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Jens Kruger’s Crossroads Ogden - Dancing with the West

By Maria Chrypinski White


     On Saturday evening, November 2, at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in Ogden - a not to be missed musical “feast for the senses” will occur.  CROSSROADS OGDEN - in its World Premiere is a musical journey that travels through Ogden’s colorful and diverse history to the present, to help culminate the sesquicentennial of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. In collaboration with Chamber Orchestra Ogden and Imagine Ballet Theatre, and commissioned by Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music (OFOAM) -  American composer, Jens Kruger and the Kruger Brothers present a once in a lifetime musical, historical and very personal celebration of, for and about Ogden.

     Swiss transplants and now North Carolinians, Jens and Uwe Kruger, and American born Joel Landsburg’s music is a beautiful, complex and joyful musical tapestry of evocative sound. With roots in folk, classical, bluegrass and jazz, the soulful and skilled blending of Jens’ mastery of these musical genres as a composer is innovative and compelling. Yet it is the captivating, and world-class musical talents of Jens’ intricate, genre-bending Banjo, Joel’s knowing and steady, anchoring Bass, and Uwe’s blazingly skillful and swift Guitar, along with lyrics and vocals - that make for the unique and uplifting Kruger Brothers’ sound… a sound and a presence that inspires Kruger Brothers fans - to quickly become excited and lifelong, loyal friends!

               “From the first time I experienced the magic of Jens’ banjo playing,

                I knew I had to share this with my hometown.  Here at OFOAM, 

                we are thrilled to complete a project of such magnitude, about Ogden

                And its people; truly the Crossroads of the West!”     

 

     The Kruger Brothers are no strangers to Ogden, having performed here and collaborated with Chamber Orchestra Ogden’s conductor, Michael Palumbo and Imagine Ballet Theatre’s Director/Choreographer, Raymond Van Mason before. Nor is Jens Kruger a stranger to composing for the Kruger Brothers, and string quartets, chamber orchestras and symphonies. Indeed, four of his combined musical orchestrations have been composed to evoke a particular sense of place; (including Appalachian Concerto, Spirit of the Rockies, Roan Mountain Suite).

 

     At the inspired bequest of Michelle Tanner of OFOAM, Jens Kruger has spent two years of “dancing and wrestling with the West” and sense of place of Ogden’s settlers and complex history - to create two hours of music that produce a deep connection with the landscape, history, immigration, the railroad and Ogden’s peoples’. He has written an eight movement symphony, each which paint a musical story - uniquely about Ogden’s fascinating peoples’ past and present.

                              “The focus is on Ogden…. We want to

                               make this an entire evening about 

                               and for Ogden”, said Jens, Crossroads Ogden’s composer.

 

     One special orchestral movement is dedicated to legendary Ogden Jazz Saxophonist and Centenarian - Joe McQueen - who will perform with his Quartet at Friday night’s, ”Friends of Crossroads” Pre World Premiere celebration. 

 

              To make classical music more personal, the Kruger Brothers, in collaboration with Chamber Orchestra Ogden and Imagine Ballet Ogden, are blending it with folk and jazz music plus art - to engage the audience in a very wonderful story, which they will long remember. 

CROSSROADS OGDEN is a not to be missed opportunity - to get comfortable and to get close up with this music and dance; to reflect and take pride in Ogden’s pivotal Crossroads of American history, diverse peoples and sense of place and - to come together in an “especially special” celebration, which the modern west will long treasure!     

 

For Tickets to CROSSROADS OGDEN: please visit the Peery Egyptian Theater Box Office

or SmithsTix.com; by phone @ (801) 689 - 8700.