CABOT — Cabot is going to add some European spice to its traditional turkey supper Tuesday with the entertainment that follows the meal. Danza del Fuego (Dance of Fire) will perform at the Cabot Town Hall (Willey Building) at 7 p.m. after dinner.
This Burlington-based band is going to enliven the day’s foliage events with Romani and Gypsy music, and give attendees a chance to hear a sound decidedly different from previous post-dinner concerts.
Danza Del Fuego, now in its third year, was founded by multi-genre guitarist Elijah Kraatz. He writes music in the Romani and Gypsy styles. What began as a trio has expanded to a septet.
Today, the band consists of musicians with diverse musical backgrounds who have merged to produce their unique sound. Essentially, Romani music is based on the folk music of the countries where the Romani went through or settled. This includes Eastern Europe, Spain, the Middle East, Germany and Holland to name the most prominent countries. Local music was adopted and performed by the Romani — usually instrumental — and, slowly, it is transformed into Romani styles.
The band and its members somewhat encompass the Romani ethic. Stacy Chadwell sings and plays harmonium and does the occasional belly dance. She has sung professionally at theaters and festivals, including Webster University’s Opera Theater and the Halifax International Opera, and is music director for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Vermont Stage Company.
Melissa Perley is a Montpelier classical cellist and teacher with an eclectic repertoire, who has performed throughout the area. Tom Frink on woodwinds, melodica and vocals also writes melody and counter-melody lines for many of leader Kraatz’s compositions and performs in a variety of musical ensembles from traditional jazz to rock bands.
Joshua Pfeil, the percussionist, has been a jazz and rock artist since the age of 10, with an affinity for African rhythms and Afro-Brazilian jazz. He has played with many bands, including Japhy Ryder, The Casual Fiasco, and the Pulse Prophets. Bassist Ed Dale has a repertoire ranging from rock to Celtic and contradance, as well as swing and Gypsy jazz. He has played with numerous bands, such as the NeoContras, the Cicadas and the duo Tuesday Saints.
Kraatz is the guitarist and vocalist. He was inspired early by classical guitarist Andres Segovia and flamenco guitarist Sabicus, but along the way performed with and wrote for reggae bands including the acclaimed Pulse Prophets, which he founded. He has released six studio recordings of original music in the genres of reggae, funk, R&B, country, and bluegrass. He is responsible for much of Danza’s repertoire and the Romani flavor of the performance.
In performance, expect to hear luscious cello-led neo-classical music, lively percussion in unfamiliar beat patterns, songs in Arabic or Spanish, flamenco guitar parts, and jazz-inflected horn arrangements.The band’s set list is continually moving between European and Arabic-influenced music. This is a concert well worth attending on its own, but with the typically delicious and very reasonably priced turkey dinner beforehand, it makes for an interesting down-home evening in Cabot.