Camarada a meeting place for musicians

Beth Ross Buckley has built a thriving ensemble that welcomes locals

By U-T San Diego9 A.M.SEPT. 19, 2013

Flutist Beth Ross Buckley co-founder of Camarada, a select group of standout musicians from a variety of backgrounds.Flutist Beth Ross Buckley co-founder of Camarada, a select group of standout musicians from a variety of backgrounds.

Camarada: “Mingle @ the Mingei”
When: 6 p.m. Sept. 29, Dec. 1, Jan. 26, April 27

Where: Mingei International Museum, Balboa Park

ADMISSION: $30 ($100 for all four concerts)

Phone: (619) 231-3702


If you want to see a cross-section of San Diego’s musicians, Camarada’s Mingle @ the Mingei series is a good place to start.

Camarada, Beth Ross Buckley’s chamber music project, has incorporated musicians from local orchestras (the San Diego Symphony and the Pacific Symphony), UNIVERSITIES (San Diego State and UC San Diego) and everywhere else (local clubs).

“I don’t care who the musician is, if they have that energy about them where I could sit and listen all day, I want to pull them into our group,” said Buckley, who co-founded the ensemble in 1994. “That germination of all different musicians keeps it interesting. And everybody I bring in, they are really happy to be there. They are playing for the music; this is their food for the soul.”

You can meet them at Camarada’s inviting four-concert series at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, which opens at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 with “Parloir Musique” (and CONTINUES Dec. 1, Jan. 26 and April 27; not all musicians are at all concerts).

You may have already met Ross Buckley, who was the principal flutist with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Nova (before the ensemble’s board and management shut it down) and occasionally performs with the San Diego Symphony.

Let’s introduce you to some of her colleagues:

Pianist Dana Burnett (Cal State San Marcos, noted accompanist and coach): “She’s a true chamber musician with a lot of experience. She’s good at playing all the different roles as a pianist.”

Violist Travis Maril (SDSU, Point Loma Nazarene UNIVERSITY, frequent freelancer): “He’s got a really big sound. And I appreciate such a big, strong viola sound because I don’t have to back off.”

Violinist David Buckley (co-concertmaster, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus and Ross Buckley’s husband): “I’ve played with him forever. His loves the romantic. … He’s that type of violinist.”

Guitarist Fred Benedetti (Grossmont College, SDSU): “If I could think of another way to say this, I would: Everybody thinks we’re married. David and I play like we’re married, too.”

Oboist Sarah Skuster (principal oboe, San Diego Symphony): “I played with her in some children’s concerts with the symphony and I just adored her sound. This is going to be a new adventure.”

Cellist Erin Breene (former Orchestra Nova principal who frequently performs with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony): “Sometimes when you play with a certain person, some magic happens. You don’t have to talk about it, you can just play.”

Guitarist Peter Sprague (one of San Diego’s most active and respected jazz musicians): “He’s a genius. That’s kind of how I feel about all my musicians. He just goes into the zone. Anything he touches, you could listen to forever.”

Flutist Beth Ross Buckley will perform with guitarist Peter Sprague as part of “Peter Sprague’s Latin Jazz Music Celebration” at San Dieguito Academy (800 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas) at 2 p.m. Sept. 22.