Maybe you’ve seen Chris Fossek performing in Ty Lounge at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, or perhaps you caught him accompanying a dance at the Granada with State Street Ballet. Whatever the venue, one thing’s for certain — you won’t forget the big man with the sweet-sounding classical guitar. It’s been a little more than a year since this Santa Barbara native dropped his first album, Camino Cielo, and on Friday, August 10, he and three other like-minded, eclectic musicians plan to take things to another level when they appear as Chris Fossek & Friends in concert at Ensemble’s New Vic (33 W. Victoria St.).
Until now, the easiest way to concentrate on Fossek’s music has been by listening to the album or checking out one of his YouTube clips, but on Friday, that’s all going to change, as he steps into the spotlight for his debut as leader in the swanky and focused confines of a traditional theater. No more competing with conversations and drink orders; now it will just be the players and the music — and, of course, since this is Chris Fossek we are talking about, some dance. His wife, Leila Drake Fossek, a star dancer with State Street Ballet (SSB), will be on hand to perform a solo and a duet with fellow SSB dancer James Folsom, both choreographed to Fossek’s original music. With his unique blend of classical, Spanish, folk, Eastern European, and rock influences, the compositions Fossek introduces with Peter Slocombe on sax, longtime Music Academy faculty member Paul Merkelo on trumpet, and percussionist Nate Keezer are sure to be inspired and imaginative. Through Fossek’s music, the open-sky spirit of Camino Cielo will make its way downtown and bring a little of our distinctive Santa Barbara midsummer night magic along with it.