ALTON, IL – November 7, 2011 – The Jacoby Arts Center is delighted that The Crusell Quartet will make a return engagement on Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 26, in the *LIVE at Jacoby: last saturday nights*concert.
This unique classical music ensemble includes Elsie Parker, clarinet, Alison Rolf, violin, Tess Keough, viola, Marcia Mann, cello, and guest Wayne Coniglio on bass. Named after the Finnish classical composer and clarinetist Bernard Henrick Crusell, this talented group will perform music
of Finnish composers Crusell and Jean Sibelius, among others.
Parker says she loves playing at Jacoby “...especially around Thanksgiving…it gives you a feeling like the beginning of the holidays—a very warm feeling.” That feeling might be founded in the intimate setting of Jacoby Arts Center’s East Room where the cabaret seating, high ceilings and close proximity to the performers fosters a new experience with music. “The audience can be more comfortable, unlike in some concert halls,” says Elsie. “It’s welcoming and nice for people who don’t go to chamber music too often—they like seeing the concentration and effort of playing a musical instrument up close. And it’s fun for us that we can see the emotions on our audience’s faces, whether they like something or not.”
Jean King, assistant director and performing arts coordinator at Jacoby, agrees: “Here, the focus is on musicians, and they love it. They are center stage, and people really listen to them. The room is a mini concert hall, and the acoustics are amazing, especially for strings.”
Elsie Parker performs in several musical groups, including *The Poor People of Paris*, which has played at Jacoby Arts Center several times. “When Elsie Parker and *The Poor People of Paris* first performed at Jacoby, I thought: this is why we started the *LIVE at Jacoby: last saturday*
*nights*concerts,” says King. “Parker’s musicianship and dynamic stage presence are of the highest caliber making for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of music.”
The Crusell Quartet promises nothing less. On November 26, they will be playing Corsell, Romero (almost mariachi band sounding), and early French classical period selections. On the lighter side, the ensemble – some of whom play The Addams Family at the Fox and are regular members of the Muny Orchestra -- will embrace one soundtrack from a John Williams film, and
improvisation as part of their new eclectic repertoire.