Homero Cerón is principal percussionist and James Karrer principal double bassist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as well as of True Concord. They also are two of the busiest and most versatile musicians in town.
If you follow Tucson’s vibrant music scene, you have heard them play in classical chamber ensembles and in the rhythm sections of many popular and jazz groups. But you probably haven’t heard them in a performance quite like the one they plan for the Arizona Senior Academy.
On Tuesday (April 10) at 11:30 a.m., Cerón and Karrer will get together on the ASA stage and show their classical and jazz chops in a concert that blends a little of both. In previous appearances, Cerón, a prominent percussion teacher and performer of Latin jazz, introduced the ASA audience to a wide variety of Latin-American musical styles, but this program will be very different.
“There will be 10 or 12 short pieces,” he said in a telephone interview. “A little baroque and romantic. We’ll open and close with a Bach invention. In the middle, we’ll play a little bit of Stravinsky, Fauré , and Gershwin, and light jazz.” In short, there’s something to appeal to almost any musical taste.
Karrer, who makes his first ASA appearance, was 10 years old when he began playing double bass. At the age of fourteen, he became principal bass of the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra. He received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in performance from The Juilliard School.
As a soloist, one highlight in his 24 years with TSO was playing Bottesini’s “Passione Amoroso” for two double basses with Gary Karr, a renowned American bass teacher and performer. As a composer, Karrer’s works have been performed in Tucson by pianist Angeline Ng, organist David Gay, and the Tucson Symphony String Quartet.
Written by Caroline Bates, Academy Village Volunteer