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A Quartet Of and For the New World

Choose a box, any box, and the Real Vocal String Quartet will think outside of it.
They’re a string quartet, a vocal quartet, a string band and jaw-dropping improvising world-music collective

They play Appalachain fiddle tunes and Brazilian choros, original chamber music and wild improvisation. They backed up Feist on her indie-pop LP, Metals, which Jon Pareles of the New York Times named his favorite album of 2012, and appeared with her on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Rik Malone of KQED Arts has described their music as “by turns beautiful, haunting, mesmerizing, and foot-stomping fun.”

Violinist and vocalist Irene Sazer founded the group in 2004. An original member of the famed Turtle Island String Quartet, she wanted to combine her musical passions including chamber music, improvising, composing, and singing. The current line up includes violinists/vocalists Irene Sazer and Alisa Rose, violist/vocalist Matthias McIntire and cellist/vocalist Jessica Ivry.

In 2012, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsored the quartet on a tour to Eastern Europe as musical ambassadors for the American Music Abroad program.
For this work, RVSQ received a comandation from the SF Mayor and the city of San Francisco.
Their self-titled debut album is a “marvelous accomplishment” and a “breathtaking bouquet with one luscious hybrid after another,” according to KQED’s California Report.

Their 2nd album, Four Little Sisters, is a wonderful blend, according to AcousticMusic.com, of “Irish reel, Persian echoes, Appalachian down-homey, prog-ish rock and very generous slices of classical, neo-classical, and meta-classical improvisation set off by multi-layered vocal rondos, refrains, ritardando, and relish.”

In October of 2014, RVSQ was honored by being featured on the cover of Strings Magazine and has received many press mentions in outstanding publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, the Utne Reader, andStrad Magazine to name a few.

Recipients of a 2014-2016 Composing Residency at the Montalvo Art Center and a 2015 San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Musical Grant Program, RVSQ is currently composing music in collaboration with living poets in 8 of San Francisco’s Sister Cities. These include Seoul, Amman, Barcelona, Abidjan among others. The work, a song cycle, will be recorded in 2017 and subsequently launched for performances around the world.

Real Vocal String Quartet brings together a world of music and a wealth of musical possibilities.

Real Vocal String Quartet