This Week! High Summer(vale)!


By Zaidee Laughlin, Music Intern

So much of the beauty of the Burlington area comes from the way that everything seems to intertwine. From the City Market cashier who goes to your gym, to the bike valet service that always seems to be at your favorite concerts, to the local music artists who come to Summervale to help support Vermont farms, all the best things overlap. We’ve had some amazing performers grace the Summervale stage this year, and this week's band, which weaves together talent from a myriad of local groups, is no exception.

High Summer is the perfect example of the beauty that comes when different projects meld together. With members from Steady Betty, Barika, Japhy Ryder, Afinque, Myra Flynn’s FLYNN, and more, High Summer blends genres and styles to create a dynamic rhythmic exploration wholly unique and wholly enticing. I reached out to their guitarist and manager Al Teodosio last week to get a better feel for the band.

What do you think is your group's defining quality?

In the broadest sense, trust. But musically, our defining quality might be our approach to rhythm. We borrow from a lot of musical traditions that speak a very specific rhythmic language, and the way we interpret that as a group is really special.

Typically, who writes High Summer's original pieces? What's the process of introducing them to the group like?

Andric Severance (keys), Jacob Deva Racusin (tenor / congas), and Al Teodosio (guitar) have all written original music, but a lot of the composition is really a group effort. We rarely put lots of little dots on a staff, learn it verbatim and set it in stone -- it's usually this process of someone coming in with a sketch, a part, or a completed tune, and we experiment and play around with it until it feels good.

Where do you see the group heading in the future?

Anywhere people dance. Musically, borrowing from different musical traditions and having fun with rhythm and improvisation. Mind you, while making the booty go and all.

Tell me about a memorable gig you guys have played in the last few months.

We played Montgomery's summer music series a few weeks back, and it was a blast. They know how to hang up there.

What are you looking forward to most about Summervale?

Summer! Music! Burlington!

Abby Portman