Welcoming Invoke to the Jensen Artists Roster!
We are delighted to welcome Invoke to the Jensen Artists roster for both management and PR!
Described as “...not classical but not, not classical…beautiful, adventurous, American and immediately engaging” (David Srebnik, former SiriusXM Classical Producer), Invoke (Nick Montopoli, violin/banjo/vocals; Zach Matteson, violin/vocals; Karl Mitze, viola/mandolin/vocals; Geoff Manyin, cello/vocals) strives to successfully dodge even the most valiant attempts at genre classification. The multi-instrumental quartet encompasses traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism. Fueled by their passion for storytelling, Invoke weaves all of these styles together to form a unique contemporary repertoire, featuring original works composed by and for the group.
Invoke was selected to be the Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2016-2018. The group also participated in the Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford, and was selected as an Artist in Residence at Strathmore, the Emerging Young Artist Quartet at Interlochen, and the Fellowship String Quartet at Wintergreen Performing Arts. In 2018, Invoke was named a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York, NY, received First Prize at the M-Prize International Chamber Arts competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and received First Prize in the Coltman Competition in Austin, Texas.
Invoke has shared the stage with some of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the country, including the Westerlies, Miró and Ensō Quartets, and the U.S. Army Field Band. Additional performance highlights include Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Green Music Center, a concerto appearance with the Brevard Sinfonia, a residency at the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Institute, and performances on the NextNOW Festival at University of Maryland and Festival Amadeus in Montana. Invoke has also appeared with musicians from various genres, including chamber rock group San Fermin, indie group Never Shout Never, and DC beatboxer/rapper/spoons virtuoso Christylez Bacon.
Invoke’s discography includes their debut album, Souls in the Mud (2015), featuring works by composer Danny Clay as well as original works composed by the group; Furious Creek (2018), featuring original compositions and arrangements; and Fantastic Planet (2021), an original soundtrack composed by the group inspired by the 1973 French animated feature. Fantastic Planet is a companion album to their summer 2019 commission by the Austin Chamber Music Festival. The album features Invoke’s standard instrumentation as well as the addition of the electric cello and the igil, a horsehead fiddle from Tuva, Siberia.
Invoke is strongly committed to championing diverse American voices through commissioning and highlighting new music. Invoke’s ongoing commissioning project, entitled American Postcards, asks composers to pick a time and place in American history and tell its story through the group’s unique artistry. They have commissioned eight new works since 2017, including the latest addition to the initiative, The Lessons of History, by Jonathan Bingham, which premiered in summer 2021.
In addition to American Postcards, Invoke has performed and recorded numerous world premieres, including works by Joseph C. Phillips Jr., Armando Bayolo, and Geoff Sheil. The group’s recording credits appear on bassist/composer Ethan Foote’s solo album Fields Burning, singer/songwriter Marian McLaughlin’s Spirit House, jazz/soul singer Rochelle Rice’s EP Wonder, and many more.
2023-24 Program Offerings
Inside & Out
This program highlights Invoke’s original compositions, extended instrumentation, and roots in the classical repertoire. Centered around their own compositions and arrangements, the program also includes: newly commissioned works, modern compositions by young and adventurous composers, and some classics (often with an Invoke twist). The evening length program is anchored by Invoke’s recent work, Project 131, an homage to Beethoven’s beloved String Quartet No. 13 in C# minor. With Project 131, Invoke explores what Beethoven might have written if he had Invoke’s particular skill set, like the mandolin and banjo, at his disposal.
Jocelyn C Chambers: Enigma for the Night
Invoke: Prohibition Song
Invoke: Souls in the Mud
Jessie Montgomery: Strum
Invoke (after Beethoven): Project 131
American Postcards is Invoke's ongoing commissioning project. For the project, Invoke has asked U.S. composers to write a work reflecting upon a time and place in U.S. history that holds special meaning to them. Presented as an hour-long program without break, Invoke guides the audience through the Postcards with narration and poetry, creating a seamless experience as we move through the pieces. With a current count of eight Postcards (and growing), Invoke works with presenters on crafting an evening length program with a set of Postcards that would have a specific impact on their audiences.
Akshaya Avril Tucker: Our Waters (Walden Pond, MA)
Niko Schroeder: The Ballad of King Gambrinus (Milwaukee, WI)
Jonathan Bingham: The Lessons of History
Takuma Itoh: Picture Brides (Hawaii, U.S.)
Ian Dicke: The Future Made Clear (Los Angeles, CA)
David Kirkland Garland: Tangled Roots (Columbia, SC)
Steven Snowden: Tent Revival (Dallas, TX)
James Parker: Permian Gold (Austin, TX)
Original Movie Scores
As part of the Austin Chamber Music Center’s Summer Festival, Invoke has written and performed three original scores for silent film. Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926, 65 min) is the oldest surviving full-length animation. Invoke’s improvisatory score matches the story’s mix of lighthearted and more sinister themes as Prince Achmed embarks on an epic quest to find love, recover Aladdin’s magic lamp, and save the kingdom from an evil sorcerer.
Invoke ventures further into the depths of their creative capacity for René Laloux’s Fantastic Planet (1973, 71 min), a groundbreaking French/Czech animation which tells the story of the power struggle between the human “Om” civilization and the dominant giant blue alien race, the “Draag.” Ladislas Starevich's The Tale of the Fox (1941, 60 min) is remarkable stop motion animation that influenced many to come (including Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox). Join Invoke on a bluegrassy romp alongside the mischievous Fox as he attempts to fool the Animal Kingdom or die trying.
Invoke will perform during the upcoming APAP Conference in NYC at the Jensen Artists's showcase at Benzaquen Hall at The DiMenna Center on Saturday, January 14, 2022 at 3:00pm. Please RSVP to Gina Meola at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646*536*7864 x4