The Pioneer Consort: Home
"Somehow, tango and Django, jazz and rag, Mozart, Bach and Bossa Nova all coalesce into a mutually admiring, mad-teaparty of plucked, picked, struck, blown and bowed sounds completely at home with one another." - Joseph Marcello, Greenfield (MA) Recorder
Dissolving boundaries, and cross-fertilizing genres, The Pioneer Consort leads their audiences on a sonic tour of diverse cultures and styles - classical, jazz, folk and international idioms - and on a dazzling array of instruments. The three musicians - Chris Devine, violin, mandolin, guitar, and woodwinds, Michael Nix, guitars, mandolin, banjo and Banjar (a seven string classical banjo of his own design), and Greg Snedeker, cello and piano - combine their love of improvisation, arranging, and composition with consummate musical skills to create intimate performances rich in warmth, humor, and funky elegance.
Taking their name from the culturally rich Five-College area in which they live -- the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts- the three musicians of The Pioneer Consort were first invited to perform together in 2005. Their musical and personal chemistry was immediate, and the breadth of their repertoire and instrumental abilities, combined with a relaxed, informal stage presence, charmed the audience from start to double-encore finish. Since this debut, the Consort has performed in a wide variety of venues including festivals, performing arts centers, theaters, colleges, private schools, and community concerts.
In a review of their 2008 release, World View, and a subsequent recital, Marvin J. Ward of Classical Voice of New England wrote, "...(Their) music is lively, full of energy, some of it high octane; the spirit is infectious – it spread through the hall during the recital...not purely classical, but neither is it purely world music or purely jazz; it ends up being a creative, light, and entertaining blend of the elements and characteristics of all three."