Meet the Greenhorns at Dell’Arte’s Baduwa’t Festival

The Greenhorns: A small brass
and percussion ensemble exploring the outer reaches of chamber music, the Greenhorns comprises some of Humboldt County’s finest wind improvisers playing an eclectic repertoire. Expect samba, jazz, funk, rock ballads, tango, circus and the indescribable in-between. Matt Wardynski, clarinet; Jared Coyle, alto saxophone; Russ Thallheimer, tenor saxophone; Chris Cox, trumpet
Gregg Moore – sousaphone; Seth Mattingly, drums & percussion. Submitted photo

Dell’Arte International

BLUE LAKE –The Baduwa’t Festival (formerly the Mad River Festival) at Dell’Arte International has added an additional music event to its lineup.

Multi-instrumentalist Gregg Moore’s latest musical ensemble Greenhorns will perform onstage at Dell’Arte’s Carlo Theatre at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 15 as part of the five-day festival.

The Greenhorns’ set ranges from original music written for the circus to jazz, funk, pop ballads, South African kwela, tango, eastern European folk music and everything in between.

Tickets for Greenhorns and other Baduwa’t Festival events are available online available at dellarte.com or by calling the box office at (707) 668-5663 ext. 122.

Humboldt native Gregg Moore has been working in the realm of small mobile wind and percussion ensembles since founding the influential (and still active) Available Jelly in Amsterdam, Holland in the late 1970s with a group of other ex-pat Humboldt musicians.

The group was conceived as accompaniment for the dance and physical theater of a Utah-based theater company, giving it the freedom to experiment with a wide variety of music to supplement the equally wide variety of moods that theater requires.

A review of the initial Available Jelly LP in the house newsletter State of Dell’Arte by then-Dell’Arte Musical Director Tony Heimer, provides an apt description of the wide-ranging directions the repertoire of such a group can take when he writes, “Just when you make up your mind it’s an ethno-centric acid-polka orchestra blowing jazz with a demented Dixieland mariachi band in the Bulgarian beer garden, they’ll break into a James Brown tune.”

In the intervening years multi-instrumentalist Moore has expanded his interest to larger alternative community wind bands and research into the many indigenous brass band cultures that have grown up in the wake of colonialism.

The current instance of Gregg Moore’s exploration of the limits of such an ensemble is called Greenhorns and features an appropriately eclectic mix of local horn players. Chris Cox will be known to local listeners as the principal trumpet of the Eureka Symphony and tenor saxophonist Russ Thallheimer as a regular member of the Opera Alley Cats holding forth weekly in Old Town. Clarinetist Matt Wardynski has been making a name for himself keeping alive clarinet as a jazz and improvisation instrument in Humboldt County through performances with the acclaimed RLL trio.

Jared Coyle will be known to local audiences as a saxophonist and clarinetist in the ensembles of bassist Shao Wei Wu in years past, but since has been concentrating on his work as an elementary school teacher in Fortuna. Seth Mattingly wound up his studies as a star of Dr. Eugene Novotny’s acclaimed percussion program of the HSU Music Dept. just in time for performances of all kinds to be curtailed.