You get the Double Double Duo, and an evening of music and fun at The Hall in Parrsboro on Wednesday, Aug. 9.
The Toronto-based duo of accordionist Michael Bridge and clarinetist Kornel Wolak will perform in Parrsboro the night before they play the Barachois Summer Music Festival in Barachois, N.B.
Both musicians have been to the Maritimes before but never as a duo, and Bridge said it is an opportunity they are looking forward to.
“People are just so incredibly welcoming and make us feel right at home, which helps us feel great and play great, and I think leads to the best shows,” he said. “The most enjoyable concert experiences we’ve had are not in the big concert halls, but often in very small communities.”
The pair was introduced to each other about five years ago by a professor at the University of Toronto, who referred Bridge when he learned that Wolak was looking to start a project that included an accordionist.
They hit it off musically and have been playing ever since, performing across Canada and around the world in countries such as Ecuador, France and Poland. Both are classically trained soloists, infusing humour and creativity into their performances.
But they have also built a close friendship, which has been just as vital in making the partnership work, according to Bridge.
“We’re extremely good friends, which makes traveling and all the business stuff all that much more enjoyable,” he said. “We have very complimentary skillsets, I think, in terms of the business… Musically, it just works really well because accordion and clarinet are both reed instruments.”
A multitude of musical genres such as klezmer and various folk genres have already made use of the accordion/clarinet combo, but Bridge and Wolak have tried to break those boundaries and delve into other genres such as baroque, classical, other folk music, and even a little rock.
The Parrsboro audience can expect all of the above, and more.
“The first thing we say is, any expectations you have about what the accordion and clarinet do, chuck those out the door,” he said. “We’re going to try and change everything.”
Look for their set to include some traditional music, including a great medley of classical fiddle songs, but also baroque music, classical pieces from the likes of Vivaldi and Bach, as well as jazz standards and some beautiful dance music.
The show will also include some stand-up comedy and humourous anecdotes from the performers, as well as a Q&A session with the audience.
For a taste of their music on Youtube, visit here.
For more information on the upcoming performance, visit www.thehall.ca and click “Concerts at The Hall.”