Musicians In Residence

The Gray Divas

The Gray Divas, 2017 Musicians In Residence

The Musical Residency program began in 2015 when The Well Tempered Ukes, a trio which plays and sings mainly early music, and parlor and art songs, conceived the idea and developed it in collaboration with Arts & Music Librarian Faith Kaufmann and then-Assistant Director Lisa Downing. This residency, the first of its kind for the library, aimed to support artist process and program development by providing time, space and opportunity for teaching, performance, and conversation.

In the fall of 2015, The WTUkes (Marlene Wong, Robin Hoffman, and Richard Perlmutter) presented a monthly hour long session. They performed selected new and old songs from their repertory, share historical and cultural information about the songs and their ukuleles, and offer tips and insights into ukulele playing and performance. Their audiences grew each month as word got around of their engaging, entertaining, and painlessly educational performances. The residency was extended through 2016 and they presented additional concerts including a beginner ukulele lesson.

The Well Tempered Ukes

The Well Tempered Ukes, 2016-2017 Musicians In Residence

This year, we launched our second Musical Residency with The Gray Divas. The Divas are Frances Blasque and Jeannette Muzima. They sing and play an eclectic repertoire including The Beatles; Elvis; a little country cookin’; samba and La Bamba; some jazz and Tin Pan Alley; and a few originals. For their first concert at Forbes as artists-in-residence, they also brought a big and beautiful wave of Hawaiian songs. Their performances are notable for beautiful vocal harmonies, a warm, engaging interaction with their audiences, and what else, ukuleles!