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Popsapalooza 2022 continues at the fairgrounds

Submitted by John Steffanic

Plumas Sierra County Fair Manager


Who would have thought bringing some culture to our county would be such an effort? Regardless of the challenge, the work continues. Two of the three postponed Popsapalooza concerts from last year have been rescheduled over the next couple of months. The PSCF Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, has scheduled, cancelled, postponed and presented a wide range of performances featuring musicians from the Reno Pops Orchestra and the Ruby Mountain Symphony of Northern Nevada. Despite the challenges of COVID and wild fires, the Foundation is committed to showing-off the fairgrounds as a top venue for diverse entertainment.

The first concert will feature “The Collective,” “…one of the most creative and distinctive jazz ensembles in the northwestern United States” according to the publication For the Love of Jazz. The band features saxophonist Peter Epstein, trumpeter Josh Reed, pianist Adam Benjamin, bassist Hans Halt and drummer Andrew Heglund. Each of these dedicated musicians maintains busy individual performance schedules while forming the core of the Program for Jazz and Improvisational Music at the University of Nevada, Reno. All of the members are passionate about sharing the knowledge of their instrument, improvisation, composition, history and other aspects of jazz. The Collective has released four albums and members have recorded many albums on their own and with numerous groups.

This performance at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds on Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m. will feature some original jazz music from their recent recording session in Colorado. In addition, the group will perform some jazz classics, including Thelonious Monk compositions that were recorded by the group in a 2021 live streamed concert from the Laughing Planet in Reno, Nevada.

The Sierra Brass Quintet, founded in 2019 and comprised of faculty members from the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Music, will perform on Saturday, June 11 at the fairgrounds. Their performances are filled with the artistic range of genres and styles stemming from baroque and classical to improvised jazz and popular arrangements. During the school year they can be found performing for educational programs throughout the Pacific Northwest, and during the summer, recording on stages such as the state-of-the-art Hall Recital Hall in the new University Arts Building. Members have performed and toured with such musicians and ensembles as the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Collective, Paquita D’Rivera, the Alias Brass Company, and the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass.

The group is made up of trumpeters Jonathan Bhatia and Joshua Reed, Natalie Brooke Higgins on horn, Jim Albrecht on trombone and Russ Dickman on tuba. They will be performing diverse selections from the likes of Aaron Copland to Randy Newman, as well as classical pieces and contemporary film music. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 per performance. They can be purchased at the door, at the Fair Office or on-line. Tickets that were purchased for last year’s postponed concerts will be honored at these performances. For more details about the PSCF Foundation or the Popsapalooza Concert Series, visit www.plumas-sierracountfair.net.

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