Del Sol String Quartet takes on Samuel Barber; Mono Mondo Dance Festival shakes it on the Bandstand; The Deslondes and The Haunted Windchimes rock Meow Wolf; Santa Fe Desert Chorale sings Shakespeare; the Dave Holland Trio grooves at the Lensic; and Johannes String Quartet plays a few dates at St. Francis Auditorium
Big on Barber: Del Sol String Quartet
Samuel Barber, whose Vanessa opens at Santa Fe Opera on July 30, wrote rather little chamber music, but what he did produce includes some pieces of high quality and staying power. The Del Sol String Quartet, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is most known for its intrepid forays to the front lines of the avant-garde. It will be interesting to hear them in the more conservative language of early Barber. On Sunday, July 24, at 4 p.m., the quartet participates in an hourlong all-Barber concert in Stieren Hall at Santa Fe Opera (seven miles north of Santa Fe on U.S. 84/285), performing his String Quartet (the middle movement of which gained wider renown as his orchestral Adagio for Strings) and his chamber song cycle Dover Beach, with baritone Jarrett Ott. The concert also includes a selection of Barber’s songs, performed by Ott and by soprano Rebecca Krynski Cox, the latter having programmed the popular Hermit Songs. Pianist Robert Tweten assists. Tickets ($15) can be had by calling the opera’s box office at 505-986-5900 or 800-280-4654. — James M. Keller
Movers and shakers: Mono Mondo World Dance Festival
Dance traditions from Persia, Ireland, Africa, the United States, and more take over the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand on Saturday, July 23, at 1 p.m., when the New Mexico Dance Coalition, a nonprofit group that supports local dance schools and organizations, presents the 21st annual Mono Mundo World Dance Festival. Artists from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and elsewhere in Northern New Mexico present a free show of regional and traditional choreography. Performers include Belisama Irish Dance, Wassa Drum & Dance, and Zircus Erotique. Also on tap is belly-dancing by Mosaic Dance Company, the Saltanah Dancers, and Azadeh of Madrid, along with break dancing by 3HC Holy Faith. For a complete schedule, visit www. nmdancecoalition.org. — Jennifer Levin
Light the night: Double bill at Meow Wolf
A double bill of The Deslondes and The Haunted Windchimes promises to be a real barnburner at Meow Wolf Art Space (1352 Rufina Circle, 505-780-4458) on Saturday, July 23, with the pairing of these earnestly talented country-inspired bands. The Deslondes are a collaborative experiment from New Orleans, a non-hierarchical group in which all five members play multiple instruments and write songs and four of the members sing. With gospel inflections and honky-tonk rhythms, they sound like many old favorites — Johnny Cash and Hank Williams come to mind — if those old favorites had been generally more positive about life. The Haunted Windchimes, a foursome that hails from Pueblo, Colorado, veer toward mountain roots music and country jazz with melodic and mournful — yet energetic — songs that evoke the history of Pueblo, a working-class town of miners, millers, and railroaders. The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.). Tickets, available at www.meowwolf.com, are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. — J.L.
Play on: Desert Chorale sings Shakespeare
Following a distinguished career as a choral conductor in Washington State and Edmonton, Alberta, Richard Sparks relocated to assume his current position overseeing the faculty for conducting and ensembles at the University of North Texas and leading that school’s University Singers and Collegium Singers. For his appearance as a guest conductor with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, he has put together Sounds and Sweet Airs, an imaginative program of lesser-known choral works, both a cappella and accompanied, set to texts from 10 Shakespeare plays as well as from a couple of sonnets. On the docket are Fancies I by Sven-Eric Johanson, selections from Frank Martin’s Songs of Ariel, Witches’ Brew by Ron Applebaum, Vaughan Williams’ Three Shakespeare Songs, and a set by George Shearing titled Songs and Sonnets. Pianist Nathan Salazar assists, and actor Anna Farkas intersperses a selection of Shakespeare readings. The program will be unveiled at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, at the Church of the Holy Faith (311 E. Palace Ave.), and continues with performances on July 30 and Aug. 3 and 7. Tickets ($45-$65) are available by calling 505-988-2282 or through www.desertchorale.org. — J.M.K.
Bass on top: Dave Holland Trio with Chris Potter
Since the night in 1968 that Miles Davis hired him off the bandstand at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London, Dave Holland has been the jazz world’s most conspicuous bassist, backing the most adventurous musicians, recording his own innovative albums — including Conference
of the Birds — and leading exquisite ensembles, from duos to orchestras. Set to be honored as an NEA Jazz Master in 2017, Holland has shaped the course of bass playing and improvisational music at large. Seen last fall in Santa Fe with tabla player Zakir Hussain, he’ll return with his trio to play the Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 W. San Francisco St.) at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, with guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Obed Calvaire, plus special guest saxophonist Chris Potter. For tickets ($20-$60), call 505-988-1234 or visit www.ticketssantafe.org. For more information on the festival, visit www.newmexicojazzfestival.org.
— Bill Kohlhaase
Busy and back: Johannes String Quartet
The members of the Johannes String Quartet keep busy with their separate careers. First violinist Soovin Kim teaches at the New England Conservatory, and cellist Peter Stumpf at Indiana University. Julianne Lee is assistant principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony and Choong-Jin (C.J.) Chang is principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The foursome, which by now qualifies as a regular at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, makes its first bow here this season playing Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 12-minute Homunculus, which the group premiered in 2008. The composer explained that he was “fascinated (and amused) by the arcane spermists’ theory, who held the belief that the sperm was in fact a ‘little man’ (homunculus) that was placed inside a woman for growth into a child. … It was later pointed out that if the sperm was a homunculus, identical in all but size to an adult, then the homunculus may have sperm of its own. This led to a reductio ad absurdum, with an endless chain of homunculi.”
On the same program (performed at 6 p.m. on both Sunday, July 24, and Monday, July 25), the Johannes teams up with the Pacifica Quartet for Mendelssohn’s Octet. The concerts take place at St. Francis Auditorium of the New Mexico Museum of Art (107 W. Palace Ave). Tickets ($60-$82, with steep discounts for attendees under age thirty-five) can be purchased at the festival’s box office in the museum’s lobby, by calling 505-982-1890 or 888-221-9836 ext. 102, or through www.santafechambermusic.com. The Johannes String Quartet goes it alone in a sold-out recital of Mozart’s D-minor Quartet (K. 421) and Beethoven’s E-minor Quartet (Op. 59, No. 2) on Tuesday, July 26, at noon. — J.M.K.
Wassa Drum & Dance
Del Sol String Quartet
Johannes String Quartet