ENCINITAS — The city of Encinitas’ free, mid-week concert series, Wednesdays@Noon, debuted in January and is playing to growing audiences this spring. The brown bag event is held each week from noon to 12:45 p.m. at the Encinitas Library.
“The first week we had 70 people,” Jim Gilliam, city arts administrator, said. “Each week after that we added 10 more, reaching 100 by the fourth concert. The audiences are having a great time. Many have commented how appreciative they are to have high quality concerts at no cost in these tough economic times.”
The series will continue on April 4 with Bit of Alright Band featuring vocals and acoustic guitar by John Rundle and Steve Grant. The duo performs a broad spectrum of music from pop and soft rock favorites from the 1950s, including hits by the Everly Brothers, to music from contemporary stars such as Jason Mraz. They also play original songs written by Rundle.
On April 11, celebrated pianist Michael Sanders will be returning to the library for the third of eight concerts of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II. Sanders, who lives in San Juan Capistrano, has a special connection with Encinitas’ new Steinway grand piano.
“Last summer I was lucky to be asked to perform at the beginning of the fundraising effort for the piano,” he explained. “The room has a magnificent view which inspired me to play music about the ocean. The acoustics are surprisingly very favorable.”
On April 18, twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson, known professionally as The Mattson2, will be entertaining concert goers with selections from their latest album, “Feeling Hands.” The Encinitas natives earned music degrees from UCSD and are currently enrolled in the graduate program in music at UC Irvine.
When they’re not studying, they’re frequently touring Europe, South America and Japan where they’ve received global acclaim.
“Joining Galaxia records, creating an album with Ray Barbee and being featured in the soundtracks of Thomas Campbell surf films were all important factors to gaining an audience around the world,” said Michael Schmitt, who sponsors and promotes Mattson2 locally through the Leucadia-based arts organization Ruthless Hippies.
On April 25, singer and pianist Ann Chase will be returning to the library to perform the music of Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and other selections from the Great American Songbook. Included in the program is a song composed by local musician Sally Dean, director of San Diego North Coast Singers.
At 2 p.m., Sunday, April 15, the Encinitas Recital Series will continue with a performance by Blue Rose Ensemble. The L.A.-based trio is described as one of today’s most exciting young ensembles, engaging a diverse public with an uncanny marriage of visceral energy and deep sensitivity. They have performed in Brazil, China, France, Israel, Alaska, Texas and California. Hear works by Beethoven, Bruch and Villa Lobos and contemporary composers.
All concerts are performed in the community room of the Encinitas Library located at 540 Cornish Drive behind City Hall. For more information, call (760) 633-2746.
For local event information about Mattson2, and other homegrown entertainment,
visit ruthlesshippies.org or ruthlesshippies.blogspot.com.