In celebration of Black History Month, the Haven String Quartet and St. Luke’s Steel Band will “join forces” at the Lyman Center on Feb. 5 and present music of the African Diaspora. As the Southern website explains, the concert is to benefit a multi-use building complex for St. Luke’s Steel Band and Music Haven, a non-profit organization that provides performance and music education to the communities of New Haven.
The concert is hosted by SCSU Interim President Dr. Stanley F. Battle.
Ed Mapp, the business manager and oldest member of the St. Luke’s Steel Band, said they have about 18 members, a total that’s always changing, who age from about 10 to 80 years old.
“The young people have learned very quickly,” said Mapp. “We welcome people who would be open to making a commitment and [who are] interested. That’s the key.”
He said the band plays at “every function [a person] can imagine.”
The band performs in many public and private venues, including weddings, festivals, benefits and bar mitzvahs, according to Mapp.
The band’s website says the band plays six services a year for the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven. It says the band was recognized in 2003 and received an Artist’s Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.
“It keeps me active,” said Mapp.
He said the band competed among 18 to 20 other bands in the Panorama Caribbean Music Fests in Virginia Beach in 2007 and 2008 and took first place both years.
The Haven String Quartet, the permanent quartet-in-residence of Music Haven, has a mission to integrate music and “creative endeavor” into community life, according to the Music Haven Website. It says the quartet provides access to free music education and “world-class” chamber music performances to New Haven communities.
They also perform at concert halls, schools, youth centers, prisons, theaters, community centers and churches across New England, according to the Young Audiences Arts for Learning Connecticut website. The quartet also offers interactive workshops to students.
The Music Haven website says the members consist of resident violinists Yaira Matyakubova, Tina Lee Hadari, Colin Benn and resident cellist Matt Beckmann.
It says Hardari founded the quartet in 2008 to fulfill the needs of Music Haven’s mission, which is to “empower young people, their families and professional musicians.” Each member teaches instrument lessons and mentors students.
The Music Haven site says Hadari founded Music Haven in 2006, and was convinced that a professional string quartet could contribute to social change in the urban communities of New Haven.
Mapp said the St. Luke’s Steel Band performed at Southern about seven years ago, and said he thinks it’s going to be a great experience coming back.
“I’m very pleased,” said Mapp, “to be able to say I’ve been there.”
The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for General Admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. Special reserved seating and post-concert reception tickets are available for $50.