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By John A. Barry

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About this blog: I am the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which paint is applied to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. I have produced works on canvas, plywood, particle board, ...  (More)

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Five Will Get You Fives

Uploaded: Aug 18, 2014
To paraphrase Rogers and Hammerstein, the local hills and valleys are alive with the sound of music: Danville Band, San Ramon Symphonic Band, Contra Costa Wind Symphony, Diablo Symphony, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. . . . Then there are rock bands, school bands, individual musicians, and small ensembles. In the latter category is Mistral, a woodwind quintet whose members are Lisa Maher, flute; Eva Langfeldt, oboe; Christy Diggins, clarinet; Michael Garvey, bassoon; and Jeff Dickey, horn.

Formed in 2000, the quintet plays an eclectic repertoire but specializes in upbeat, jazz-influenced works. "The interplay of the instruments in the woodwind quintet is well suited to jazz-influenced repertoire," says founding member Langfeldt.

That the group is a woodwind quintet gave birth to the name. Per Webster's, a mistral is "a strong, cold northwesterly wind that blows through the Rhône valley and southern France into the Mediterranean, mainly in winter."

Mistral's members come from a variety of musical backgrounds and belong to various local community musical organizations?all are members of the Contra Costa Wind Symphony, in Walnut Creek. They also have a variety of day jobs: Maher is an elementary school teacher, Langfeldt has her own editing business, Diggins works for a construction company, Garvey is in information technology, and Dickey is a high school band director.

On August 24, they will be playing a free concert at Peace Lutheran Church, 3201 Camino Tassajara, in Danville. The five musicians will play "Mississippi Five," "Five Easy Dances" (as well as other pieces) at 5:00 P.M. Complementing the concert will be an exhibit of music-themed art. The group balked, however, at a suggestion that limericks be somehow incorporated into the program.

(Disclosure: my wife is a member of Mistral.)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thank you for posting this. I shall try to attend the concert at Peace Lutheran Church this Sunday. It sounds wonderful. The instrumental makeup seems more appropriate for Classical music, but it should make for lovely jazz too.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Doug Earl , a resident of Diablo,
on Aug 21, 2014 at 6:43 am

So, Mistral will play Sunday, 'live,'
At Peace Lutheran -- clearly no dive.
But they do not like poems,
So leave those at ho-em
May I request Brubeck's 'Take Five?'

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