Cellofourte keeps moving up. The locally based rock/classical quartet that came into its own last year has been putting in its dues at small clubs and outdoor shows (like the A Fair in the Park at Mellon Park a few weekends ago, where I last saw the group) and it is paying off.
Gateway to the Arts has chosen the all-cello group (left to right: Nicole Myers, Simon Cummings, Ben Munoz and Tate Olsen) to be one of its rostered artists this year, performing in schools throughout Allegheny County. "We had been doing a good number of schools shows on our own, but GTA has the infrastructure and connections in place to really help our music reach so many more students than would have been possible on our own," says Cellofourte's Tate Olsen.
Even more exciting for the group, the Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour (Pennpat) has also put Cellofourte on its roster, and that will take them across the state. "This is also a nice bit of accreditation for us, as some of the other performers on the roster include the PSO, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Time for Three, Chatham Baroque ... you get the picture," says Olsen. "Being placed in the company of these great artists is truly awesome!"
The group's new disc, "Combustion," is out and and is now on iTunes, with a music video as well. Be sure to check out my article on the group last year and our own video of the group participating in the Emergenza Music Festival in 2007.
Suffice it to say that the coming year is crucial to the long-term success of the Cellofourte. In a way, the four paid their dues simply for the opportunity to pay their dues this coming year, and I could understand any of them wondering when their big break will come. But Pennpat can really launch a group -- witness Imani Winds and others -- so that break may be not too far off.
I do think Cellofourte needs to keep writting new material and continue to look at ways to enhance its stage shows. But the two recent appointments are great because they will showcase the group's live presence. "Combustion" is a good disc, but it just doesn't capture the raw energy of its concerts. A year of showing itself off, along with all the recent exposure it has been getting locally, should really help Cellofourte take off.
If you want to see them live, some upcoming local gigs include the Pittsburgh Symphony Gala @ Heinz Hall (Sept. 19); @ Club Cafe (Oct. 17); Tiffany Concert Series @ Calvary Methodist Church (Oct. 19) and Homecoming @ Carnegie Mellon University (Oct. 24). Check out their My Space account for more details.