Written by Andy Roberts –
MARIPOSA – The Mariposa Arts Council is proud to present the music of Bagby Station on Friday, June 7, and Trance Mission on Saturday, June 8.
Denise Ludington and Greg Torres are the musical duo, Bagby Station, based out of Mariposa/Yosemite.
Denise Ludington, the songwriter of the duo, has been distracted with creating lyrics and tunes since childhood. Her musical background stems from piano lessons, band classes, and music workshops throughout her upbringing.
She was exposed to a wide variety of music throughout her life and enjoys the history of music and the root sounds. Her inspirations for songwriting come from the observations of life’s journeys, a sense of place no matter the place, and relationships of all kinds.
Being a California girl, her lyrics emit the essence of California landscape. She is the vocalist, guitarist, and mandolin player in the duo.
Greg Torres, the bass player of the duo, is a key part of shaping their musical arrangements. His originality and creativity in composition and improvisation help to give their songs a unique quality.
Greg started taking guitar lessons in 5th grade and picked up the bass guitar in high school when a band was looking for a bass player. He took up the upright bass in college and never wanted to play electric bass again.
As for musical influences, he listens to pretty much everything, from Jazz and Blues to Heavy Metal (the heavier the better), and everything in between. In his words, “there’s far too much good music out there to limit yourself to one style.”
Trance Mission features three extraordinary and award-winning multi-instrumentalists/ composers – Stephen Kent: didjeridu, percussion, cello-sintir, bass; Beth Custer: B flat, alto and bass clarinets; Peter Valsamis: percussion and drummer – with mountains of global accolades to their credit.
Trance Mission continues the genre-breaking musical traditions they started in the 1990s. Founded in ‘91 by Kent (Baraka Moon; host of the World Music program on KPFA-Berkeley) and Custer (film score composer; recent Emmy award-winner [KQED]), this seminal 4th World ensemble out of the Bay Area performed extensively on the West Coast and in Europe and created four universally acclaimed recordings released on San Francisco’s City of Tribes label.
The music of Trance Mission is a nearly indescribable amalgam of World/ Trance music that includes implements of progressive jazz, African and Aboriginal, with an infectious improvisational spirit and humor.
Trance Mission’s unique, multi-genre music is unlike any presented in Mariposa before their debut at the Art Park in 2015, making their return a truly special appearance. Notable performances include Maybeck Studio, Live Oak Festival, Freight & Salvage, Slim’s, Palm’s Playhouse and many more.
“The digital aura remarkably marries the indigenous instrumentation with a rare naturalness, resonating with the full flame of world-derived trance power.” — Sam Prestianni
“A unique Aboriginal, African and European fusion. Their rhythmic, trance-inducing music for didgeridoo, drums and synthesizer makes a perfect soundtrack.” — j. Poet
“This is such deep, exploratory, soulful music…unlike anything I’ve ever heard. It’s world music, yes, but at the same time its progressive, jazzy, tribal, traditional, jamming, driving, trance rhythms…I hear something new every time I put this CD on.” — PG, Dirty Linen
A complete schedule of the talent performing throughout this summer season can be found at www.mariposaartscouncil.org.
All performances begin at 7 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) at the Mariposa County Art Park, located on Highway 140 between 4th and 5th Streets in historic downtown Mariposa.
There is free parking on 5th Street along the Creek Walkway to the Park, also providing handicapped access.
The shows are free to the public – tips for the performers will be solicited, encouraged and appreciated.
The MARIPOSA COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL, INC. is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, created to promote and support all forms of the cultural arts, for all ages, throughout Mariposa County.
(Andy Roberts is the producer of Music on the Green).