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Quincy Historical Society seeks to bring in new members through music series

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  November 29, 2012 04:01 PM

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Quincy’s Historical Society is hoping to bring in new members and raise some money with new musical series this fall.

Although the society has done musical events in the past, the American Music Series is a bit different for the organization, in that it's a smaller fund-raising event with a focus towards outreach.

“We did one last year around the same time and this is the next one,” said Ed Fitzgerald, executive director for the society. “It’s an occasional series. We’re maybe doing one in the spring…we’re kind of kicking it off.”

This time around, the society will invite the cutting-edge duo of Mary Halvorson on guitar and Jessica Pavone on viola tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Adams Academy in Quincy Center.

The two women are prominent figures in New York’s jazz and improvised-music community.

“We became aware of Mary through her father [Adams Green Architect Craig Halvorson] just through conversation, and [discovered] she is this rising star in the New York jazz scene,” Fitzgerald said.

Intrigued, Fitzgerald and the society's Jim Edwards went to see her play in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain, and were drawn to the blend of folk, jazz, rock, and American classical music inherent in her sound.

Halvorson soon agreed to do the benefit, and brought Pavone, who she has performed duos with since 2002, on board with the program.

While the pair have been playing gigs for over a decade, each has played with her own ensemble. The girls have also played as members in other jazz combos, including the band of Anthony Braxton.

Their sophisticated sound, coupled with a unique following the girls have, will hopefully bring a new audience to the Historical Society, Fitzgerald said.

“We’re trying to take this in a new direction,” Fitzgerald said. “Part is a fund-raiser, and part is to open up to new audiences. It’s a bit of an outreach…we want to reach out with new things to people that maybe don’t automatically think of the society as some place to go. We’re hoping to pick up some younger people, music aficionados. We’ll see what happens.”

Fitzgerald is hoping to bring in a couple hundred to a thousand dollars through ticket sales, which is the society's strategy of late.

“It’s not a huge money-making attempt, but we're trying to do as many bites of the apple as we can, and do different things as a way to attract interest,” Fitzgerald said. “Maybe someone comes tonight and they decide to become a member and have membership money, it’s got those two components to it.”

Money raised tonight will go to general operations, including utilities on the Adams Academy building and organization upkeep.

“We’ll be happy with whatever we get out of it. But the fundraising is important. We’re a self-supporting institution, a private institution, so we do count on voluntary support to keep going, whether membership or part in fundraising events,” Fitzgerald said.

Admission is $20; $10 for students with ID. Tickets available at the door or by calling ahead at 617-773-1144.

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