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From Alaska to the 'Shadows'

Guitarist/singer brings her eclectic crossover musical style to the SCV

Posted: May 27, 2008 1:39 a.m.
Updated: July 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Guitarist and singer Kim Acuna performs a song from her album "Shadows" at the Senior Center on Sunday in front of members of the Unitarian Universalists of the Santa Clarita Valley.

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Anyone living near Market Street in Newhall may have been tempted to walk into the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center on Sunday morning when they heard the inviting melodic harmonies emanating from its main hall.

The artist - and the audience taking in the music - would have been more than welcoming to the curious passers-by who may have wandered in to enjoy the melodies of Kim Acuna. Acuna performed several songs for the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Santa Clarita Valley, which meets in the senior center.

A native of Alaska, Acuna recently moved to the Santa Clarita Valley, and has since teamed up with a variety of local musicians and artists.

Once such musician, Trish Lester, hooked up with Acuna and has since performed with her on a few occasions, including Sunday morning at the congregational service of the Unitarian Universalists, who meet each week at the senior center.

"When she moved here to town, she was so anxious to meet people and get into the local music scene," Lester said. "I really liked her music and style."

Indeed, Acuna's music is unique, which blends several different genres together as one. Lester says that style is similar to the philosophy of the Unitarian Universalists.

"We're very open to a lot of musical styles as long as the message fits in with out general philosophy," she said. "In particular, one song she picked today was about world peace, and it provided the right tone and message for the Memorial Day weekend."

Performing for approximately 20 minutes, Acuna gave the congregation a taste of her recently-released album, entitled Shadows. The 15-track album exemplifies her crossover musical style, as her songs combine alternative rock-pop, blues, jazz and a bit of Latin.

A multi-talented musician, she performs her songs with her own guitar, and combines her music-playing abilities with her own vocals and a pianist. On Sunday, she also enlisted the talented services of Lester, who added her vocals to the chorus of each performed song.

Acuna, who spent 30 years in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest before relocating to the Santa Clarita Valley in 2004, attributes her varied and eclectic musical style to curiosity and experimentation.

When she was young, she sneaked into her father's music closet and experimented with several of his instruments. She tried combining different tones through different instruments until she eventually found the sound she liked in the form of a guitar. Since then, she dedicated herself to perfecting the sound of her guitar, taking inspiration from a variety of genres to produce a tone that is powerful and communicates emotion.

"I want to bring the listener into that special place where it's just my guitar and me alone in a room having a new song pour through me," Acuna said. "This is the gift of music."

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