The Wenatchee World

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Zeal on the keys: A chat with Oksana Ezhokina

Oksana Ezhokina plays piano the way she talks. As she launches the staccato opening of Beethoven’s first piano concerto — which she’ll perform with the Tacoma Symphony next weekend — her phrases are direct, forthright, and with a bluntness that echoes her words. But as she switches to a dreamy Scriabin etude, her tone is as veiled and mellifluous as her voice.
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The Head and the Heart keep moving with ‘Let’s Be Still’

“There’ve been four or five times where someone quit the band because a terrible show turned into a fight after,” says singer-guitarist Josiah Johnson of the Seattle nu-folk phenomenon The Head and the Heart, whose highly-anticipated second album, “Let’s Be Still,” comes out Tuesday and will be a featured item at Starbucks nationwide. “Then the next morning everyone’s like ‘OK, never mind.’ ”
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Back to basics: Black Sabbath still amazed by success of reunion album

DETROIT — Even the most grizzled rock ‘n’ roll veterans can still get bowled over once in a while. So it’s been for Black Sabbath founding members Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, the pioneering English metal musicians who have watched as their new album, “13,” tops sales charts across the globe.
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15-year-old girl’s pop country career gains momentum

Some people spend their entire lifetime stricken with stage fright, but for 15-year-old pop country singer Afton Prater, the stage couldn’t be more comfortable. Afton, a sophomore at Klahowya Secondary School in Silverdale, began performing when she was 12, traveling to Kitsap, Pierce, and Jefferson County over the past three years, singing and playing guitar in a variety of venues. This August she’ll be visiting in Chelan County for two acoustic performances, one Aug. 3 at Smallwood’s Harvest market in Peshastin, and another Aug. 10 at the Wenatchee Valley Farmer’s ...

A sizzling summer 24-pack of music

Song-of-the-summer seekers will find many gone-viral candidates in this first summer in which YouTube clicks count in sending a song toward the top of the charts.

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After 40 years, Kansas is anything but dust in the wind

Some of you remember listening to them when your hair was down to your butt and all the coolest bands were named after places in the U.S. Some of you only know them from your parents’ record collections. It’s no secret that they’ve been around a while — 40 years to be exact.

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Here for the party: Gretchen Wilson starts over with her own label

CHICAGO — Gretchen Wilson didn’t think turning 40 last week was a big deal. To her, it was just another number. Turning 36 a few years ago? That was a different story.

“For whatever reason, 36 was hard for me,” Wilson said on Monday, two days before she officially hit 40, from her home in Tennessee. “I felt like that was getting old. When I was a kid, as soon as someone said they’re 36, I thought, ‘Oh, they’re old.’ Maybe 50 will be hard for me as well. But ...

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Check it out: Overtures

On Tuesday, more than 100 jazz band students from Wenatchee and Eastmont schools attend workshops led by professional musicians.
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Under the baton

It’s probably the first question anybody asks Nikolas Caoile, upon seeing his name in print for the first time. “It’s pronounced ‘Koh-WILL-ee,’” says the new conductor of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony. “My last name’s actually Filipino, from my father. My mother’s Vietnamese.”
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Styx keeps on sailing

WENATCHEE — James Young caught the first glimpse of Styx’s impending fame as he stepped out of a taxi in midtown Manhattan. It was the late ’70s, the band had recently released their seventh album, “Grand Illusion.” “Come Sail Away” and “Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)” climbed the charts. “Someone yelled out, ‘Styx!’ at the sight of me getting out of the cab,” Young said. “That’s when I realized, OK, people have figured who we are.’ ”

Clayton Trio jazz concert postponed

The Gerald Clayton Trio concert scheduled Saturday at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth has been postponed. The drummer of the New York jazz group left the tour. The concert will be rebooked in November or next spring.

Wilf Woods: Auto-tune or the old-fashioned way?

How come pop singers sound so perfect, pitch-wise? They are using new software that corrects their pitch, that’s how. It’s called “auto-tune” and there are two brand names that make them, writes John Kehe in the current Christian Science Monitor Weekly.
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Bluegrass fest stays true to its roots

CASHMERE — The sound of banjos and bass carried softly on a chilly twilight breeze Monday — four days before this weekend’s Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival at the Chelan County Expo Center. The campground opened at noon, and already a caravan of about 30 RVs and tent campers had rolled in — the first of about 300 expected this weekend.
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Festival twofer

The Icicle Creek International Chamber Music Festival creates wonderful melodies, but its acronym sounds like a car hitting a speedbump: ICICMF.