Rhythm Future Quartet visits for concert, student outreach

Nationally performing arts group Rhythm Future Quarter, or RFQ, visits Homer in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre. Sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts, RFQ also does an outreach event from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the R.E.C. Room. With the Homer Youth String Orchestra and Youth on Record, RFQ will talk about Gypsy jazz and record and mix a piece of music. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the group includes Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass.

HCOA director Peggy Paver said she first saw RFQ perform in November 2015 at the Northwest Booking Conference. “(They) stunned the crowd with their talent, ease, and virtuosity,” she said. “These guys look like they just stepped out of college, but reading their bios indicated something very different. … These guys are accomplished.”

Violinst Anick teaches at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, and has performed with John Jorgenson, Stevie Wonder, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and Tommy Emmanuel. Soikkeli, “the Finnish boy wonder,” has performed with Cyrille Aimee, world-renowned Gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg, Bucky Pizzarelli and many others. O’Rourke was the winner of the 2015 Saga Award from DjangoFest Northwest, and at 19 had already toured/recorded with many of the top American Gypsy Jazz musicians, including John Jorgenson and Gonzalo Bergara. Loughman is a top call bassist in Boston and has been heard with such luminaries as Sheila Jordan, Curtis Fuller and George Garzone.

Support for their visit comes from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

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