About the Composers
Víctor Adán has been interested in music, visual arts, and computer programming since childhood. While in college, he discovered the uncompromising music of composer Julio Estrada, and upon completing his undergraduate studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1997, he shifted focus to the quantitative side of his musical interests, earning an MS in media technology and digital communications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working under the guidance of Barry Vercoe on things such as music structure, modeling, automation and classification. Mr. Adán typically spends his days composing, writing software and teaching robots how to draw.
Gabriel Alegria, is one of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Perú, as he combines his experience playing jazz as it developed in the U.S. with a passionate interest and careful study of the black music of coastal Perú. By incorporating and exploring the common African roots found in both styles, he has developed a uniquely Afro-Peruvian jazz music concept. The rich legacy of the black music of coastal Perú can be heard in a contemporary jazz context. In all of Alegria’s work, a cross-cultural exchange between the Americas is always present, carefully defining Afro-Peruvian jazz music as the newest voice to come from Latin America. During the course of a career that has spanned the globe, Alegria has appeared in concert and/or on recordings with Arturo O’Farrill, Maria Schneider, Placido Domingo, Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, Tierney Sutton, Natalie Cole, The Peruvian National Symphony, Bill Watrous, John Thomas, Russ Ferrante and Alex Acuña. Most recently Gabriel completed the groundbreaking “Tour Peru”, a new model in touring that included 40 fans that accompanied the Afro-Peruvian Sextet throughout Peru. He has also performed concerts for the United Nations and various diplomatic missions from around the world. The Afro-Peruvian Sextet has appeared in over 400 concerts and master classes throughout North America.
Mario Diaz de Leon is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. After playing guitar in hardcore punk bands in the mid to late 1990s, he began writing works for classical instruments with electronics in 2001. Initially inspired by composers such as Ligeti, Dumitrescu, Ryoji Ikeda, and Scelsi, his works for classical instruments draw on many influences including noise electronics, spectral music, free improvisation, avant rock, and underground metal. Ensembles such as ICE, iO Quartet, and Romania’s Hyperion Ensemble have performed his work internationally. Since 1999, he has worked with visual artist Jay King, and the duo have exhibited multimedia works throughout the U.S. and Spain. In 2006, he began giving solo performances, and has since embarked on various U.S. tours and released the album Mira on Shinkoyo Records.
Composer Tamar Diesendruck was born in Israel and grew up in the U.S. Her favored medium is virtuosic chamber music, although she has also composed solo, orchestral, choral, wind ensemble and vocal works. Her music is often characterized as having a wide range of expression. Some work has found common ground between disparate musical cultures, while more recent works avoid direct recapitulation of specific references. In the last few years, guided improvisation for players has been incorporated in an effort to create complex webs and networks of sound. She holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. She has served on the faculty of the University of Southern California, New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and University of Pittsburgh.
Avner Dorman is quickly emerging as one of the leading voices of his generation. He won Israel’s prestigious Prime Minister’s Award and the Golden Feather Award from ACUM (the Israeli Society of Composers and Publishers) for his Ellef Symphony at the age of 25. Since then, some of the world’s finest conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Marin Alsop, Asher Fisch, Simone Young and Michael Stern have commissioned him and brought his music to audiences of the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein, the Hamburg Philharmonic, and the Cabrillo Music Festival, among others. Dorman’s music achieves a rare combination of rigorous compositional construction while preserving the sense of excitement and spontaneity usually associated with jazz, rock, or ethnic music. Dorman has received several international awards from ACUM, ASCAP, and the Asian Composers League.
Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Du Yun is an internationally-performed composer and musician. Hailed by the New York Times as “cutting-edge… to whom the term ‘young composer’ could hardly do justice’’; “re-invents herself daily… so does her music,” (Time Out New York) she is equally adept at writing for concert halls, art shows, experimental theatres, modern dances and pop songs. Highlights of last season include international premieres and appearances in Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Argentina, and China. Du Yun has received commissions include from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Mann Center for Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, the Whitney Museum Live, Festivals für Neue Musik & aktuelle Kultur (Switzerland), Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer Commissioning/USA, Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and the Shanghai New Music Foundation. As an avid performer, Du Yun has performed internationally in different genres. In Fall 2009 she could be seen on tour with cellist Matt Haimovitz in the US and Canada. In May 2010 she will appear as the featured artist on Reverse <<< Polarity, a monthly retro cassette series, launched in Beijing this year. In September 2010 her electronic cabaret studio album is scheduled to release in China on Tag Team Records.
John Duffy, considered "one of the great heroes of American music," has composed more than 300 works for symphony, orchestra, opera, theater, television and film. He and his music have received many awards in recognition of his excellent contributions to music: two Emmys, an ASCAP award for special recognition and achievement in film and television music, a New York State Governor's Arts Award, and the (New York City) Mayor's Award of Honor for Arts and Culture. As founder, president and director of Meet the Composer, an organization dedicated to the creation, performance and recording of music by American composers, he has initiated countless programs to advance American music and to aid American composers. Currently, he heads the John Duffy Composers Institute at the Virginia Arts Festival, dedicated to the inspiration, creation and performance of music theater works by living composers and librettists.
Apart from composition and activity as a pianist of both contemporary and classical music Timothy Dunne has been an active artistic advisor, translator and advocate for new music in Russia working with the St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, the cultural foundation Art Modern, the publishing house Kompozitor, the Composer’s Society and for the St. Petersburg new music festivals Soundways and Fin de Siecle. In the role of piano soloist, Mr. Dunne has given the Russian premieres of Luciano Berio’s Sonata Per Pianoforte (2005), György Ligeti’s Études pour piano; troisième livre (2006) as well as works by Boulez, Ferneyhough and others. He has been concerto soloist with orchestras in both America and Russia and has concertized throughout Europe and Brazil. He is co-founder and co-director of The Mostar Fund, a non-for-profit organization which seeks to provide opportunities for cultural growth and stability in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Suzanne Farrin’s works have been performed in the US, Europe and South America. Commissions have come from a variety of sources and for combinations as diverse as the Irish bagpipes and string quartet to solo piano pieces and works for vibraphone. She has been heard at concert halls such as Carnegie Weill Hall, Symphony Space, The Kennedy Center, the Tank, Monkeytown, The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, Sprague Hall at Yale University, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Walker Art Center and festivals such as Avantgarde Schwaz, The Carolina Chamber Music Festival, Look and Listen, The Philadelphia Fringe, Music in Würzburg, Germany, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Ernest Bloch Music Festival, Music Mountain and Festival Nuevo Mundo (Maracaibo). Suzanne’s works have been performed by many musicians and ensembles including but not limited to: Amanda Baker, Tanya Bannister, Ken Crilly, Dominic Donato, Julia Lichten, Jesse Levine, Dan Lippel, Steve Mackey, Sara Okamoto, Vanessa Perez, Jim Pugh, Joshua Rubin, , Laurie Smuckler, David Schotzko, Mark Stewart, Antoine Tamestit, Sayaka Tanikawa, Jason Treuting, Ira Weller, Cal Wiersma, the Arditti Quartet, So Percussion, The Locrian Chamber Players, The Meehan/Perkins Duo, Neithermusic, ICE, the iO Quartet, the Harrington String Quartet, the Parker String Quartet, the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble, non|zero, the Yale Philharmonia and the Purchase Symphony Orchestra.
Laura Kaminsky’s works are frequently performed across the U.S. and abroad, including Africa, Canada, China, Europe, and Latin America. Her music has been presented at many New York venues; Wigmore Hall (London), Fundacion Juan March (Madrid), Naregatsi Art Institute (Yerevan, Armenia,) American Embassy in Ghana; Oberlin, Boston, Mannes, Shanghai, Armenian and Purchase Conservatories; the National Academies of Music of Ghana and Slovakia; Sarah Lawrence, Bard, and Hunter Colleges; Longy School of Music; Wolfson Center for National Affairs at the New School; Vernon Center for International Affairs at NYU; and the Casalmaggiore (Italy), Synthesis (Macedonia), and Sao Paolo (Brazil) International Music Festivals. Kaminsky has received commissions, fellowships, and awards as a composer and presenter from: National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund, Chamber Music America, CEC ArtsLink International Partnerships, Likhachev, Russkiy Mir, Jordan, Serage, Allen and Virgil Thomson Foundations, Kenan Institute for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, North Carolina Council on the Arts, PONCHO, King County Arts Commission, and Meet the Composer, among others. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation and the Millay Colony for the Arts.
Works by Eric Nathan have been performed throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Japan. He has received commissions from the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra of South Korea, the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center at Wellesley College, ASCAP/Society of Composers Inc., the Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association and for the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. His music has been performed by orchestras including the American Composers Orchestra (in their new-music reading sessions), Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra of South Korea, Juilliard Pre-College Symphony, Yale Symphony Orchestra, University of Maryland Repertoire Orchestra; ensembles such as the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Damocles Trio, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, SUNY Purchase Contemporary Ensemble, Syracuse Society for New Music. His wind ensemble works have been performed by the Cornell Wind Symphony, Indiana University Symphonic Band, Keene State College Concert Band, University of Maryland Wind Ensemble, Yale Concert Band, Nishi High School Band (Japan). Recent awards and honors include the a Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center (2010), Aspen Music Festival and School’s Jacob Druckman Prize (2010), the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings (2009), William Schuman Prize in the B.M.I Student Composer Awards (2008), an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2008), First Prize in the 2008 SCI/ASCAP National Student Commission Competition, the Brian M. Israel Prize from the New York Federation of Music Clubs (2007), Second Prize in the 2007 NACUSA Young Composer Competition, the New York Art Ensemble Young Composer Competition (2005), the Dean's Prize from Indiana University, the Abraham Beekman Cox and Beekman Cannon Friends of Music Prizes from Yale College, and a Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Brazilian-born Jovino Santos Neto worked as a pianist, flutist and producer with the legendary Hermeto Pascoal from 1977 to 1992. Since moving to Seattle in 1993 he has released several recordings as a bandleader and also in collaboration with musicians such as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, and Mike Marshall. He received an IAJE/ASCAP Jazz Commission in 2001 and a Chamber Music America New Works jazz composition award in 2003. Jovino’s music blends contemporary harmonies with traditional Brazilian grooves. Jovino received three nominations for a Latin Grammy, the latest in 2009 for the Piano Duo “Live at Caramoor”, with Weber Yago . www.jovisan.net
Adam O'Farrill is a 15-year old jazz trumpeter who is the grandson of Afro-Cuban Jazz composer and arranger Chico O'Farrill, and the son of GRAMMY-award winning Latin jazz pianist and composer Arturo O'Farrill. He has had the privilege of playing in many well-known venues, such as Birdland Jazz Club, the Jazz Standard, Mount Fuji Jazz Festival 2009, the White House, Madison Square Garden, and Symphony Space, and has had the opportunity to perform and work with critically acclaimed artists such as Stefon Harris, Curtis Fuller, Randy Weston, Arturo O'Farrill, Benny Golson, and James Moody. He received the Outstanding Soloist Award at the 1st Annual Charles Mingus Competition, was commissioned to write a piece for Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra in the fall of 2009 and was recently chosen to participate in the 2010 GRAMMY Jazz Ensemble as 2nd Trumpet.
A native New Yorker, Nkeiru Okoye is the most performed African American woman in symphonic music. She has had compositions performed on four continents, including performances by major and regional symphonies such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony, and has received awards and/or commendations from the International Society for Contemporary Music, Meet the Composer, Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, and ASCAP. One of her best known pieces, Songs of Harriet Tubman, is a song cycle from her upcoming folk opera on Tubman, How I Became Moses. Okoye’s work is notable for its accessible style and its combining of contemporary classical, African American, popular music, and West African influences.
Argentine composer and pianist Fernando Otero found his voice as writer, musician and bandleader when, at the urging of one of his music teachers, he began to incorporate the indigenous sounds of his native Buenos Aires into his work. He has collaborated with one-time Bill Evans sideman Eddie Gomez, flautist Dave Valentin and pianist/film composer Dave Grusin, among others; he’s lately been sitting in with Chico O’Farrill’s Jazz Orchestra during their Sunday night residency at New York City’s Birdland; and, most recently, he joined clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera on stage and in the studio. It’s no surprise that the always adventurous Kronos Quartet had commissioned a piece from him, which was premiered at the Carnegie Hall on February 2008. Biography was written by Michael Hill.
Waddy Thompson’s works are equally divided between instrumental and vocal compositions. They have been performed by Encompass New Opera Theatre, Linda Rappaport and House on Fire, Windy City Gay Chorus, and the Nashville Brass Quintet, and at Spoleto Festival U.S.A., St. Louis Spring Festival, Chicago Festival of New Music, Florida New Music Festival, and Brevard Music Festival. These songs are his second collaboration with lyricist Leah Maddrie. His day job is here at Symphony Space as Director of Development. More on his music at www.waddythompsonmusic.com.
The American composer and pianist Joan Tower, after a childhood spent chiefly in South America, returned to the United States, where she completed her studies at Columbia University. She has been the pianist for the DaCapo Chamber Players from 1969 to 1984. She has been closely associated with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin for whom several works were commisioned. She is currently Asher Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College where she has taught since 1972. Writing at first principally using serial techniques, she has broadened her style, notably through the influence of her contemporaries and of Messiaen and George Crumb.
George Walker was born in Washington, D.C. June 27, 1922. The boy was 5 when he began to study piano with his mother. His father was a physician who was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the U.S. When Walker was 14 years old, he gave his first public performance on the piano at Howard University. A scholarship enabled Walker to enroll in Oberlin College at age 15. When Walker was 18, he received his B.M. Degree, leading his Conservatory class in honors. At the Curtis Institute of Music, he studied piano with Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and chamber music with William Primrose and Gregor Piatigorsky. He graduated from the Curtis Institute with Artist Diplomas in piano and composition in 1945, becoming the first black graduate of this renowned music school. He also won the Youth Auditions in Philadelphia. The young pianist then toured actively in the U.S. and Europe. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree and the Artist Diploma in 1956 from the Eastman School of Music. He studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1957. He taught at a number of institutions over the years. Walker retired in 1992. In 1996, late in his long career, he became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, for Lilacs, a piece for voice and orchestra.
About the Artists
The Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet is comprised of Gabriel Alegria on trumpet and flugel horn; Laura Andrea Leguia on tenor sax; Camila Meza on guitar; John Benitez on double bass; Peta Robles on cajón; and Shirazette Tinnin on drums. The group has performed in venues in over 50 North American cities and festivals of IAJE. After completing its fourth North American tour and perform over 100 shows, the Afro-Jazz Sextet Peruvian toured in Peru for the first time. Their last work is currently playing on over 200 radio stations across the length and breadth of America. Critics, including the prestigious Downbeat magazine All About Jazz Magazine and have characterized the sextet as something new, unique in the world: "the best album of the year" according to Radio IO. The Sextet has received comments and notes published in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times among many of the major newspapers of the United States.
The New York City based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East, with prestigious appearances at New York's Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and Maeda Hall in Tokyo. Established in 1985, and named for named for the renowned American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, the Cassatt made its YouTube debut featuring Daniel S. Godfrey's "Romanza" and released 2 Naxos CD's of quartets by Andy Tierstien and Dan Welcher, including "Cassatt", inspired by paintings of Mary Cassatt. Their annual educational residency, Cassatt In The Basin! in Odessa, Texas culminates at the Texas Music Educators Association conference in San Antonio, where they have been selected to present a chamber music clinic based on their Odessa residency. World premieres include music by composers Hitomi Kaneko for Music from Japan's 35th Anniversary, Andy Teirstein, Judith Shatin, Laura Kaminsky and Samuel Zyman with pianist, Sonia Rubinsky. The Cassatt has recently appeared at the American Academy in Rome, Cornell and Syracuse Universities and offered mini-residencies at the Centro National de las Artes in Mexico City, the University of Texas at Austin, Vassar College. They are in residence at the Seal Bay Festival of Contemporary American Chamber Music in Maine, New York's Hartwick College Summer Music Festival and have held residencies at Princeton, Yale and Syracuse University among others.
The Damocles Trio has performed throughout the USA, appearing numerous times at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, and completed highly successful tours of Switzerland in 1999, 2001 and 2003. The ensemble was founded in 1996 by pianist Adam Kent, violinist Airi Yoshioka, and cellist Sibylle Johner, all accomplished soloists in their own right. The three musicians met in the doctoral program at The Juilliard School, where they were awarded a Maxwell and Muriel Gluck Fellowship for the 1998/99 academic year. Recent performances have included recitals for BargeMusic, the Salisbury State University of Maryland Concert Series, a celebration of the music of Ernesto Halffter at the Third Street Music School Settlement, a performance at the 2000 Chamber Music America Conference in New York City, numerous programs of Hispanic music including a concert of new music by Spanish composers on the North River Music series at the Greenwich House Music School, and participation in the inaugural event of the Foundation for Iberian Music at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. The trio also produced “Música por doquier” in 2004, a year-long festival in New York City.
Violinist Nick Danielson, Assistant Concertmaster of the NYC Ballet Orchestra since 1992, also performed for twenty years as a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, including on the Grammy winning CD “Shadow Dances.” He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S.,Latin America,Europe, and Asia.In addition to his activities in the classical music world, Mr. Danielson is an avid performer of Tango music and contemporary music from Latin America. He has cllaborated closely with musicians such as Pablo Ziegler, Paquito D'Rivera, and Fernando Otero. With Otero he has recorded the CD's "Plan", "Revision", and "Pagina de Buenos Aires" (Nonesuch). In 2004-2005, he played the role of the "Fiddler" in the latest Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof".
iO String Quartet is a New York City-based ensemble whose self-proclaimed interest is in “finding a common aesthetic vision between the works of the past and the works of today.” Since its formation in 2005, the Quartet has performed throughout the United States and the Philippines. The Quartet is equally at home in a wide range of repertoire from all periods and creates programs around signal works that put the whole concert experience in context. The iO Quartet is currently the Billy Joel Graduate String Quartet in Residence at SUNY Purchase.
Christopher Johnson is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and a graduate of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied organ with Thomas Murray. Having previously pursued an orchestral career, Chris held a two-year position as section violist with the Tulsa Philharmonic and Opera Orchestras and has performed as violist, flutist and bassoonist with several orchestras throughout the country. Following his appointment as Assistant Organist at The Riverside Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 2002, he assumed the position of Associate Director of Music in 2003 and Director of Music and Organist in 2009. A prize-winner in the 2001 San Marino Organ Competition and the 2003 National Association of Negro Musicians’ Organ Competition, Chris maintains an active concert schedule, presenting recitals throughout the United States. As a flutist, he performs regularly with The Knights – a New York based chamber orchestra – and with Ensemble Eccolo, a chamber ensemble based in Altenburg, Germany, presenting concerts throughout Europe and the Middle East. An avid and enthusiastic flyer, Chris is also a rated commercial pilot and flight instructor in the New York metropolitan area.
Raised in Austin, Texas, flutist Alice Jones graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2005 and earned graduate degrees from SUNY Purchase. She is a recipient of an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellowship at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she is a doctoral student of Dr. Tara Helen O’Connor. An avid performer of symphonic, chamber, theater, and contemporary music, with performances ranging from the Brandenburg Concerti to New York City’s Look and Listen Festival, Alice was praised by Mario Davidovsky as “the flute player who could really play.” Equally passionate about performing, research, and teaching, she has won awards in both baroque performance and musicology, has taught music history courses at SUNY Purchase, and maintains a private studio in New York. Alice is a founding member of YUE (the Yale-China Music Exchange), an annual festival based in Huangshan (Anhui Province), China. She toured the country in 2007 and 2008 performing solo, chamber, and orchestral works and leading the festival’s chamber music and outreach programs. Her work with YUE brings together musicians from disparate cultures to reach both traditional audiences and Chinese citizens with little or no exposure to live concerts, and rests on the belief that music brings joy to everyone involved.
Margaret Kampmeier has a varied career as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral keyboardist and teacher of piano. She has performed across the United States, in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia, and has recorded for Centaur, Koch International, Bridge Records and Nonesuch. A founding member of New Millennium Ensemble, Ms. Kampmeier has performed also with the Kronos Quartet, Speculum Musicae, New York New Music Ensemble, Newband, League of Composers/ISCM, Musician's Accord, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Festival appearances include Tanglewood, Ravinia, Bard and Caramoor.
Julia Lichten enjoys a varied career as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and teacher and coach in the New York area. A member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra since 1995, she has toured as a soloist with Orpheus, as well as with Musicians from Marlboro and the American Chamber Players. An active recitalist, she has performed in such venues as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton universities, and toured Europe under State Department sponsorship as an "Artistic Ambassador." She is a member of the cello faculties at Manhattan School of Music and the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College.
Flutist Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer sought after for her unusual artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone in music of every era. She is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, a member of the virtuoso woodwind quintet Windscape, the chamber ensemble Andalucian Dogs and is the flute soloist of the Bach Aria Group. She received two Grammy nominations in 2003 for her recording of Osvaldo Golijov's Yiddishbbuk. Ms. O'Connor is professor of flute and head of the woodwind department at Purchase College Conservatory of Music and is on faculty at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music.
Arturo O’Farrill is an extremely accomplished pianist, composer, educator and winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award for 2003. In 2002, Mr. O’Farrill created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for Jazz at Lincoln Center due in part to a large and very demanding body of substantial music in the genre of Latin and Afro Cuban Jazz that deserves to be much more widely appreciated and experienced by the general jazz audience, and their debut album with the Orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a GRAMMY award nomination in 2006. Besides recording eight albums as a leader for Milestone Records, 32 Jazz, Zoho and M & I (Bloodlines, A Night in Tunisia, Cumana Bop, Live in Brooklyn, The Jim Seeley/Arturo O’Farrill Quintet, Song for Chico with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and In These Shoes, with Claudia Acuna), Mr. O’Farrill has appeared on numerous records including the Grammy-nominated Heart of a Legend, Carambola, and the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed movie Calle 54. Mr. O’Farrill was a special guest soloist at three landmark Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts—Afro-Cuban Jazz: Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, November 1995; Con Alma: The Latin Tinge in Big Band Jazz, September 1998; and the 2001 Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala: The Spirit of Tito Puente, November 2001. In the Spring and Fall of 2002, he was also the featured artist in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz in the Schools Tour, when he led a Latin jazz quintet for more than 50 educational performances that reached over 10,000 students in NYC metropolitan area schools.
Diana Solomon-Glover, is a versatile singer, performer, playwright and producer who has appeared in opera, concert, oratorio, recital, musical theater, cabaret and television throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. This February, Ms. Solomon-Glover sings composer Nkeiru Okoye's When I Crossed that Line to Freedom: Songs of Harriet Tubman with Maestro Leon Burke III and the University City Symphony Orchestra in Saint Louis, Missouri as well as here, at Symphony Space's Composers Now Festival. Ms. Solomon-Glover was also a featured actor and singer in the National Public Radio broadcast of "Then I'll Be Free to Travel Home", an award winning, radio docu-drama. Other recent performances included an appearance with Israeli folk-rock musician David Broza and Zimbabwe band, Liyana, on their first USA tour; creating the role of Mamie Till Mobley in Charles Lloyd Jr's opera, Emmett Till; an appearance in Iannis Xenakis' opera, Oresteia, and various other opera productions all over the United States. Ms. Solomon-Glover is the featured soloist and producer of a series of fundraising concerts for Project People Foundation (PPF), an organization working with AIDS orphans in South Africa, and through recent performances she has helped raise over $250,000 for PPF programs. Ms. Solomon-Glover made her debut as a playwright and producer in 2001 when her multimedia musical theater piece, BLACKWATER, was performed at The Theater of the Riverside Church in New York City.
The Son Sonora String Quartet, directed by Tania Leon, consists of graduates from the Juilliard School of Music. Members Airi Yosioka, Ashley Horne, Liu-Wieng Ting, and Arash Amini are very active in performing and teaching in the New York area and various venues throughout the United States. The Son Sonora ensemble, has been featured at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, and have released recordings of the George Walker quartets in 2007.
The Talea Ensemble is a recently formed group devoted to the advocacy and performance of contemporary music, aiming to present carefully selected programs of works that do not often find their way to the concert halls of New York. Their focus is on works written in the last forty or so years, by established composers as well as younger, up-and-coming ones. Another goal is to bring works from composers from all over the globe, as well as provide a commitment to American music. In addition to these activities, the Talea Ensemble also provides residencies at colleges and universities as part of its outreach program. The Talea Ensemble is: Daria Binkowski on flutes, Rane Moore on clarinets, Erik Carlson on violin, Elizabeth Weisser on viola, Chris Gross on cello, Anthony Cheung on piano, Steve Beck on piano and Alex Lipowski on percussion.