The Kandinsky Beat Down, a multicultural performance ensemble, will perform on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg. The classical chamber music ensemble the Kandinsky Trio will be joined by a human beatbox artist, hip-hop dancers, a jazz trombonist virtuoso and other soloists performing new music written in cross-genre styles.

This creative collaboration, which The Roanoke Times called "A cool project, fun and visually appealing ... a concept done right" is presented in partnership with the Virginia Tech Department of Music and funded by a diversity award from the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. It centers around the renowned Kandinsky Trio, comprised of Alan Weinstein, cello; Benedict Goodfriend, violin; and Elizabeth Bachelder. 

The Trio, in residence at Roanoke College, is known in the world of classical chamber music for both passionate performances of masterworks and innovative ideas for re-defining the genre. They have performed throughout the country in prestigious venues like New York’s Miller Theater and Merkin Hall, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, the Interlochen Festival, and Cincinnati’s Arnoff Center. The Kandinsky Trio is one of only six piano trios ever to win the prestigious Chamber Music America Residency Award.

New York based jazz trombonist Josh Roseman will join the Trio. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and later became a part of the New York City scene in the early ‘90s. Roseman has recorded and toured with progressive jazz luminaries like Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, Don Byron, John Zorn, and countless others. He is known for his unique, improvisatory style and approach to music.

Beatbox phenomenon Shodekeh, (pronunciation: Sho-Dah-Kay) is a self-taught vocal percussionist and professional beatboxer currently working in the Baltimore area.  He has soloed with the Baltimore Symphony, and according to the Baltimore Sun, "He brought the house down with his virtuoso vocal acrobatics." He works in a number of artistic fields for dance, music, and the visual arts, and vocalizes many dynamic emulations of everything from drum sets and turntables to ocean waves and sleigh bells. Shodekeh also serves as Faculty/Musical Accompanist at Towson University’s Department of Dance and The American Dance Festival at Duke University.

Previous Beat Down performances have been enthusiastically received, with audience members often taking part in the interaction of the performance. Weinstein, of the Kandinsky Trio, stated that it is "exciting to see all these different disciplines happen at a high level."

Other artists include guitarist Cyrus Pace, soprano Ariana Wyatt, trumpeter John D’earth, and the Boogaloo Crew --  professionally trained hip-hop dancers. Featured composers include John D’earth, James Miley, Dan Cavanagh, and Brian Coughlin.

Tickets for Kandinsky Beat Down are $15 gold; $10 silver; and $5 student and are available at the Lyric Theatre box office, online, or by calling (540) 951-4771.

The concert is presented in Partnership with the Virginia Tech Department of Music and funded by a diversity award from the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

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