2018 Season

January 14th, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Randy Sabien

"Chance" founders Ed Willett (cello/guitar/vocals) and Cheryl Leah (vocals) are excited to announce the opening of the 3rd Season of their concert series, "Sessions from the Martin Hanson".  The season opener will feature the world renowned jazz and blues violinist Randy Sabien.

"Listen closely to Sabien's great cascades of notes, and you will hear the grand arpeggios, broken octaves, double-stops, trills, and tremolos that have marked classical violin playing since the solo work of J.S. Bach. But that's just the starting point for Sabien's art which bristles with the spirit of bona fide jazz improvisation. Rather than simply embellishing a tune, he reconcieves it, building and developing intriguing new musical motifs along the way". 

On January 14th Sabien, Willett and Leah will pull from their vast repertoire of original eclectic material. As is always the case when these three musical explorers get together, they'll be tugging on the threads of the conventional, unraveling the expected and reassembling their music into an offering of their own design.  

Please join them for a Sunday afternoon of astounding string playing, passionate singing, and the warmth of three good friends enjoying each others musical company.

2017 Season

January 28th, 2:00 p.m.  Rowan Nelson-Ferris

This concert is our opener for the season and we're really excited that Rowan could join us in a collaborative concert. Cheryl and I have been interested in working with him for years now and we're glad the day has finally come.

He's a banjoist, guitarist, and singer/songwriter whose songs are filled with humor, irony and experimentation and whose playing style draws from many unexpected wells. Rowan is a truly gifted and unique voice in the world of music.

Son of the founders of "Big Top Chautauqua", Betty Ferris and Warren Nelson, he grew up with the run of the festival grounds in his young life and experienced countless concerts by masterful musicians, rubbing elbows with the likes of Bela Fleck. With great writers and performers all around him he absorbed and studied from a very immediate and close vantage point, took in a lot of inspiration and then began the process of making it his own.

February 11th, 2:00 p.m. Liesel Wilson

Liesel is a violinist, Celtic fiddler, vocalist and erhuist (a Chinese stringed instrument). Shell be performing music from her debut CD.  Youll hear her songs from around the globe, often sung in their native languages, and fiddling that's absolutely ON FIRE! 

We spent many months in 2016 working on Liesel's debut album.  It just went to press on 1/17/17 and we're hoping to have it available at the concert.

Liesel is our partner in the "Chance Ensemble" and in our show we toured around the United States for the centennial of the National Park Service.  We traveled 26,000 miles from April to November and covered 12 states.

February 25th, 2:00 Bruce Burnside

Bruce Burnside is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and poet. Bruces voice has always been a favorite of ours and at this concert well celebrate that voice as he sings and recites with an instrumental accompaniment brought to you by Chance. 

Cheryl and I have worked with Bruce for 23 years.  We've played well over 300 shows together, made several PBS specials, recorded at least a dozen albums and still, we always have a great time playing together.

This concert will be unlike any other we've done with Bruce.  It will be a great combination our favorites among his many original tunes done with a new approach in that Cheryl and I will be his band and he'll be our lead singer.  Add to that some of his poetry that is fresh out of the oven and we've got a excellent afternoon in store for us all.

He's a charming and thoughtful performer and we hope you can come have what I'm sure will be a memorable experience.

March 11th, 2:00 p.m.  Warren Nelson

Warren is songwriter extraordinaire, his gift is rare and powerful.  Like many of our colleagues, his talents made it possible for us to live in this beautiful place and were
excited to once again put our heads together and see what we can come up with.

Though we've played hundreds of concert hall shows together, playing in this kind of small and intimate room offers a special kind of feel for all of us.  We look forward to it.

March 25th, 2:00 p.m.  Danielle Diamond

Danielle wonderful singer, we met her at the Big Top Chautauqua summer festival the year she won the Big Top Idol talent contest.  Cheryl was one of the judges that year and heard Danielle sing Bonnie Raitts hit I Cant Make You Love Me.  Cheryl said afterward, this girls got it! She was so right! 

We've had the pleasure of featuring Danielle in our Big Top Concerts but never collaborated to the extent that we will at this concert. We look forward to singing her great songs with her and having her sing with us on ours.

April 8th, 2:00 p.m.  Vincent Osborne

Vince is assistant principal bassist with the Duluth Symphony and principal bassist with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra.  At this final concert of the season, well bring Vince on board with our repertoire as well as exploring together some of the great classical repertoire for the cello and bass.

It's been more than a decade since Vince and I had a chance to do some of this great literature, so we're really excited about it. Cheryl and I plan on programming some of our music that works in a chamber music setting and take advantage of all that training that Vince has.

Vincent Osborn received an MM in Double Bass Performance from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (2010), with studies from Christopher Brown of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a BA in Behavioral Arts and Sciences and a BA in Music with concentrations in Literature and
Performance (2003) from the College of St Scholastica.

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