KASA and Eddie Barbash Quartets Performing for Folk & Roots Festival 2022

Kyle Price, Aaron Schwartz, Stephanie Price-Wong, Andy Liang, and Eddie Barbash

The Sousa Archives is sponsoring the KASA and Eddie Barbash Quartets’ performances and workshops for this year’s 14th annual Folk & Roots Festival that will take place on October 21 and 22 at the Rose Bowl Tavern and the Urbana Public Library.  This year’s programming is presented in conjunction with the Sousa Archives’ exhibition “The Imperfect Saxophone” that looks at America’s complex social and cultural relationship with the saxophone during a period known as the “saxophone craze.”

As in previous years, the Festival will feature national, regional and local artists and folk groups for more than 80 performances and participatory activities in downtown Urbana. This year’s festival includes music performances, dances, instructional sessions, jams, song-circles, family activities, storytelling, instrument making, and more!

Andy Liang, Aaron Schwartz, Stephanie Price-Wong and Kyle Price founded the KASA Quartet in summer 2016.  The quartet earned first prize during the 2017 Coltman Chamber Music Competition.  Critics have described KASA as one of the country’s newest rock stars of the string quartet because of its fluency in multiple genre-defining music styles that fuse classical string repertoire with jazz, musical theater, folk, and pop standards. The ensemble has taught and performed as featured artists for the Ravinia Festival, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Austin Chamber Music Center, Second City Chamber Series, Miami Music Project, and the Chamber Music Connection.  KASA holds a regular summer residency at New York’s Caroga Lake Music Festival and the award-winning quartet released its debut album, Forever Wild, Volume 1, in August, which also features Eddie Barbash.

Eddie Barbash, best known for his American roots music performances on the alto saxophone, is a founding member of Jon Batiste’s Stay Human ensemble, the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.   Eddie’s saxophone performances regularly weave old-time fiddle, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, soul, and classical New Orleans, Texas and Appalachian melodies into colorful kaleidoscopes of sound that meld beautifully with the KASA Quartet.  He debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2013, and has performed at major music festivals worldwide since then.  Currently living in New York City, Eddie has held regular residencies at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Django, and the Manderley Bar in Chelsea.

For a complete schedule of performances, workshops, and all-ages programming sponsored by the Sousa Archives visit https://folkandroots.org/.  For further information about the Sousa Archives and its new exhibits either email schwrtzs@illinois.edu or call 217-333-4577.

 Listen to Eddie Barbash’s performance of Kyle Athayde’s arrangement of “I’ve Only Got Eyes for You” with the KASA.

Listen to the KASA Quartet’s performance of “Some Day My Prince Will Come” arranged by Aaron Schwartz.

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