The musicians of THE LARKSONG TRIO, Peggo Horstmann Hodes, soprano, Jennifer Yeaton-Parris, flute, and Calvin Herst, piano, began playing together more than a decade ago on a lark. From that happy accident, they discovered their signature sound - elegant, playful and stunningly beautiful. From Celtic to Copland, from Beatles to brand new, the Larksong Trio dazzles with surprising arrangements and breath-taking musicianship. Each member of the trio is a classically trained, expressive, world-class musician. Together, they enjoy an engaging irreverence and spiritual connection that tugs at your heart and brings you home.
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.
Marco Buongiorno Nardelli's (b. Rome, Italy, Nov. 21, 1964) broad musical interests span from the baroque repertoire to jazz, contemporary, and electronic music. Educated as both a musician and a physicist (Ph.D., Condensed Matter Theory, 1993), he holds a B.M. in Music Theory and Composition from the Conservatorio "Luigi Cherubini" in Florence, Italy, studied flute with Oro and Gian-Luca Petrucci in Rome and Brooks deWetter-Smith at UNC-Chapel Hill and sung in the choir of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana with M. Pablo Colino, who introduced him to music at a very early age.
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.
Richard Stoltzman's virtuosity' technique' imagination' and communicative power have revolutionized the world of clarinet playing' opening up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He was responsible for bringing the clarinet to the forefront as a solo instrument' and is still the world's foremost clarinetist. Stoltzman gave the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall' and' in 1986' became the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize.
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.
Thomas Lee is a founding member of the Oscuro Quintet. He studied piano at the Julliard Pre-College division in New York with Richard Fabre and Antonio Fermin, and later at Yale University with Elizabeth Parisot. From 2005-2006 he studied carillon with Eddy Marin at the Royal Carillon School, Jef Denyn, in Mechelen, Belgium, where he was only the fifth student in the school's history to graduate with "Greatest Distinction." He received his carillon accreditation with the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America in 2006, and has been a regular performer in the United States, Belgium, and the Netherlands since then. He is also half of the carillon duo "Campana Nova" with Eddy Marin. Lee has composed and arranged many pieces for carillon, and has begun to study tango music with Juan Martin Fernandez of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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.
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.
At the age of 47 and on the cusp of the breakthrough that is every artistis dream, the comedian John Kawie suffered a devastating stroke which he thought would derail his career, and life. With the sardonic wit that landed him gigs as a writer/contributor for comedians such as Bill Maher, Dennis Miller, and David Brenner, John focused on his experiences with the stroke and created BRAIN FREEZE, a hysterical, poignant, and affirmative journey through the bumpy road to recovery and beyond.
A North Carolina native, Mel went to Lafayette, Louisiana in the summer of 1969 to visit a college friend and play a little music before going back to UNC. His plans changed when he became totally immersed in the rich culture and physical beauty of southwest Louisiana. He moved permanently to Lafayette at the end of the summer and began playing in a band he co-founded with Sonny Landreth, the Louisiana slide guitar-playing superstar.
Steve Gadd was born in Rochester, NY in 1945. At the age of seven, Gadd began drum lessons. Just four years later, he sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. By the early 1980s, he had recorded and toured internationally with an extensive roster of artists, including Chuck Mangioni, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Herbie Mann, Paul Simon, Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, Steely Dan, James Brown, Dr. John, and Eric Clapton. Frequent collaborator Chick Corea has called Gadd's drumming "perfect," and the notoriously hard to please Buddy Rich said that "out of all the drummers I've heard, Gadd has the most class behind the drums." Gadd continues to be one of the most sought after session musicians in popular music, performing recently with BB King, Al DiMeola, and James Taylor. When not recording and touring, he resides in Arizona with his wife Carol.
Double bassist Eddie Gomez was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in New York, where he attended Julliard. Upon graduating, Gomez had stints with Rufus Jones, Marian McPartland, and Gerry Mulligan before joining the Bill Evans Trio. Gomez and Evans played together for a total of eleven years, winning two Grammy awards in the process. Additionally, Gomez has performed with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, and Chick Corea. Today, he continues to record, tour, and produce his own music.
Allen Savedoff' a member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Pacific Symphony' is a busy freelance musician based in Los Angeles' CA. On this' his third solo album' he is featured on bassoon and contrabassoon and is heard playing many other woodwinds.
Connecticut-based Kim Scharnberg has evolved from a young music student growing up in Cedar Rapids' Iowa' to an acclaimed producer' arranger' composer and conductor. His vast experience ranges from conducting major international orchestras to producing highly-commercial recording artists. To say that Scharnberg grew up in a diverse musical environment would be an understatement.