BOWLING GREEN - One of the most innovative and versatile instrumentalists of his time - and the first superstar of the double bass - Edgar Meyer will appear at 8 tomorrow in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, Bowling Green State University.
Joining him for the Festival Series concert will be mandolin artist Mike Marshall.
With the playlist to be decided shortly before curtain, and announced informally by both Meyer and Marshall, the evening should be about as freewheeling and inventive as both musicians' careers.
"We don't come in with any particular plan," Meyer told The Blade this week. "Instead, we respond to the venue. In general for an evening concert, we walk in with an open mind.
"The reason to do a concert with just two people," he added, "is to give yourself room to play. We both play a lot more virtuosic program this way than if we were in a band."
At 46, Meyer is the bassist's bassist, a virtuosic player of everything from classical concerti for contrabass and orchestra through country - well, he does live in Nashville - and on into jazz, traditional, and, perhaps most intriguing, his original compositions.
His first solo album, "Edgar Meyer," released in 2006, featured him on piano, dobro, mandolin, gamba, guitar, banjo, and, last but not least, the double bass. All the compositions were Meyer's and ranged from countrified jazz to jazzy classical to classic country.
"While the piano continues to be my most significant instrumental infatuation outside of the bass, a lot of other wonderful instruments have entered the picture," Meyer said in the liner notes.
Meyer began studying bass at age 5, first with his father and later with Stuart Sankey. In 1994 he became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2000 became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize.
Since 1994 he has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Meyer also is visiting professor of double bass at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia
For both Meyer and Marshall, collaboration is a hallmark of their performing style.
Meyer has recorded and performed with cellist Yo Yo Ma, composer/fiddler Mark O'Connor, Wynton Marsalis, Patrick Doyle, violinist Joshua Bell, banjo phenom Bela Fleck, and Marshall.
Meyer also has several solo albums of classical music: Bach's unaccompanied cello suites performed on bass, and a compilation of Meyer's own classical concerto for double bass and orchestra paired with several works by Giovanni Bottesini, a 19th century Italian bass player and composer.
Marshall, 47, a master of mandolin, guitar, and violin, is equally well-rounded musically, with a string of recordings of original music and new arrangements on labels including Rounder, Compass, Sony and Sugar Hill. He's a founder of the Modern Mandolin Quartet, which has released four crossover recordings for Windham Hill.
Over half the music they choose for their BGSU appearance will be original -"things we've written separately or together," Meyer said.
"We might do a couple fiddle tunes in different styles. There will probably be one or two short pieces by J.S. Bach. And we'll definitely do some pieces that are closer to jazz.
"We want to keep a variety of grooves," Meyer said.
Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall will appear at 8 tomorrow in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, Bowling Green State University. Tickets are $5 to $8 from the Kobacker box office in the Moore Musical Arts Center, 419-372-8171.
Contact Sally Vallongo at: 419-724-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.