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Neighbors of DuPage

Picosa presents Americana, a concert of chamber music infused with jazz, romanticism and contemparary style

Oak Brook, IL - Picosa’s Americana program weaves together the works of five composers for an exciting journey through American musical style of the 20th and 21st century on Tuesday, December 5th  at 7:00pm at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st Street, Oak Brook.  Music lovers will enjoy experiencing Picosa’s signature symphonic sound and welcoming community at every program of virtuosic chamber music.  General Admission tickets for the concert and dessert reception are $25 with discounts available for seniors and students.  Picosa is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. To purchase tickets, visit:

Picosa will highlight beloved American composers in the second concert of their season.  Listeners will hear jazz influences throughout the pieces on this program and the ways each composer mixes complex rhythms and entertaining turns of phrase into their music. The concert will open and close with works by Augusta Read Thomas and Marc Mellits.  Both are Chicago based composers, and their works make frequent appearances at Picosa’s performances. In February 2015, music critic Edward Reichel wrote,

“Augusta Read Thomas has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today. Her music has substance and depth and a sense of purpose. She has a lot to say and she knows how to say it — and say it in a way that is intelligent yet appealing and sophisticated.” 

Picosa will perform Scat for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.  Inspired by the vocal jazz technique, “scatting,” Thomas compellingly writes rhythms that explode off the page with lively energy. 

Amy Beach, one of America’s first notable female composers wrote her Piano Trio, Op. 150 late in her life.  It showcases beautiful and lyrical piano lines.  Beach was a musical prodigy, and Arthur Elon noted in his essay from 1903, Womans Work in Music, that Beach was “gifted with absolute pitch and an extraordinary musical memory. She was able to reproduce accurately an entire Beethoven sonata without ever having seen the score, after hearing one of her fellow students practise it.” 

Peter Schickele, also known as P.D.Q. Bach, deftly combines romantic and jazz styles in his Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.  He draws inspiration from be-bop in the second movement and creates a whirring soundscape of musical motives. 

Paul Schoenfield’s music is accessible and beloved by listeners, and his Sonatina for flute, clarinet, and piano is no exception.  He directly quotes early American jazz and folk in the titles of each of the movements, Charleston, Rag, and Jig.

Marc Mellits’ work, Spam for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano will quickly get listener’s into a minimalist “groove.”  Mellits cleverly combines repetitive motives in a way that beautifully explores combinations of instrument pairings and musical timbres. 

Finally, we are particularly excited to welcome visual artist Lewis Achenbach who will be live painting the entire event.  His works of art will be available for sale after the concert. Following this concert, audience members are invited to stay for the Meet the Musicians Gourmet Dessert Reception to chat with all the performers and enjoy some treats.

Tickets are $25.  High school students and younger are free, and accompanying parents receive a discounted ticket of $10.  College student $10.  Seniors $23. Please visit to purchase tickets and for information about locations and parking. 

Picosa is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Donations to the ensemble support Picosa operations including its commitment to bring music to underserved communities through their collaboration with Hesed House and nurturing rising amateur and young musicians through their Interludes Chamber Ensembles program.  Please visit


Amy Beach | Piano trio op. 150  (violin/cello/piano)

Augusta Read Thomas | Scat   (flute/clarinet/violin/cello/piano)

Paul Schoenfield | Sonatina   (flute/clarinet/piano)Marc Mellits | Spam   (flute/clarinet/violin/cello/piano)

Peter Schickele | Quartet   (clarinet/violin/cello/piano)


Jennie Oh Brown | flute

Andrea R. DiOrio | clarinet

Elizabeth Brausa Brathwaite | violin

Patti Garvey | cello

Kuang-Hao Huang | piano

Jonathon Kirk | Composer-in-Residence