CLC Performing Arts Center presents OboeBass!

OboeBass! will give a free performance Monday, Jan. 23, at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts in Brainerd. The internationally-known, multi-faceted instrumental duo from Apple Valley is on tour.

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Carrie Vecchione and Rolf Erdahl comprise OboeBass!
Contributed / OboeBass!
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BRAINERD — OboeBass! are united in their passion: to spread the joy of music.

The husband and wife duo of bassist Rolf Erdahl and oboist Carrie Vecchione comprise the internationally-known, multi-faceted instrumental duo and will perform at a free event at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts in Brainerd.

“It’s a very evocative sound,” Vecchione said Tuesday, Jan. 10. “It’s kind of rustic, reedy — you think of snake charmers. It also can give a very pastoral feel. The oboe is kind of versatile because it can do a lot of things.”

OboeBass! embarks on a statewide tour built around “American Vein,” a piece written for the duo by prominent American composer Valerie Coleman, that included stops in Fairmont and Fergus Falls.

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Carrie Vecchione and Rolf Erdahl hail from Apple Valley and are wife and husband.
Contributed / OboeBass!

Celebrating the community and pride that come from things that unite us, “American Vein” “travels in time and geography across the country, revealing different aspects of things we know, remember, share and believe about the USA,” according to a news release.


The OboeBass! tour culminates in a CD release party at 7 p.m. Monday at St. Paul's MetroNOME Brewery to celebrate their premiere recording of “American Vein.”

Vecchione said of the oboe and bass, “These two instruments might seem intimidating or something because you never see these two instruments paired, but I don't know why because when we start playing it's just super fun and people seem to enjoy it.”

Hailed by MPR as "pioneers in the classical music business. Forging ahead with a new chamber music combination that sounds so … well, so right!" OboeBass! has partnered with a wide range of composers and commissions from Chamber Music America and The Fromm Foundation.

“What's really nice about what we do is that since it's just the two of us, we can just do whatever we want and it's been so freeing because I don't have to play the normal solos people expect oboe players to play,” Vecchione said. “We do a lot of jazz kind of things.”

Coleman is a founding flutist of the acclaimed Imani Winds woodwind quintet. She is one of the most frequently performed living composers, acclaimed by the Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette as one of the "Top 35 woman composers in classical music."

“All the music we play is written for us and it's been written for us is post-2000, so it's all like really new music. And it's all fun,” Vecchione said. “Audiences like it, we love it. It's very accessible. It's enjoyable.”

“Living” is a new drama starring English actor Bill Nighy a veteran civil servant who receives a terminal diagnosis from his doctor and decides to live it up with the help of a plucky young woman.

Composers Timothy Goplerud, Eric Hansen, Julie Johnson and Adrian Mann all expressly wrote or arranged the pieces that will be performed by OboeBass!

"We are long-time fans of Valerie and her music, and we are thrilled she was able to write this piece for us. It really exemplifies the power of music to bring people together,” Vecchione said.


The first half of Monday’s program presents works by other composers, exemplifying aspects of Americana from Stephen Foster songs through jazz to melting pot influences from many cultures.

"This whole program is about musical storytelling," Erdahl said. "It tells a lot about who we all are, where we came from and what we can be as a nation. It's a joy and inspiration to play this music."

If you go

  • Who: OboeBass!
  • What: “American Vein” tour.
  • When: 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23.
  • Where: Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts, Brainerd.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Tickets:

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .

I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write articles for the Wadena Pioneer Journal weekly newspaper owned by Forum Communications Co.
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