Classical Blues Cabaret

Classical-Blues Cabaret presents“Tales & Twangs Cabaret” 

Featuring Classical Guitarist  Phil Weaver and Storyteller Bruce Walker, Ingrid von Spakovsky, Ken Watters & Emily Jones at Decatur’s Princess Theatre

philweaverphotoDecatur’s Princess Theatre presents the annual  Classical-Blues Cabaret show with a new twist called “Tales & Twangs Cabaret” on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.  This year the north Alabama group of musicians blend music, storytelling and creative innovation into a unique musical experience.  The group returns to the Princess for a fourth year and features classical guitarist Phil Weaver of Huntsville, mandolin and classical guitarist Emily Jones of Decatur, jazz trumpeter Ken Watters and pianist Ingrid von Spakovsky.  Storyteller Bruce Walker will be a special guest in a format similar to Prairie Home Companion.  WLRH FM Public Radio is a collaborating partner to help promote the top musical artists in our north Alabama area.

Highlighting the program is a Civil War story accompanied by Jay Ungar's Ashokan Farewell. Music will include jazz, classical, flamenco,  Brazilian, and Mason Williams' hit Classical Gas.    With the goal of making classical music accessible to an ever-widening audience, these artists have created an acoustic, cabaret-style concert that reflects the varying musical genres of the artists. 

Classical guitarist Phil Weaver has been performing for over 30 years, in the United States and abroad. He was the first guitarist to be awarded an individual artist's fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and is one of the few classical musicians on the Music Achievers roster at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. With the goal of making classical music accessible to an ever-widening audience, Phil has created a series of cabaret-style concerts in collaboration with a variety of artists from dancers to visual artists to fellow musicians steeped in different musical genres. This past season he performed Mahler’s 7th Symphony with both the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic.

Phil Weaver is the founder and artistic director of the City Lights and Stars Series for Burritt Museum in Huntsville, an extremely popular outdoor concert series that presents nationally and regionally renowned artists. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he directs the guitar program.

Bruce Walker is a nationally know storyteller who has performed at the storytelling series at St. John's Cathedral in New York City as well as the University of Alabama, a conference in Norway, Farmer's Opry, and National Public Radio.  Fast paced and off the wall, Bruce's stories delight and entertain, while slipping you a to-go box of memories to munch on later. “When I listen to Bruce spin a story, I travel across time and space to a magical place where I can see, hear, smell, and taste what he is telling. From the moment Bruce begins to speak, the audience is mesmerized...laughter, tears, and a longing to visit Walkers Bend again and often.” -Renee Morrison. He attended Auburn University Montgomery and the East Tennessee State University Storytelling Institute. Bruce and Joan (his wife of thirty-five years and in charge of letting him out) make Huntsville, Alabama their home.

Ingrid von Spakovsky has a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois where her teachers included Joel Shapiro, William Heiles, and Soulima Stravinsky. She also received a scholarship to study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with Heinz Scholtz.

Ms. von Spakovsky is on the music faculty at UAHuntsville and as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music has an extensive private studio. She is a member of the Classical Blues Cabaret with classical guitarist, Phil Weaver and blues guitarist Dave Gallaher which has performed at Birmingham City Stages, the City Lights and Stars Concert Series, and the W.C. Handy festival for several years. Ms. von Spakovsky is also the pianist for the guitar/piano duo Consonare which has toured throughout the United States and England and has played at New York City’s North River Concert Series, Hofstra University’s International Concert Series, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Vanderbilt University, Birmingham City Stages, the Nonsuch Guitar Society in London and the York Arts Center in York, England where the duo was interviewed on BBC radio.

Consonare’s CD on the ACA Digital label won rave reviews in Fanfare Magazine and 20th Century Guitar and was broadcast on Peach State Public Radio, WABE Atlanta, WNYC New York City and Philadelphia’s Temple Public Radio where Consonare was interviewed on the show “Crossover”.

Trumpeter Ken Watters is a Summit recording artist with five CDs to date released internationally on the label, all of which spent time in the top 50 on the jazz or world music charts. He is also endorsed by the Jupiter Musical Instrument Company (as a performing artist/clinician) & SESAC & SACEM affiliated jazz composer. 

He has performed, recorded and/or toured with Carlos Santana, Frank Sinatra, Wyclef Jean, Marc Anthony, Natalie Cole, The Fifth Dimension, Petula Clarke, Eartha Kitt, Harry Connick Jr, TLC, Kelis, Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Blue Bland, Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Little Milton, Clarence Carter, Spoonful James, to name a few & Ken left his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama at 17 years of age to attend Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan) for his final year of high school, immediately after which he began attending the University of North Texas. He later continued his formal studies at Manhattan School of Music, The Banff Centre (Canada) & has studied privately with Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Jack Walrath & Kenny Wheeler. He won first place in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition, has been a recipient of several Downbeat Magazine Music Awards, & his music has been featured widely on several National Public Radio programs.

Ken regularly performs and records all over North, Central & South America, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Morocco, Japan, and throughout the Caribbean.  Watters & his wife Pamela, a professional pastel artist, now make their home in Mentone, Alabama.

With over twenty years experience playing music, Emily Jones has established herself as both a competent performer and teacher. In 2010, the Princess Theatre made Ms. Jones an artist-in-residence. They have invited her to perform in various functions, as well as, direct a workshop in association with Camp Princess, the Girls’ Guitar Camp.

Emily holds a Master’s in Music from The University of Arizona, under the guitar instruction of Thomas Patterson, and a Bachelor’s in Music from William Carey University with master teacher, Dr. Miroslav Loncar. She has won top prizes in several competitions including the Portland Guitar Festival and MTNA regional collegiate artist competition. Most recently, Emily has begun to perform on the mandolin, her first instrument. She also plays with guitarist, Phil Weaver, in a duo called, Zapatos Perdidos and in the full group begun by Phil Weaver, Classical-Blues Cabaret. Upon the request of many, Emily will be recording a solo CD in the very near future.  Her career is quite diverse. In addition to being full time Box Office Manager at the Princess Theater, she teaches at The Studio of Fine Arts at First Baptist Church, Decatur, AL, directs her church choir and maintains an active performing schedule. 

Reserved tickets are $15-$8 and are available at the Princess Theatre box office.  For more information, call 256-340-1778 or visit the Princess Web site at: