Dr. Juan Álamo is an internationally known performer, composer, and educator. Originally from Cidra, Puerto Rico, Álamo has presented solo recitals at universities and percussion and jazz festivals throughout the United States, Central and South America, Europe and the Caribbean. He has been featured as a soloist and with jazz ensembles in television and radio shows in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and the United States.
Michael Arnowitt is one of the most creative and imaginative musicians of today. He is best known for his beautiful and sensitive touch at the keyboard, for the clarity and elegance of his musical ideas, for his abilities to find new articulations and colors from the piano, for his innovative and thought-provoking concert programs, and for his natural and warm on-stage manner with audiences of all ages.
Alban Bailly is a multifaceted instrumentalist who studied composition, jazz, and improvisation in France. After spending his youth playing mainly rock music, Alban moved onto studying jazz, which opened him to free improvisation, and in 2001 he studied Arabic music and oud in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The beginnings of the B-Side Band, a professional Brno big band led by the bandleader Josef Buchta, date back to 2006. Since its inception, the band has performed at prestigious social events, large festival stages (such as Smetana's Litomyšl, Český Krumlov, Colors of Ostrava, Karlovy Vary), and in European musical centers (Vienna, Leipzig, Prague, Bratislava). It is a residential ensemble of the Groove Brno International Music Festival.
With their unique brand of ethno-classical music, Duo Beija-Flor presents a varied repertoire of works inspired by traditional and folkloric music from around the world. Guitarist Charles Hobson and flutist Marie-Noëlle Choquette began to perform together while in the midst of their graduate studies at Concordia University in Montreal. In 2010 they officially formed the Duo Beija-Flor. Since then they have performed concerts throughout Canada, the United States and Argentina.
It all began 25 years ago when he heard his uncle play bass in his bluegrass band. He freaked out and picked up his dad's classical acoustic guitar. That's all he had access to at that point. His parents wouldn't buy a bass guitar for him. So he had to earn it. So much for cliche that "only children are spoiled." Not so in that household. He began performing a few years later; both in church playing gospel tunes on guitar, in theatres playing in various pit orchestras and rock bands as a bassist.
Bradford Blackburn (b. 1974) is a composer, music technologist, and music theorist whose work explores electroacoustic and interactive music, new musical interfaces, extended just intonation, immersive audio, environmental sound, live video processing, sonification of movement and gesture, contemporary music performance, improvisation, and the construction of experimental musical instruments.
Benjamin Blazer, a native of Lancaster PA, joined the Oscuro Quintet in the summer of 2007. Blazer attended Temple University, where he attained a B.M. in music theory and double bass performance, as well as an M.M. in music composition.
Described as “the only name for music innovation” by Martin Hackleman, formerly of the Empire and Canadian Brass, the Alias Brass, founded in 2013, is a collaboration of five uniquely talented artists and educators from across the nation. Alias Brass’ performances are comprised of standards and original compositions, along with concepts that blend virtuosic musicianship with a high level of entertainment. From Baroque and Classical, to Jazz and Pop, Alias Brass’ shows are “a sure-fire hit; chamber music of the future with something for everyone!”
Baritone Mel Braun is a long-time colleague and collaborator at the University of Manitoba's Desautels Faculty of Music in Winnipeg. Braun is well known for his Bach singing, with performances and broadcasts that have taken him all across Canada.
Svjetlana Bukvich first came to the attention of the European music world following her appearances as featured soloist with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s 1st Piano Concerto at the age of 16, and the following year with Edinburgh George Heriot’s Symphony Orchestra with the 2nd Concerto. Driven by a need to express beyond interpretation, Bukvich studied at the Music Academy – University of Sarajevo, where she earned degrees in Composition and Musicology. During this period she was invited to participate in the Intensive Composition Workshop in Groznjan, Istria, where she worked with some of the leading lights in European contemporary music.
Shinjoo Cho studied piano performance and pedagogy at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton NJ, where she cultivated her role as a solo and chamber musician, as well as an educator in choir, theater, and classroom settings. Intrigued by the music outside her discipline, she returned to her place of birth, Korea, to study Korean traditional music theory and history in 2001.
Tony R. Clef was born in Bellows Falls VT and grew up in nearby Springfield, VT. He has spent most of his adult life in the Boston, MA area. He studied classical guitar primarily with Richard Layman in Brookline, MA and also for a time with Adam Holzman in Austin, TX.
For the young Jimmy Crew, trips to the maternal grandparents' home meant hours of exploring a vintage player piano. The numerous piano rolls featuring the music of Sousa, Foster, and others were enough to keep anyone interested, but removing the various panels, exposing the insides of the beast, was equally enthralling. An older cousin could sight read from the hymnal. She taught him "Heart and Soul" but made him promise not to play it.
The Daydream is a music group for kids consisting of Scott and Cathy Liebenow and their children, McKenna, Mark, and Mia. Over the years Scott and Cathy have written over 100 kids songs for various publications and recordings.
A small Gulf Coast Texas town was not a likely place for a future jazz musician and composer to grow up, but Paul English’s father was an accomplished jazz trombonist and a respected music educator and band director. Early on he introduced his son to Dave Brubeck, J. J. Johnson, and Count Basie (in that order) as well as Bach, Beethoven, and Stravinsky. This magical world fascinated Paul, and almost before he could speak, he was banging out sounds on the piano that must have been painful to others but glorious in his own mind.
Expanding the boundaries of the standard classical experience, the Gruca White Ensemble engages audiences with their creative programming and energetic performances. Featuring music from multiple cultures and genres, they seek out rarely-heard works from around the globe, foster their connections with local composers, and create unique renditions of rock, world, and Latin music.
Nina Feric, born in Zagreb, Croatia, began her musical studies at the age of six. She obtained her Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Music Academy of the University of Zagreb (Croatia) in the class of Prof. Veljko Glodic, and continued her studies at Postgraduate Course in Music Disciplines at DAMS Bologna (Italy).
Elaine Managõ was born Elaine Freeman in Dublin, Ireland, where very early on her introduction to music was her Nana’s old piano. She started to play it when she was high enough to reach the keys, and hasn’t stopped playing since. Elaine started her formal music education some years after around the age of 11 where she studied piano for a number of years and took her exams at the Royal Irish Academy Of Music, in Dublin. This helped her to make the most of her natural ability and spontaneity; as her music teacher once said, ‘’she listens to her heart, and she pours out what she hears.”