by Tony Imperatrice
The 2016 Rogue Festival is almost here. KRL has been featuring several Festival performer preview articles over the last couple of weeks, and they can all be found in our Arts & Entertainment section. A couple of weeks ago, we also published an article about the Festival itself. We will also be reviewing many of the shows once the Festival begins later this week, and we may even do some more video interviews. Check out our Rogue Performer event page for more information as it becomes available, and you can also check out the Rogue 2016 website.
My wife and I got involved with the Rogue Festival back in 2002. At first we were venue owners hosting visual art and live shows. In those first years we saw many interesting shows; a lot of them were personal stories. This inspired me to do my own story Confessions of a Church Organist. My show was well received, and I wrote and performed several more all about different parts of my life. Some were good and some not so good. All of this experience inspired me to break away from my own story and tell the story of someone I greatly admired, Virgil Fox.
I first learned of Virgil Fox in 1977 when I became fascinated with the pipe organ and started learning to play. But it was not until 1984 that I heard Virgil Fox play on a CD recording called “The Digital Fox,” the first digital recording ever made in the United States. On this recording, Virgil played a massive pipe organ with great emotion and rhythmic drive. The performances were breath taking and from that point on I became a great admirer of Virgil.
Virgil Fox not only had an unusual and dramatic concert career, he also had a very interesting life that was met with a tragic end when he was still in his prime as a musician. Virgil took the organ out of the church, stuck it in a rock concert arena and paired it with a psychedelic light show, and thrilled audiences with his virtuosic playing. His story needs to be told, and I have taken on that task with my show Play It Like Virgil. I spent two years researching and writing about Virgil to create this experience. Those who attend will be treated to an emotional story. They will also hear Virgil speak in recorded sound bites, and I will be playing some of the music that Virgil made famous during his illustrious concert career.
Play It Like Virgil performs at California Arts Academy, 1401 N. Wishon, Fresno, Ca.
Advance Tickets Available at:
roguefestival.ticketleap.com/playitlikevirgil. Tickets are $10.
Performance Dates & Times:
Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 at 7 p.m.
Friday, March 11 5:30 p.m.