An original musical production by flugelhornist and composer Dmitri Matheny, THE SNOWCAT is the heartwarming tale of a little girl's search for her wandering white cat on a chilly afternoon.
Each year, Dmitri and friends bring The SnowCat to life in a popular series of performances for families, combining singing, storytelling, live music, and visual art.
"I was born on Christmas Day, and I love the traditional songs and stories of the holiday season," Matheny said. "The SnowCat, however, is our own creation."
The SnowCat is based on the ancient Asian parable of The Oxherder, in which a herdboy's quest to find his missing ox is likened to an individual's journey through life. With origins in India, the parable became popular in medieval Japan and was depicted on 13th century handscrolls as the "Ten Oxherding Songs" or "Ten Oxherding Pictures."
The scrolls traditionally divide the hero's journey into ten stages each illustrated by a circularly framed image and a simple verse. Rendered in the graphic style of Japanese narrative illustration, the story is as simple as a modern day comic or coloring book, yet offers profound lessons of spiritual beauty which still resonate today.
As in the ancient parable, the hero of Dmitri Matheny's The SnowCat finds her companion and returns home to appreciate the beauty of nature, play music, and have fun with friends. She maintains hope, optimism and determination in the face of adversity; discovers the gentle power of sitting quietly; and embodies the spirit of sharing and gratitude that makes the holidays such a magical time.
Dmitri Matheny's THE SNOWCAT
Saturday December 5 @ Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix AZ
Sunday December 6 @ Emerson Art Gallery, Fountain Hills AZ
Saturday December 12 @ Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler AZ
Sunday December 13 @ Berger Performing Arts Center, Tucson AZ
Run time approximately 45 minutes
Includes FREE coloring book
All ages, 3 and up recommended
Holly Pyle vocals
Andrew Gross saxophones
Nick Manson keyboard
T-Bone Sistrunk bass
Dom Moio drums
Dmitri Matheny flugelhorn and storyteller
Critics' Pick: “Top Ten Arts Programs for Families”
—Arizona Republic | AZ Central
“In this spellbinding performance, jazz flugelhornist and composer Dmitri Matheny and his band weave a magical, musical tale of a little girl searching for her missing white cat on a chilly afternoon. Based on a medieval Japanese parable, The SnowCat reveals the spirit of sharing and gratitude that makes the holiday season such a wonderful time of year.”
—Town & Country
SNOWCAT NEWS & REVIEWS
11/29/14 Raising Arizona Kids Magazine The SnowCat Is A Family-Friendly Alternative to Holiday Shows by Lynn Trimble
11/13/14 Arizona Republic 2014-15 Scottsdale Jazz In Concert Series Announced by Ed Masley