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A Different Side of the Maestro

Glacier Symphony and Chorale music director John Zoltek to play jazz show
John Zoltek | Contributed Photo
with Paul Faessel
with Paul Faessel
By Molly Priddy, 03-28-13
Anyone familiar with the Glacier Symphony and Chorale likely knows John Zoltek. At least, they know him by the back of his head and the wave of his conducting baton.This week, Glacier Symphony and Chorale patrons will get to see a different side of the music director, as he heads up an evening of jazz, dancing and fun at the Alpine Ballroom in Kalispell for the Symphony Soloist Spotlight show, “Jazz Night with the Maestro.”

The soloist spotlight shows are a way for the GSC audience to have a better chance of connecting with an artist, GSC executive director Alan Satterlee said in an interview last week.

“It’s really a great chance to have an up-close-and-personal experience with some amazing guest artists,” Satterlee said.

Satterlee said the guest artists who perform in these spotlight events are asked to arrive in the Flathead on the Thursday before their weekend show. Then, they play a small, intimate concert at the Alpine Ballroom on Main Street in Kalispell.

It allows the musician to get a sense of the community he or she is playing for, Satterlee said. The casual setting adds to the relaxed atmosphere, and a cash bar is available.

The March 28 event will feature Zoltek on the jazz guitar, which he pursued during his time at Berkeley Music School before feeling the pull of conducting and classical music, Satterlee said.

Accompanying Zoltek on stage will be Erica von Kleist on saxophone and flute, Don Caverly on percussion, Paul Faessel on bass, Grant Sorlie on vibraphone and Amy Zoltek on vocals.

Satterlee noted that Zoltek’s inclusion in the spotlight series – this month’s the fourth out of five planned events – allows the conductor to interact with the community in a new way, and gives better access to the personalities behind the GSC.

“A lot of people haven’t seen him play his guitar,” Satterlee said. “It’s a fun way to see a different side of John.”

The first spotlight event held in October was lightly attended, Satterlee said, but the shows have gained a following since then and are typically sold out. The second show in November featured four of the singers who performed in the Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and the third show in February featured classical guitarist Ana Vidovic.

On April 25, the spotlight event will feature Vassily Primakov, a world-class pianist hailing from Russia, before he closes out the GSC’s season with the “Rollin’ with Beethoven” finale on April 27 and April 28.

In honor of the jazzy feel to the March 28 show, Satterlee said the ballroom will be transformed into a cozy nightclub, with tables and a cash bar offering beer, wine and several specialty drinks.

The evening’s musical selections will include a variety of standard, modern and contemporary jazz music, such as those written by Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Carlos Jobim. Songs will include some popular jazz songs, such as “When I Fall In Love,” “My Romance,” “This Masquerade,” “What’ll I Do,” “Killer Joe” and plenty more.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on the evening of the show, and tickets are $15. Seating is limited, and the GSC suggests buying tickets early to ensure a spot inside.

For more information on the March 28 “Jazz Night with the Maestro” or for ticketing information, visit the GSC website or call 257-3241. The Alpine Ballroom is located at 333 S. Main St. in Kalispell.