The Critics

…mingling of European classical music with American roots music…I do find the results rather delicious. Calico Winds bring refreshing lightness to music that is too often bellowed. The quintet’s suave phrasing, lively articulation and rhythmic buoyancy are a delight throughout.” —Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone

“The artists played in perfect balance with each other, each contributing lovely tone quality and flawless intonation. An unusually fine and beautiful program …played with rock-solid competence and interpretive flair. It was a fantastic evening of music.” —Richard Snyder, The Times Herald, Olean, NY

“Calico Winds’ personnel mirror its name: five distinctly differing personalities who blend musically together with an ease that is awesome. Here is a group that can take contemporary music…and remove that lingering audience doubt that if it is newly minted music it may not measure up. They dispatched the difficult and quirky music with ease and liveliness. Each number was introduced by a member of Calico Winds, giving just the right amount of information to make the music better understood without compromising the flow of the program. D’Rivera’s composition is colorful and contains syncopated and jazzy rumba, mambo and tango rhythms that allow Calico Winds a chance to show their excellent working relationship: there’s a lot of ‘sympatico’.” —Bill Peters, Pasadena Independent, Pasadena, CA

“This fine Los Angeles-based quintet proceeds from Bach to Zappa here, through a broad swath of composers, projecting solid musical values all the way. The stately opening, Bach’s “Little” Fugue in G Minor (arranged by Roger Stevens), nicely articulates the contrapuntal lines in the realm of wind textures. Elliott Carter’s 1948 Woodwind Quintet, less severe than his later music, has a characteristic, energetic sense of dialogue the group seems to savor. Carl Nielsen’s 1922 Quintet, Opus 43, is the most substantial work here, played with clarity and purpose. Lalo Schifrin’s tango-tinged “La Nouvelle Orleans” dances. By the time the group arrives at the smart urbanity of Zappa’s Wind Quintet—all 48 feisty seconds of it—it has crossed all the style lines and gotten away with it.” —Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times

“Calico Winds…clearly doesn’t limit itself to a classically classical repertoire. [All In One is] a rather pleasing mix of old and new. [All the members are] technically astute. I’ve never been fond of Carter’s music, but found his “Woodwind Quintet” almost alluring in the hands of the Calico Winds. Zappa’s “Wind Quintet” is just the right touch to end the recording, going out in a blaze of notes.” —Taylor McNeil, Bostonia Magazine

“In demonstration and performance, [Calico Winds] gave strong evidence of technically sound, creative music making …embracing some off-the-beaten track repertory. Theirs was a winsome addition to Birch Creek’s program and outreach.” —Erik Eriksson, Door County Advocate


The Presenters

“This ensemble gave a superb performance of a well constructed program. Their performance was of the highest artistic standards and clearly suggests that the ensemble is poised to develop world class recognition for their outstanding work. In addition to their individual and collective artistic abilities, the members of Calico Winds communicate with audiences and students with great ease, clarity and enthusiasm.” —Dr. Manuel Prestamo, Dean, Oklahoma City Community College

“The students loved the show and could not stop talking about it. I appreciate all that you do and want you to know that you really made a difference for my students and even some of the teachers.” —Rhonda Dincau, MSW, Outreach Specialist, Harrington Elementary School,Oxnard, CA

“I can heartily recommend the Calico Winds to anyone looking for an outstanding wind quintet. They made a big hit with our discerning audience through the excellence of their playing plus their personal charm. The young ladies have an unusually fine rapport with their listeners, adding to one’s enjoyment of the listening experience.” —Sidney Stafford, Program Coordinator, South Bay Chamber Music Society, Los Angeles, CA

“Calico Winds bring a high level of expertise to their ensemble performances, and their growing audience support is evidenced by an almost sold-out concert at La Sierra University.” —Jeffry Kaatz, Presenter, Brandstater Gallery Series, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA

“I felt having [Calico Winds] as resident wind quintet was a big success—board members, faculty, students and especially the audience greatly enjoyed [their] spirit, not to mention [their] fine teaching and playing during the session.” “The quintet’s solo performance in the “Very American” [Orchestra] Concert…was the highlight of the evening.” “… [Calico Winds] presentation of a seminar/concert was well received by our students. [The group’s] candid description of how the quintet rehearses and interacts with one another was especially enlightening for them.” “[Calico Winds’] concert[s] not only displayed [their] talent in performing diverse music… it also showcased our composer-in-residence.” —Matthew Mantell, Program Director, Birch Creek Music Center, Door County, WI

“… a most remarkable concert that proved to be both inspiring and inventive.” “[Calico Winds’] informative words about the instruments and pieces coupled with wit made the program both entertaining and educational.” “The audience really enjoyed the opportunity to participate.” —Linda Dean, Presenter, First Lutheran Church, Torrance, CA

“I very much enjoyed [Calico Winds’] concert and heard nothing but joy from people coming out of the theater.” —Eva Holberg, Presenter, Theatre Palisades, Pacific Palisades, CA


The Audience

“I attended your concert. To be truthful, I was not looking forward to it, as I have always thought of Chamber Music as mournful, and why would one want to seek it out as entertainment?? Well, I thought it absolutely delightful, as did my friends!! We loved your sense of humor, the interaction between you…the fact that each of you spoke to the audience. Thank you for an altogether different opinion of your music.” —P. Vaughn

“You were absolutely wonderful and were a true inspiration to two of my daughters who are taking flute and oboe. (My other two children do violin and cello — you know those strings.)” —E. Slowik

“I am 75 years young and never attended a wind quintet before, my wife is trying to get me ” some couth” I think it is a lost cause though. However I did enjoy the concert very much.” —L. McRae

“It was a very enjoyable evening. The performers that I see at the community concerts all have extraordinary talents, but not all know how to connect with the audience. You have both the talents & the connecting with audience down pat.” —L. Mutchler

“Just wanted you to know I thoroughly enjoyed your concert last night in Glendive. Especially the Scherzo by Bozza – reminded me of swirling leaves when the cold wind is about to bring snow — just about like today’s weather.” —D. K. Van Gorden

“I have always been impressed by the instruments of the orchestra but I have never listened to a small group of a particular category, namely and in this case, the woodwinds. I have come to appreciate each instrument a little more than before. Also, when a particular category is segregated and displayed, you achieve a new appreciation for what can be done. The performers have a wonderful mix of instruments and a great package of music which makes each instrument and performer a star.” — S. Escarcega, from Concert Report for Music Appreciation Class


The Composers

“Calico recently performed my Sonatina for Woodwinds and I will say that their interpretation far exceeded my expectations, bringing to life every nuance.” —David Rubinstein, Composer “Sonatina for Woodwinds”

“[Calico Winds] play with such great spirit and musicianship. I am delighted to be one of [their] composers!” —Gwyneth Walker, Composer “Braintree Quintet”

“[Calico Winds] performed my piece wonderfully. I could not be more pleased!” —Michael Pisaro, Composer “here (5)” written for and dedicated to Calico Winds.