The Taos Art Museum hosts “Club Fechin,” its annual gala fundraiser Saturday (Aug. 25) at 5:30 p.m.
If you haven’t attended before, the atmosphere is elegant and lively. The museum grounds are tented, and one back patio holds the live auction. The silent auction and dinner for 200 will be in the Fechin House, 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
Regular tickets are $175 and a range of sponsorships are available. Visit taosartmuseum.org/gala-club-fechin.html to purchase tickets and view the exceptional array of art and other items for live and silent auction. The live bidding will be conducted by Richard Lampert of Santa Fe’s Zaplin Lampert Gallery. Cindy Atkins of Taos Art Museum describes the bid selection as “incomparable.”
On the grounds in front of the house, guests will be wowed by a huge, ornately decorated tent. This is the setting for Ilya Serov’s jazz performance.
While visiting California last summer, Atkins saw Serov perform for the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. “I knew immediately he would be a perfect fit for our event and am thrilled he agreed to travel to Taos,” she said.
Serov’s biography states he is a young jazz musician with an old soul. He classically trained at the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory and is an accomplished trumpet player and vocalist.
His trumpet playing is skillful and insistent. His suave voice and easy stage manner (as well as baby blue eyes) remind one of Frank Sinatra. See for yourself by visiting Serov’s YouTube channel youtube.com/user/ilyaserovmusic.
“In Taos, I’m going to be performing with a local band from New Mexico. It will be a five-piece band, a quintet, for a smaller, more intimate setting. We’re going to do all of the famous classic standards, like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole,” said Serov by phone from Los Angeles.
This is Serov’s first visit to Taos. From a producer friend in Los Angeles, he’s heard a lot about Taos and heard it described as a “magical” place. “He told me to try sopapillas,” said Serov.
Jazz has a strong following in Taos, and jazz lovers will delight in Serov’s fresh performances of classic jazz hits.
“I’m definitely going to do ‘Route 66.’ That’s one of the featured songs on my album that’s going to be released in early September. I love that song and try to do it in all my shows,” Serov said.
Serov’s new album, “Back in Time,” to be released later this year, is an homage to the big-band era and features classic tunes that showcase both his musical chops and vocal interpretive skills. “I just received the physical CDs. At the gala, people can purchase and have the CD signed by me before the official release,” Serov said. The CDs are $20, credit or cash.
He will also have additional information about his performances as well as email sign-up cards.
One of the songs on the album is the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra hit, “Tangerine.” Serov collaborates with Grammy Award-winning percussionist Poncho Sanchez on the piece. In a statement Sanchez said: “Ilya is a great, great trumpet player and I love his voice.”
Serov has been enjoying some successes. In 2018, he performed on the Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Jazz Cruise, playing solo shows and appearing with musicians, such as Koz, Michael Lington, David Benoit, Larry Graham, Peter White and Jonathan Butler. Koz invited Serov to rejoin the cruise in 2019 for ports in Australia.
Serov said he chose jazz at a young age after he heard rock ‘n’ roll. “I was drawn to rock-and-roll,” he said. “I had that phase. I even liked heavy metal for a brief amount of time. Once I went to college, my classical career started expanding. After a few years when you’re in that surrounding, you get trained more and more, and you get accustomed to the composition and the depth of jazz music. You start understanding and appreciating it. Rock music slowly faded back. I still had an interest, but I wanted something with a little bit more of the musicianship – not just the energy, but the art and the craft.”
For day-to-day operations, the Taos Art Museum funds its expenses with admission and event revenues. “The money raised from this fundraiser is key in allowing us to maintain the property and continue our expanded programming. One-hundred-year-old adobes are expensive,” said Atkins.