THE SAPPHIRE TRIO ®
The Sapphire Trio
Maxine Ramey, clarinet
Margaret Nichols-Baldridge, violin
Jody Graves, piano
Concerts, Master Classes, School Shows, Festival Adjudicators, International Tours and Cultural Ambassadors
The Sapphire Trio was formed in 1998 to explore both the standard and newly created literature for clarinet, violin and piano, bringing to the concert stage the master works that exist in the repertoire. The artists are university faculty members from the Pacific Northwest-USA, and are active as soloists, chamber musicians, master teachers and clinicians, appearing regularly in performances and festivals throughout the Northwest region, the United States, and abroad. Their concerts feature a wide range of repertoire from Arutiunian to Schickele, and often include multi-media presentations. The Sapphire Trio has been featured as the headline performance for both national and international conferences. An exciting part of their mission is to serve as cultural ambassadors in international concert events and exchanges. The Sapphire Trio is committed to continuing this legacy of fine art music, celebrating its universal language across the globe, and upholding the art of chamber music as an exciting and dynamic performance genre. Their concerts include a wide range of new works, traditional works and transcriptions, along with stories and vignettes about the composers and the music. In 2006 the Sapphire Trio served as Cultural Ambassadors for the United States in the Persian Gulf, performing concerts and speaking about American music in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. They have maintained an international touring schedule since 1999. They have also served as adjudicators for the Palestinian National Music Festival in 2010 and 2012, and have toured and performed in Jerusalem and the West Bank region each season since 2010. They have also been featured headline performers for the Music Teachers National Association conference, (2005) and the International Clarinet Festival in Tokyo. (2005) In 2013 they performed for the ICF conference in Assisi, Italy, and performed and gave a presentation on "Women in the Arts" at the International Clarinet Festival in Baton Rouge, LA, 2014.
The press reviews have called their performances “exciting…imaginative and compelling” (The Peninsula/Qatar, 2006) and that sponsored tour was acclaimed by the U.S. State Department as the ‘Number One’ international tour event of the season.
Women in the Arts: Persian Gulf and Palestine - Arts on the Edge!
"This session in which Dr. Maxine Ramey discussed her calling and development of the Sapphire Trio (cl, vln, pn) hit particularly close to home for me as a fellow female who may one day deploy to the Middle East. They truly use music as the universal language to break down social and cultural barriers. In 2006 the trio was officially identified as a U.S. State Department ‘Cultural Ambassador’ and they traveled to the Persian Gulf that same year to perform concerts and give master classes both within the local community
and at various American Embassies.
While there, Sapphire Trio performed and engaged in their mission to serve using music to connect with people that in some cases have a negative view of Americans, women in the arts, and Western music. Their audiences held many different religious beliefs and belonged to a full range of social classes from Arabic royalty to Bedouin families.
To say that the core of Sapphire Trio’s mission is ‘risk-taking’ is an understatement. I do not know many musicians that would leave the comforts of the Western World to engage in the task of changing perception. Dr. Ramey and her colleagues are certainly succeeding at doing this very thing by utilizing their art to bring peace, to empower, and to unify."
–Notes by Senior Airman Jennifer M. Daffinee - ICA August 2, 2014
“Veterans of collaborative performance, The Sapphire Trio (Maxine Ramey-clarinet, Margaret Baldridge-violin, Jody Graves-piano) performed the first movement of Serenade for Three by Peter Schickele. Pristine in execution, the audience marveled at the communicative power and ease at which the group performs. Established in the late ’90s, The Sapphire Trio has had many notable performances, making ClarinetFest2014 one of many stops in their highly successful career as chamber musicians and entrepreneurs.”
– International Clarinet Festival/July 30, 2014 by Melissa Morales
“Sensitive performance of Thomas Christian David’s
Trio No. I” - THE CLARINET
“They dazzled the audience with a performance of the Suite by Alexander Arutiunian.”
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