GardenMusic Artist Biographies
SIXTH FLOOR TRIO
Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu
Sixth Floor Trio
The Sixth Floor Trio is a chamber group dedicated to the creation and performance of music that connects different musical styles, communities, and artistic disciplines. Formed by graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, the Trio has performed extensively throughout the United States in venues ranging from traditional concert halls to grunge bars and experimental spaces.
The Trio’s debut performance took place in August 2009, when the group opened for (and collaborated with) Marvin Hamlisch in Western North Carolina. Following this very successful beginning, the Trio performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center in 2010 (with two return engagements in 2011 and 2012), the Kravis Center (Palm Beach) in 2011, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, the FUZE! Series at the Akron Art Museum, the Living Room in New York City, and numerous other locations during the Trio’s annual Summer, Fall and Winter residencies.
In addition to presenting performances, the Sixth Floor Trio has created and directed several exciting projects inspired by the Trio’s mission to bring music to the widest audiences and to connect with artists from many different genres. The Trio received a substantial grant in 2011 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to present “Random Acts of Culture” across the United States. These “Random Acts” led the Trio to collaborate with organizations such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Stanford University, the Akron Public Library, Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History, Greyhound, and the Ferry Terminal Marketplace in San Francisco in addition to showcasing the Trio at numerous malls, markets, transit centers, and airports around the country.
The Trio also serves as Artistic Directors of GardenMusic, the music festival of the renowned Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami. The inaugural season of GardenMusic took place in the spring of 2012, and included a week of both casual and evening performances, educational presentations reaching numerous local schools, Random Acts of Culture, and collaborations with some of Miami’s most exciting artists in many genres. The Trio’s programming for the first season ranged from Medieval to Classical to world premieres, dance commissions, video installations, and theater works. GardenMusic continues (and will expand) in spring 2013; more information will be announced soon.
One of the Trio’s other major projects is a film series called “Music Of The People”. Sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the video project explores folk music from around the world by following the Sixth Floor Trio as they try to learn new musical styles and understand the folk-culture of different regions. Each episode ends in a friendly “challenge” of a local folk group to test the Trio’s ability to absorb new types of music. The pilot episode featured Bluegrass from the High Country of North Carolina.
Educational and community engagement work has also been a very significant part of the Sixth Floor Trio’s activities. The group has presented numerous concerts for Astral Artist’s community programs, has performed at (and worked with) schools around the country, and worked with the music education program Play On Philly! in Philadelphia.
The Sixth Floor Trio’s vision places all musical traditions from around the world and across time on one continuum as part of the same great musical language, and the Trio’s mission is to make connections between these varied musical styles in its repertoire. From Bluegrass to Klezmer, Classical to Jazz, Ancient Music to Contemporary Rock – the group explores it all and bring the music’s energy to the world. In addition, the Trio strives to share its artistic passion and music-making with diverse audiences everywhere, from traditional concertgoers to those with acute needs or in remote places.
An unusually versatile musician, Teddy Abrams is a widely acclaimed conductor, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist, and composer. He has been named Music Director Designate of the Louisville Orchestra, and assumes the title of Music Director in September 2014. Recently appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Classical Festival, 2014 marks his first season in that role. Simultaneously, Teddy concludes his tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony with the 2013-14 season. Additional appointments include a tenure as Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, which he first conducted in 2011.
Active as a guest conductor, Abrams’ recent and upcoming performances include returns to The Florida Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony, where he conducted the orchestra's summer classical series in July 2013. Recent debuts have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. From 2008 to 2011 Abrams was the Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony (NWS) and conducted many performances, including subscription concerts and numerous other full and chamber orchestra events. Abrams has conducted the NWS in Miami Beach, Washington, D.C. and at Carnegie Hall, and has worked with many other orchestras around the country.
An accomplished pianist and clarinetist, Abrams has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras - including playing and conducting the Ravel Piano Concerto with the Jacksonville Symphony in fall 2013 - and has performed chamber music with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three and John Adams in addition to annual appearances at the Olympic Music Festival. Dedicated to exploring new and engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Abrams co-founded the Sixth Floor Trio in 2008. The Trio has performed around the country, establishing residencies in communities in North Carolina, Philadelphia, New York and South Florida; Abrams and the Trio founded and direct GardenMusic, the music festival of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami. Abrams collaborated (as an arranger and pianist) with Cleveland Orchestra principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa for La Rosa’s debut CD, released in October 2010.
Abrams studied conducting with Michael Tilson Thomas, Otto-Werner Mueller and Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music, and with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; he was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at both institutions. Abrams is also an award-winning composer and a passionate educator - he has taught at numerous schools throughout the United States. His 2009 Education Concerts with the New World Symphony (featuring the world premiere of one of Abrams’ own orchestral works) were webcast to hundreds of schools throughout South Florida.
Abrams performed as a keyboardist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, won the 2007 Aspen Composition Contest, and was the Assistant Conductor of the YouTube Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 2009. He has held residencies at the La Mortella music festival in Ischia, Italy and at the American Academy in Berlin. Teddy was a proud member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for seven seasons, and graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music, having studied piano with Paul Hersh.
Heralded a “bold, emergent, personality” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, bassoonist Harrison Hollingsworth is widely regarded as one of the premier wind players of his generation, and holds the principal bassoon chair of the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. Originally from Kingwood, TX, Harrison is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA where he held the Sheldon Bonovitz Fellowship and studied with both Bernard Garfield and Daniel Matsukawa, the retired and current principal bassoonists of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Harrison is also a conductor. He has guest conducted on multiple subscription concerts for the NYCB Orchestra, and he holds the David Alan Miller Conducting Fellowship for the New York Youth Symphony, where he serves as Assistant Conductor. He is also a graduate of The Mannes College for Music, where he received his Master’s in Orchestral Conducting under David Hayes. Under a grant from The Williamson Foundation for Music, Harrison has also studied orchestral conducting with Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School.
In addition to serving as principal bassoon for the New York City Ballet, Harrison formerly held the Eileen McManimen principal bassoon chair for Symphony in C (formerly Haddonfield Symphony), where he has also served as program annotator and first violinist. An advocate for new music both on the podium and in the recital hall, Harrison has premiered multiple new works for bassoon, including Teddy Abrams’ Bassoon Sonata, of which he is the dedicatee.
Also an enthusiastic chamber musician, he has performed at the Kingston Music Festival and the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, and is a founding bassoonist of Reed5 and founding bassoonist/violinist of the Sixth Floor Trio, which inaugurated its own annual chamber music festival in partnership with Fairchild Gardens in Miami in March 2012, and were the recipients of a substantial grant from the Knight Foundation to perform Random Acts of Culture across the United States in 2011-2012.
As a soloist, Harrison is on the roster of Astral Artists, which sponsored his professional recital debut in 2009. He has played concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Symphony in C, the Clear Lake Symphony, and many other orchestras. He has also been featured in recital on WHYY ARTS television series – “On Stage at Curtis,” NPR’s syndicated radio show “From the Top,” and WHYY 91 FM Radio’s “Showcase,” which broadcast the radio premier of his brass choir composition “Fanfare and Contrapunctus.” His bassoon playing can also be heard on Arturo Ripstein’s new film Las Razones del Corazon.
Now based in New York, Harrison pursues many activities. He is an original member of the Mimesis Ensemble (with whom he made his Kennedy Center conducting debut). He works as a freelance conductor in NYC, conducting recording sessions at Avatar Studios as well as serving as a clinician for various orchestras (most recently, the Westchester Area All-State Orchestra), and has played as principal bassoonist with the Long Island Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Phantom of the Opera Orchestra, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and has taught bassoon and chamber music for the Chautauqua Music Festival. Also an avid fiddler, Harrison plays with the Brooklyn roots string band Union Street Preservation Society, which released its debut album in July 2011.
French-American clarinetist Johnny Teyssier was appointed principal clarinetist of the Malmö Symphony in 2012 after serving as principal clarinet of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. He has played principal clarinet in the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra since 2012, and has been a guest principal with the Britt Festival Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic. During the 2014-15 season, Johnny is serving as acting principal clarinet with the Danish National Symphony.
Johnny has appeared as soloist with the Malmö Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and the Colburn Orchestra. He has performed recitals throughout the United States and Europe in venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Kravis Center, La Mortella in Ischia, Italy and the American Academy in Berlin. He was a featured artist at the 2007 MBNA Shannon International Music Festival in Limerick, Ireland, and has also performed at the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire Festival, the Juventus Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival and the International Young Artist Music Festival in Hilton Head, NC.
Johnny is a founding member of the Sixth Floor Trio, a chamber ensemble that explores diverse musical styles including Klezmer, bluegrass, rock and ancient music through original arrangements and improvisation. Apart from more traditional concerts in such venues as the Kravis Center, World Cafe Live, and the Living Room, the trio is spearheading a variety of cutting-edge musical projects. In partnership with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the trio has created GardenMusic, a new multi-genre chamber music festival in Miami. Additionally, the trio has received a grant from the Knight Foundation to be the resident ensemble for the Random Acts of Culture project. The trio is dedicated to community outreach, and regularly brings their love of music into classrooms around the country.
Born in 1987, Johnny was raised in a French family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He started the clarinet at the age of ten, studying with Dwayne VanWyhe and Burt Hara. He attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan as a student of Nathan Williams. At the age of 17, he was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Donald Montanaro, Pamela Frank and Ford Lallerstedt. From 2008 to 2011, he studied with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
Cellist Grace An is currently a fourth year Fellow at the New World Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. Described by the Miami Herald as a "luminous performer," Ms. An has appeared on stage at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn BargeMusic, Sydney Opera House, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. She has collaborated as a chamber musician with distinguished artists including Emanuel Ax, eighth blackbird, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Festival appearances include the Verbier Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Banff Centre. A passionate advocate for arts education and community engagement, Ms. An was a teaching artist at the Harlem Children's Zone and performed in schools across New York. She is actively involved in New World Symphony’s outreach programs and serves as a mentor and coach in their partnership with Academia Filarmónica de Medellín, Colombia. Ms. An began her musical training at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and completed degrees at Stanford University, Eastman School of Music, and Manhattan School of Music.
Sebastian Chang is a composer and pianist born and raised in Southern California. He received his B.M. in Composition from the Curtis Institute of Music, studying under Jennifer Higdon and Richard Danielpour, and his M.M. in Composition from the University of Southern California, studying under Donald Crockett. In his pre-collegiate years, he studied under Suzanne Wong-Abe, Mark Sullivan, Bruce Miller, Michael Martin, and Richard Derby.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony have performed his original compositions. He received three BMI Student Composer Awards and five ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards. He performed as a piano soloist with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the California Symphony, and the Reno Philharmonic.
He is self-published under Sebastian Press and is additionally published by Alpha Major, based out of Houston, Texas. His new orchestral composition "Walking" is premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in November 2013.
Hailed by Die Presse as "the secret highpoint of the evening," violinist Johannes Dickbauer is renowned for his incredible versatility. Classically trained at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, he finds himself equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, jazzer, folk musician, composer or arranger. A top prize winner and winner of the Public's Prize at the 2007 Concours International de Violon Sion, Johannes has made appearances with several European orchestras, including the Wiener Kammerphilharmonie, the Dohnanyi Budafolk Orchestra under Shlomo Mintz, and the Wiener Kammerorchester, under the baton of the celebrated violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin.
Johannes has twice won the Musica Juventutis Competition in Vienna, the first time, earning him his classical debut in the Vienna Konzerthaus, and the second, as part of the duo Cardboard Heroes, with bassist Manuel Mayer. Cardboard Heroes makes its debut at the Konzerthaus in the spring of 2011, with a program of all original compositions.
Johannes always has several projects in the works; his duo-collaboration with pianist Roman Rabinovich, prizewinner at the 2008 Rubinstein Competition, has yielded Red Blanket, a composed/free-improvisation work which brings listeners on an epic journey. As a violinist of the radio.string.quartet.vienna, he has released his fourth CD on the ACT label, with Swedish singer Rigmor Gustafsson. The quartet's 2006 album, Celebrating the Mahavishnu Orchestra, was awarded the "German Recordlabel Critics" prize and the "Pasticcio" Prize from radio-station Ö1. At the Traumzeit Festival in Duisburg, Germany, the quartet performed on the same program as guitar-legend John McLaughlin; a live DVD of their concert commemorates the experience. The quartet has carved a niche for itself in the European jazz scene, and can be seen performing at many of the major jazz festivals worldwide, such as Paris Jazz Festival, Jazzfest Berlin, Jazzfestival Basel, Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010, and at the Musikverein in Vienna.
Johannes received his B.M. '07 from the Curtis Institute, where he was a student of Pamela Frank. Currently, he has lessons with Ernst Kovacic, and previous teachers have included Benjamin Schmid and Gerhard Schulz. He has participated in masterclasses with Dave Douglas, the Guarneri String Quartet, Uri Caine, Shmuel Ashkenasi and Claude Frank.
Praised by the New York Times for his “catlike ease” at the keyboard, American pianist Julio Elizalde has given performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington,D.C., and Jordan Hall inBoston.
He made his New York Cityconcerto debut performing with the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Anne Manson. Mr. Elizalde is the pianist of the New Trio with violinist Andrew Wan, concertmaster of the Montreal Symhony Orchestra and Patrick Jee, acting principal cellist of the Chicago Lyric Opera. He also tours as the US recital partner of violinist Ray Chen, winner of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition.
Mr. Elizalde has performed with distinguished musicians such as violinists Pamela Frank, Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann, cellist Bonnie Hampton, baritone William Sharp, and soprano Susan Narucki, among others. Mr. Elizalde is on the artist faculty of the Manchester Music Festival inVermontand is the associate artistic director of the Olympic Music Festival near Seattle, WA. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Juilliard School.
Bassist Nathan Farrington has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival Conducting Orchestra, and the Minnesota Sinfonia, and appears regularly in the bass sections of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Columbus Symphony, and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Farrington has completed three summers at the Marlboro Music Festival. He has performed on numerous occasions on NPR s A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. Mr. Farrington graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music studying with the Philadelphia Orchestra's principal bassist, Hal Robinson, as well as with soloist Edgar Meyer.
Since his debut as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the age of 18, cellist Nicholas Finch has established himself as an artist of great depth and diversity, performing a wide variety of repertoire both within and beyond the classical genre. Finch was recently appointed Principal Cellist of the Louisville Orchestra during the 2013-2014 season by their new music director Teddy Abrams. During the same season he also appeared numerous time with the elite Boston-based chamber orchestra ‘A Far Cry’, appearing in two new recorded albums and touring Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Illinois. One of these albums, "Dreams and Prayers," was recently nominated for a Grammy Award, while the other album, "The Law of Mosaics", was listed by Alex Ross of The New Yorker as one of his recommended new CDs of the year. During the 2014-2015 season, in addition to his duties in Louisville, Finch will perform Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B Minor with the Melrose Symphony Orchestra in Boston, along with performances with Trio Caesura and appearances at the Las Vegas Wine and Music Festival and the Lake George Music Festival.
Lily Francis is quickly establishing herself as one of the leading violinist/violists today. Recently one of the top prizewinners at the 2009 ARD Music Competition (Violin) in Munich, she has performed with several of the leading orchestras in Germany, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Munich Radio Orchestra. She made her Weill Recital Hall debut in New York in May 2008 on the Distinctive Debuts series, and plays both violin and viola regularly in the USA, and throughout Europe. A consummate chamber musician, Ms. Francis was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center CMS Two program from 2006-09, which presented her in concerts in Alice Tully Hall and other notable NY venues. She has toured the USA with the Chamber Society, as well as several Musicians From Marlboro programs. As the newest member of the critically-acclaimed Aronowitz Ensemble, she performs throughout the UK, including appearances at Wigmore Hall and Aldeburgh. This season sees her performing as a concermaster of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, as a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, teaching students at Mit Musik Miteinander in Kronberg, Germany, and guest-leading the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Recent festival appearances have included the Lockenhaus Festival, Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte, Marlboro Music, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Kronberg, Hatfield House, and International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove.
Ms. Francis has collaborated with many of the leading musicians of our time, including Mitsuko Uchida, Andras Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Arnold Steinhardt, Kim Kashkashian, and Peter Wiley, as well as several artists of other disciplines. As the violist of the Vertigo String Quartet, she recorded the score to Michael Hollinger’s award-winning play Opus, which began in Philadelphia, played in New York, and is currently touring the USA. Ms. Francis’ violin-playing hands were featured in Doug Aitken’s art-film Sleepwalkers, which was projected onto an outer wall of MoMA in New York City. She has also collaborated with the Boston Ballet School and the Rock School of Dance on choreographed pieces about Bach.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory, Ms. Francis studied with Joseph Silverstein and Miriam Fried. Other teachers have included Philip Setzer, Brian Lewis, and Teri Einfeldt, Steve Tenenbom, and Gerhard Schulz. She plays an 1846 Pierre Silvestre violin and a 2004 Marco Coppiardi viola.
Montreal native Gabriel Globus-Hoenich's career reflects a deep diversity of talent, with extensive forays in the worlds of jazz, classical music, and world music as a drummer, percussionist, composer, and teaching artist. As a busy jazz drummer, Gabriel has performed with a multitude of jazz greats, including John Swana, Tim Warfield, Pat Bianchi, Orrin Evans, Joe Magnarelli, and Larry McKenna. Gabriel has been featured on drum-set with the Philly Pops, Detroit Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Curtis Institute Symphony among other orchestras. In addition, Gabriel frequently performs chamber music and as a member of Philadelphia's premier ensemble Dolce Suono has performed premiers of the works of Theo Bleckmann, Steve Mackey, Steven Stuckey, Stratis Minakakis, and David Ludwig.
Gabriel is also one of the founders of Drumming for Social Change, an organization dedicated to researching and developing percussion based educational programming. Gabriel recently spent over five weeks studying Brazilian percussion in Salvador da Bahia, Brasil and researching how percussion and folkloric music can be used as conduit for social change. Gabriel also leads the 12 piece timba band GGH and The People of Earth for whom he composes, arranges, and plays percussion.
A dedicated educator, Gabriel works in Philadelphia schools as a teaching artist for the Philadelphia Orchestra's School Partnership Program as well as El-Sistema-inspired Play on Philly. In 2013, Gabriel was musician in residence at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia where he presented daily workshops to children aged 0-7. Gabriel has also coached percussion at Haverford College and maintains a private studio.
A 2008 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Gabriel has studied with some of the premier percussion teachers in the world, including Kenny Washington, Rodney Green, Don Liuzzi, Robert Van Sice, and Alan Abel.
For more information, visit www.gghdrums.com
Jeremy Kittel is at the forefront of a new breed of fiddlers and violinists who easily navigate between a multitude of musical styles and traditions. Fluidly mastering this rich musical heritage, he also breaks exciting new ground while helping to redefine the role of his instrument.
Currently touring internationally with his name-sake group, the Jeremy Kittel Band, he leads audiences into exciting new-acoustic music territory. He also maintains an active schedule of collaborations with some of today’s most innovative and influential artists, from genres diverse as folk, jazz, classical, and pop music. Recently completing a five-year position as a full-time member of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet, he has also toured and recorded with such musical giants as Mark O’Connor, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Paquito D’Rivera, the Assad Brothers, Stefon Harris, My Morning Jacket, Jars of Clay, Abigail Washburn, and Ben Sollee. He has appeared on the NPR radio show A Prairie Home Companion, has been a guest performer with multiple symphony orchestras, and has performed at venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Bonnaroo, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
His most recent solo recording, Chasing Sparks (Compass Records), clearly establishes Jeremy as a formidable composer and arranger as well as a violinist of the highest technical and musical sensibilities. This comes as no surprise given that his three previously released CDs span the musical spectrum from jazz to celtic, with a strong dose of originality and technical mastery.
One of the leading improvising violinists of his generation, Jeremy has a master’s degree in jazz violin from the Manhattan School of Music, and he is the recipient of the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan. He is also a National US Scottish Fiddle champion as well as a multiple winner of Detroit Music Awards and ASTA Alternative Style awards.
As a lover of song, and as a singer himself, Kittel enjoys collaborating with singers and lyricists from any genre. Most recently, he has arranged and recorded orchestral-style strings for several major-label releases: Abigail Washburn’s “City of Refuge,” My Morning Jacket’s “Circuital,” and an upcoming release by the Platinum-selling, Grammy-winning band Jars of Clay.
Kittel currently resides in beautiful Brooklyn, NY. When he’s not on tour, he often enjoys Monkey Conditioning and Ecstatic Dance.
Boston born Aoife O’Donovan is known for her ethereal vocals and substantive songwriting. After graduating from New England Conservatory, O’Donovan hit the road as the lead singer and principal songwriter/song-finder of Crooked Still, which grew into one of the world’s most acclaimed progressive string groups over the ensuing decade. The stunning versatility and appeal of her voice brought her to the attention of some of the most eminent names in music and led to collaborations across a wide variety of genres with everyone from Alison Krauss to Dave Douglas and regular appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, along with a role as vocalist on the Grammy-winning Goat Rodeo Sessions alongside Chris Thile, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan. In 2012, the now Brooklyn-based musician went to Portland, OR to fulfill her dream of recording an album with celebrated producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists). Rich in tender vocals and unexpected textures, the resulting solo debut album, Fossils, bears the remarkable fruits of their creative partnership.
Nathaniel Smith has transported the cello into multiple genres and styles by transcending traditional cello technique and transforming the role of the cello. Born in Brandon, Mississippi, Nathaniel studied classical cello and enriched his approach to playing through local jam sessions and attending musical gatherings around the country. Living in Nashville, TN, Nathaniel’s cello tracks can be heard on many albums, including Sarah Jarosz, Laura Viers, Abigail Washburn, Jars of Clay, and Camera Obscura. Nathaniel has performed nationally and internationally with various artists including Mark O’Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck, Darol Anger, Steve Martin, and Jeremy Kittel. He has toured extensively for the past 5 years with Sarah Jarosz performing on Austin City Limits, The Conan O’Brien Show, The Craig Ferguson Show, as well as National Public Radio and A Prairie Home Companion. www.nathanielsmithcello.com
Classically trained at Cuba’s premier conservatories, the members of three-time Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre are true modern heirs to the rich musical tradition of their native Cuba. The Miami-based group is celebrated for its sophisticated performances of timba music, an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of r&b, pop, jazz, and Cuban son. Tiempo Libre has introduced Cuban music to new audiences through appearances on shows such as the Tonight Show, Live from Lincoln Center and Dancing With the Stars and concerts worldwide including performances at Tanglewood, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Hong Kong’s Kwai Tsing Theatre and Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. Tiempo Libre collaborated on “Para Ti” with violinist Joshua Bell for his At Home with Friends album and frequently plays with leading orchestras. The band recently released My Secret Radio on Sony Masterworks, previous albums Bach in Havana (Sony Masterworks), Arroz Con Mango (Shanachie) and Lo Que Esperabas (Shanachie) were nominated for Grammys.
Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu
Violinist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu enjoys a versatile international career as an orchestral soloist, a recitalist and a chamber musician. She has been featured with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in her native country, as well as with such European orchestras as the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
As solo recitalist and chamber musician, Wu performs regularly in Asia, Europe and North America, at such prominent venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, among many others. Artists with whom she has collaborated include Gary Graffman, Kim Kashkashian, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Midori, Ralph Kirshbaum, William Preucil, Thomas Quasthoff, Fred Sherry, and members of the Alban Berg, Brentano, Guarneri, Miró, Tokyo and Ying quartets. Wu has appeared as guest violist—her second instrument—with the Orion String Quartet and the Dover Quartet. She is currently the Artist in Residence of the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles since 2013.