Jayshree Bala Rajamani is one of the leading practitioners and teachers of the ancient Indian dance form of Bharathanatyam in Massachusetts. She was initiated into this art by her mother and then came under the tutelage of eminent Guru K.J. Govindarajan. She specialized in Abhinaya with Guru Jamuna Krishnan.
Natraj melds the classical music of India, traditional music from West Africa, and contemporary jazz to create its own unique and infectious style. Hard-driving African grooves and graceful Indian ragas meet in the band’s expansive jazz conception. Selected as Boston’s Best Jazz Band by the Improper Bostonian and nominated Best World Music Act in the Boston Music Awards, Natraj captivates and excites audiences with exotic textures, accessible melodies, and rhythmic energy.
Phil Scarff has pioneered the performance of North Indian classical (Hindustani) music on soprano saxophone, capturing the music's subtlety and depth. His performance at the famed Tansen Samaroh, Gwalior, India with Saskia Rao de Haas was "the highlight of the festival" (Dainik Bhaskar). He has made Indian classical appearances at India's Nehru Center, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and Dadar-Matunga Cultural Centre (Mumbai); Saptak School of Music (Ahmedabad); Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (Kolkata); ICCR Theater and India Habitat Centre (Delhi); JKK (Jaipur); and Pt Chatur Lal Festival (virtual).
Rohan Gregory, violinist, has cultivated a wide-ranging expertise in chamber music, new music, and world music. His travels have taken him to Europe and Brazil with the Klezmatics, to Panama with flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual, to Thailand with multi-ethnic flute player Abbie Rabinowitz, to India with Natraj, to Russia and the Netherlands with the Arden String Quartet, and across the United States with his Greek folk band Revma.
Bassist Mike Rivard defies easy categorization and finds himself at home in a bewildering array of settings, from the low-rock of Mark Sandman and Morphine, to the mountains of Morocco with local Berber musicians, with side trips into the Broadway pits of The Lion King and Wicked, and sessions with Medeski, Martin & Wood. Growing up in the wide expanses of Minnesota, he took in the local sounds of Prince, Husker Du, and the free-jazz coming out of the Dinkytown/University of Minnesota milieu, before heading to Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 1981.
Based in Boston for over three decades, Bertram Lehmann’s supple and fluid style of drumming has made him a sought-after player within a multitude of musical contexts in the region and beyond, performing in Jazz, South-American, and many other global genres.
Jerry Leake is a Professor of World Percussion at Berklee College of Music, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, and the New England Conservatory (Jazz and CMA). He leads the world-rock-fusion band Cubist whose albums feature his skill as a composer, arranger, and performer. He is a co-founder of the Indo/Jazz band Natraj and the dub/trance/groove collective Club d’Elf.
David Harris was born and raised in Kalamazoo MI to parents who loved the arts. He began listening to his father’s record collection, falling in love with the Romantic composers at age 3. After much begging, his parents acceded to piano lessons for Harris starting in first grade. Initially, he had to walk to the college where his father taught to use their piano for practice until his parents were sure that he wasn’t going to quit lessons and leave them stuck with a piano.
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!”
Berl Olswanger, dubbed "Mr. Music of Memphis" by the local press, grew up in Memphis in the 1920s and 1930s where he heard music that would later influence him as a composer. He quickly developed an affinity for the piano and began playing professionally at the age of 12. After a stint on WMC radio in his twenties, he joined the tour of the George Olsen Orchestra, which led him across the country from New York to Hollywood as he accompanied legendary acts like Bing Crosby and Jack Benny.
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.
Anne Vanschothorst (The Netherlands) is a landscape music composer, minimal harp pioneer, and multimedia artist exploring creativity in applied music, film, and spoken word — using overdub and making sound sculptures with 47 strings. She received international critical acclaim as an indie composer and producer who records sound on sound stilled mystical landscape music for in-a-room, film, multimedia, and spoken word. This new poetic and inventive, edgy sonic universe next to the existing harp planet and music world, indicates that Vanschothorst walks off the beaten track. The written note-scores are frequently performed by international musicians and added to their repertoire. The “You Play I listen!” platform is an ongoing creativity project that was initiated to share Harp and Soul Music performed by others via videos and sound-clouds.
Electronisist Josh Oxford, born in 1985, is a composer, arranger, and performer of myriad styles of music. He has performed throughout the world, especially in his native central New York, on piano, percussion, and Moog synthesizer. After suffering a debilitating car crash in 2010, Josh has devoted his energy to composing. His music can be heard on releases from Aaron Tindall, Frank Gabriel Campos, Tim Winfield, Lindsey Goodman, Yung-Ju Pan and on the debut CD of his band The OXtet. He holds two degrees from Ithaca College and a masters from Queens College, where he was awarded The ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at Arizona State University.
Dr. Israel Neuman is a composer, producer, sound engineer, bass player, and educator. He teaches sound production at the Texas Southern University School of Communication. Neuman’s sound projects are diverse both in content as well as in their uses of technology. He recorded, mixed, and mastered for jazz artists such as John Rapson, Damani Phillip, Lewis Nash, Jim Buennig, and James Dreier. He collaborated as sound designer and composer with filmmakers Tyrone Dixon and Yuval Cohan as well as playwright Thomas Meloncon.
Composer and banjo innovator Michael Nix writes and performs new classical music for banjo and banjo hybrids that explores both the history of America's beloved instrument as well as modern day influences.
The Muir String Quartet has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s most powerful and insightful ensembles, distinguishing itself among audiences and critics with its “exhilarating involvement” (Boston Globe), “impeccable voicing and intonation” (San Francisco Examiner) and “unbridled musicality” (American Record Guide).
Winner of the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian International String Quartet Competition, the Muir String Quartet first appeared on the scene in 1980, and was greeted with rave reviews and an extensive feature in The New Yorker. The quartet was also featured on the internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Reagan. Formed in 1979 following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Muir String Quartet’s principal chamber music teachers were Felix Galimir and members of the Guarneri and Budapest Quartets.
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).
Miguel Kertsman’s compositions organically reach beyond genres and boundaries. They encompass classical symphonic, chamber, and vocal music for the Concert Stage, as well as experimental, progressive rock, jazz, and film/game scores.
His classical works have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by international artists such as conductor Dennis Russell Davies, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Saint Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, São Paulo State Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna Symphony, mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager, guitarist John Williams, and others.
David Haney studied composition with Czech-American composer Tomas Svoboda and piano with jazz pianist Eddie Wied. The following artists have worked and recorded with David: Roswell Rudd, Julian Priester, John Tchicai, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell, Bud Shank, Wolter Weirbos, Han Bennink, Andrew Cyrille, Bernard Purdie, Marvin Bugulu Smith, Gerry Hemingway, Dylan Van de Schiff, Buell Neidlinger, Dominic Duval, Adam Lane, Michael Bisio, Paul Blaney, Perry Robinson, Matt Lavelle, Daniel Carter, Reggie Sylvester, Johannes Bauer.
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.