Mandolinist John Reischman and guitarist John Miller have been playing together for more than 20 years with their combination of instrumental classic and original sambas, bossa novas, Latin jazz, jazz standards and world music.
They will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at Jansen Art Center in Lynden. Miller lives in Bellingham and Reischman lives in New Westminster, B.C.
“John Reischman and I first played together, informally, on a few tunes at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, probably around 1988 or 1989,” Miller says. “Around 1994 or so, John asked me to join him for a solo set at the Edmonton Folk Festival, and the music came together so well and so easily that we realized we’d have to be crazy not to continue to do it.”
Both of them contribute originals and ideas for standards in various styles to add to their repertoire, he says.
Since we play instrumental music, I think it’s important to communicate with the audience between numbers.
John Miller, guitarist
“There are some tunes we’ve played for a long time, since our first CD, ‘The Singing Moon,’ from 1998,” Miller says. “We add to the repertoire, cycling tunes in and out, fairly often.”
They have more festivals in Canada than in the U.S., playing at the Vancouver Folk Festival, the Edmonton Folk Festival and the DuMaurier Jazz Festival in Vancouver.
“Since we play instrumental music, I think it’s important to communicate with the audience between numbers, just providing some background that may spark a connection with the different tunes,” Miller says.
They also play house concerts, which Miller says are a great way to hear and play their music.
“People are there for the sole purpose of hearing the music and we’re not competing with big-screen TVs, pool tables, or the various other distractions which can be found in clubs and taverns,” he says.
They will have all of their CDs — “The Singing Moon,” “The Bumpy Road” (2012) and “Road Trip” (2013) for sale at the show in Lynden.
“The last time we performed in Bellingham, at a show held in the YWC ballroom, the energy and communication between the audience and us was particularly strong,” Miller says. “It just felt as though we were all on the same wavelength, and it was really exciting and fun.”
John Miller and John Reischman
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16
Where: Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St., Lynden
Cost: $20 general, $15 seniors and students, through Brown Paper Tickets and Jansen’s gift shop
Details: 360-354-3600, jansenartcenter.org