DePue Brothers return with ‘Grassical’ Christmas concert

Bob Galuski, Editor-in-chief

Putting a twist on the traditional notes of bluegrass music, the DePue Brothers Band will make its return to Eastern, interweaving the genres of classical and rock into bluegrass.

As part of the Doudna Fine Arts Center’s “Best Of” series, the DePue Brothers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Dvorak Concert Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center. Tickets are on sale for $15 for general audience members, $12 for seniors and $7 for students.

The DePue Brothers Band first struck a chord in the Doudna in 2011, and was voted as one of the acts that needed to return.

And while the band members will play songs from other albums, they will help Eastern ring in the holiday season with selections from their Christmas album, “When It’s Christmas Time,” which features their own take on songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.”

The term the band uses to describe its genre is “Grassical,” which they probably coined themselves, but it fits the combination of bluegrass and classical music with elements of jazz, blues and rock, said Dan Crews, the director of patron services at Doudna.

And with this term coined, the DePue Brothers Band is set to make its reappearance at Eastern with “A Magical Grassical Christmas.”

Crews said when the Doudna staff set out to do a “Best Of” series, the plan didn’t necessarily require having a holiday-themed concert at the end of the semester, but it worked out that way.

“We started contacting agents for availability,” he said. “And since we have four venues, three performing venues since it’s hard to get a lot of people into the Black Box Theatre, it was like pulling together a puzzle. All the pieces came together.”

The band is composed of Wallace DePue, the lead vocalist and violinist; Jason DePue, on violins and vocals; Zachary DePue, on violin; Don Liuzzi, on percussion and vocals; Mark Cosgrove, on guitar and vocals; Mike Munford, on banjo and Kevin MacConnell, on bass.

The DuPue Brothers family has been making music together for more than 25 years.

While they still play together, each of the brothers have branched off into other musical careers.

Wallace DePue is a classical violinist who has toured with John Williams’ Star Wars National Tour Orchestra, and he has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and is the assistant concertmaster of the Philly Pops.

Jason DePue is a member of the first violin section of The Philadelphia Orchestra and former concertmaster of the New York String Seminar. He is also the founder of the Guarneri Quartet Room in Philadelphia.

Crews said while the “Best Of” series is new to the Doudna this year, it is unlikely to be a yearly thing, and will make a comeback every few years.

“But you never know,” he said. “People can’t get enough of some artists. But we’ll still be beating the bushes, looking around for new artists that are a good match for us.”

 

Bob Galuski can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]