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Brooklyn Rider and Magos Herrera to Push Boundaries of Classical and Latin American Music
Wednesday, January 25, 2023


Yes, Brooklyn Rider is a string quartet. But don’t think you’re going to see a typical string quartet blissfully playing the world’s renowned classical music in traditional fashion at Friday’s concert at The Argyros.

The veteran string quart, which has been hailed as “the future of chamber music,” presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances. And Friday’s concert featuring Mexican azz singer Magos Herrera is designed to turn classical music on its head cloaking it in the poetry and beauty of the Latin American Songbook.

Brooklyn Rider and Mexican jazz singer Magos Herrera will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, at The Argyros. Tickets range from $25 to $65, available at

The show was inspired by a collaborative album titled “Dreamers” involving Brooklyn Rider, Herrera and Switzerland’s Mathias Kunzli, known as “the mad wizard of drums.”

“It’s a celebration of beauty and art as a defiant response to political and social repression, taking inspiration from poets and songwriters from countries of the Ibero-American diaspora during tumultuous times in the 20th century,” said Brooklyn Rider’s cellist Michael Nicolas. 

Simply put, this is something new for classical music lovers and for fans of the Latin American Songbook.

“These are fresh re-imaginings of classics that are timeless, yet are very much of a time, borne out of the political realities of the dictatorships of the previous century. It speaks to poets and artists who decided that art and beauty were the most powerful tools against oppression and authoritarianism. These musical arrangements form a new “genre” of music, one that defies labeling in a simple way,” said Nicolas. 

As novel as the music is, the approach to making music is not at all new to Brooklyn Rider. Working with  composers and musicians such as banjo player Bela Fleck, outside of their so-called tradition, is a wholesale part of their musical identity.

“We’ve always viewed the string quartet as a medium, a blank canvas to explore anything and everything of interest to us, and that includes all under the sun, old and new, reaching across genres and cultures to bridge a connection with as many people as possible,” Nicolas said. “It is a complete privilege and honor to work with the amazing artists we have played and toured with, and our stop in Ketchum is indeed the product of this collaborative and creative spirit.”

Brooklyn Rider is comprised of violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Michael Nicolas. Known for their unusual repertoire and their collaborations with musicians outside classical music, they formed the Stillwater Music Festival in 2006 to unveil new repertory.

They have had residences at a number of universities, including Dartmouth College, Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina.

They have played at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas as the only classical performers to have been invited to play at the festival to date. And they’ve played such venues as the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Spoleto Festival in the United States and the Malmo Festival in Sweden.

Their first album “Passport” was selected by NPR as one of the best classical albums of its year, and other albums have received acclaim, as well. And American composer Philip Glass chosen them to record his complete string quartets in 2011, including the world premiere recording of his “Bent Suite.”

Magos Herrera is a jazz singer, songwriter and producer who sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese and has collaborated with Javier Limon, saxophonist Tim Ries and others. Born in Mexico City and currently living in New York City, she has been praised for her expressive and eloquent vocal improvisation.

She and composer Paola Prestini recently released an album titled “Con Alma,” which offers classics from the Mexican and Jazz songbook.

“We invite everyone to come with open minds and prepare to be awash with the poetry and beauty of the Latin American Songbook,” said Nicola. “With iconic melodies from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and beyond set in the intimate atmosphere of the Argyros, it promises to be an unforgettable night and journey for all who attend.”


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