By Daniel Buckwalter

There was the elegant, spritely, expressionist-like work of the masters — and there was quite a bit of bluegrass with an inspiration of funk, too.

In other words, there was something for almost everyone March 17 and 19 when Delgani String Quartet took the stage at the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Eugene for String Circle, the opening two concerts of a five-concert swing that takes the group to Corvallis, Portland and Salem this weekend.

Delgani — violinists Anthea Kreston and Jannie Wei, violist Kimberlee Uwate and cellist Eric Alterman — were joined for the quartet’s third concert of the year by composer and violist Kenji Bunch, and the result was an 90 entertaining minutes of music excellence, starting with Franz Joseph Hayden’s String Quartet in G Major and ending with Johannes Brahms’ String Quintet No. 1 in F Major.

In between those two pieces, the program turned to the unfamiliar yet happy sounds of bluegrass. That’s when Bunch came to the stage with Delgani.

Bunch — an esteemed composer who lives in Portland and is an Oregon treasure in his own right — explained to the audience that after graduating from college, he played in a bluegrass band for 15 years. His love letter to that genre, String Circle, is a joy to listen to.

The five-movement piece covers the bases of bluegrass, from Lowdown to Shuffle Step (a lively, almost danceable movement). It continues with Ballad, a tribute to Wayfaring Stranger, the American folk and gospel song made popular in part by Burl Ives and, most especially, Johnny Cash.

The beauty of that third movement, Ballad, is the lyrical, soulful cries of Bunch and Uwate on their violas. You can hear the forlorn words of the singer: “So I’m just going over Jordan / I’m just going over home.”

It’s followed by Porch Picking, which is fun, and Overdrive, which, strangely enough, Bunch explained, was inspired partly by funk.

All in all, a wonderful experience.

More performances of String Circle by Delgani String Quartet with Kenji Bunch

Corvallis — 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22, at First Presbyterian Church, 114 SW 8th St.

Portland — 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at Historic Alberta House, 5131 NE 23rd Ave.

Salem — 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5090 Center St. NE

Tickets and information: