Vocal phenom hits area

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Arts on Grand will present the 2007 national a capella champions Moira Smiley & VOCO at the Old Spencer High School Auditorium at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 8. The group performs original music and brings new life to old songs, from Americana to Bartók.

Moira Smiley has had an international career as a composer and vocalist. She has performed with leading ensembles and artists at such venues as Lincoln Center and the Royal Festival Hall. She has made over 40 recordings, including several of early music, as well as Irish and Appalachian music, Eastern European folk music, and her own original compositions. Her work has been praised in Billboard and Gramophone.

Moira's voice, improvisations, and compositions can be heard in feature films and documentaries. She provided the voice for Marie Antoinette in the feature film The Affair of the Necklace." Her collaboration with VOCO has yielded powerful, emotional music with lush harmony.

Jess Basta, Jessica Catron, and Christine Enns are VOCO. Jess is an actor as well as a musician. Jessica is a cellist and composer who has performed with Linda Ronstadt and Dave Matthews. Christine is a jazz vocalist who has performed and directed at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Hall.

Together, Moira Smiley & VOCO sing joyous harmonies that mourn and dance at the same time, with a delicious vaudevillian combo of cello, accordion, and banjo. Folkworks magazine wrote, "This is a truly phenomenal act, combining the energy of urban street singing with first-rate musicianship and folk roots. Their body percussion sets are a sight to behold."

Tickets are $10 per person, with proceeds going to benefit Arts on Grand. They are available at Arts on Grand or at the door on the evening of the concert.