creating this exotic soundscape are three extraordinary musicians from Boulder: Sandra Wong, violin and nickelharpa; Dominick Leslie, mandolin; and Ty Burhoe, tabla and world percussion.
Two of the trio’s instruments, the nyckelharpa and the tabla, may be new to some concertgoers. The nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish instrument that has been played for over 600 years. The nyckelharpa has 16 strings: three melody strings, one drone string, and 12 sympathetic vibration strings. The tabla is a pair of hand drums from India that involve extensive use of the fingers and palms to create a wide variety of different sounds.
Sandra Wong displayed a real love of music from a very early age. “My lullaby was Beethoven’s ‘5th Symphony.’ I could not fall asleep to anything else,” she said.
Wong began studying violin when she was 7 years old, with the strong intention of becoming a concert violinist.
“This was my sole focus for the next fifteen years, until I discovered fiddling; then my entire musical world turned upside down.” Wong says the discovery of fiddling challenged the musical foundation she had developed in her classical training.
“I set foot on a new and wonderful path of adventurous musical exploration,” she said. And it’s a path of exploration that has taken Wong to many musical genres and to many parts of the world to perform.
Ty Burhoe is known for his ability to weave world percussion into a wide variety of classical music and fusion ensembles. Burhoe went from being a gymnast to a wildlife biologist tracking and collaring grizzly bears. He apprenticed with a Native American medicine man, and eventually found his way to a great tabla maestro. Now, Burhoe performs internationally and been featured on many soundtracks for film and DVD, including the academy award-winning documentary, “Born into Brothels.”
Dominick Leslie, a Colorado native, has been playing music since he was barely old enough to hold an instrument — and composing original music since he was 12. At age 15, Leslie recorded a solo CD, “Signs of Courage,” which received rave reviews from Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine. In 2004, Leslie became the youngest contestant to win the Rockygrass mandolin contest. Leslie tours with some of the top names in the acoustic music scene. Lesley is already known to many Pagosans as a performer at the Pagosa Folk N’ Bluegrass Festival, the Four Corners Folk Festival and as a teacher at the Pagosa Bluegrass Camp for Kids. Leslie attended Berklee College of Music, the premier incubator for musicians in cutting-edge arena of new acoustic music.
With an intense musical passion and versatility, The Sandra Wong Trio creates a highly cultured and pleasing musical experience. Join us for an unforgettable musical adventure.
Tickets for this limited seating event are $18 and are available by calling 731-SHOW (7469) or on the PSCA website, www.pagosacenter.org. The gallery and bar open at 6 p.m. prior to the concert.
The Sandra Wong Trio concert is produced by Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts in collaboration with Elation Center for the Arts, with sponsorship by The Pagosa Springs SUN.