Marimolin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Marimolin 

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The highly unusual duo Marimolin was formed when violinist Sharan Leventhal met marimbist Nancy Zeltsman a decade ago in Boston, where both had considerable reputations in the new-music community. Immediately intrigued by the prospect of merging the sonorities of their instruments, they decided to team up. Since then they've compiled a unique repertoire, premiering over 70 pieces written especially for them. In concert Marimolin exudes excitement, camaraderie, and downtown sensibility, playing with precision and accenting humor. Though neither on her own is a virtuoso, when the violin's lyricism blends with the murmur of the marimba the duo evokes a seductive soundscape. Their versions of jazz oldies--such as John Coltrane's "Naima" on their latest CD Combo Platter (Catalyst)--can lead to totally unexpected vistas. The program for their Ravinia debut is typically eclectic, with major contributions from crossover veteran Gunther Schuller, Princeton's Paul Lansky, young New Yorker Mark Stambaugh, and Pat Metheny collaborator Lyle Mays. Also on the bill are frequent NPR guests Toby Twining Music. Known as the Hilliard Ensemble of experimental music, this a cappella quartet executes weird vocal techniques in a most delightful way. Tuesday, 7:30 PM, Bennett Hall, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 728-4642.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Carol Weinberg.

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