Portland String Quartet, jazzman Steve Grover in Bates College concerts

In two concerts over one weekend, Maine’s best-known string quartet and one of the state’s top jazz musicians offer concerts in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall at Bates College, 75 Russell St.

Both concerts are open to the public at no cost.

The Portland String Quartet performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27. The program spans the 20th century with music by three composers: Ernest Bloch and Maine native Walter Piston, both of whom the quartet has recorded, and contemporary composer Peter Re.

At 8 p.m. the following day, Feb. 28, a trio led by drummer, pianist and composer Steve Grover presents a program of classic and modern jazz.

The Portland String Quartet — violist Julia Adams, violinists Steve Kecskemethy and Ronald Lantz, and cellist Paul Ross — has performed, taught and recorded with its founding members since 1969. Nationally known, the quartet has played an important role in the artistic renaissance of the state of Maine, championing Maine and American composers across the United States and around the world.

A Lewiston native, Steve Grover has worked with the late, legendary Maine guitarist Lenny Breau; was a founding member of the band The Friends of Jazz; and achieved national recognition with his composition “Blackbird Suite,” a setting of poetry by Wallace Stevens. In 1994, the suite won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz/BMI Jazz Composers Competition and was performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the Monk Institute’s competition. It was released on CD in 1997, to glowing reviews.

Since 1985 Grover has been an adjunct faculty member at Bowdoin College, Bates College and the University of Maine at Augusta. He was a faculty member for The International Summer Jazz School in Cracow, Poland, and The New England Percussion School.

As a jazz drummer, Grover has performed with nationally known players including Eddie Gomez and Herb Pomeroy, and his own recordings have been reviewed in Downbeat, JazzTimes, Cadence and other publications.

For more information about the Bates concerts, call 207-786-6135.

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