Frank Calvagna and Friends in ‘Jazz at Emerson’ Jan. 16

Online Staff Report

The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s next “Jazz at Emerson” concert will feature the smooth sounds of “Spanish Guitar Jazz” performed by Frank Calvagna and Friends at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16, at the historic Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford.

Guitarist Frank Calvagna performs contemporary instrumental Spanish guitar music in a style best described as jazz-inspired, nuevo flamenco. His compositions and virtuosity have been compared to artists such as Jesse Cooke and Ottmar Leibert. Backed by percussionist, guitarist and/or a bassist, he regularly performs hundreds of shows annually from duo to quartet format. Performances include festivals, clubs, cafés and wine tastings throughout the Midwest.

With a repertoire consisting of a variety of contemporary, Latin and smooth styles of jazz, they appeal to a variety of audiences.

The repertoire moves beyond the typical jazz instrumental format and places a definite focus on recognizable contemporary modern music. Performances often include flamenco-inspired instrumental versions of well-known tunes by artists like George Benson, Eric Clapton, Gipsy Kings, Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as high-energy original compositions. Whether you are a guitar connoisseur or merely interested in a great background to a romantic evening, Frank Calvagna will deliver.

Jazz at Emerson” happens the third Thursday each month, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Emerson House in the heart of Rockford’s cultural corridor. Concertgoers can enjoy the swinging sounds of jazz, relax with a complimentary glass of wine and light refreshments, and meet the performers after the program. Doors open at 5 p.m. Seating is limited, so arrive early.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Proceeds will benefit the musicians and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online at, by phone (815-964-9713) and at the door of the concert. Flex Passes are also available offering reduced admission prices.

Posted Jan. 15, 2014

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