Classical music takes center stage March 18-21 with the return of the CAF eXtra festival.
Established in 2011, the Cayman Arts Festival eXtra, held every other year, is a smaller scale, interim version of the larger Cayman Arts Festival, which happens every two years and brings internationally acclaimed musicians to Cayman for a series of recitals and workshops for young music students.
This year’s mini-music festival consists of two main events with musical performances by cello-piano duo Ingrid Schoenlaub and Sodi Braide, as well as two fringe events featuring local musicians and two workshops for music students.
The main events
The first of the main events, “Two World Wars – Artistic Memoirs” is on March 19.
The cello-piano recital by Schoenlaub and Braide is designed for and dedicated to the centenary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the declaration of World War II, reflecting commemorative events taking place around the world.
As part of the performance, actor, singer and comedian Quincy Brown will read letters that were written around the time of the world wars.
The second of the main events, on March 21, is “Keyboard Sensations,” and will begin with chamber music by a locally based quintet and woodwind trio, followed by Schubert’s masterpiece piano duet played by Braide and CAF artistic director and pianist Glen Inanga.
The two pianists met as children, ages 11 and 13, at a music competition in Nigeria but moved to Europe soon after to pursue their musical studies.
“It only dawned on me a few weeks ago that this will be our first performance together since we first met, even though we have stayed good friends for so many years,” Inanga said.
Both events are at the first Baptist Church on Crewe Road, at 7:30 p.m.
“Visual Music – An Art Exhibit by the Sea,” the first of the fringe events, is on March 19 at Pedro Castle. Hosted by the Visual Arts Society, the opening gala of the exhibition will include a performance by a capella group The Singrays.
Formed in 2008, The Singrays are resident musicians who enjoy volunteering their time for performances at charity events. Their repertoire includes madrigals, chamber music, rock, pop and more.
The exhibition, which runs until March 29, will feature a number of local artists displaying and selling works in various media, including jewelry, ceramics and batik.
Drinks and tapas will be provided, and a fundraising auction or raffle will also be held. The opening gala runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The second fringe event, “Luminescent Form: Art Under the Microscope & Music under the Stars,” is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 20 at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, featuring a performance by local jazz quintet Cool School. The exhibition by Davin Ebanks and Roland Verreet features a series of magnified images of foraminifera – tiny single-celled organisms found in our oceans.
Schoenlaub and Braide will host educational workshops for students of stringed instruments and piano on March 18 at St. Ignatius. The workshops are open to all Cayman youths. For more information or to register, email [email protected].
Schoenlaub has performed on some of the world’s greatest stages both as a soloist and principal cellist with various orchestras. Her interest in the interaction between different forms of art has led her to study with various choreographers and prima ballerinas. She currently teaches cello at the Saint Cloud Music Conservatory.
Braide, born in the U.K. to Nigerian parents and currently based in Paris, has performed in various European countries and in the U.S. He has played with the Paris International Orchestra and the Caracas National Philharmonic Orchestra, and his performances have been televised by the BBC and MEZZO.
Tickets for the two main events can be purchased online or at Funky Tangs. Fringe Events are free and open to all.