Thirty days of November have passed, and for some of them, the Vacaville Museum — a normally staid institution with informative and insightful exhibits about Solano County’s history — is becoming a music mecca.
Museum leaders, who recently hosted the ongoing show “Fruit of the Vine: A Grape Story,” have partnered with numerous organizations and artists to continue their sold-out “Music in the Museum” concert series.
Contemporary fado artist Ramana Vieira, a Vacaville resident who has performed internationally and released several recordings of what is sometimes referred to as “Portuguese blues,” will perform at the museum, 213 Buck Ave., on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. appear.
Traditionally associated with pubs and cafes, Fado is known for its expressive and deeply melancholic flavors. The lyrics often tell stories of lost loved ones and fishermen who never returned home to their wives and families.
Vieira sings some of the old fado classics, particularly tunes made famous by Amalia Rodrigues, also known as the Queen of Fado, but she also sings and records music ranging from haunting ballads and playful songs to her own original compositions and contemporary Fado is enough.
The series continues November 17 at 7 p.m. with the Thalea String Quartet in collaboration with Chamber Music at Rancho Flaubert.
Its name is pronounced “Tah-lee-ah,” from the Greek word Thaleia, meaning “to flourish, to flourish.” The quartet, by all accounts, brings a finely tuned artistic commitment – and no small amount of fun – to their shows.
Their program is expected to include works from the last decade that celebrate diverse musical traditions from around the world, as well as Beethoven’s String Quartet, his final work composed a year before his death in 1827.
But concertgoers can also hear the quartet’s version of “Shortnin’ Bread,” a 19th-century American novelty, or “Bigger Blues (String Quartet No. 5),” both of which put a new spin on traditional notions of string quartet music.
The Thalea String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe and China, including at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. They have shared the stage with chamber music luminaries such as Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, acclaimed Canadian band BADBADNOTGOOD and visionary R&B artist Charlotte Day Wilson. Thalea is currently a Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet at the University of Maryland.
Tickets for the Ramana Vieira and The Thalea String Quartet shows are available online at vacavillemuseum.org/events. Single tickets are $35 per person.
But in addition to the music in November, there are also two fundraisers at the museum, music to the ears of a nonprofit charitable group.
In collaboration with Festival of Trees in support of Opportunity House, the museum will be the host site for this annual holiday tradition.
Starting Sunday, decorated Christmas trees throughout the gallery and museum lobby will be auctioned off to benefit Opportunity House, the city’s homeless shelter. The trees will be on display until November 28th. Regular museum opening hours: Thursday to Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
And there’s more:
The museum will also host “Cocktails for a Cause” on November 16th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., where ticket holders can enjoy drinks from eight different bartenders and vote on their favorite. It will then be presented at the Festival of Trees gala on November 27th.
Tickets can be purchased at festivaloftrees-opportunityhouse.com.
For more information, call (707) 447-4513 or visit www.vacavillemuseum.org.