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Diverse stylings: Eggar returns to Big Stone Gap

Dave Eggar’s body of work is consistently greeted with rave reviews. It’s a luxury not often enjoyed by an artist who records in diverse genres and performs live in multiple musical categories.
The American cellist, pianist and composer has managed to find his niche, however, by using his unique ability to move between genres — be it pop, rock, jazz, R&B, new age, world or classical music — to effortlessly blur the lines between musical styles.
Local audiences who’ve missed him in the past can see that for themselves when Eggar brings his diverse stylings back to Big Stone Gap, Va., next week for a single performance.
The free concert, sponsored by the Southwest Virginia Museum and ProArt, will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 5 under an event tent on the lawn of the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park.
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A musical prodigy, Eggar began playing the cello and piano at age three. By the age of seven, he had performed on Broadway and with the Metropolitan Opera. He debuted at Carnegie Hall at the age of 15. A graduate of Harvard University and the Julliard School’s Doctoral Program, Eggar has appeared worldwide as a solo cellist and pianist.
A virtuoso of many musical styles, Eggar has performed and recorded with artists in numerous genres, including Evanescence, The Who, Michael Brecker, Josh Groban, Coldplay, Beyonce, Pearl Jam, Fall Out Boy, Dave Sanborn, Carly Simon, Sinead O’Connor, Bon Jovi and Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.
His list of awards and accomplishments includes accolades from Time Magazine, ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, Sony Records Elevated Standards Award in classical music and the Geraldine Dodge & Leonard Bernstein Foundations. At 15, he was the youngest winner in the history of the Artists International Competition.
Eggar makes it his mission to “not just cross over, but to cross through” multiple genres of music. Whether it’s classical, reggae, bluegrass, jazz, pop or world music, Eggar finds a common voice within his musical vocabulary and introduces it with his own unique imaginative vision.
His latest project, his fourth solo CD and companion DVD video, “Kingston Morning,” was recorded in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Kingston, Jamaica; and in Big Stone Gap, and was, according to Eggar, an especially moving and emotional recording to make.
“This is a project of ingenuity and improvisation which took many hours of dedicated perseverance to complete,” he said. “With open minds and open hearts, our lives were forever changed as these unique Reggae and Appalachian collaborations took shape.”
“As we immersed ourselves in these seemingly disparate cultures, amazing similarities in the history and storied cultures emerged. Their individual hopes, dreams and the power of the music eventually seemed to bring the music and people of Jamaica and Virginia ever closer together,” he said.
Critically acclaimed tracks on the CD include: “Earth’s Paradise,” featuring vocals by Jamaican roots reggae legend Luciano; “Follow Me to the Sun,” featuring vocals by Chuck Palmer; “High Atmosphere,” featuring vocals by NPR’s Robin and Linda Williams; and “Itsbynne Reel” and “Jacob’s Vision,” featuring vocals by bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley.
“My imagination has always been captivated by the music and culture of Jamaica and Appalachia,” Eggar said. “These journeys to Kingston and Big Stone Gap were truly a life altering experience for me. I am especially proud of the music that has been produced as a result of our efforts.”
Earlier this year, Eggar visited Southwest Virginia and performed at a variety of venues around the region. For his return trip, the only public performance will be the one taking place Oct. 5 at the Southwest Virginia Museum.
Admission is free.
The concert is the first of Pro-Art’s 2010-2011 season, which also will feature performances by Dale Jett and Hello Stranger, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Symphony of the Mountains, Lynn Mackey and David Gee, Plunky & Oneness, Brass 5 and Wayne Henderson, among others.
The season also boasts numerous plays, exhibits and presentations.
Season subscriptions are currently available. Individual tickets for most ProArt events are $12 for adults; $8 for senior citizens; and $6 for students. A season ticket is $40 for adults; $35 for seniors and $15 for students.
For information about Pro-Art or a complete schedule for the 2010-2011 season, visit www.pro-art-va.org or call (276) 376-4520.

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