Headed over to Ogden from Austin, Texas, is a “bowed and fretted” string quartet with an affection for Buffalo Trace whiskey, Soda Shaq cream sodas and “Kirkland brand everything.”
Invoke will perform a 75-minute set at The Monarch at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29.
The multi-instrumental band was hand-picked by OnStage Ogden, and their power picking and “not classical, but not not classical” original works seem to be another perfect execution of the nonprofit’s mission statement: “We energize and engage the greater Ogden community by presenting only the finest world-class music and dance.”
Entering the grand Royal Room for any Onstage Ogden event, feeling energized and engaged is guaranteed. This year alone, Onstage Ogden has brought the Leonard Patton Trio, Time For Three, Dan Tepfer: Goldberg Variations, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet to music aficionados at The Monarch.
Next comes Invoke, an ensemble that defies genre classification, weaving styles that span traditions across America like bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz and minimalism into a unique contemporary style of their own. You’ve never heard a fiddle, banjo, violin and cello sound so classically non-classical before.
Invoke — Nick Montopoli (violin, banjo, vocals), Zach Matteson (violin, vocals), Karl Mitze (viola, mandolin, vocals) and Geoff Manyin (cello, vocals) — believes in championing diverse American voices. This passion inspired an ongoing commissioning project, “American Postcards,” in which they draw on composers from all backgrounds to help tell the stories of America, piece by piece.
Their original music tells American stories of their own. The debut release of their EP “Souls in the Mud” (2015) conjures images of America in the spirited “Travesty” and the bourbon whiskey-inspired track “The Trace.” The title track, “Souls in the Mud,” is an “American transformation of a 16th century motet featuring banjo, mandolin and a bluegrass-influenced boot-stompin’ finale,” according to a press statement.
Invoke’s second EP “Furious Creek” (2018) featured vocals for the first time, with an opening title track that explores the relationship between humanity and nature through chant. A Walt Whitman recitation of “O Captain! My Captain!” infuses beautifully with somber string before the uproarious banjo-picking in “Dogs.”
“Dogs” is a standard likely to appear in their set at The Monarch, but most of what they play are likely to be pieces that have changed over time. According to their site, Invoke hand-selects a program, featuring extended instrumentation. “The particular pieces selected change over time, as Invoke writes and discovers more great music. It always is centered around their original tunes and arrangements, but often includes some commissioned works, and other awesome jams, both modern and classic.”
This night of musical storytelling experience by Invoke is made possible with the generous support of Weber County RAMP and Ogden City Arts.
For tickets and more information, visit onstageogden.org.