What is the lure of the ‘big top’-that wonderful foray into fantasy called the circus? Is it the extended family of performers, the live performances, the trained animals or the sparkly costumes that makes so many folks dream about ‘running away and joining the circus’?
Goodby Vallejo, Hello Montreal
Next month Step Up Music director Ariane Cap will be doing just that. Last weekend we received the news in Step Up’s newsletter. And she’s joining not just any circus. Cap has signed a two-year contract with Canadian-based Cirque du Soleil, the creme de la creme of circus’. Since 1984 Cirque has produced some of the most innovative shows, often featuring talent whose careers literally take off from association with the Cirque brand.
We were very eager to hear the back story so we asked Cap to share just how she landed this gig. Here’s what she says:
“I have to tell you a little story as it is a deeply Vallejo story! A few years ago around Christmas time I was on tour in New York with one of my bands and received a message on my phone which went something like this: Hi, I am a Vallejoan and I am a musician. I am home for the holidays after a long time and I am standing in front of your music school. I just HAVE to meet the person who created this. Can we meet?
I was of course delighted to return the call and eventually meet and jam with the man who had left it – it was Derek Jones, born and raised in Vallejo, highly accomplished bassist who is very well known and highly regarded in my circles of musicians friends, featured in Bass Player Magazine, appeared on Jay Leno and Conan and who has recorded with greats such as Sheila E, Mike Marshall, Nickel Creek and others. Derek has been with the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil Show ‘Ka’ for several years after playing in Nashville for a long time.
Derek heard about an opening for a female bass player for a new Cirque show and recommended me and recommended that I apply. That I did and I am looking forward to what is next! I will be moving to Montreal for four months for a creation period, and, come April, the show will tour.”
Cap says that the show (no title yet) will tour next year in Canada and Dallas, and then the rest of US in 2013.
Step Up Music succession planning
Understandably there are mixed feelings in the community about her sabbatical. Cap is very direct about her own feelings, saying “Of course my biggest worry is to keep Step Up alive while I am gone. I have several people helping, but it will be difficult.”
According to the Step Up Newsletter, Cap has put lots of thought into how to keep Step Up’s momentum and impact alive in the Vallejo area.
In the latest edition she says: “Come January 1st I am putting Step Up Music Vallejo in the care of our Office Wiz Jeff Charles and a wonderful crew of teachers and contributors. No disruptions in schedules, teaching- or concert activities are to be expected. I am thankful to have such a committed group of teachers and consultants who will take over the many non-teaching duties from working with the schools and with non profits, to coordinating and doing assemblies, and bringing featured students to our Downtown stages, all the way to cleaning, repairs and supplies.
When you call the school number, Jeff will be there, helping you with any needs you may have.Come October first I am leaving my current young piano and bass students in the trusted hands of Step Up’s piano and bass crew – Rhonda Hicks, Monica Torres, Wayne DeLaCruz, Rob Michael and Christian Deardorff. My adult bass students may attend lessons with me until the end of the year and then have the option of switching over to my online study program via skype come January.”
We wish her lots of luck and look forward to reading her updates from the road.