News

Vivant! Performs February 2014 Concert for KC Music Club  

Vivant! performed a program of tango and new classical works for the Kansas City Musical Club on February 3, 2014.  The program which was open to the public was held at the Lutheran Church at 64th and State Line, Mission Hills, Kansas.  Members Karen Fremar and Julie Silfverberg (Accordion), Melody Stroth (Piano), Judy Johnson (Flute), Beth McCollum (Cello), Dee Sligar (Bass), and Janne Silfverberg (Hand Drums), performed three new Piazzolla arrangements by Karen Fremar and Fremar's The Java House.  Julie Silfverberg performed a new solo work by Fremar assisted by Dee Sligar, Bass and Janne Silfverberg (Bongos).  The group was appreciated with a standing ovation and a reception given by the club.  KC Music Club Program Chairman, Sanna Cass, invited Vivant! to return for a second year to perform for the club after their popular performance last season. 

 

Music & Merlot 2013 Concert 



We had a blast at the recent Fremar Foundation Music & Merlot Concert!  Above in performance are Melody Stroth, piano; Jason Scheufler, guitar; Brian Steever, drums; Karen Fremar, accordion; Julie Silfverberg, accordion; Kevin Maret, percussion; Janne Silfverberg, congas, and Dee Sligar, bass keytar.
For a full report visit FremarFoundation.com.

Karen Fremar Rolls out New CD 

Karen Fremar released a new CD Fremar Night at the Pla-Mor on June 15, 2013.  The works are all original works written by Fremar that feature the accordion in a group setting or with electronic backing.  The works are mostly Latin influenced.  The CD is available for purchase or download at CDBaby.com & iTunes as well as most international digital music sites. Search under "Fremar" and get the tracks you want for your ipod or computer. 

Tracks include:
Night at the Pla-Mor
Introduction & Allegro
The Java House - Fill it to the Rim
The Java House - Dark & Vibrant (Tango)
The Java House - The Last Drop
The Java House - Caramel Latte Blues
The Java House - Frappe Freeze
Whatever You Do
Grasping for the Wind (To Honor Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans)
Free (Tango)
Sterling Illusions
Herricks Road
Fanphasia
Jammin'
Bubbling Brook
Vexation

The CD features many professional musicians and alums of the UMKC Conservatory of Music as well as Vivant!  Featured musicians include: Karen Fremar, Accordion/Keyboards; Julie Silfverberg, Accordion/Keyboards; Judy Johnson, Flute; Ronda Adams, Electric Violin; Beth McCollum, Cello; Jason Scheufler, Guitar; Dee Sligar, Bass; Melody Stroth, Piano; Gail Overly, Backing Accordion; Janne Silfverberg, Trombone/Hand Drums; David Sager, Percussion; Sarrah Cantrell, Vibes/Drums; and Brian Steever, Drums. 

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MEET VIVANT!

Vivant! is a Midwest group comprised of professional musicians whose focus is to share their own unique and original brand of music. All of the multi-talented Vivant! members are international and national prize-winning musicians who initially trained at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. They all have active professional music careers, having performed many concerts throughout the United States and around the world. 

The sound of Vivant! combines the richness of the acoustic accordion with the electronic sounds of synthesizers, trombone, and percussion instruments. Their style combines the art of virtuoso accordion infused with jazz, pop, Latin and tango. Vivant! performs their own original contemporary music, as well as tango, jazz, swing, and pop covers.  Above all, their music is exciting, captivating and alive!
 
THE MUSICIANS
          
Karen Fremar: (Accordion/Keyboards/Arranger) Karen was born into a musical family that operated a music studio in Fort Scott, Kansas, and began playing the accordion at age 2, and the piano quickly thereafter. She is the composer/arranger for Vivant! and remembers composing "giant music" on the piano when she was very little, having to stand and reach up to play the keyboard. Karen is a member of ASCAP and also holds a Performance degree from UMKC in Accordion, as well as Masters and Doctorate degrees in Composition and Music Theory from UMKC and the University of Kansas. Karen studied composition with Gerald Kemner, John Pozdro, and Milton Babbitt. She won the US Accordion Championship and a World Accordion Entertainment Championship title in Sweden. Karen has toured internationally with several groups, and was an accordionist with Pavarotti on his World Farewell Tour. Karen's numerous compositions include two test pieces for the Coupe Mondiale-World Accordion Competition and many chamber works. She has given a New York premiere of her compositions, and has received numerous commissions, including the Courtney S. Turner Trust and the American Accordionists’ Association, for composition. Dr. Fremar is Chairman of the Board and President of the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts, a non-profit organization formed in 2010, that supports accordion performance, new works for the instrument, and preservation of the instrument's heritage. 

Julie Silfverberg:  (Accordion/Keyboards) Julie grew up in Ft. Scott, Kansas. When Julie was 8, her mom came home one day and asked her if she would like to learn how to play the accordion. Julie said 'Sure!'..... a couple of years later, she added piano lessons. Margie Fremar was her teacher. Julie successfully participated in many music festivals. She was the Kansas Accordion Virtuoso Champion for three consecutive years. In 1980, Julie received her Bachelor of Music degree in Accordion at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, married Juha from Finland, and they lived in Helsinki for the next five years. They moved back to the States in 1985. Julie is a member of the accordion group, The International Trio (Julie, Juha, and Kevin Friedrich) that has toured in Finland, New Zealand, Estonia and the USA.  Julie runs a very successful music studio in Overland Park, KS., where she teaches accordion and piano to students five years to adult. Julie serves on the Board of Directors of the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts. She is a past president of Federated Teachers of Fine Arts., Inc. and the Mid-America Music Association (M.A.M.A.) 

Melody Stroth: (Piano) – Melody Stroth holds a degree piano performance from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Master of Music degree from UMKC Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Richard Cass. Melody was named the Kansas Music Teacher Association's Teacher of the Year, and the 2010 Missouri Federation of Music Club's Church Musician of the Year. She operates a large private music studio in Overland Park, Kansas, her students having won many prestigious state and national awards. Stroth was the first winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs's Ouida Keck award, given to a teacher who demonstrates superior teaching in the private studio. Stroth is co-organist/pianist at Prairie Baptist Church in Shawnee Mission, Kan., serves as the national chairperson for the NFMC Angie Greer Music in Poetry award, is a past president of the UMKC Conservatory Alumni Board of Directors, and a member of Federated Teachers of Music and Fine Arts of Greater Kansas City.

Dee Sligar:  (Bass Keys) Dee began studying the accordion at the UMKC Conservatory at the age of twelve. She continued studying accordion through college and now her music career is culminating with the Vivant! adventure. Now she is the anchor for Vivant! on Bass Keys, playing a Korg Synthesizer and various other fun toys.  Dee had the privilege of touring with a USO tour through Europe and the Azores, was a featured artist with the Young Audiences National Program, and played lots of gigs through the years. She is Secretary-Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts. Dee is a passionate gardener, loves great food, wine, laughter and fun people...not necessarily in that order.

Janne Silfverberg:
(Trombone/Congas/Timbales) Janne is a Kansas City native of Finnish descent. He played the accordion for a few years before switching to the trombone in the 4th grade. Janne graduated from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC with a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance and is a professional trombonist who also teaches trombone in the KC metro area. Janne is following in the footsteps of his father to become a piano and accordion technician. He is busy tuning pianos and servicing accordions for his growing clientele in Kansas City. Janne is also the accomplished conga and timbale player that adds that Latin buzz to Vivant's music. 

Brian Steever: (Drums) Brian is a Kansas City jazz drummer who has made an impact on the jazz scene in the relatively short time that he has been in Kansas City. A graduate in Jazz Performance at UMKC, Brian studied extensively with Bobby Watson and Brandon Draper at the Conservatory. He was named a National Finalist in the 2008 Grammy Jazz Band. Brian has also studied under the likes of Vanguard Jazz Orchestra drummer John Riley, Arts and Crafts Quartet legend Matt Wilson, New York saxophonist Dave Pietro, drummer Tommy Crane, and bassist Curtis Lundy. Steever has played professionally in Missouri since high school, starting out in his hometown of Jefferson City. Brian’s amazing talent is the drive behind Vivant’s unique rhythmic and energetic sound. 

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  • Pat Wade

    Pat Wade High Point, NC

    Karen, What a great and fun evening to share the stage with VIVANT in Ft. Scott, Kansas on Sept. 29, 2011. Yes, I loved performing and sharing the stage with you guys! It was fun going home to Ft. Scott, and thanks for the kind words. Have a great rest of the year, and if you need me, just say "PLAY IT AGAIN, PAT" You'all have a bright future!! Pat Wade, pianist and vocalist 4013 Berkshire Court High Point, NC 27265 pianopat@triad.rr.com
    Karen,

    What a great and fun evening to share the stage with VIVANT in Ft. Scott, Kansas on Sept. 29, 2011. Yes, I loved performing and sharing the stage with you guys! It was fun going home to Ft. Scott, and thanks for the kind words. Have a great rest of the year, and if you need me, just say "PLAY IT AGAIN, PAT" You'all have a bright future!!

    Pat Wade, pianist and vocalist
    4013 Berkshire Court
    High Point, NC 27265
    pianopat@triad.rr.com
  • WI Fans!!

    WI Fans!! Milwaukee Club

    We heard you play last Monday - GREAT! Loved ALL the different songs and humor! Very entertaining.....your zeal for the accordion shines through and your talent is amazing. Thank you for sharing your music with us here in Wisconsin. We bought 2 CD's - so enjoyable!
    We heard you play last Monday - GREAT! Loved ALL the different songs and humor! Very entertaining.....your zeal for the accordion shines through and your talent is amazing. Thank you for sharing your music with us here in Wisconsin. We bought 2 CD's - so enjoyable!
  • Sue Wiggins

    Sue Wiggins KC

    WOW! The Music and Merlot concert was FANTASTIC!! From the very moment we walked into the lobby I knew we were in for a fun night. The wine selection was superb, but the music and entertainment is what made the night a hit. Mr. Lipovac was inspiring! I saw him when I was a little girl in Strawberry Hill - great memories, but wonderful playing by him.....STILL! I had never heard Vivant!, but I was blown away. I sincerely did not know the accordion could do such a vast array of music. Ms. Fremar, you do wonderful arrangements and your joy of performing is contagious. All the members were great entertainers! We could not believe the evening was over so quickly. We are fans and will keep following your website, so we can come to your next event!!
    WOW! The Music and Merlot concert was FANTASTIC!! From the very moment we walked into the lobby I knew we were in for a fun night. The wine selection was superb, but the music and entertainment is what made the night a hit. Mr. Lipovac was inspiring! I saw him when I was a little girl in Strawberry Hill - great memories, but wonderful playing by him.....STILL! I had never heard Vivant!, but I was blown away. I sincerely did not know the accordion could do such a vast array of music. Ms. Fremar, you do wonderful arrangements and your joy of performing is contagious. All the members were great entertainers! We could not believe the evening was over so quickly. We are fans and will keep following your website, so we can come to your next event!!
  • JACK SWENNINGSEN

    JACK SWENNINGSEN ST.PETERSBURG, FL.

    God, what have I missed with your groups! This is Jack who went to Sweden with the AAA bunch in 1974 and took a color photo of you up on the stage winning the event and sent it to JoAnn Sommers some years ago...Julio Guillieti was there too at this Coupe Mondiale. I am only 94 and still playing!MY VERY BEST REGARDS TO THE WORLD'S GREATEST...sez ole jack.
    God, what have I missed with your groups! This is Jack who went to Sweden with the AAA bunch in 1974 and took a color photo of you up on the stage winning the event and sent it to JoAnn Sommers some years ago...Julio Guillieti was there too at this Coupe Mondiale. I am only 94 and still playing!MY VERY BEST REGARDS TO THE WORLD'S GREATEST...sez ole jack.
  • Jerry Hedrick

    Jerry Hedrick Olathe

    To the entire band. Excellent! Dee, you guys are awesome! Weekends are tough for us to get out,so please let me know if you guys play any time M-F as Radonna and I would love to see you guys perform.:)
    To the entire band. Excellent! Dee, you guys are awesome! Weekends are tough for us to get out,so please let me know if you guys play any time M-F as Radonna and I would love to see you guys perform.smile
  • Linn

    Linn USA

    Thanks for adding the Vivant! downloads - I LOVE YOUR MUSIC!! :agree:
    Thanks for adding the Vivant! downloads - I LOVE YOUR MUSIC!! agree
  • M.A.M.A. - Randy

    M.A.M.A. - Randy St. Louis

    Saw you show today - WOW! You guys are awesome! My folks and I were so amazed at what you could do with a couple of accordions and some keyboards. Loved the drummer and the trombone guy was great to. Hope we get to hear you sometime soon!
    Saw you show today - WOW! You guys are awesome! My folks and I were so amazed at what you could do with a couple of accordions and some keyboards. Loved the drummer and the trombone guy was great to. Hope we get to hear you sometime soon!
  • Michele

    Michele Oregon

    Wonderful concert with Grayson. So glad we were finally able to hear Vivant! Thanks for all you do to contribute to excellence and musical integrity in accordion performance. The accordion world needs you so keep on keepin'on!
    Wonderful concert with Grayson. So glad we were finally able
    to hear Vivant! Thanks for all you do to contribute to
    excellence and musical integrity in accordion performance. The
    accordion world needs you so keep on keepin'on!
  • New Vivant! Fan

    New Vivant! Fan St. Joseph, MO

    BTW - WHERE and WHEN do we get to hear you again!! Please keep us posted!
    BTW - WHERE and WHEN do we get to hear you again!! Please keep us posted!
  • New Vivant! Fan

    New Vivant! Fan St. Joseph, MO

    We came last Sunday to the absolutely delightful concert at Unity. Also in our party were 3 people that had never heard accordion other than polkafests, etc. They were SHOCKED and AMAZED at the splendid range of the music presented at the concert. Thank you for bringing Grayson to KC - what a delightful and talented young man! However, for us, Vivant! was the icing on the cake. You are each so incredibly talented. We thoroughly enjoyed every note of the concert! We did not want it to end - so now we just listen over and over the the fantastic CD. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon well spent on the beautiful Plaza!
    We came last Sunday to the absolutely delightful concert at Unity. Also in our party were 3 people that had never heard accordion other than polkafests, etc. They were SHOCKED and AMAZED at the splendid range of the music presented at the concert. Thank you for bringing Grayson to KC - what a delightful and talented young man! However, for us, Vivant! was the icing on the cake. You are each so incredibly talented. We thoroughly enjoyed every note of the concert! We did not want it to end - so now we just listen over and over the the fantastic CD. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon well spent on the beautiful Plaza!

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