Chattanooga Now Cherries Jubilee is a 'sweet dessert' for Chattanooga

Chattanooga Now Cherries Jubilee is a 'sweet dessert' for Chattanooga

May 25th, 2017 by Staff Report in Chattnow Music

Wu Fei is a master of the guzheng, a 21-string Chinese zither.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Visitors to Wayne-O-Rama on Saturday night, May 27, will get three acts for the price of one when Shaking Ray Levi Society hosts Cherries Jubilee.

The name isn't just representative of the fact the music event is a celebration of the Cherry Blossoms' new album, "The Hank Tapes," but that the Cherry Blossoms will be joined by singer-songwriter Josephine Foster and zither virtuoso Wu Fei that night.

"Any one of those three could be the night's headliner, and that would have been unbelievable," says Bob Stagner of Shaking Ray Levi Society. "It's a nice, sweet dessert Chattanooga's going to get that night."

Stagner describes the Cherry Blossoms as a "mainstay group that's been around Nashville forever."

"They have a sweet, delicate spirit about them. They've literally been on the scene for years, and we wanted to celebrate what they do. This is the perfect environment."

"The Hank Tapes" feature the Cherry Blossoms' early songs from 1996 when the late Marc Trovillion, a Chattanoogan, was the band's bassist.

Colorado singer-songwriter and guitarist Foster has built a career on folk-infused compositions sung in "a hauntingly beautiful voice," Stagner says.

While her initial career plan was to become an opera singer, she was profoundly inspired by early British folk music and Tin Pan Alley classics. She can't be pinned down to any one sound, but sings styles ranging from psychedelic rock to 19th-century German Lieder.

A native of Beijing who currently lives in Nashville, Fei is a master of the guzheng, the ancient 21-string Chinese zither.

She trained as a Western classical composer and vocalist, but plays in the guzheng's vernacular — a musical language more than 2,000 years old. She mixes her Western and Chinese training with a contemporary, experimental dialect.

"We've been trying to get her here for a while," says Stagner of the Chinese musician. "This is just going to be an other-worldly event. Folks who haven't seen music in this space really need to come."