This and That, the debut solo CD from Gabriel Bolkosky, gives a window into the range of this versatile violinist. A review in Current magazine (Ann Arbor, Mich.) called it "music that alternately demands that you sit and listen, then insists you jump up and dance."
The CD begins with Brahms' Sonata No. 1 in G Major, ranges through the jazz classic "On the Sunny Side of the Street,"and closes with William Bolcom's "Graceful Ghost Rag." The reviewer praised Bolkosky's "virtuosity and emotional depth" as well as his "enormous tonal palette."
Featured players include Bryan Pardo (saxophone), Ryan Mackstaller (guitar), Alex Trajano (drums), Andrew Kratzat (bass), and Neil Donato (piano).
Also featured are pianists Louis Nagel, Blair McMillen, and Christine Hill.
Gabriel Bolkosky is the executive director and a founding member of
The Phoenix Ensemble, a nonprofit arts organization based in Ann
Arbor, Michigan, and dedicated to helping artists and the educational
community. His debut solo album featuring both jazz and classical
music, This and That, was released this spring to critical acclaim.
Other recordings include explorations of Klezmer with the recent
recording Into the Freylakh: The Shape of Klez to Come, and of
children’s folk music with The Orchestra Is Here to Play, a
collaboration between The Phoenix Ensemble and the children’s-
music group Gemini.
He has been a guest artist, performer, and teacher at schools and
workshops throughout the United States. These schools include
Harvard, Dartmouth, Brandeis, and Princeton as well as other less
fancy colleges and at many Suzuki institutes. He has also taught
workshops on improvisation and composition to nearly 5000 students
in Aspen, Colorado, and at the Walden School in New Hampshire.
He has also served as assistant director for Strings Attached, an
intensive string program for children in inner-city Cleveland, and as
assistant to Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
In Ann Arbor, Bolkosky directs one of The Phoenix Ensemble’s
signature events, an annual amateur chamber-music festival held in
May, and maintains a private violin studio with twenty-five students.
When away from his violin, Gabe enjoys sleeping, eating, and
talking to Suzuki teachers.