Grammy winners Tingstad & Rumbel return to Charlotte’s Web Sept. 24

Beloved performers and 2003 Grammy Award winners Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel return to charm audiences once again. Charlotte’s Web is proud to welcome them back at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24 at a performance at Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St.

Few musical partnerships have been as enduring, productive and cordial as this duo. “It’s a relationship that improves with time,” said Eric Tingstad. “We are what you see on stage,” said Nancy Rumbel, “a couple of friends who enjoy each other’s company, admire their ability, and truly love music.”

Rumbel grew up in San Antonio. She switched from clarinet to oboe in seventh grade and advanced rapidly, continuing her musical education at Northwestern University. While working at Northwestern’s musical library, she was intrigued by ethnomusicology. “It opened my eyes to a colorful palette of music from around the world,” she recalled. “My oboe came alive when I explored non-traditional and improvisational music.” She acquired a taste for jazz, moved to Florida, and eventually joined the Paul Winter Consort, leaving the group in 1984 to start a family.

Meanwhile, Eric Tingstad grew up in Seattle listening to the Beatles and playing electric guitar in progressive rock bands. But while attending Western Washington University, he became enthralled with classical and jazz guitar techniques. He unplugged the amplifier, took up acoustic guitar, and developed a local following in Oregon and Washington with a warm, personal style he called “Northwest Impressionism.”

The two met at an outdoor festival in Oregon in 1984. A year later, when Nancy and her family moved to the Seattle area, she and Eric began a collaboration that culminated in their first album together, The Gift, an acoustic collection of holiday music that has become a classic. Eventually, the two families came to live in the same Seattle suburb.

Tingstad and Rumbel also share a dedication to historic preservation. Their music reflects the importance they place on natural and architectural treasures as does their choice of career venues. They have performed in the meadows of Yosemite, a tiny chapel on Orcas Island, Town Hall in New York, and nature centers and restored theaters coast to coast. They constantly seek partnerships and links to organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting historic and natural (and often endangered) treasures. Their most recent album features photos and contact information provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Long before it was fashionable, they lent their names to environmental causes.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; The Postal Shoppe, Edgebrook Center, 397-7301; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

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