By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – The diverse sounds of chamber group Sixth Floor Trio kicks off the Tupelo Concert Association’s 2013-2014 season.
Blending classical music with bluegrass, folk music and rock ‘n’ roll, the Sixth Floor Trio stretches the expectations audiences have of a typical chamber group.
“We have a classical background, but that doesn’t keep ourselves within that sphere,” said Sixth Floor Trio’s Harrison Hollingsworth in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “We figure out what we like and play it, whether it’s pop or rock or bluegrass. We believe folk music is a basic way to connect to people. If it’s appealing, we play it.”
Hollingsworth, a Texas native now residing in New York City, loves playing bluegrass.
“Anything based around the fiddle – bluegrass, Western swing, Irish folk music – that’s all in my background,” he said.
The musical variety surprises audiences.
“We start with the attention-grabbing, to let audiences know we’re breaking boundaries,” he said. “Then we play something more sophisticated.”
Sixth Floor Trio does more than play music.
The trio has partnered with Random Acts of Culture to bring surprising artistic encounters to public spaces.
The band is also working on a film series, “Music of the People,” that explores folk music from around the world.
The trio serves as the artistic directors of the music festival GardenMusic in Miami.
Right now the trio is working on those projects while also going out on tour.
“We offer something for everyone,” Hollingsworth said. “We’re going to touch your ears and also touch your heart. It’s a very balanced musical diet.”
Tupelo Concert Assocation’s season includes The Diamonds on Nov. 15, Jesse Lynch’s Jazz 101 on Feb. 18 and John Berry on March 18. Tickets for the whole season are $50, or $25 for single show tickets.