Blues harmonica virtuoso Corky Siegel, bottom center, presents "Corky's Virtual Chamber Ba-lues-za!" to kick off the seventh season of concerts put on by Chamber Music on the Fox. // Courtesy Chamber Music on the Fox

Blues harmonica virtuoso Corky Siegel helps Chamber Music on the Fox kick off seventh season

In a year when people have been in Zoom work meetings, Zoom happy hours and Zoom birthday parties, why not have a Zoom harmonica blues jam organized by a local chamber music group?

Chamber Music on the Fox kicks off its seventh season with a virtual concert featuring renowned blues harmonica player Corky Siegel and his Chamber Blues quartet, along with another half dozen or so internationally acclaimed guest artists.

“Corky’s Virtual Chamber Ba-lues-za!” will be presented entirely as a Zoom concert produced by Siegel. The artists played their parts separately at their home bases and Siegel mixed the recordings to make the 90-minute production.

Chamber Music on the Fox co-founder Sara Sitzer said when it became clear they couldn’t perform at least the early concerts this season in front of an audience, chamber music seemed uniquely suited to such a format.

“Chamber music is so small and so flexible, there’s no reason not to do it,” Sitzer said. “It was clear, especially at the beginning of all of this (pandemic), that people were turning to the arts in a very challenging time. And so, we feel like part of our mission is to make sure the arts are still there for people.”

The first concert of their five-show season will be the most unusual, since none of the artists will be performing together.

“Corky and all the musicians that are part of the program are inviting everyone watching into their own homes, which is something that you can’t get in any sort of regular concert setting,” Sitzer said. “They’ve put together all of these little videos, all from different rooms in their houses and you really get a glimpse into not just their playing and their music but their personalities too, just from the way they’ve created this thing.”

The concert will air at 7 p.m. Oct. 26. Tickets are available at www.chambermusiconthefox.org. The normal concert pricing has been scrapped and organizers are seeking donations.

“We know people are struggling right now and we want to make these concerts accessible,” she said. “Basically, the normal ticket prices that we would usually charge, we’re kind of putting as a suggested donation amount. But anybody who wants to watch one of these could pay any amount that they want, as little as $1. We just want people to be able to watch them.”


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