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Kim's Corner
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by Kim Petersen (archives)
June 10, 2003
Kim looks at some cool stuff at Downtown Disney.

Cool Stuff at the DLR

Every now and then I’ll wander through the Disneyland Resort and come across something really cool, too cool not to share - someone with a special talent to offer or some piece of merchandise or other special item available at the DLR - here are a few of my recent favorites.

I was recently wandering through Downtown Disney on a Saturday evening and found this cool stuff to share -

Drew Tretick - Hi-Brow Music with a Passion

I like music - all kinds of music - okay, maybe not rap - but most kinds of music. One of the coolest things that the DLR offers its guests is the experience that has become Downtown Disney. I’ve been known to spend a Saturday night with a cup of Brennan’s chicory coffee wandering from shop to shop - munching some new goodie here, finding some new souvenir there or simply sitting to listen to one of the many entertainers and groups who play throughout the weekend evenings. I like the open flow of the place. Great food. Great shopping. Great entertainment. And all without having to enter either of the parks.

Part of the overall ambiance of DtD can be found in the various entertainers who play their music and sell their CDs/tapes/merchandise. The Disneyland Resort - as I understand it - has a casting person who finds these acts and there are also periodic auditions as well for those who want to perform. Those who are hired are paid by the DLR, but contracts and performance deals can vary based on how often an act is scheduled and how large the group may be. It seems that the CD/merchandise sales are designed more for the artists to make money than to serve as a revenue driver for the resort. It’s a cool deal as a good night can net sales of more than $3,000.

Of the “regulars? Drew Tretick is among my favorites. If you’re wandering past Naples restaurant and hear a simply wonderful violin solo - it’s Drew. He plays with a passion and depth that makes his music almost transcendent. Listening, for even a few minutes can bring a tear to the eye. There is a richness and vibrancy to Drew’s music that simply draws a crowd - often 100 or more for a set. You don’t even have to like classical music to appreciate the passion, talent and style he brings to the art. It’s very easy to loose yourself in the wonderful emotion that he infuses into each selection he plays. It’s simply mesmerizing. Not only is he a master of the electronic violin, but his talents extend to the arrangements of each of the musical elements of his performances and recordings. A complete artist.

Drew is not only a virtuoso violinist, but an approachable one as well. As I spend the time between his sets chatting with the others who have stopped by to listen - some travel to DtD from LA just to listen to Drew play - I am struck by the way he effortlessly interacts with his audience - from newlyweds to nine-year-olds. Taking the time to meet his audience - he has a kind word for all who wait in line to speak with him - is something that I readily admire. With equal grace and humor he accepts a complement from a couple in their 60’s, congratulates a couple on their 30 th wedding anniversary and signs a CD for a gaggle of obviously smitten teen-aged girls. He’s a rare combination - a humble talent with a driving passion to create and to share.

Speaking of his craft, Drew notes, “I wanted it to be passionate and broad in stylistic expression. Now, with my electronic violin, I am able to create a unique and broad range of musical color in my original solo music for the instrument. It has unlimited possibilities, and, like the paint and brushes of the contemporary artist, it is the tool that breaks the boundaries of tradition for greater freedom of expression.? Art is all about breaking barriers and Drew does that quite handily.

I have all three of his CDs and am eagerly waiting for the completion of his fourth. His sets are played from 6 to 10PM, and his May DtD schedule looks like this Friday 5/23, Saturday 5/24, Sunday 5/25, Friday 5/30 and Saturday 5/31. When you wander by, stop and listen, buy a CD or two and ask him to sign them. Ask him to play Time To Say Goodbye or Pachelbel Canon from his Romantica CD - or Somewhere in Time or the theme from Dances with Wolves from his Serenata CD or any of his own compositions and improvisations. Have a listen, you’re sure to be swept up in a bit of the wonder that is Drew.

If you can’t get to Downtown Disney to hear Drew play live, you can visit his web site - www.goviolin.com - you can listen to a couple MP3 demos of his work, order his CDs and get to learn a bit more about this gifted performer.

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Drew began playing the violin at 5 and has toured the world sharing his talents and touching lives.
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It may be the music that draws you. But, it's Drew's passion that keeps you listening.
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