Sunday, June 24, 2007

Violin and Viola: Calebe Arruda and Earl Dean Alexander

Calebe and Earl playing

Interview with Calebe and Earl

Location: Union Square Station (Calebe's interview), Grand Central Station lower level by the coffee bar (performance)
Artists: Calebe Arruda (violin), Earl Dean Alexander (viola)
Medium: Classical violin

After 25 years Calebe still can’t pin down the reason he came to New York, “the music, I guess” is his answer as he shrugs. Calebe comes from Rio di Janero, Brazil. After a little warming up, though, he explains that he left Brazil when he was 19 because “I could not be a musician in Brazil,” citing that 25 years ago things were very different from today.

A classical Spanish guitar player since the age of eight, Calebe decided to branch out and began to teach himself violin five years ago. Now he splits his time between the two, playing the guitar, which has mastered, and challenging himself with the violin, which he is in the process of mastering.

Calebe has been playing in the subway for about 22 or 23 years but also plays gigs, including weddings, parties and the like. He also teaches music. Caleb plays in the subway for mostly for self-promotion and to meet people. He likes playing in the subway because it’s “contact with real life. In a concert people put on a mask.”

Influences: Bach

Earl Dean Alexander is from Brooklyn. Although he started on the violin when he was 10 and a half, Earl plays viola, which he’s been studying since he was 15, with Caleb. Earl studied violin under the tutelage of Sylvia Bedford Anderson and studied viola at the Henry Street Music house under Alexander Richter who was assisted by Manny Molton.

Earl met Caleb at the Mendelssohn night club where Caleb asked him to coach him on his violin. After working together for a while Caleb invited Earl to play with him through Music Under New York. Although he would rather be playing the violin (his first instrument), Earl says that “it’s more a credit to [Caleb] to play the viola, so I never complain about it.”

Earl has “got a lot of satisfaction out [playing in the subway]” but his main job is as Assistant Minister of Music at Bethany United Methodist Church and as an accompanist at Song Service and Sabbath School at Mount of Olive Methodist Church. For both he plays the piano, violin and viola.

Like what you hear? Check out
Caleb’s influences – Bach

Really like what you hear? See Earl Dean Alexander play
975 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn - Prayer Service Wednesday evenings at 7:15; Song Service Saturdays at 9:15 and Sabbath School at 9:30


Fabiana said...

Caleb, sou eu, o Neli.Espero seu contato. Por favor pode me mandar seu e-mail? Mande para Aguardo por notícias suas.

Fabiana said...

Hi, my name is Neli. I am Caleb's friend. I am from Brazil and would like to talk to Caleb. Please, send me news. Write to This is my girlfriend`s e-mail. Thank you.

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ary fernandes said...

Calebre , Sou eu o Ary , que morou em Santíssimo , quando você vier ao Rio , liga para mim , 22 988045334 , vai ficar aqui em casa e pegar uma praia , e curtir numa
Bia , abraços