Date:   3/1/2005

Critically acclaimed Alison Brown Quartet appearing at Thrasher

Who would think a BA from Harvard and an MBA from UCLA would lead an investment banker like Alison Brown down the path to international musical acclaim – with stops at Carnegie Hall and the Grammy Award acceptance podium along the way?  The Thrasher Opera House is excited to welcome award-winning banjoist Alison Brown to the stage on Saturday March 12 at 7:30 pm.

Alison Brown has achieved international acclaim with a musical style described as “…a jazz-classical-pop-folk-Latin mix”(USA Today).  Named “Banjo Player of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Brown and her band take the banjo quantum leaps beyond traditional bluegrass in an exciting program.

Before her international success, Brown traveled the country with fiddler Stuart Duncan, and the pair sometimes played at the local Shakey’s Pizzeria in San Diego with now country superstar Vince Gill and Gene Libbea, bass player with the Nashville Bluegrass Band.  Brown eventually landed a one-night gig at the Grand Ole Opry, but her musical career took a slight detour shortly thereafter.  She took time off from performing and composing to attain a BA from Harvard, an MBA from UCLA, and worked a two-year stint in the public finance division of Smith Barney in San Francisco.

After taking a hiatus to return to composing and recording music, Brown assembled the material for her solo debut.  While it heralded a new voice on the banjo, Simple Pleasures, also owed much to the California-based jazz/bluegrass hybrid sound pioneered by mandolinist David Grisman, who produced the album.  Around the same time, Brown joined Alison Krauss for a successful three-year run that included a place on Krauss' Grammy-winning I've Got That Old Feeling album.  Now Alison Brown has recorded seven critically acclaimed albums, been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered, as well as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. A truly innovative musician on an unexplored instrument makes her concert one not to miss.

Joining Brown on stage will be one of Nashville’s most-recorded fiddlers, Andrea Zonn who performed as a member of the Vince Gill Band for over ten years, while finding time to contribute to sessions and tours by Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, George Jones, and many more. Her debut album, Love Goes On, has been acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic for its rich, rootsy sound, elegant vocals, and superb arrangements. The Alison Brown Quartet will feature Zonn as both vocalist and fiddler, drawing material from vocal features on Brown’s albums in addition to selections from Love Goes On.

Tickets for the concert are $18 and can be purchased at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank, Pick ‘N Save, Ripon Drug, Twister (Princeton) or on the website at www.thrasheroperahouse.com.  For more information, call 920-294-4279.

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