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News of Yavapai County

Steel drums Wednesday; Sugar & the Mint next month at the Elks Theatre

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The Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center is featuring two different youth bands over the next couple of weeks.

“Jovert in Concert,” the Tucson High Magnet School Steel Band comes to Prescott for the first time at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25. Led by director Khris Dodge, Jovert is made up of 30 sophomore, junior and senior high school students, according to a news release from Dodge.

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at https://ift.tt/1wI88SA, by calling 928-777-1370 or at the door one hour prior to the performance.

Jovert in Concert features a variety of songs and styles, from traditional Caribbean music and Stevie Wonder to student-arranged pieces and compositions by Dodge. He prefers to use traditional Trinidadian methods, such as teaching by ear. The audience won’t find any of his students behind music stands, Dodge said.

“We use a collaborative system of learning,” he said. “I teach a phrase or section to one student in a section, and then that student passes it on to the rest of the players in that section. It gives everyone a chance to teach and learn from one another. Plus, it allows the students to free up and move to the music.”

Within the performance, students add movement, choreography, props and costumes to the songs. Many times, one section tries to outperform another in a good-natured competition, Dodge said.

Following “Jovert in Concert,” Sugar & the Mint headlines in an album debut and sendoff concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19. The album is called “Just Past Midnight” and is based on a lyric in the song “Where Do We Go,” which lead vocalist Johan Glidden said he wrote.

“There’s a lyric in there about ‘just past midnight,” Glidden said. “We just thought it had a nice ring to it and threw it on there.”

Sugar & the Mint’s members are all about next steps and doing what they can to get the music out to more people, he said. After the sendoff concert, they’re heading off on tour through Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

Not only does it feel great to be able to play some of those festivals and get into the scene a little more, but some of their heroes are headlining and it’s amazing to be on the bill, Glidden said.

Tickets are going fast, Glidden said. They are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $25 for opera box seats and can be purchased online at https://ift.tt/1wI88SA, by calling 928-777-1370 or at the door one hour prior to the performance. Sugar & the Mint will be selling CDs and T-shirts during intermission as well.

The album is comprised of a lot of original music the band was putting together and experimenting with prior to recording, Glidden said. There’s also a cover of “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen in there, an unlikely song for a bluegrass band, he said.

“It was exciting to take a song and just kind of deconstruct it, and then put it back together with all the string instruments,” Glidden said.

The Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center is located at 117 E. Gurley St. For more information about both concerts, visit https://ift.tt/1wI88SA.

For both shows, 50 percent of the proceeds benefits the Ann Dater Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Performing Arts, the Elks youth scholarship program.

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