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Tango Twosome to Perform

Tango Twosome is Patricia Valentine (left) and Priscilla Hawkins (right).

The Davis Art Center will celebrate the diverse musical possibilities produced by the cello when Tango Twosome (cellists Priscilla Hawkins and Patricia Valentine) perform an eclectic set on January 23, 2011 at the Davis Art Center, 1919 F Street. The concert is at 5 pm, and costs $15 at the door. Admission is $10 for students and seniors.

For the concert, the duo will take the audience on a journey through classical music and on to jazz and tango, detouring into folk and various contemporary covers. Hawkins will also bring out her electric cello to perform a compilation of Irish fiddle tunes. The performance will include a spoken historical perspective of the cello along with projected photos to enhance the mood.  

“The half circle stage at the Davis Art Center creates wonderful sight lines for the audience, and it is a place where the arts are always alive,” says Hawkins of the concert setting.

The two musicians bring years of training and diverse experience to Tango Twosome.  Hawkins has played cello since age eight, and majored in music at the University of Michigan. She was Principal Cellist of the Grosse Pointe Symphony, Detroit Women’s Symphony, Tulare County Symphony and Bakersfield Symphony. In Davis, she played cello as part of the original Voice of the Wood, an interdisciplinary trio presenting story narration, masked performance and cello music. Hawkins was also founder of a classical trio, New Davis Trio, which performed in the Sacramento area for ten years. Hawkins’ cello teachers include Oliver Edel, Jeff Solow and Ron Leonard.

One of the things Hawkins says she admires most about her instrument is its diverse tonality. “The cello with its high and low tones imitates the human voice range,” she says.

Valentine was ten years-old when her father informed her that she would be the third daughter in a classical trio and was sent off to buy a cello. Using that same cello today, she has played in a wide range of music companies for over 30 years, including the Camellia Symphony in Sacramento and the Tulare County Orchestra. She’s also played in Strawberry Festival camp jams, public school classrooms and contemporary alternative music jams.

Tango Twosome formed three years ago when Hawkins and Valentine wanted to explore a variety of cello styles after playing together in the Tulare County Symphony together for 15 years. They attended The New Directions Cello Festival in New York to further research non-classical cello. Additionally, Hawkins studied with New York-based and innovative cellist Marika Hughes.

Tango Twosome’s recording of “Lebertango/Fuga” by Astor Piazzolla can be heard on Hawkins’ CD, Out of the Wood, available at Watermelon Music and The Avid Reader in Davis.

For more information, call the Davis Art Center, (530) 756-4100.

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