String Theory, for Foot-tappin’ Festival Fun

String Theory is probably one of the most diversified musical groups you’ll ever hear. 

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They are best known for their lively and captivating Bluegrass, but their reportoire  also includes everything from Gospel to Metallica and from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones.  Oh, and let’s not forget to add in Classical music, just for good measure.

String Theory has been performing together for about six years and includes A.J. Noto on Bass Fiddle, Jim Barbero on vocals and mandolin, Terry Kedley on guitar, dobro and vocals and Mike Kedley on banjo, guitar, fiddle and vocals.

During the winter months, the group “holds court” on Tuesdays from 7-10 P.M. at Johny’s Irish Pub in Rochester, NY where they host the Bluegrass Open  that attracts both regulars and newcomers who show up to jam.

But this talented quartet is as comfortable playing at festivals and weddings as they are at Irish Pubs.

“We get hired for a lot of weddings because, as a string quartet, we can play classical music for the wedding, switch to fiddle ballads and waltzes for cocktails when the bride and groom are having photos taken, and then play a combination of bluegrass, popular tunes and dance music for the reception.”

 You can catch the fun and foot-tapping tunes of String Theory at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival at 1 P.M. on Friday, July 17.

John Cole Blues Band, Whole Lotta Music Goin’ On

John Cole grew up in Union Springs, Alabama and was encouraged to play music by watching his  brothers.

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“I watched how they played and I just picked it up.  I grew up listening to old blues records but I wasn’t inspired by any particular artist.  I guess if I had favorites, they were in country music.  I was listening to the Grand Ole Opry in the early ’50s when I was in fifth or sixth grade.  As a kid, I knew more about country than I did about the blues.”

John had always played guitar, but he became a vocalist overnight when, during a performance with the band “The Flaming Rockets,” the vocalist walked off the stage over a dispute with the band’s organist.  John realized he had to sink or sing. 

After playing with a number of bands, including that of the legendary Joe Beard, John now has his own band composed of Ted Mosher on Bass, John Chaffer on drums and Gian Carlo Cervone on piano and organ. 

 Although a few country pieces have made their way into his band’s reportoire, the John Cole Blues band is known primarily for their heartfelt blues accompanied by rich and soulful vocals and dynamic musicianship.  Songs like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Mustang Sally” explain why his music appeals to a broad audience.

“My older brother told me whether you have a room full of people or just one person in the room, you gotta give ’em your best.” 

That philosphy has made the John Coles Blues Band one of the best-loved and most well-known bands in the region.

Don’t miss the John Cole Blues Band when they perform at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival on Saturday, July 18 at 7 P.M.

Troyka, Back to the Future of New Wave Rock

When audiences hear guitarist and vocalist Ian Mitchel, bass player Neil Dreger and drummer Mike Reed of Troyka, they’d think the band had been together far longer than their two years. 

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The three men bring their diverse musical talents and background to bear in creating a sound that is new and genuine, yet joyfully reminiscent of the best of 80’s New Wave peppered with elements of fusion, jazz and indie rock.

The three work well together and enjoy collaborating on their music.

“We have a lot of fun and it shows when we perform.  We’re creative and we enjoy making good music that’s entertaining and intellectual.  Because of that, it appeals to a  broad demographic.”

 Troyka has been compared to groups like Rush, U2, REO and VanHalen, but listen to their music video Samantha, and the  influence of The Police is also very apparent.   And although they may be compared to different groups, their music is fresh classic rock.

“We’ve been playing a number of festivals and events recently including the Lilac Festival, the East End Festival and the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival.  We’ve also been expanding the clubs we’re playing in…Canandaigua, Rochester, Plattsburgh and now, New York City.  We’re looking to open for larger acts.”

The group recently released their first album, Turn on Your Life, available through CDBaby.  When asked what the future holds, Ian responded, “Like they say in the ending of Back to the Future, ‘Your future is not written yet!’ ”

You can look forward to a live performance byTroyka at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival on Friday, July 17, at 5:15 p.m.

Perfect Pleasures, Whimsical Creatures for the Garden

John Kavosick can barely keep up with business these days.  His business, Perfect Pleasures, has taken wings.  And it’s no wonder!  With the adorable ladybugs, mosquitos and dragonflies in his collection, his business should take off!

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John works out of a van crafting these whimsical little creatures of copper and brass.  He creates the dies which he uses to make  the ornaments and he hand cuts the wings.   He then paints them, using an airbrush.

“Their legs are chimes which dangle down so when a breeze blows, you’ll hear them chiming throughout your garden,” shared John.

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In addition to the bugs, John also has cats and dogs in his collection.  Each of the creatures, which are all about 3″ x 4″,  comes on a metal post to stick in the ground so they can be displayed throughout the garden,  along a walkway or any place you’d like to add a sense of whimsy!

“My ornaments aren’t made out of plastic, like many garden ornaments.  They’re carefully crafted out of metal, so they’ll last for years!”

Hop on down to visit John Kavosick and Perfect Pleasures at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival from July 17-19, 2009.

Crystal Creations, Weaving Earth’s Treasures into Jewelry

Wendy Miller, owner of Crystal Creations,  has always been an energetic and creative person who likes to keep busy.  Today, not only does she do hairdressing and work at Clifton Springs Hospital, but she also creates stunning jewelry pieces  of gemstones, pearls, crystals, semi-precious stones and woven wire.

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“Each of my pieces takes at least 15 feet of wire to create the handwoven chains.  On some of the pieces, I weave as many as 300 crystals into the chain design.  You can imagine how long that takes!” she laughed.

Many of her pieces also incorporate pearls that she buys from China and Malaysia.

“The new pieces that I’m adding to my line this year have mother of pearl coins as their centerpiece, and they are really lovely. ”

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When Wendy creates a piece, she selects the gemstone she wants to use and then works her magic around the stone, using it as the centerpiece.  She selects the wire color, the crystals, pearls and other adornments based on the color,  shape and size of the gemstone.  Many of her pieces have a magical aura of the Renaissance about them.

“When I go to the festival, my stepdaughter often comes with me.  She makes children’s crystal name bracelets onsite, often customizing the bracelets for each child.  The kids and parents love it! ”

Be sure to stop by Wendy’s Crystal Creations at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival where her jewelry is affordable, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind works of art.