In the midst of the pandemic, the American Patchwork Quartet – a group of exceptionally talented American musicians – came together to play American roots music that moves the inner soul.
Grammy-nominated vocalist Falu Shah, Grammy-winning guitarist/vocalist Clay Ross, three-time Grammy-winning drummer Clarence Penn and highly acclaimed bassist Yasushi Nakamura formed American Patchwork Quartet in 2020. Their mission is to reclaim the immigrant soul of American Roots music.
They bring their unique and powerful sound to The Myrna Loy stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11.
Ross, who is also a founding member of the popular Gullah band Ranky Tanky, says American Patchwork Quartet’s repertoire is born out of research and field recordings of the great American folklorist Alan Lomax.
And their group’s name is a nod to a famous quote by him: “America has a patchwork culture made of the dreams and songs of all its people.”
“They’re songs about love and life, work songs, and songs of joy and sorrow,” says Ross. “They’re really songs that speak to the essence of man … tracing the threads of shared humanity.
“All these songs form a vast array of immigrant experience. America is a country of immigrants. It’s an immigrant story. The music reflects that more than anything.”
The songs take on new life and meaning through the interpretations of the musicians, he adds. “The four of us together represent such very different racial and cultural backgrounds as Americans.”
Tickets are $24 and are available online, at the box office, 15 N. Ewing in Helena, or by calling 406-443-0287.
– Marga Lincoln