TOSCA STRING QUARTET
NEWS & NOTES FROM 2012
2012 Holiday Tour with Bob Schneider
Austin: November 24th – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Houston: November 30th – Cullen Theater
Dallas: December 1st – Kessler Theater
We had a blast playing with Bob Schneider on our mini Texas tour! A very kind fan blogged about her experience at the Kessler Theater in Dallas and included photos and video as well. You can read and listen at raquelrocks.net/blog/tag/kessler/.
Golden Hornet Project presents String Quartet Smack Down!
Saturday, November 3rd – Scottish Rite Theater
The Smackdown show was a great success! After four harrowing rounds former Austinite Chris Black was crowned Smackdown Champion! Thank you to all the composers who gave us such wonderful and interesting pieces to play. For more info about the winning Smackdown composer, visit chrisblackmusic.com.
with the Tosca String Quartet
Album Release Party
Thursday, October 4th – Scottish Rite Theater
We were excited to join Dana Falconberry for her CD release party celebrating her new album, Leelanau. We had a great time recording at the Church House Studio back in January and the album sounds really beautiful.
Tosca Tango Orchestra's
15th Anniversary Reunion Concert
Saturday, September 22nd – Scottish Rite Theater
with special guests Mother Falcon
**Special note from the band:
Our 15th anniversary reunion show was a huge success! We were so thrilled to play to a sold-out show of old, dear friends and new. Thank you to all our fans, it was a truly memorable evening!
And a special thank you to the lovely and talented ladies at Method Hair Salon for making us all beautiful for this momentous occasion!
Tosca String Quartet returns to its beginnings! Since its inception in 1997, the Tosca Tango Orchestra has been lauded for bringing focus to the Austin tango scene. Their numerous weekly Austin residencies, their score for Richard Linklater's indie hit Waking Life and well-received travels to Buenos Aires helped to shape the quartet's future as a versatile and tightly integrated ensemble. For years the ladies have wanted to perform Glover Gill's beautiful original tango compositions again, and this September it finally happened! Joined by pianist Joshua Piper and bassist Chris Maresh, Gill and the quartet performed their favorites from their 6 albums and the Waking Life score. A limited quantity of collector's-edition posters by Guy Juke remain available.
Tosca Tango Orchestra's
15th Anniversary Reunion Concert - VIP performance
Wednesday, September 19th – Church House Studio
The Tosca String Quartet celebrated the official return of the Tosca Tango Orchestra with an exclusive VIP event at the Church House Studio before their reunion show at the Scottish Rite Theater. The intimate preview concert featured hors d'oeuvres from Buenos Aires Cafe, a wine pairing by The Austin Wine Merchant, and, of course, conversation and socializing with the Tosca String Quartet and composer Glover Gill. Thanks to the staff of Church House Studio and our friend John Riedie.
Fast Approaching Swiftly Gone
Wednesday, May 23rd – The Long Center (Rollins Theatre)
Tosca reunited with their longtime friends from the American Repertory Ensemble in presenting a very successful collaboration of musicians and dancers, which featured some of Austin's finest performing artists. Fast Approaching Swiftly Gone came and went too soon. The show was produced by David Justin & the American Repertory Ensemble. For more information about this performance and the artists of A.R.E. visit americanrep.org.
Lambchop with the Tosca String Quartet
Wednesday, May 9th – Cactus Cafe
Lambchop and Tosca together again! Tosca recorded on Lambchop's latest record, Mr. M, last summer and were thrilled when they were asked to join them at the intimate Cactus Cafe. To read more about the band, visit Lambchop dot net.
Kat Edmonson with the Tosca String Quartet
Friday, April 13th – Paramount Theatre
Tosca joined the beautiful & amazing Kat Edmonson for the release party of her 2nd album, Way Down Low. The quartet originally performed with Kat at Bob Schneider's 2012 Valentine's show [ACL Live at the Moody].
The Nobelity Project
Artists and Filmmakers Dinner
Sunday, March 25th – Four Seasons Austin
The Tosca String Quartet w/ DJ Spooky
The Tosca String Quartet joined DJ Spooky and a raft of Texas legends to honor Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, in a night which benefited The Nobelity Project school programs. Other performers included Joe Ely, Charlie Sexton, Shawn Colvin and Bob Schneider, and TSQ was hugely honored to help support this important cause.
About the Nobelity Project - from nobelity.org :
"In 2005 Turk & Christy Pipkin founded The Nobelity Project, an education and action nonprofit, to make movies that make a difference. We collaborate with Nobel laureates and other inspiring leaders to make enlightening and motivating films that bring people awareness and move them to action. The Nobelity In Schools program works with teachers nationwide engaging students with the issues that will affect their futures."
The Tosca String Quartet w/ Big Star's Third
Thursday, March 15th - Paramount Theatre
The Tosca String Quartet joined Big Star's Third, an all-star band to perform Big Star's third album, Sister Lovers. The ensemble included Jody Stephens (Big Star), Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Chris Stamey (the dB's) and other special guests. The performance was preceded by the world premiere of "Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story," a full-length documentary about the legendary band.
For details about this SXSW Film event please visit the SXSW site.
There's more information on the event & the band at the Big Star Third site.
For exclusive photos from the Big Star Third event, visit Daniel Coston's highly entertaining blog The Coston Chronicles.
The Tosca String Quartet w/ Cucu Diamantes & Andres Levin
Sunday, March 11th. Live performance & screening of 'Amor Cronico'
Alamo Drafthouse South
As part of the SXSW Film festival, the Alamo Drafthouse South screened "Amor Cronico". A performance by the movie's subject and star, CuCu Diamantes, along with Andres Levin and the Tosca String Quartet followed next door at the HighBall.
From the SXSW preview page: "Amor Cronico" follows the flamboyant Grammy nominated Cuban-born and New York based singer CuCu Diamantes on her tour around Cuba. The film interweaves footage of live musical performances with a fictional love story narrative. The result is an energetic display of CuCu Diamantes' glamorous performance style with a fresh Latin soundtrack and comical twist. It is a unique road movie and portrait of a Cuban artist traveling back to her roots."
For details about this SXSW Film event please visit the SXSW site.
The Tosca String Quartet w/ Bob Schneider
Wednesday, March 14th – Live broadcast
The W Hotel Austin / KGSR 93.3FM
For those of you up at 9:30am on that Wednesday of SXSW, you could have heard Tosca and Bob Schneider on KGSR (93.3FM) broadcasting live from the W Hotel Austin. The set was preceded by performances from Amy Cook, Ben Kweller, and M. Ward, among others, and the crowd-pleasing Kenny Rogers even stopped by for a breakfast snack. KGSR's series benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & South Texas.
For details about this SXSW Live performance visit KGSR's SXSW Broadcasts page.
VALENTINE'S DAY 2012
Bob Schneider & The Moonlight Orchestra
featuring the Tosca String Quartet
w/ Lex Land, Kat Edmonson & Danny Malone
Tuesday, February 14th @ Austin City Limits Live
Tosca joined Bob Schneider and The Moonlight Orchestra on February 14th for an 'Old Hollywood' showcase, featuring a tuxedo-clad Bob (!) and a stellar cast of Austin jazz players and era singers. The packed performance was also celebrating the first anniversary of Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. Visit our Facebook page for more notes (and photos) from the show...
VIDEO: Bob Schneider discusses the show with YNN's Andy Langer.
A special thank you to Method Hair for making us look beautiful for this special show.
We love you, ladies!
This show was presented by ACL Live & United Heritage Credit Union, which is important because our good friends at HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) are the beneficiaries. HAAM provides access to affordable health care to Austin’s low-income, uninsured musicians with a focus on prevention and wellness. This will be the third show at Austin City Limits Live that United Heritage CU has sponsored, allowing a portion of ticket sales to benefit HAAM.
2011 NEWS & EVENTS
Tosca recorded a couple of songs for Lambchop, one of the quartet's favorite bands and touring buddies from a few years back. There's more background on the band and a few videos over at the official Lambchop site. Thanks to Peter Stopschinski for the awesome arrangements and a great session! Lambchop band photo above courtesy of Michael Schmelling.
Tosca recorded on the Grammy-winning Los Lonely Boys' fourth album Rockpango, which features expansive songs
of rock, Latin and soul influence, and absolutely expands on their 'Texican Rock 'n Roll' sound.
Last we checked, the handsome Brothers were offering a free track and other goodies
over at the loslonelyboys.com site.
Tosca appears on the fabulous new record from our friend Stephen Barber, known well for
his classical composition work and flawless arrangements. It's titled Astral Vinyl and includes a number of Barber's own pieces produced with the Tosca String Quartet, the American Repertory Ensemble, The Boiler Makers and The Meridian Arts Ensemble. The album is an excellent overview
of Barber's versatility if you've never heard his symphonic or soundtrack work. We're still waiting for
the box set – for now, here are a few links: the new record at iTunes, a review from the Austin Chronicle, and one helpful link to his bio at Navona
Tosca's onstage performance with Bob Schneider on Austin City Limits aired nationally in February – the show was taped at the former ACL studios last August.
This was Tosca's fourth time to appear on Austin City Limits, previously supporting David Byrne, Ray LaMontagne, and Sufjan Stevens. For details on this episode – including photos and some video – visit the Austin City Limits site.
2010 NEWS & EVENTS
Tosca was back in the studio with Stephen Barber in December 2010, this time to support local documentary filmmakers Flow Nonfiction with their Tide Loads of Hope film, "Espwa."
"Tide Loads of Hope has helped over 25,000 US families recover from natural disaster. Flow's film, narrated by Faith Hill, documents the Loads of Hope team's inspiring work in post-earthquake Haiti."
To watch the trailer, visit their site at flownonfiction.com/espwafull
In April, Tosca world-premiered new commissions from Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski as part of the two-week Austin arts extravaganza known as the Fusebox Festival. Tosca played two shows on April 26th, featuring compositions from a number of Austin-based composers, in addition to three pieces written by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend. Last year's edition won the award for Best Chamber Music Concert from the prestigious Austin Critic's Table.
Tosca joined Amy Cook at the Hotel San Jose on April 8th to throw a release party for her new album Let the Light In, produced by fellow Austin musician Alejandro Escovedo. You can hear some of these great tracks over at amycook.com.
In February, the Tosca String Quartet recorded for the score of Man On a Mission, a documentary about Austin game developer / entrepreneur Richard Garriott, the first son of an astronaut to go to space. It was produced by our friends at Austin's Beef and Pie Productions and premiered March 14th at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.
For some quick notes about the session, visit composer Brian Satterwhite's blog. For a short video of the quartet's recording session, click here.
In January, the quartet recorded for the score of a new movie named Echotone.
The Echotone team describes it this way:
"Internationally known as 'The Live Music Capital of the World,' Austin's music culture has led it to become one of the world's most sought-after destinations. As nearly two dozen high-rises pop up throughout the city amidst economic downfall, how does the working musician get along? This lyrical documentary provides a telescopic view into the lives of Austin's vibrant young musicians as they grapple with questions of artistic integrity, commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city."
In early January 2010 Laura Veirs released July Flame, an album which featured the quartet performing arrangements by our close friend Stephen Barber. You can order it on vinyl by clicking here, or download the entire (MP3) album from Laura's record company.
NOTES FROM 2009 AND BEYOND
August 2009: Tosca performed with Amy Cook and Ben Kweller at The Mohawk.
Fan Flickr photos here.
April 2009: The girls were in the studio to record for Nonesuch artist Laura Veirs' upcoming album, "July Flame."
April 2009: Tosca at SXSW
Tosca performed at the Tap Room on the final night of South by Southwest
2009. The girls rocked a full house with a set of works by Golden Hornet
Project, in addition to a collaborative piece with other string players (including London's Elysian Quartet) and our pal Jessica Gilliam-Valls on double bass. We've got a few of Brian Birzer's photos from that night.
March 2009: Golden Hornet Project Presents: Tosca String Quartet
In March the quartet played to a sold-out audience at the Alamo Ritz Drafthouse celebrating the 10th anniversary of Tosca and the Golden Hornet Project's first collaboration. They performed new and old works by Graham Reynolds, Peter Stopschinski, Tina Marsh, DJ Spooky, and also premiered works by Gabriel Prokofiev and a few other local rockers. Augmenting the entire performance was a video mix by Lee Webster.
February 2009: Tosca recorded on a new album from Austin band The Weirdo Deluxe. The just-released eclectic concept album "The Silver Key" is also a real-life treasure hunt. The album is filled with clever songs that are sometimes reminiscent of show tunes – the good ones. Find your own Silver Key here: www.findthesilverkey.com.
February 2009: Tosca was excited to see DeVotchKa back in town, joining them for a sold-out show at La Zona Rosa. The girls have been fans of theirs since playing with the eclectic four-piece at their 2008 SXSW showcase.
January 2009: The quartet was in the studio with David Rhodes - longtime guitarist for Peter Gabriel - for his new solo record Bittersweet, and again worked with the amazing composer & great friend Stephen Barber.
December 2008: The group joined Bob Schneider onstage at the Paramount Theater for his Holiday DVD taping. Tosca's relationship with Bob is deep-rooted, having played on his records and at a large number of live performances.