A Little Tea Music

The erhu, or Chinese violin, is a strange and ancient-looking instrument, with two strings along a long, narrow neck attached to a sextagonal sound box covered in snakeskin. It’s played with a horsehair bow that slides between the strings, and, like the Western violin, is a squeaky-squawky mess in the hands of a novice. In the hands of an expert, however, it can make sounds you wouldn’t think possible from something so simple and primitive-looking. And what in the world could be more Chinese than that?

Area musicians Brian Mullins and Mike Fitzmaurice aren’t Chinese, but they know a thing or two about taking a bow. And together they are Erhoopla, an erhu duo that plays music both traditional and not-so. The talented twosome will perform a variety of tunes, including some jazz and original compositions, at 7 p.m. tonight in the calm and collected confines of the Seven Cups tea room, 1882 South Pearl Street, where you can appreciate erhu over a cup of Huang Zhi Xiang Dan Cong Oolong or Little Rose Puer Black Tuo Cha. Mmmmm. Contemplative.

Admission is free; get info at www.sevencupsdenver.com or call 303-777-2877.
Wed., Jan. 20, 7 p.m., 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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