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"A dynamic group musically and visually... An engaging and versatile vocalist, Janet Rayor also inhabits the music as a dancer, an actress, and a clown... thoroughly entertaining."

Jane Prancan, Qwest Foundation director, Denver Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum exhibit sponsor

Full Rouge Ensemble
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      Rouge plays nostalgic popular music of France and modern originals--think Edith Piaf to Pink Martini! Named red for vibrancy and passion, Rouge developed out of a chance viewing of a Josephine Baker movies and a mask and mime mentor playing Edith Piaf tunes on her concertina. Started in 1998, top international musicians based in the Northwest create this creative ensemble of vocals, violin, accordion, guitar, and acoustic bass. Racing heart waltzes, romantic ballads, and happy jazz-swings characterize the music, though Rouge adds acoustic surf rock and other surprises to the mix! High style and visual interest and engagement rule the day (or night!) for this group.

Rouge is made of a team of internationally touring musicians based in the Northwest, all composers with world, classical and jazz chops! Vocalist-dancer Janet Rayor, the theatrical presence, whose sensuous voice has graced film and theatre recordings, who founded the highly successful group, and who is helping to popularize classic French music and dance in the US; accordionist Steve Rice, a versatile and creative jazz artist who tours with The Harry James Orchestra, won the Oscar Peterson Award at Berklee College, and whose songs are appearing around the world in film, tv, and commercials; violinist Ruthie Dornfeld who performs yearly in France with French guitarist Patrick Desaunay and who has won many grants to record and perform from Finland to Brazil; Cary Black, stand-out bassist who has recorded prolifically and played luminaries including Ernestine Anderson, The Kingston Trio, and Dan Hicks; and guitarist Dave Bartley who has played with Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and composes extensively for contra band KGB. Together as Rouge, they create an unforgettable experience of cobblestone France that has touched people of all ages with their playful style around the country--Denver Art Museum to Los Angeles's Red Cat Theatre to Grand Rapids' Grand Valley State University to Seattle's Triple Door.


Red Cat Theatre * Choochokam Festival * Microsoft * KBCS * City of Kenmore Summer Concerts * American Heart Association Ball * Canterbury Faire * CenterStage Spokane * Viscount * Denver Art Museum * Columbia Tower Club * Maximilien's * KING FM * 5th Avenue Theatre * Cystic Fibrosis Foundation * Seattle Out to Lunch * Mercer Isl. Mostly Music Concerts * Arboretum * The Ruins * Benaroya Founders Hall * Portland Community College * Olympic Four Seasons

THE GROUP

Rouge has concertized at Panida Theatre in Idaho, Grand Valley State University Michigan, Everett Performing Arts Center, Benaroya Founders Hall, San Juan Theatre & Arts Ctr., CenterStage Spokane, Mercer Island Music in the Parks, Kenmore Concert Series, Juan de Fuca Festival of Arts, Art on the Green Couer D'Alene, Choochokam Arts Festival, Portland's Viscount Ballroom, and the KBCS Stage at NW Folklife Festival.

Rouge has opened major exhibits at LA's Red Cat Theatre of the Walt Disney Concert Complex, Denver Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, MaryHill Art Museum at the Columbia Gorge, and Holter Art Museum in Montana.

Corporate parties, auctions, and weddings have included Microsoft, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Joseph's Hospital Idaho, Columbia Towers, The Ruins, Sunset Club, Sheraton, Westin, Olympic Four Seasons, and many others.

THE MUSICIANS:

Janet has performed all over the USA and Europe. She began singing solos at 9 and vocal training at 11 years old. Originally primarily an actress and dancer who sang, Janet switched back to music in 1995 when she rediscovered French cabaret music. Though Rouge's French music is "home," Janet debuted the comedy mime role for Seattle Opera's 2008 "Pagliacci," sang Witch Daintymouth for a Northwest Opera in the Schools Etc. tour, periodically fronts the swinging "Ruby Slippers," and is a professional stilt-dancer. Besides a full performance schedule, she loves dancing socially and teaching voice.

Violinist Ruthie Dornfeld has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, and Brazil as a soloist and with groups including The American Cafe Orchestra, Freshet, and Le Bon Vent. Her expressive playing reflects a broad background of classical violin, traditional fiddle styles ranging from American to Eastern European, and jazz. ¬Y´Besides being a member of Rouge, Ruthie plays traditional dance music from central France with accordionist Jeremiah McLane, Brazilian choros and Venezuelan waltzes with guitarist John Miller, and has recently taken up the medieval vielle. She enjoys studying French and making art in her spare time. www.ruthiedornfeld.com

Accordionist Steve Rice is well known in the Northwest for his strong jazz chops, coloristic improvisation style, and good humor. He has toured and recorded extensively with jazz, Klezmer, Cajun, and folkloric groups including "The Mazeltones," "Bochinche," and "Shawn's Kugel." He won the Oscar Peterson Award at Berklee College of Music for jazz piano and tours internationally with The Harry James Orchestra. A published composer, he contributes, among others, to "Rouge," "Tony & the Goombas," and "Club Brulant." He has a wide range of interests including antiquing, roller-blading, and studying other cultures.

Guitarist Dave Bartley also plays mandolin, cittern, and other stringed instruments. He's a prolific composer who revels in wide variety of genres from swing to Celtic to Greek Rebetika, playing with such bands as KGB, Bag o'Tricks, Ruby Slippers, Valse Cafe Orchestra, Pasatempo, and the Gina Sala Ensemble. He has also performed with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. He has several recordings and has toured throughout the US, Europe and Australia. He sets aside time each summer to go hiking with his wife, Mary.

Bassist Cary Black's performance and recording credits include work with Ernestine Anderson, The Kingston Trio, Dan Hicks, Laurie Lewis, Laurindo Almeida, Frankie Avalon, Tex Beneke, Cheryl Bentyne (Manhattan Transfer), The Boys of the Lough, Bob Brookmeyer, Cyd Charisse, Nokie Edwards (Ventures), Mitzi Gaynor, The Grand Ol' Opry, Richard Harris, Garrison Keillor, Frankie Laine, Laura Love, Rose Maddox, Mark Murphy, Mollie O'Brien, Van Dyke Parks, Johnny Ray, Joan Rivers, Diane Schuur, Kay Starr, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Ernie Watts, and Glen Yarbrough. At home in so many musical genres, Cary, also a producer and teacher, has been described by Alan Senauke in "Sing Out!" magazine as "a musician's musician"!

Guitarist Julian Catford has performed in Mallorca, Spain; Scotland, Tahiti, Mexico, and appeared as a guest artist on television. He has accompanied many notables including Rosemary Clooney, Robert Merrill, and Cab Calloway. He is a prolific composer and has made multiple recordings. An inspired musician, Julian has studied with major Brazilian musicians including Arnaldinho do Cavaco and classical guitar with Guillermo Fierens (student of Segovia).

Violinist Paul Elliott has toured with Michelle Shocked and his recording credits include film, television, radio and CDs, including Scott Nygaard's "No Hurry" on Rounder Records and his original jazz recordings with"Catwalk."