Sweet Ghosts is an Americana/Folk duo who have already made their mark with Arizona Senior Academy audiences. Singer-songwriter Ryan Alfred and vocalist Katherine Byrnes enjoy expanding their musical palette with some of Tucson’s finest musicians, and on Tuesday (Oct. 24) they will add violinist Ben Nisbet and pianist Angelo Versace to the mix for an 11:30 a.m. performance at the Academy.
The music of Sweet Ghosts is rooted in folk and country traditions. but with a contemporary twist. Their songs weave personal and universal emotions and experiences that speak to the heart. Their spot-on and unusual vocal harmonies enhance the storytelling of their songs.
Alfred spent five years playing upright bass and singing harmonies in the celebrated Tucson band Calexico, and currently tours with Telluride Bluegrass Festival winners Run Boy Run. He also plays gigs with Ronstadt Generations.
Byrnes has traveled to China as lead singer with the University of Arizona Big Band and spent time as a background singer for Americana star Amos Lee. She appears locally with jazz pianist-arranger Jeff Haskell, specializing in duets from the Great American Songbook.
Ben Nisbet, well-known as violinist with the Tucson Symphony and as director of the St. Andrew’s Bach Society Summer Concert Series, also enjoys breaking out of the classical mold, playing guitar as well as violin with popular and jazz groups.
“Fleet-fingered” jazz pianist Angelo Versace is the current director of Jazz Studies at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. Wearing many hats as a performer, educator, composer, arranger and producer, he also enjoys working with young musicians from the Tucson Jazz Institute as well as performing with small ensembles at local Tucson venues.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer