Arts & Entertainment

Mainland quartets come to the Keys as part of the Summer Chamber Music Concert Series

The Excelsa Quartet was founded in Boston.
The Excelsa Quartet was founded in Boston.

The Fort Lauderdale-based South Florida Symphony is bringing its Summer Chamber Music Concert Series to the Lower Keys

The Invoke String Quartet, together since 2013, includes Nick Montopoli (violin and banjo), Zach Matteson (violin), Karl Mirze (viola and mandolin), and Geoff Manyin (cello).

Invoke encompasses traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz and minimalism, weaving all together.

The Excelsa Quartet fashioned its name from "Picca excels," a species of northern European spruce trees used to make the top panel of fine musical instruments. Formed in January 2009 at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Excelsa is now the graduate fellowship string quartet at the University of Maryland.

Excelsa members are Valentina Shohdy (viola), Kacy Clopton (cello) and Audrey Wright (violin).

The Invoke String Quartet plays at 7:30 p.m. May 16 at the Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton St., and the same time May 17 at Little Palm Island, a resort three miles off Little Torch Key. Ferry service is available.

The Excelsa Quartet performs at 7:30 p.m. June 10 and July 10 at the Studios. Tickets for all shows are $35. Call (954) 522-8445 or visit