march, 2023

18mar3:00 pm5:00 pmJOY - Palaver Strings3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Event Details


Reserve your tickets HERE!

March 18th at 3:00pm and 7:00pm in the Mechanics’ Hall Ballroom

Palaver celebrates the joy and catharsis that music can give us in a program featuring bassist Kebra-Seyoun Charles, winner of the 2022 Sphinx Competition. In a mashup of musical styles and eras, we combine string orchestra classics by Grieg and Bartok with fiddle tunes and Feeling Good, made famous by Nina Simone. At the heart of this program is John B. Hedges’ Raise Hymn, Praise Shout, a concerto for bass and strings originally commissioned by the Sphinx Organization in 2014. This piece is rooted in African American church music traditions, with the soloist “lining out” hymns and leading the “congregation” (string orchestra) in song. To connect more spontaneously with the audience and each other, Palaver will play much of the program from memory.


Sonata (on the theme from Feeling Good) – Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse, arr. Kebra-Seyoun Charles

Romanian Folk Dances – Bela Bartok, arr Alex Goodin

Holberg Suite – Edvard Grieg

Yorkshire Lass/One Hour in Hungary/Shuckin’ Stiddy – Greg Boardman, Mikael Marin, Roger Tallroth, Elsie Gawler

Raise Hymn Praise Shout – John B. Hedges

About the Artists:

Palaver Strings is a musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit organization based in Portland, ME, whose mission is to strengthen and inspire community through music. Palaver’s musicians share artistic and administrative leadership, guided by a passion for engaging new audiences, addressing social justice issues, and amplifying underrepresented voices through classical music. Palaver has enjoyed residencies at Rockport Music, Boston Center for the Arts, Bay Chamber Concerts, and Longy School of Music, where ensemble members teach a graduate course on music and community engagement.

Kebra-Seyoun Charles is a double-bassist originally from Miami, Florida. They received their Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where they studied with Todd Seeber and Lawrence Wolfe. Kebra-Seyoun is currently pursuing their Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Joseph Conyers. They are also a recipient of the prestigious Jerome L. Greene and Morse Teaching Artist Fellowships.

In addition to being the principal bassist at the Juilliard School, Kebra-Seyoun is a Sphinx Concerto Competition Winner and alumnus, two-time winner of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s concerto competition, and the winner of NAACP’s ACT-SO concerto competition and the 2021 Southern Illinois Young Artist Competition and International Music Organization competition. They have also been featured by National Arts Club, Performance Today, YoungArts, From the Top, Bass Players for Black Composers, the American Music Talent Competition, and the National Library of Congress. In addition to their solo career, Kebra has performed with many different ensembles, including A Far Cry, Palaver Strings, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Oregon Symphony. From 2016-2020, they were the principal of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s double bass section. This included performances in Boston’s Symphony Hall, Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, Vienna’s Mozarteum, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Kebra-Seyoun has thrice played as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.


(Saturday) 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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