Grammy Award-winner Eugene Friesen will perform a cello concert with pianist Tim Ray at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, in Olin Arts Center at Bates College in Lewiston.

A graduate of the Yale School of Music where he studied with Brazilian virtuoso Aldo Parisot, Friesen’s rocking rhythms and unbridled playing on cello and electric cello have touched audiences worldwide for 25 years. The magazine Jazz Times says, “Transcending all categories, Friesen’s music stirs the soul with a passion and sense of right moments that are nothing less than inspiring.”

Friesen is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where he performs regularly with Paul Winter and as a soloist. Friesen’s debut album, “New Friend,” was recorded in the cathedral with organist-pianist Paul Halley. Friesen was awarded a Grammy for the 1994 Paul Winter Consort album, “Spanish Angel.” He has also worked and recorded with such artists as Dave Brubeck, Toots Thielemans, Betty Buckley and Dream Theater.

His credits as a composer include four albums of original music: “New Friend,” “Arms Around You,” “The Song of Rivers” and his newest CD, “In the Shade of Angels,” released on his own label, FiddleTalk Music.

“Grasslands,” a symphony with choir, narrator and dancers, premiered on the Kansas prairie in 1997; “The Brementown Musicians,” with Bob Hoskins, was released in 1992.

His music can also be heard on the recordings of Trio Globo, which he founded in 1992 with Howard Levy and Glen Velez.

Friesen is on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Other accolades he’s received include, “Never before have I seen a musician play the cello with such a fury and virtuosity. A whirlwind…incredible,” in the El Heraldo de Aragon in Spain and “his music is beautiful, as is his playing,” from Yo Yo Ma.

Ray has appeared on recordings with Friesen. He is, perhaps, best known as Lyle Lovett’s pianist for the past 13 years, including summerlong tours in 2001-2003; but he has been an active and in-demand jazz artist since 1978. He also tours and records with internationally acclaimed singer-songwriters Victoria Williams and Jane Siberry.

He often performs with leading jazz musicians in the New York and New England areas, including Gary Burton, Scott Hamilton, Oliver Lake, Harvie Swartz, John Abercrombie, Bucky Pizzarelli, Duke Robillard, George Garzone and Tiger Okoshi. Ray regularly performs, records and tours with vocalists Donna Byrne, Mili Bermejo, Lisa Thorson and with Cercie Miller’s quartet from the Boston area.

Ray recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and has performed numerous times on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and other national broadcasts. He has appeared on more than 50 recordings and released his first CD as a leader,”Ideas & Opinion,” in 1997 on Gunther Schuller’s GM record label, featuring drummer Lewis Nash and bassist Rufus Reid. His second CD, “Tre Corda,” was released in the spring of 2003 and includes Greg Hopkins on trumpet and Friesen on cello.

Tickets for the concert are $10 or $5 for seniors and students. They will be on sale at the door. More information is available at 786-6135.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.