Madeline Tasquin and Sarabande in concert. Volker Neuman/Independent SF photo

Madeline Tasquin and Sarabande play Quesnel Wednesday

The California trio are also playing at ArtsWells

Madeline Tasquin and Sarabande are coming to Quesnel.

An all-female folk-pop trio from Oakland, California, Madeline Tasquin and Sarabande are on a five-week tour through the American west coast and B.C.

Tasquin, who grew up in Quesnel, is the bandleader.

She tries to come back to the Cariboo often, and has returned to play at ArtsWells twice before, once with a jazz band and once as part of a duo. This year she’ll also be performing at ArtsWells with her band, before they comes to Quesnel for a concert Aug. 8.

Her father was a gold miner and her mother performed at Barkerville and taught at the Island Mountain School of Art. They later opened the Vaughan House restaurant in north Quesnel in the 1980s.

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Tasquin moved from Quesnel to the Lower Mainland when she was 11, but never forgot her roots. Her family would drive back up to visit every summer. She says she learned to harmonize on those long drives.

“I have two younger sisters, so they would hold down the melody and my mom and I would harmonize with them,” she says.

She says much of the nature surrounding Quesnel has made its way into her music.

Tasquin says in the summer, the Cariboo is “just a glorious place to be. Everybody’s out, and the rivers – oh my gosh. And the cottonwood trees…”

She and the rest of her band, Hannah Levy and Shiloh Parkerson, piled themselves and their instruments (a guitar, keyboard, flute, and bass) into a 1982 Mercedes to make the drive (and tour) up to the Cariboo. “If we had a drum kit we wouldn’t be able to do it,” Tasquin jokes. “We just have a perfectly tetris car.”

The band got its name from a poster advertising Tasquin’s mother’s band in the 1970s. Tasquin was looking through old documents depicting her mother’s long career in performance and opera when she found the poster.

It read: “Elegance, Innovation, Beautiful Music. Sarabande.” Beneath the writing there was a photo of her mother with her two female bandmates.

READ MORE: ArtsWells offers a diverse range of music, theatre and art Aug. 3-6

A sarabande is a dance in triple meter, which Tasquin says was once described by a Jesuit priest in 1609 as “so loose in its words and so ugly in its motions that it is enough to excite bad emotions in even very decent people.”

Tasquin, who had been trying to name her own trio at the time, felt it was the perfect name for her band.

Madeline Tasquin and Sarabande will be in Quesnel Aug. 8, performing at St. Andrews United Church. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

After they leave Quesnel, Madeline Tasquin and Sarabande will be performing in the Williams Lake Performances in the Park series on Aug. 9, and then at the Omineca Arts Centre in Prince George on August 10.

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