Photo: The Sachem Trio is Pam Sklar, flutes (second from right); Christopher Dean Sullivan, bass (far left); and Bob Meyer, drums (right). The guest pianist is Earl Brown (second from left)
Professional flutist and composer Pamela Sklar will pay a visit to the Ossie Davis Theater in New Rochelle this Sunday for a performance that will include her original jazz-Native American composition, “A Tune For America.”
Sklar will be performing with The Sachem Trio, an offshoot of the Earl Brown Quartet. The trio is comprised of Sklar on flute, Christopher Dean Sullivan on bass and Bob Meyer on drums.
Sklar frequently performs in the New York area and has toured as a flute soloist in Paris, Italy and Japan.
“Playing in the New York area is great. It gives me the chance to play with people I really respect,” she said.
Sklar grew up in New Rochelle and said she still feels a close connection to the area.
“A Tune for America” is comprised of two parts. Part one, titled “Earth,” features the flute; part two, titled “Sky” features the bass flute and piccolo.
“I was just sitting in my house and it kind of just came to me,” said Sklar recalling her inspiration. “It was sort of like I felt something and then could musically articulate it.”
“I’ve always admired Native Americans and been fascinated by their outlook. They were the original environmentalists.” Sklar said.
Some people may not readily associate jazz with Native American music. But Sklar said there are things the two musical genres have in common. Besides the technical aspects involving scales and tuning, the notes of the two musical styles can be mixed.
“Even though the Native American voicing is more open and pure, some of this music is really jazzy,” she said. “And what’s so cool about jazz is the rhythm and freedom.”
In the past five months Sklar has premiered four new pieces in Westchester County alone. These include “Heritage 5770,” a meditative piece celebrating the Jewish calendar year for The Westchester Reform Temple and another piece, titled “Wood,” featuring the flute, violin and cello. Sklar is also currently recording the music she has composed for her various ensembles.
As a studio musician Sklar has recorded for a diverse group of performers including Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., Paul Simon, Clay Aiken and Rod Stewart. She also appears in recitals and gives flute clinics for elementary and high school students.
See Pamela Sklar and The Sachem Trio Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at 1 Library Plaza in New Rochelle. Admission is free; the suggested donation is $10. For more information call (914) 632-7878.