Joye in Aiken comes to Green Boundary

·3 min read

May 23—Ranaan Meyer, Charles Yang and Nick Kendall swerved all over the musical landscape Saturday evening at Green Boundary Club, celebrating a musical milestone and getting a standing ovation as the Joye in Aiken music festival got back in gear following the calamities of 2020.

Time For Three, as the string trio is known, offered some of its own creations as well as more seasoned selections, ranging from "Sweet Child O' Mine," a 1980s staple for Guns N' Roses; "You're Just Too Good to be True," made famous in the 1960s by Frankie Vallie; and a creation — "a chaconne for solo violin," with adjustments — from about 250 years earlier, from the mind of J.S. Bach.

The classically trained group is described on its website as standing "at the busy intersection of Americana, modern pop, and classical music," and members of the trio expressed relief at the opportunity to offer a live performance, following the shut-down, mask-up situations that millions of Americans faced over the past 14-15 months. Among 2020's casualties was Joye in Aiken.

Saturday's audience included Allen Riddick, who described himself as an admirer of Time For Three and Yang in particular, having been familiar with him for 10-11 years. "Overall, it was just a great night," he added. "The weather was beautiful, the music was great, and we weren't wearing masks, either."

All three musicians sing. Meyer plays double bass, while Kendall plays violin and Yang plays violin and (at least Saturday evening) guitar.

"I loved it," said Buzz Rich a member of the music festival's board of directors. "This year was a real challenge. Normally, we do the whole thing in one week in March. We had a couple of early artists that backed out on us ... We were concerned that people didn't want to be inside."

Saturday evening's gathering, held on the lawn, took advantage of clear skies and mild temperatures and got a welcoming reception and eventually a few shouted requests for a rendition of "Rocky Top" and "House of the Rising Sun."

Rich, looking back Sunday afternoon at the past few months of planning, recalled, "I felt that people would be more comfortable sitting outdoors than indoors, and I think that was true ... I thought last night was glorious. I thought it was fantastic. People needed it. They loved to get outside and see live performances again, and no one felt the need to wear a mask."

The festival, largely associated with the Juilliard School, in New York City, normally takes place over the course of several days, but plans are for this year's presentations to be spread over the course of several months, he noted, adding, "I like the idea of having some outdoor performances."

The next show, "The Joye of Jazz," is set for June 6 at The Willcox ("under the tent"), at 100 Colleton Ave., from 3-9 p.m.

Joye in Aiken is described on its website as "a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the best in the performing arts available to our citizens, and especially our students," with emphasis on drawing "some of the world's best musicians, dancers and actors."

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