Sample free classical music at the third annual Classical Revolution Phoestival, a casual, unique buffet of chamber, percussion, and choral performances held as part of Artlink’s First Friday on April 5. Shuttles stop conveniently at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, where ten ensembles play over the course of three hours. While all four stages are on the cathedral’s grounds at Roosevelt and 1st Avenue, they range from an upstairs auditorium to the outdoor Labyrinth.
Presented by Classical Revolution Phoenix (CRPHX), a grass-roots organization promoting free chamber music performances in unusual, non-traditional settings, the Phoestival offers a demonstration of the cathedral’s organ by Canon Musician Erik Goldstrom as well as an open rehearsal by the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale.
Other highlights feature opera scenes performed by Opera Revolution, flutist Jenna Daum with pianist Drew Quiring, a brass quintet, and a string quartet. The more unusual ensembles include the Arizona State University Pan Devils Steel Band, playing instruments painstakingly crafted from 55-gallon oil drums, and the Mana Saxophone Orchestra AZ, comprised of instruments from saxophone to bass.
The Classical Revolution movement began in 2006 in San Francisco and rapidly expanded to more than 30 chapters around the world, inspiring local musicians to create networks and spread their love of the art through high-quality, readily accessible performances. CRPHX co-founder, bassoonist, and recent ASU doctoral graduate Joseph Kluesener says, “Classical Revolution exposes new audiences to classical music styles and beyond…by breaking down…traditional expectation.”
As CRPHX’s main event designer and ensemble booker, Kluesener works closely with Phoenix Chorale Director of Marketing & Communications Jen Rogers, who says, “We call ourselves co-founders — kind of like charter members — but I think of us more as coordinators.”
Rogers continues, “The primary host and sponsor of the Phoestival is the Chorale, [which] provides the venue, design and printing of the flyer, piano tuning, other infrastructure…and helps secure partners.” CRPHX’s volunteer-driven cooperation continues to develop beyond the Phoestival to performances around the Valley, thanks to word of mouth and the wildfire effect of social media.
Among its occasional special events, CRPHX presents a regular monthly concert series at Trinity Cathedral each First Friday, and Second Friday jam sessions at Harley’s Italian Bistro. The Lost Leaf Bar and Gallery hosts 21-and-older shows on the third Wednesday of every month, and Bookman’s of Mesa offers Final Friday performances. CRPHX takes a break during the summers, since many of the movement’s volunteer musicians leave town for festivals and other opportunities.
“I’ve seen our impact slowly spread and grow among average community members and the finest classical musicians in the area. Anyone with interest in us…will find a willingness to produce projects and make an impact…in a very special, musical way,” says Kluesener.
Musician Katherine Palmer is relatively new to CRPHX; she began participating last August. “We’re lucky in the Valley,” Palmer says, “because there are a number of musicians with many different talents…finding performers has not been as challenging as one would think.”
Their mission continues to foster the Classical Revolution ideal, bringing the music of Haydn, Beethoven, and countless other composers old and new into bars, open spaces, public transportation, and any conceivable performance space, spreading the pleasures of classical music in unexpected ways.
If you go:
- Upcoming CRPHX events:
- April 12 — Harley’s Italian Bistro jam session (ages 21+)
- April 26 — guitarist Joseph Higginbotham at Bookman’s of Mesa
- May 3 — ASU Collaborative Piano Studio and Paradise Winds at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral for First Friday
- May 10 — Harley’s Italian Bistro jam session (ages 21+)
- May 31 — Phoenix Chamber Brass at Bookman’s of Mesa
DPJ’s Bike Chic series by Nathan Simpson. You may see him around town scouting locals who not only ride their bikes but look dapper doing it.
Name: Mikey Jackson
Occupation: Bartender at The Lost Leaf/Artist
Favorite thing about downtown Phoenix: Downtown is a village. People look out for each other and they get jazzed about being involved in the community.
Favorite places: I’m obviously biased, but I love The Lost Leaf. Bikini is also a great Phoenix gem that’s off the beaten path. Food wise, I’ve been spending a lot of time at Welcome Diner and I love Federal Pizza.
Where do you go for grooming? I get my hair done at Palabra. I used to just have what I guess you would call a fro, but they do a really great job. They also show art and I have a solo art show coming up there in May.
Typical bike ensemble: If I’m going to be riding a lot in the day, I’ll throw on my old boots that I know I can thrash. Otherwise I just try to dress for the weather.
- Bike – Custom built Fetish frame
- No frills – “She’s not a beauty queen. I try to keep my bike simple, easy and practical”
- Vintage, no-tag flannel
- Graphic T shirt – Eighty Grand
- Bolo Tie – gift
- Silver ring – found
- Gemed ring- From Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
Anything you want to plug? My solo art show at Polabra in May. I also have a blog for my art at hellomikey.net.
Name: Megan Salisbury
Occupation: Student at ASU Downtown, Intern at Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, Volunteer
Her Neighborhood: Medlock Place
What you love about downtown? The diversity of the community. The fact I don’t have to drive to get my everyday needs met, and it seems like most everyone I interact with is committed to buying local, and finding creative solutions to the changing society (such as with Valley of the Sunflowers). I like the urban component, the murals, the coffee shops, and the fact I can walk to great dining, an improv theatre, and my mechanic without trouble.
How you are involved in the community? I do a lot of work with the homeless. I am passionate about ending homelessness and aspire to live in a community where we can all have our basic needs met.
General biking ensemble: I tend to travel light because I’m clumsy. I definitely don’t wear flip flops while biking. I’ve learned my lesson with that.
- Vintage Schwinn Breeze – scored at a yard sale
- Helmet – Nutcase bought on clearance from REI
- Hello Kitty Bell – gift and tribute to a friend who passed away last year
- Light- headlamp fastened to the basket
What she’s wearing:
- Shirt and pants from Goodwill
- Shoes – simple flats from REI
- Earrings from Frances
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The Trunk Space is holding its 2nd Annual ”Nerd Shop & Swap” on Saturday March 30th. They are looking for interested collectors to set up and sell/trade their geeky hobby surplus.
Guidelines for sellers:
- This event is not intended for professional sellers, but hobbyists who are looking to clean out their closets.
- Hours will be 11am to 4pm, and sellers can start setting up at 10am.
- Welcome are: Comic books, toys, role playing games, movie memorabilia, crafts and craft supplies, action figures, books, cameras/photo supplies, vintage clothes, sports stuff, and much more–tell us what you have, we’ll let you know if it fits!
- Persons interested must first email Trunk Space first, putting NERD SWAP in the subject line, letting me know what they intend to sell. Our email address is: email@example.com
- We take no commission on sales.
- $10 to hold a space (Bring your own table), first come first reserve, inside spaces are limited.
- Once okayed, sellers can reserve a space by sending $10 via paypal to:firstname.lastname@example.org and put NERD SWAP in the description.
- Last day to hold a spot in March 23rd.
- This event will be free to shoppers.
For More info:
Facebook page for the Nerd Shop & Swap:
Flyer for the event:
Photos by Diana Welsch, courtesy of The Trunk Space
It’s no news to anyone who lives in downtown Phoenix that there are a ton of vacant lots. I am deeply familiar with all of the ones in my Garfield neighborhood. I have photographed them, walked across them and located the remaining debris of homes on them. They are a very real part of the structure here and are more than just undeveloped areas of desert. They are built-upon, once-used, stripped clean, recovered with gravel and continuously trimmed and maintained pieces of land.
When talking about these bits of patchwork that stretch throughout the city, the tendency is to talk about how these areas can be “developed.” We want someone to “do something” with this space, to fill it, or to make practical business use of it. We might think “store,” or “community garden.” Most developers might already have their eye on it as a place with increasing or decreasing property value that can be turned over for a profit and don’t care what it becomes.
More often what I tend to see is free, open space—a fact of the landscape that we regularly interact with on many different levels. I see a platform situated tightly within a community that could make relevant, temporary use of it. Why all this clamoring for indoor, stifling “art” space when we have a wide, vast outdoor venue that is just waiting to be drawn back into the city?
Some organizations and individuals have already begun to do this. Roosevelt Row CDC’s A.R.T.S. program managed to cultivate an entire field of sunflowers; INFLUX and the City of Phoenix are planning and realizing numerous arts projects on vacant spaces and even Mayor Greg Stanton has gotten involved by utilizing the space adjacent to Steele Indian School park for education, community farming and arts projects. “The Lot: What Should Go Here” poses the question to the community to think about what they’d want next to monOrchid. These people and organizations see the availability of this land as an opportunity to beautify our spaces and utilize them for the community’s creations.
These spaces also hold the potential for different types of work. Rather than putting the spaces through the same process of application, review and execution, individuals have the opportunity at any moment to interact meaningfully with this part of the landscape. An impromptu performance, a shortcut walking from one area to another, a place to fly a kite, an area of soft ground to run on (it’s more acceptable to run around a track?)—these allow us to see the land as less “vacant” as it is continuous.
While some areas may be fenced off and monitored, many others are available and have been for some time. What’s to stop someone from launching an impromptu, temporary and litter-less artwork? What would prevent us from inviting people to converge on a space for one hour to be part of a new performance, action, or participatory piece? New York-based 596 Acres has managed to organize a massive project that identifies all the vacant spaces in the city along with a path to activating them.
While the calls for proposals from places like INFLUX or the City of Phoenix ask us to consider a space, we also have the power within us to determine where to enact a project, with or without an organization’s approval. By regularly being present in these spaces, we can address them as something other than an off-limits area that should be looked at or treated differently. We create, through them, the same as what we have done with the once unpopulated sidewalks and streets of downtown Phoenix. By being physically present, we transform the space.