Viola Madness at Metropolis Cafe

Located in Edgewater, one of the country’s most eclectic locales, the Metropolis Café is relaxed and without attitude. Our customers come from all walks of life and we love ‘em all. And they seem to love our coffee and tea, our sweet and savory bites, and our accomplished vegan menu. Did we mention art, music…? Stop by–we’ll fill you in.

Roger Chase

Max Raimi

Yokiko Ogura

Harmonious takes on new meaning (blended with madness!?!) at Metropolis Cafe on Dec. 5 when up to six violas, that most harmonious of orchestral instruments, spring to life.

Come by Metropolis Cafe on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. for this family-friendly musical affair (RSVP on Facebook). Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) violist Max Raimi, brother and uncle to Metropolis Coffee Company co-founders Jeff and Tony Dreyfuss, will bring world-class classical music to life. We’re proud to be the setting for such a cool event. Max is excited, too: “So often in classical music there is a barrier between performers and audience, but in a situation like this we are able to interact with the audience and the audience is able to interact very directly with the music.” Audience participation encouraged, says Raimi.

Raimi will play along with fellow CSO violist Yukiko Ogura, and they’ll be joined by Roger Chase, a world-renowned British violist currently on faculty at Roosevelt University here in Chicago.

They will play a family-friendly program featuring an all-viola version of “The Star Spangled Banner” that was featured at Chicago Bulls games in the Michael Jordan glory days and a unique take on Christmas carols, as you have never heard them.

Three young violists will join the ensemble for your only chance in a lifetime to hear six-viola versions of the old “Spiderman” TV jingle and “Mr. Sandman,” transcendently ethereal in viola sonorities.  Admission is free, although you are encouraged to purchase some delicious Metropolis Coffee.  A unique event at a unique venue—don’t miss it!

More from Mr. Raimi on why you’ll enjoy Viola Madness:

Why the Viola?

“In a way, the viola is the ultimate classical instrument in that it beautifully harmonizes with anything. Most instruments blend well with other instruments or they don’t. The viola fits into the texture and sound of almost any other instrument, so six of them together is a really beautiful, blended sound. The only thing I can compare it to is a really good choir where they are matching each others’ sound perfectly.”

Beginnings of Metropolis Coffee Company?

“I remember the first time I tasted a batch of coffee Jeff and Tony had roasted and just thought, this is better than anything out there and they’re just starting out. It’s kind of cool in that wherever I go, people are excited to hear I’m part of the family. Tony and I have always been close and I remember visiting Tony in Portland maybe years ago when he was manager at Peet’s Coffee and I’d never known him to be as passionate as something about coffee. Jeff has always been fearless about starting companies. You could just tell they’d make a good combination right away.”

Your Next Gig?

“I’ll be playing a show (also with his CSO colleague, Yukiko Ogura) at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fullerton Hall on Feb. 27. It’s a concert of music mostly composed by me throughout the last 20 years. It’s meant to be played by two violas. I’ve played with Yukiko before and she played brilliantly and I wanted to hear her do it again.”

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