Cher­ries Ju­bilee: A ‘sweet dessert’ for Chat­tanooga

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC -

Vis­i­tors to Wayne- ORama on Satur­day night, May 27, will get three acts for the price of one when Shak­ing Ray Levi So­ci­ety hosts Cher­ries Ju­bilee.

The name i sn’t j ust rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the fact the mu­sic event is a cel­e­bra­tion of the Cherry Blos­soms’ new al­bum, “The Hank Tapes,” but that the Cherry Blos­soms will be joined by singer- song­writer Josephine Foster and zither vir­tu­oso Wu Fei that night.

“Any one of those three could be the night’s head- liner, and that would have been un­be­liev­able,” says Bob Stag­ner of Shak­ing Ray Levi So­ci­ety. “It’s a nice, sweet dessert Chat­tanooga’s go­ing to get that night.”

Stag­ner de­scribes the Cherry Blos­soms as a “main­stay group that’s been around Nashville for­ever.”

“They have a sweet, del­i­cate spirit about them. They’ve lit­er­ally been on the scene for years, and we wanted to cel­e­brate what they do. This is the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment.”

“The Hank Tapes” fea­ture the Cherry Blos­soms’ early songs from 1996 when the late Marc Trovil­lion, a Chat­tanoogan, was the band’s bassist.

Colorado singer-song­writer and gui­tarist Foster has built a ca­reer on folk-in­fused com­po­si­tions sung in “a haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful voice,” Stag­ner says.

While her ini­tial ca­reer plan was to be­come an opera singer, she was pro­foundly in­spired by early Bri­tish folk mu­sic and Tin Pan Al­ley clas­sics. She can’t be pinned down to any one sound, but sings styles rang­ing from psy­che­delic rock to 19th- cen­tury Ger­man Lieder.

A na­tive of Bei­jing who cur­rently l ives in Nashville, Fei is a mas­ter of the guzheng, the an­cient 21-string Chi­nese zither.

She trained as a Western clas­si­cal com­poser and vo­cal­ist, but plays in the guzheng’s ver­nac­u­lar — a musical lan­guage more than 2,000 years old. She mixes her Western and Chi­nese train­ing with a con­tem­po­rary, ex­per­i­men­tal dialect.

“We’ve been try­ing to get her here for a while,” says Stag­ner of the Chi­nese mu­si­cian. “This is just go­ing to be an other- worldly event. Folks who haven’t seen mu­sic in this space re­ally need to come.”


Wu Fei is a mas­ter of the guzheng, a 21-string Chi­nese zither.

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