Fiddler, singer and stepdancer April Verch will perform Nov. 18 as part of Northeastern Illinois University’s Jewel Box Series. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall on the Main Campus, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Verch knows how relevant an old tune can be. She grew up surrounded by living, breathing roots music—her father’s country band rehearsing in the “Newpart,” the beloved Verch family room; the lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to win fiddle competitions—and decided early she wanted to be a professional musician.
While Verch is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds. Verch tours with world-class musicians as a trio, featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass and clawhammer banjo in addition to Verch’s vocals, fiddle and foot percussion.
Now on her milestone 10th album, “The Newpart,” Verch digs deep into songs and tunes from the era before the often-mined mid-century heyday of bluegrass and folk. Harkening back to vaudeville and beyond, Verch and her fellow trio members pare down their arrangements, highlighting the simple pleasures of upright bass, guitar, clawhammer banjo, mandolin, voices, fiddle and stepping in intimate conversation.
This performance is a part of the Jewel Box Series, an eight-concert professional performing arts series presented by Northeastern’s Office of Cultural Events. Tickets are $25, $17.50 and $5 and can be purchased online or by calling (773) 442-4636. Parking permits are required.