The next concert in Chamber Music at the Barn's 15th-anniversary summer series features a twist to the usual lineup.
The Texas-based Quebe Sisters Band will bring the sounds and spirit of western swing and hot jazz to the barn at Prairie Pines for shows Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Their vintage-style ensemble features sisters Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe on violin and vocals, along with Joey McKenzie on guitar and Drew Phelps on bass.
Their presence makes for an alternative concert that organizers hope draws in new audiences to appreciate chamber music.
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"If you respect the fiddle or Texas swing, you will go nuts over this band," said Catherine Consiglio, Chamber Music at the Barn's artistic director. Theirs is the third concert of the season.
The sisters, in their 20s, have a vast repertoire of sounds, including western swing, bluegrass, jazz and swing standards, vintage country and fiddling.
Many of their songs are from the 1920s to 1950s. Their buoyant voices command attention, displaying a sense of youth and vitality as the harmony of their fiddles transports audiences back in time.
Grace Quebe said that while they emulate an old style, their band adds its own twist.
"Our music is unique in the sense that you don't hear triple fiddles and triple harmony vocals as much as you used to in the swing era," she said. "We're also a lean band. Joey and Drew do a lot of work and really fill the rhythm section up."
The sisters first heard Texas-style fiddling at a fiddle contest in 1998. Though children at the time, they found the sounds enthralling.
"Our mom wanted us to play an instrument, and we were so excited by the fiddle," Grace said. "She called Joey McKenzie. He and his wife became our teachers and mentors."
McKenzie said the girls became sensations quickly after he booked them for several private parties and small shows.
"Once I saw so many people fall in love, I figured we had a real band," he said.
After being their fiddle and vocal teacher for many years, he eventually became a member of their band. The group has performed across the country, including shows at the Grand Ole Opry and the Kennedy Center. They also have appeared in concert with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Merle Haggard and Asleep at the Wheel.
McKenzie said touring with the trio of sisters is a gratifying experience.
"They're champion fiddle players on the national level and state of Texas. It's always a pleasure to be able to play with not just one person at that level, but three," he said. "I also love their passion for what they do and their appreciation for vintage-style music. The girls are really enamored by music from that period. I'm proud to see young people carry on a rich tradition."
Hulda Quebe said she thinks it's cool that they can carry on that tradition of music.
"It's fun music. The feel of the music, the lyrics and the melodies are all so beautiful and well-crafted," she said. "The musicians at that time played it with such a high level of commitment. We try to play it with that high level today."
Sophia Quebe said the band is turning new audiences on to more classical forms of music.
"We like to give them a chance to discover something they've never heard," she said. "We often hear from people who hadn't been listeners to vintage-style music, but who take an interest after our shows."
Consiglio said she hopes their young energy and distinct music will bring a new crowd to the Chamber Music at the Barn series.
Organizers expect attendance to reach up to 1,500 for this year's chamber series, with many performances likely selling out.
"We work very hard to create a memorable concert experience," Consiglio said.
If You Go: The Quebe Sisters Band
What: Third performance in Chamber Music at the Barn's summer series
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday though Friday. An outdoor buffet dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Barn at Prairie Pines, 4055 N. Tyler Road
How Much: Tickets $12 to $47, with indoor/outdoor garden seating and dinner options. Barn seats reserved. Tickets at www.cmatb.org or call 316-721-7666.
* See and hear The Quebe Sisters Band via a link attached to this story at Kansas.com/entertainment.
* A look at Chamber Music at the Barn's 15th anniversary and how the organization got its start.