By Stewart Ricker
Sonically multidimensional music marvel, Jȃca, left an assembly of music lovers in a cacophony of laughter and applause on Saturday, October 1st.
The performance marked the final installment of this year’s Garden Concert Series, presented by Off The Hook Arts, which features an amalgam of world-renowned musicians invited to perform in Fort Collins, CO. Artists featured during this year’s season include The Jeff Jenkins Organ Quartet, Helios Piano Trio, Mestas-Abbott Latin Jazz Quartet and more.
This year’s Garden Concert Series concluded with a performance from Jȃca, a nylon-strings-meets-woodwind world music combo. Jȃca is comprised of Fort Collins-based Wesley Ferreria and Los Angeles-based Jaxon Williams. They seek to create music with meaning by melding musical styles of various cultures and by donating funds through their Jȃca Cultural Exchange Program (JCEP) to the communities in which they perform.
Jȃca’s performance consisted of a variety of original pieces, reimagined classical iterations, and works written by other composers for clarinet and guitar. Many of these pieces involved a great deal of audience interaction. Most notably, the duo invited a group of volunteers onstage to improvise with egg shakers. These concert goers were temporarily dubbed “new members” of the band, much to the delight of the audience.
Before closing their set, the duo announced that their next endeavor would take them to Ecuador, where Jȃca will be performing at the Festival International de Musica. Having been originally postponed due to COVID, the duo expressed great satisfaction in being able to finally make their long-awaited excursion a reality and fulfill their promise of donating funds to a local Ecuadorian music community in need of resources.
“As a musician, it always feels great to go into a community and entertain, but it feels even better to be able to make a difference that lasts beyond our visit,” says Williams. “Thanks to many generous donations through JCEP, we’re finally able to make that happen with this festival, and that really adds a new level of meaning to what we do with our music.”
All donations from JCEP will provide local Ecuadorian youth involved in music with greater access to music education, along with music equipment and supplies. “We could not be happier to be helping create a sustainable music presence for the Lojano community!”