In the midst of its ninth year producing and presenting live theater and music at its ArtSpace Fall Church venue, the Creative Cauldron has just opened its annual, mid-winter Passport to the World music festival. “We are so very proud that this is our seventh edition for the multi-weekend Passport to the World.” said Laura Connors Hull, Founder and Producing Director, Creative Cauldron. Passport offers up music from “around the world, around the region, and right up the street.”
This year’s Passport Festival has an eclectic mix of musicians and musical genres curated by Ken Avis. Avis, a guitarist now living in the DC area, has performed throughout the US, UK, and Europe. He currently performs with the DC area jazz trio Veronneau.
As Avis mentioned in a recent interview, “come to be surprised if you thought such fine musicians of note only play at larger, urban venues in cities such as New York, or Paris or at The Kennedy Center.” The 2018 edition of Passport has a dozen different musical performances over weekends through February 2, 2018. The festival is sponsored by Fall Church’s well-known Eden Center.
If you are not familiar with the Creative Cauldron and its ArtSpace home, a quick sense of place is in order. The location was once the home to one of the local area’s last remaining duckpin bowling lanes along with a warren of small businesses located in the historic Tinner Hill area of Falls Church. The Creative Cauldron performance venue is an intimate, black-box housed in a modern mid-rise, retail-on-ground-floor, apartment units above, building.
For foodies, there are near-by walkable neighbors to the Cauldron such as The Happy Tart, Pizzeria Orso and Elevation Burgers. (A new cross-the-street neighbor to Creative Cauldron is The Lincoln which is also expected to add new retail and foodie venues to the area).
Inside the Creative Cauldron’s venue is a warm, acoustically-rich intimate performance space. Avis calls it “a great classy listening room for fine world-class music.” The Cauldron’s foyer space includes a bar area that serves beer, wine, and soft drinks along with snacks. And, while waiting for a performance, there is a gallery area with visual arts to enjoy.
As curated by Avis, the Passport Festival is a sui-generis concert series. Passport opened on Saturday evening, January 6th with the WAMMIE nominated jazz-acoustic trio Veronnneau. On Sunday, January 7th the trio Quiet Life Motel led by violinist David Schulman performed its own unique mix of jazz harmonics and textures. Schulman is the composer of the theme music for NPR’s The Big Listen hosted by Lauren Ober. The Big Listen is an addictive pleasure, as I have found, a podcast about all things podcast.
The Passport Festival schedule of performances for the coming weekends is right below. For more on each artist go here.
Friday. 1/12 at 7:30 p.m. Randy Barrett’s Big Howdy
Saturday, 1/13 at 7:30 p.m. Jo Go Project
Sunday, 1/14 at 7:00 p.m. Ernesto Brave & Juan Cayrampoma, “Andes to Romance”, Rochelle Rice Trio, Bumper
Friday, 1/19 at 7:30 p.m Words & Music Love Americas Style: Romance for a New World
Sat 1/20 at 7:30 p.m. Eric Brace/Ken Johnson/Karl Straub
Sun 1/21 at 7:00 p.m. Ken & Brad Koldner Trio
Friday, 1/26 at 7:30 p.m. Bitter Dose Combo
Saturday, 1/27 at 7:30p.m. Rochelle Rice Trio
Sunday. 1/28 at 7:00 p.m. Bumper Jackson Duo
Friday, 2/2 at 7:30 p.m. The Dave Kline Band
So there you have it, a fine home-grown music festival, with eateries in walking distance. On a cold winter evening, it’s great to have the Passport to the World available to share with friends and hear music known and even unknown.
Passport to the World at Creative Cauldron plays weekends through February 2, 2018, at Creative Cauldron – 410 South Maple Avenue, in Falls Church, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (571) 239-5288, or purchase them online.