Meet the 2019 Music Artists

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A crack quartet picks up the sitar, tabla, violin and tanpura to perform traditional music of Northern India. Both classical and semi-classical in style, their repertoire follows a basic structure that has survived for hundred of years yet allows for more contemporary interpretations. A highly improvised  approach means anything can happen as the musicians reach into their bag of “ragas” that were composed for specific seasons and times of day.

The Celtic/Irish tradition of storytelling through song lives on. Wielding customary instruments like the acoustic guitar and the mandolin, Beemo members Dan Harshbarger, Matt Juliano and Tony Mickle will interpret two Irish standards, as well as a number about a mythical creature from Celtic folklore known as the Kelpi

The guitar-and-oboe duo plays pieces that feature the “habanera” rhythm, which originated in Cuba and was adopted in Argentina, leading to the global popularity of the tango. “Paseo en la Habana” by Fabrice Pierrat and “Piece en Forme se Habanera” by Maurice Ravel show how the habanera rhythm was used by classical composers in the 20th and 21st centuries, while “Histoire du Tango” by Astor Piazzolla represents different periods in the evolution of the tango from 1900 to the 1980s.

The Houston-born Lewis is known for his mastery of the tenor, alto and soprano saxophone, but he also plays flute and sings on material that emphasizes jazz-based interpretations of traditional jazz, pop, rock and hip-hop. African-American and Cajun influences form the foundation of a rich musical heritage he’s sown for over 20 years, playing alongside everyone from Myron Butler to Boney James to Lou Gramm and Dennis Elliott of Foreigner. He may even bust out some Latin melody if the vibe is right

The CSFOF’s pep band numbers about 25 of their 60+ official members, performing a program of culturally diverse pop. Brass, woodwinds and percussion line up alongside the color guard to delve into a repertoire that ranges from Cuban to Irish sounds.

Hailing from Cape Verde, a group of islands located off the west coast of Africa, the singer/songwriter returns to his roots in a set of original numbers titled “I’m Coming Home.” The electronic rhythms of the musical style known as kizomba (in English, “party”) lay the foundation for songs sung in Marciano’s native tongue. In between selections, he’ll share short folktales remembered from his childhood.

Acoustic guitar and percussion form the basis for a four-person performance of Cuban and Cuban-American music. The traditional “Veneración” tells of a pilgrimage to the town of Cobre in eastern Cuba, while the originals “Tu Chocolate” and the Christmas-themed “Pavo en Fricase” take their inspiration from that country’s musica guajira.

The alto/mezzo alto vocalist performs a program of cultural songs representing the Latin/Caribbean heritage. The lyrical themes and composers she’s chosen to spotlight will stir patriotic feelings and memories of cherished homelands. 

The singer/songwriter and guitarist presents a program of original Bossa Nova and Latin-influenced tunes, with accompaniment from percussionist Dave Dibona and L.A.-based Peruvian singer/guitarist/percussionist Ursula Lari Pissani. Lyrics in both English and Spanish waft over the sound of acoustic guitars, cajon and djembe, showcasing the interconnected nature of Latin American music and the jazz and pop styles of the U.S.A.

The teen singer/songwriter trades in country-pop that exhibits a Latin flair inherited from her Hispanic upbringing. Leading a trio that underpins her vocals with acoustic guitars and cajon, she’ll favor us with her originals “Flame” and “Bridesmaid,” as well as a cover of Camila Cabello’s “Havana” performed in both English and Spanish.

The seven-member Hispanic performance troupe presents Souls Recognize Each Other By Vibes, a “choreographed live New Age-folk musical video.” A mix of live and recorded sounds features African drums, Spanish guitar, Mesoamerican flutes, Cante Jondo and electronic vibes, in an original piece that celebrates the ways in which music and energy help us rediscover our common roots. 

This percussive performing group introduces us to the sounds of the Taiko, a traditional Japanese drum. Originally heard in cultural settings like regional festivals, harvest celebrations and religious ceremonies, it was even used on the battlefield to intimidate enemies, and to convey commands and signals that could be heard far and wide.  Here, it carries the call to friendship and diversity.

The organization’s Studio Artists appear in costume to sing opera and Zarzuela highlights from Italy, Germany, France and Spain, with keyboard accompaniment. Performers are Brent Doucette (tenor), Anna Eschbach (soprano), Adriana Nieves (soprano), Gloria Palermo (mezzo soprano) and Sean Stork (baritone).

Iranian-American professionals and academics come together to interpret the sounds of Persia via authentic vocals and instrumentation. Their program of classics includes the uplifting poetry of “Khooshe-chin” and “Doosh-doosh,” as sung and played on instruments like the setar, daf, santoor and zarb. Keyboard, guitar and tambourine sounds join the mix as the focus shifts to pop for renditions of “Age Yerooz Beri Safar” and ”Gole Goldoon e Man.”

Bringing the tradition of the black gospel choir.

“Jamaican reggae music is mostly spiritual, and the message is a call for mankind to live in love and harmony,” says this devotionally minded vocalist. Expect a Bob Marley vibe from the reggae/gospel hybrid of his selections “Everything Bless” and “Umoja Now I Say God’s Children.”

There’s a Latin undertone to the work of this indie-pop singer-songwriter, whose journeys have taken her everywhere from Ecuador to Madagascar. Here, she’ll receive accompaniment from a four-piece band on two of her original numbers – including “You,” a love ballad with lyrics in English and Spanish.

Will n’ Ray is a duo that blend their tight harmonies, smooth instrumentals, and catchy melodies to create a luscious, New Age, Pop sound.