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A 'Melange' of jazz, classical and life / The Baltimore Sun

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W.C.  Handy's bluesy "Chantez Les Bas" segues, somehow, into the slow movement from Brahms' Violin Concerto. Debussy's "Clair de Lune," lushly transformed by a string quartet, a subtle drummer and a man sweetly singing about masks and moonlight, conjures up images of an unusually sophisticated nightclub. And a melody from Bach's monumental Mass in B Minor finds unexpected common ground with a recent piece by contemporary jazz bassist Dave Holland and the traditional tune "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

These are just a few examples of the genre-fusion heard in "Melange," a new album by Maryland-based composer/vocalist/arranger Mike Kelleher and his wife, violinist Karin Kelleher. The couple, joined by some of the players on the recording, will give a CD release concert Thursday at An die Musik. Another launch will be held next month at Blues Alley in Washington.

"I will probably be accused of sacrilege," Mike Kelleher says, "but I try to be true to the spirit of the [classical pieces]. I smushed W.C. Handy and Brahms together because I thought they would appeal to each other. I really love experimentation. Debussy, he lends himself so well to jazz. And I can totally see Bach in a jazz club."  READ THE FULL Baltimore Sun ARTICLE