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Rikka to host evening of art and jazz

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

The Mountain Home Concert Series generally takes place at private homes around the Park City area. Next week, the series will move to an equally intimate but more stranger-friendly zone.

On Friday, Jan. 8, Rikka – an events center located in Kimball Junction – will host "A Celebration of Music and Art," a unique community event presented by Mountain Town Music.

The event will feature live music by jazz pianist Dan Waldis and an exhibit by Utah-based artist Pashaa.

"I’ve been wanting to do this for some time with Mountain Town Music," says Jane Sahagian, owner of Rikka. "It’s a fresh venue for new concerts and we’re very excited about it."

The evening will start at 6 p.m. with light hors d’oeuvres provided by Rikka. Guests are asked to bring their own beer or wine. The concert will begin at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, guests will be able to browse and purchase limited edition pieces by Pashaa, a visual artist who combines many mediums and processes to create surreal pieces of art.

"Pashaa is so ingenious," Sahagian says. "He captures the essence of unique settings and he creates a composition that is so complex and detailed, yet so entertaining."

"I do everything from print to painting to drawing," Pashaa says. "I just dabble in all aspects of art, basically." The pieces on display at Rikka are primarily combinations of photography, digital art and airbrushing.

His exhibit, entitled "The Realization of a Courageous Dream," was borne out of a self-fulfilling journey Pashaa took in the spring of 2009. "I took off for a drive and ended up driving 30,000 miles and producing this art show," he explains.

He wasn’t actually planning to do artwork during the trip, but he ended up creating an entire collection along the way. "I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and the whole time I was out there trying to figure that out, I was actually doing it and I realized it," he says.

From the shores of the Great Salt Lake to the deserts of Nevada, Pashaa worked from his van, which he equipped with a computer, Internet and artistic supplies. He says he spent a lot of time working from an abandoned train car near the Great Salt Lake.

"It really was a life-changing experience," he says. "When you head out there trying to find your purpose or whatever -and then realize that you’ve already found it and are actually living it – that’s what’s really behind it all."

Pashaa currently lives in Draper but says he would like to move to Park City in the near future.

Dan Waldis is a jazz pianist, arranger, and a professor of music at the University of Utah. Each year, he performs a Christmas show called "A Little Jazz With Your Mistletoe" at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, which he extended this season to The Egyptian Theatre in Ogden.

Waldis says he has performed at different venues in Park City and likes the idea of blending art and jazz. "I think they go very well together. The environment is perfect," he says.

He will play piano alongside a bass player and drum player from Salt Lake City and says they will cover a variety of music, from jazz standards to favorites like "Ave Maria."

Waldis encourages people to come out and enjoy the vibrant arts experience that this area has to offer. An arts and entertainment editor recently made the comment that Salt Lake is a little lacking when it comes to art and entertainment, Waldis says. He strongly disagrees. "It may be true that people have to travel to Park City, but we’re still somewhat in the area and I think if he’s going to make a statement like that, then he should at the very least try to come to a few of these things."

The cost for "A Celebration of Art and Music" is a $20 suggested donation to Mountain Town Music. For more information or to RSVP, visit http://www.mountaintownmusic.org .


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