Saturday night’s performance by Summa Totius at the Elks Theater proves that the sum can be greater than its parts.This popular local band which traces its roots in the Prescott music scene to 2004, drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to downtown’s premier venue. Summa Totius, which is Latin for the sum of all parts, specializes in instrumental music that blends Latin and flamenco, with blues, jazz and rock.Their Saturday night show of 18 mostly original works demonstrated the band’s masterly fusion of musical genres.
The founders of Summa Totius, Drew Hall and Anton Teschner, are both accomplished guitarists who have been playing together since 1999. Hall’s flair for intricate rhythms and virtuoso flourishes was on full display. Teschner also showcased pyrotechnics along with flamenco accents and a sustained melodic line. Both are clearly top notch musicians who understand counterpoint and the principles of music composition. Their blend of styles and genres creates an alchemy of pop music that is not only accessible but sophisticated and deeply thoughtful.
Saturday night’s showcasing of many original works proves that the members of Summa Totius have been working hard on new material since their first performance at the Elks Theater in November 2018. The duo of Hall and Teschner has now expanded to four musicians with the addition of Emmy Award winning bassist Mahlon Hawk, and the accomplished recording artist and performer, Gigi Gonaway, whose drum solos repeatedly brought the audience to their feet. A surprise guest appearance on several sets by Phoenix based tenor sax player, Alex Holland, was a special treat. All in all, the talent and originality of this band was on fine display. This was a night of pop music taken to a higher level.
A special shout out goes to another hometown duo, Nick Canuel and Sean McDermott, who opened the show with a set of 10 mostly original songs. Blending soft rock with folk and western influences, their original compositions such as “Time Stands Still”, “Take Me to the River” and “Waiting on You”, were not only crowd pleasers, but demonstrate the richness of Prescott’s local music scene. Judging from their enthusiastic audience reception, these talented young artists are a duo to watch for. Sean has a CD in release and Nick’s is coming soon. Check out their Facebook pages for the dates and venues of future appearances.
Nick Canuel, fan David Stringer, and Sean McDermott