The Siskiyou Institute will bring back jazz guitarist Mimi Fox and pianist Randy Halberstadt for a concert in Ashland.

Guitarist Mimi Fox returns to Ashland

The Siskiyou Institute will bring back one of its most popular artists, guitarist Mimi Fox. In her third Siskiyou Institute performance, she will be joined by Seattle-based pianist Randy Halberstadt in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the Old Siskiyou Barn, Ashland.

Fox has earned her reputation in the jazz world as a guitarist, composer and recording artist. She has been named a winner in six consecutive Downbeat magazine international critic's polls and has been recognized by writers and colleagues alike as one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists on today's scene.

In one of many feature stories, Guitar Player magazine hailed Fox as "a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms but has managed to reinvigorate them."

Fox has performed and recorded with some of jazz's most commanding players and vocalists, including Charlie Byrd, Stanley Jordan, Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez, Abbey Lincoln and Diana Krall. She also has performed outside of the jazz world with Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian and with Patty Larkin's Vanguard Records-produced "La Guitara" project.

To date, Fox has released eight albums, including her two most recent on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label. Her 2006 double CD, "Perpetually Hip," received rave reviews from many publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, which called this project Fox's "masterwork" and wrote, "The two discs stand as a definitive Fox statement. The first showcases her simmering interplay with a quartet featuring drum maestro Billy Hart, while the second captures her breathtaking solo style in an approach that is as harmonically resourceful as it is lyrically inventive."

With her 2001 solo album, "Standards, " Fox established her credentials as a worthy successor to the highly regarded jazz guitarist, the late Joe Pass. In a glowing Cadence magazine review, Jim Josselyn wrote: "To say Mimi Fox's touch, sound, sensitivity and understanding of the guitar as a solo vehicle of expression is masterful would be an understatement. This is simply some of the best guitar music I have heard."

Pianist Randy Halberstadt has been a figure on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene for many years. A multi-dimensional pianist, he is equally at home playing be-bop, Latin, down-home blues, straight-ahead swing, free and eclectic jazz.

In addition to leading his own trio and producing his own recordings ("Inner Voice," "Clockwork" and "Parallel Tracks"), he has performed with many artists. Among these are Herb Ellis, Buddy de Franco, David Friesen, Don Lanphere, Mel Brown, Sheila Jordan, Rebecca Parris, Kevin Mahogany, Marlena Shaw, Karrin Allyson and Ernestine Anderson.

Halberstadte is the pianist for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and has performed repeatedly with the Seattle Symphony.

Fox and Halberstadt will present "Art of the Duo," a jazz improvisation workshop at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 2, at the Old Siskiyou Barn. The two will cover aspects of the collaborative process as reflected in their duo. In addition to sound and improvisation, they will explore the listening, interaction, risk-taking and originality that go into creating an effective duo performance. They also will discuss their personal approaches to their instruments. The workshop is open to all instruments and vocalists.

Cost of the workshop is $10, $5 for Siskiyou Institute members, Students in grades K-12 and university students will be admitted free. Tickets for the concert are $22, $20 for Siskiyou Institute members and $5 for students. Seating is limited and advance reservations are suggested.

For concert and workshop reservations, e-mail info@siskiyouinstitute.com or call 488-3869.

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