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Wednesday, 21 November 2012 20:11

Jen Creed and Svetlana Smolina explore diverse musical repertoires on November 28.

Visit please Live Connections for details.


Philadelphia 11/07/2012 — Applying her four-octave range and opera background to classical, pop, rock and musical theater genres, Philadelphia singer Jen Creed lends a singer-songwriter interpretation to concert pianist Svetlana Smolina’s dynamic playing in a ClassicAlive concert on November 28. Showcasing their classical roots and a shared appreciation for great American works, the two performers will explore a diverse musical landscape with a repertoire encompassing the music of Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Bernstein and originals from Creed’s new album, Goodnight is not Goodbye. The ClassicAlive series is presented by innovative music nonprofit LiveConnections and takes place at partner venue World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

“Jen and Svetlana are both fearless musicians who are very open to trying new things and new musical combinations,” said Mary Wheelock Javian, ClassicAlive curator at LiveConnections. “They’re both classically trained musicians, but there was no hesitation on either part when they started pushing their collective musical boundaries to meet in the middle of their repertoires.”

Creed, a classically trained singer who teaches voice at Merion-Mercy Academy in Philadelphia, pulls from a diverse musical background that led her from opera and jazz to Broadway national tours. Most recently, she’s been diving in to the singer-songwriter genre with Goodnight is not Goodbye, her first album to explore more contemporary vocal styles. Her intimate interpretations of artists including Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen have been heard in venues from her native Philadelphia — including previous appearances at World Cafe Live — to cabarets in New York City. She will perform several original songs from Goodnight is not Goodbye, accompanied by a piano, bass and percussion trio with whom she frequently performs.

Smolina, originally from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, has performed with orchestras and as a recitalist in concert halls worldwide. Currently the Samuel Barber artist-in-residence at West Chester University of Pennsylvania’s School of Music and a faculty member with the Philadelphia International Music Festival, Smolina also regularly plays with Kimberly Fisher, principal second violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Smolina will perform several solo works from her classical repertoire in the concert, including a Kapustin "Jazz Etude" from her native Russia.

Together, the duo will explore works from both of their native countries. Smolina will join Creed in great American works by Gershwin and Bernstein, while Jen will join Smolina in Rachmaninoff’s iconic "Vocalise." The two will also perform songs off of Creed’s album.

“ClassicAlive concerts are designed to blur the lines between genres and show you the entire range of the artist, not just what made them well-known,” Javian said. “They’re a chance for musicians to play for new audiences; for Svetlana, that meant sharing one of the great Chopin 'Ballades' with people for the first time, as well as trying out new repertoire and styles of playing. For Jen, it provided an opportunity for her to share her background in classical music with her fans who know her as a singer/songwriter. The fact that these artists truly collaborate throughout the process is what makes these series unique.”



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