Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is excited to bring the fun and energetic brass quartet The Westerlies to the San Juan Islands in late April to spread the joy of brass music through community concerts and educational activities on Orcas, Lopez and Shaw islands. Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from west to east. Childhood friends from Seattle now based in New York, trumpet players Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler and trombonists Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch are “skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air). The Westerlies explore jazz, roots and chamber music influences to create music for audiences of all musical tastes.
The Westerlies are frequently invited to engage in educational and community outreach. They have presented masterclasses at music institutions such as The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is pleased that students of all ages in the San Juan Islands will have the opportunity to play and learn with these dynamic and talented musicians. The week-long residency is based on “A Common Language: Development of the American Song,” a lecture and demonstration developed by The Westerlies.
Just off of their tour with The Fleet Foxes, the quartet begins their action-packed OICMF residency on Monday, April 23, in an early morning session with Orcas High School students. The Westerlies continue their day working with Orcas Island brass players and Orcas Island Community Band.
Lopez Islanders, mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 24! The Westerlies board the ferry from Orcas to Lopez, where they will share their energetic music with the students of Lopez schools at an afternoon assembly. During the day, you might see (and hear) the four instrumentalists strolling the streets of Lopez Village. Lopez Islanders are invited to Lopez Center at 6:30 p.m. for a free community concert. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear The Westerlies!
The Westerlies are back on Orcas Island Wednesday and Thursday to work and play with students and give a Community Concert at the Orcas Island Grange and complete their musical tour of the San Juan Islands on Friday, April 27, with a stop on Shaw Island to work with Shaw school students, followed by a Community Concert at the Shaw Community Center.
This series of OICMF Musicians-in-Residence events is supported in part by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts and generous underwriting from Mimi and Slim Sommerville, Carolyn Haugen, The Shaw School Foundation, the Driftwood Fund and kind patrons like you.