Among the exquisite eats and worldly wines at this Saturday’s Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival will be a performance by the Rick Olivarez Trio, a Latin and gypsy jazz group from Charlottesville, Virginia. I got a chance to ask Rick Olivarez a few questions about his past musical endeavors, the trio’s inspirations, and their future plans.
Marisa Cagnoli: When did you become interested in playing music?
Rick Olivarez: I’ve played music pretty much my whole life, and both of my parents, my grandfather, and numerous cousins all play and/or sing.
MC: The Rick Olivarez Trio’s sound is very unique and seems to combine different genres from numerous cultures. What inspired you to work these genres into your own sound and how did you do it?
RO: As far as the band sound goes, I first heard Django Reinhardt in high school and about ten years later began studying the music of Eastern Europe when I lived in New Orleans. We’ve always tried to showcase the music of Django, as well as the folkloric tradition, and the valse musette of France, as well as original tunes – not an easy task.
MC: How long has the trio been playing music together?
RO: The Olivarez Trio began in 2007.
MC: What are the band’s plans for the future?
RO: We have one CD out, Adieu Bienville, and are set to release a follow-up in the fall. We have plans to tour in support of the new CD, titled Three On a Match, in the spring.
MC: What foods and wines are you most excited to sample at the Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival?
RO: As far as the festival goes, we’re looking forward to sampling most anything! But seeing as how the Blue Nile is involved, I’m sure I’ll be hanging around that table.
To groove out to the Rick Olivarez Trio before the Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival, visit https://myspace.com/olivareztrio and be sure to come out to the festival tomorrow from 3-8 pm at the Turner Pavilion in Downtown Harrisonburg. More info at rocktownwinefestival.com.
Marisa Cagnoli is the Summer 2013 Promotions + Social Media Intern for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.