The Rapp for Feb. 18


JP Jofre and his Hard Tango Chamber Band bring Argentinian tango to Castleton this Sunday (Feb. 21).
JP Jofre and his Hard Tango Chamber Band bring Argentinian tango to Castleton this Sunday (Feb. 21).

In Castleton, ‘sweepingly romantic’
tango this weekend

Castleton in Performance will present JP Jofre and the Hard Tango Chamber Band on Sunday (Feb. 21) at 4 p.m.

The first few notes that signal the trapped heat of tango can only be produced by the bandoneon. This special instrument, which looks like an accordion but plays like an organ with four keyboards, will be in the hands of the universally acclaimed bandoneonist and composer JP Jofre. Jofre will be joined by the Hard Tango Chamber Band: violinist Eric Silberger, cellist Amy Kang, double bassist Chris Johnson, pianist Siyi Fang, and Argentinian guest pianist Pablo Cafici.

The program primarily consists of work from Jofre’s latest CD, “Manifesto.” The title track combines musical references to the rock music he loved as a teenager, the tango rhythms he heard growing up in San Juan, Argentina, and his background in chamber music. The delicacy of the bandoneon is showcased on “Sweet Dreams,” a piece written for his young niece. The centerpiece of the program is Jofre’s “Tango Movements,” described by the San Jose Mercury News as “sweepingly romantic, elegantly crafted and rhythmically charged.” The Hard Tango Chamber Band will also play several pieces by Astor Piazzolla, the originator of nuevo tango and “the world’s foremost composer of tango music” according to music critic Stephen Holden.

Acclaimed new members at Middle Street

Middle Street Gallery, the Sperryville-based artists cooperative, will show new members’ works from Feb. 20 through March 27. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Saturday (Feb. 20) from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The new members, all highly acclaimed area artists, are Kate Anderson, Ren Crawford, Jane Forth and Sibyl MacKenzie. Some works by other gallery members will be on display as well.

Kate Anderson
NEW MEMBER AT MIDDLE STREET: Kate Anderson Kate Anderson

Print maker and oil painter Kate Anderson of Luray employs solar plate etching, silk aquatint, stencils, and chine collé in her prints. “My love of the natural world has led me to use environmentally friendly, low- and non-toxic techniques,” she says. She has exhibited in many regional galleries and juried exhibitions and has won awards for printmaking. For many years she taught at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in Galax, Va., and at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts, in  Floyd, Va.

Ren Crawford
NEW MEMBER AT MIDDLE STREET: Ren Crawford Ren Crawford

Ren Crawford has lived in the Shenandoah Valley for many years, but her abstract paintings span the world, including Japan and Australia. She is an octogenarian who creates, she says, “art without boundaries,” which, she adds “continues to surprise viewers.” Her professional career began at a gallery in Wilmington, N.C., and later moved to Japan and Hawaii, her paintings finding places in collections all along the way. She also shows her works at the Little Gallery at Smith Mountain Lake, Va., and at her home gallery by appointment.

Jane Forth

Jane Forth describes her home as “rural Virginia close to the Appalachian Trail as it crosses old mountain orchards.” She paints the land from a combination of study, memory and imagination. “Although my work often references specific places, the heart of it is expression of the forces of nature as creator of landscape,” she says. “Working with ancient techniques of encaustic paint, which is beeswax and pigment, my work is expressive of the bold fluidity of this medium as it is heated, brushed, carved and subsequently cools into luminous surfaces.”

Sibyl MacKenzie
NEW MEMBER AT MIDDLE STREET: Sibyl MacKenzie Sibyl MacKenzie

Sibyl MacKenzie describes herself as self-taught, having explored many styles of painting. “My work at Middle Street is figurative expressionism with mixed media – mainly copper pieces and wires,” she says. “I have a fondness for copper – its color and patina and malleability – and I use it as an integral part of my acrylic paintings.”

The gallery is located next to River District Arts, 3 River Lane, in Sperryville. Hours are Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 540/987-9330 or visit for more information.

— Gary Anthes

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