Interview: Quebe Sisters Lean into Sibling Harmony

The Quebe Sisters are returning to Caffe Lena on June 22nd with their sibling harmonies and pleasing string sounds. Sophia Quebe, the middle child of the sibling set, was excited to talk with Nippertown about what the ensemble has been up to and the fun she expects to bring to the stage that night.

Sophia recalled her prior gigs at the historic venue and was excited to visit Saratoga Springs. “The place has a beautiful sound, and I’m so impressed by its history,” she shared. “The venue is so special.”

The musician herself brings something unique and special to the stage. Playing fiddle and singing harmonies with her older and younger sisters, Grace and Hulda Quebe, the trio brings what she refers to as a progressive western swing sound to the scene.

“We really want to broaden folks’ expectations of Western swing music by adding elements of other genres,” she shared. The group has blended jazz and orchestral themes throughout their compositions in recent years.

The trio is from Texas and grew up loving western swing music made popular there by Bob Wills. “It really is a roots-based genre, and we grew up listening to the music and loving it.”

Her first instrument was the violin, which the sisters’ mother encouraged all three to play. “My mom played briefly, and there was a time when Grace was even using her violin.”

Photo by Joe Deuel

The musical siblings had a natural interest in Bob Will’s music after attending a fiddle festival in Greenville, Texas, during their elementary years. “We started playing a handful of songs together, and it became more collaborative than competitive,” Sophia stressed. “Overall, we are super supportive of each other.” After winning the same festival, the siblings continued to play, and the group naturally evolved to its present state.

The band’s experience grew, she explained, from playing together to composing together. “We would listen to the Mills Brothers, and we still do, for inspiration,” she recalled. “Their harmonies are so cool.”

Sophia shared that as the women grew, so did their perception of art. “Your interests evolve as you mature and grow,” she reflected, now moving past technique and grasping at meaning and artistic expression.

“We really are using music to communicate. Beyond technique, we are reaching into the musicianship and emotion behind the compositions,” Sophia explained. “I’m hoping our audience will have the same discovery process with us through our performances.”

While touring is physically a grind, Sophia expressed gratitude for the “tapestry of experiences we are getting by seeing new places. The big cities, and little country towns, are so enjoyable.”

The sisters leverage their sibling connection in listening to each other and intuitively responding, making the music so much more magical. “As your family, you know how to push each others’ buttons, but also how to make things click, and we really lean into that now.”

Sophia proudly shared one sister has added snare drum to her skill set, and another is now on guitar, expanding what the trio can offer.

“If you like a mix of Willie Nelson and Count Basie, I think you’ll be happy you joined us at Caffe Lena,” Sophia promised.

The original songwriting trio will be at Caffe Lena on June 22nd and will surely be a popular concert. As kind as they are talented, The Quebe Sisters promise a fun night of new sounds.

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