Biographies of Artists who performed for OCPAG
San Juan Chamber MusicFest
Max Levinson - Artistic Director
MAX LEVINSON, piano
Pianist Max Levinson is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. The Washington Post writes, "You can hear gasps in the audience - Max Levinson displays technical wizardry. His playing has solid, assured technique, clarity of vision and a sense of the permanent values in music that underlie surface variations." He has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New World Symphony, Boston Pops, San Antonio Symphony, Louisville Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and in recital at New York's Lincoln Center, Washington DC's Kennedy Center, London's Wigmore Hall, Zürich's Tonhalle, the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, Jordan Hall in Boston, and throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.
Levinson's international career was launched when he won First Prize at the 1997 Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He then received overwhelming critical acclaim for his two solo recordings on N2K Encoded Music, and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in March 1999. Most recently he was awarded the 2005 Andrew Wolf Award, given biannually to a pianist for achievement as a chamber musician.
Max Levinson is a graduate of Harvard and the New England Conservatory, receiving an Artist Diploma and the Gunther Schuller Medal. His teachers include Patricia Zander, Aube Tzerko and Bruce Sutherland. An active chamber musician, Levinson has collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, the Tokyo , Vermeer, Mendelssohn, and Borromeo Quartets, and regularly appears at major music festivals including Santa Fe , Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Killington, and Switzerland 's Davos Festival.
He is currently on the faculty at Boston Conservatory and Brown University and is a Steinway Artist. He lives in Boston with his wife, cellist Allison Eldredge, and their daughters Natalie and Jessica.
Max Levinson's site
ALLISON ELDREDGE, cello
Heralded as "a musician of remarkable gifts" by the Chicago Tribune, cellist Allison Eldredge has captivated audiences throughout the world with her deeply communicative tone and commanding technique. An Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Ms. Eldredge has performed with many of the world's foremost orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Boston Pops, Montreal Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
She has toured North America, Europe and Asia as featured soloist with such prominent ensembles as the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields , the Haifa Symphony, and leading ensembles of Japan . Other career highlights include her performance at a special concert in tribute to cellist Pablo Casals at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and performances with the Moscow Virtuosi and Vladimir Spivakov, which culminated in a nationally televised gala concert, at the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall. She has appeared with Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma for Japanese television and also has the distinction of being invited to play at the White House.
Sought after as a chamber musician, she has shared the stage with numerous acclaimed artists, such as Andre Previn, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham. She has appeared at many of the major world chamber music festivals, including the Ravinia, Caramoor, Casals, Santa Fe , the Colmar Festival in France , the Davos Festival in Switzerland , the Dvorak Festival in Prague , and the Johannesen International Festival in Victoria , BC . She is also a member of the distinguished Boston Trio.
Born in New York City , Ms. Eldredge studied at the Juilliard School . Now living in the Boston area with her husband, pianist Max Levinson and their two daughters, Ms. Eldredge serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory. She is also the Artistic Director of the Killington Music Festival.
Visit Allison's website for videos, CD's and much more.
IRINA MURESANU, violin
Praised by the Boston Globe as "not just a virtuoso, but an artist…" Irina Muresanu has won universal acclaim as an outstanding young soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. “Muresanu brings dramatic edge, spine-tingling brilliance, and rhythmic tautness. Her playing was thrilling as well as drop-dead gorgeous (Boston Globe).” The LA Times wrote that her “musical luster, melting lyricism and colorful conception made Irina Muresanu's performance especially admirable.”
Her performances were named among the “Best of 1997 and of 1999” by the Boston Globe and her recital with pianist David Deveau in the Emerging Artist BankBoston Celebrity Series was one of the top 10 musical events of 1999 listed by TAB Magazine.
Ms. Muresanu has appeared as a soloist with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Boston Pops, the Metropolitan Orchestra in Montreal , the Boston Philharmonic, the Syracuse Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Romanian National Radio Orchestra, and many others. She has collaborated with such noted performers as Kim Kashkashian, Cynthia Phelps, Sharon Robinson, Ron Thomas, David Deveau, Andres Cardenes, James Buswell, Nathaniel Rosen, and Virginia Eskin.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Muresanu is a member of the Lewin-Muresanu Duo, the Boston Trio, the Boston Conservatory Chamber Players, and the Walden Chamber Players. She is a regular guest of many other groups, such as the Boston Chamber Music Society. Ms. Muresanu was a member of the Raphael Trio from 2000 to 2002.
Her recent appearances include Bargemusic in New York ; the Rockport Festival in Massachusetts ; Bay Chambers concert series and Bowdoin Festival in Maine ; the Strings in the Mountains and Music in Ouray festivals in Colorado ; the Maui Classical Music Festival in Hawaii ; the Reizend Music festival in Netherlands ; Festival van de Leie in Belgium ; and the Rencotres de Musiciennes in France .
Ms. Muresanu's competition achievements include top prizes and awards in the Montreal International Competition, Queen Elizabeth Violin Competition, UNISA International String Competition, Washington International Competition, and the Schadt String Competition. She was the winner of the Pro Musicis International Award, the Presser Music Award and the Arthur Foote Award from Harvard Musical Association. Ms. Muresanu was awarded Special Commendation award for her recording of Schoenberg's Fantasy for violin and piano at the 3rd International Vienna Modern Masters Performers Recording Competition.
Her recordings include an Albany Record premiere recording of Marion Bauer's Sonata for Violin and Piano (with Pianist Virginia Eskin), and a VPRO Radio CD with chamber works of E. Korngold.
Ms. Muresanu currently serves on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, the Prep Division of New England Conservatory of Music, and the Music Department at MIT. She recently completed the prestigious Artist Diploma program at the New England Conservatory.
Her violin is an 1856 Joseph Rocca and a Charles Peccat bow courtesy of Mr. Mark Ptashne.
Find much more on Irina's work here.
From New York
Highly acclaimed as one of the premier Chamber Music Trios in the country. Performances at the Lincoln Center , Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap Center in Vienna . Four CDs. Performers at many international and national Festivals. Described by the New York Times as “consistently brilliant.”
Trio Solisti has earned a reputation for soulful and passionate performances marked by soloistic virtuosity, electric energy, seamless ensemble playing, and thrilling abandon. These qualities have drawn high praise from such journals as The New York Times ("consistently brilliant") and The Washington Post ("unrelenting passion and zealous abandon in a transcendent performance"). Performing a broad spectrum of styles, their versatility extends to new music, most notably to the work of Paul Moravec who composed his 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Tempest Fantasy, for Trio Solisti.
Trio Solisti celebrates their 10th Anniversary in the 2011-2012 season.
Maria Bachmann : Featured worldwide as one of America 's top violinists. Profiled in Time magazine and honored by Musical America as “Outstanding Artist of the Year.” Graduate of the Curtis Institute and winner of the Fritz Kreisler Prize for outstanding violinist. Maria is a soloist with numerous major orchestras.
Jon Klibonoff: Solo piano recitalist and well-known chamber musician throughout the US and abroad. Recipient of the Silver Medal of the Gina Bachauer International Piano competition. Pro Musica Foundation award, First prize at the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition. Graduate of the Julliard School and Manhattan School of Music.
Alexis Pia Gerlach : Cellist who has performed throughout the world as both chamber musician and soloist. Guest artist with numerous prestigious Societies and orchestras plus appearances at many national festivals. Several recordings as soloist, chamber musician and under direction of esteemed conductors. Graduate of Yale Music School and Julliard. Other performers have included Kathryn Lockwood, viola and Toby Appel, violin.
More images, music samples and videos on the Trio Solisti website.
The late, Great Dennis Weaver – actor, author, and friend said: “Cathy is an angel whose music speaks to your heart, and sings to your soul.”
It's difficult to place Cathy Bolton's music into one particular genre. Singer-Songwriter – International Recording Artist with an easy listening style that crosses Folk with Country, light Pop with a little blues, and Irish folk flavor. Having organized and worked with bands in the past, her solo career is what has gained her the most recognition, the largest audiences, and 8 recordings.
Her performances include selections of her own material, along with songs that she has recorded, and performs by John Denver, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Peter Yarrow, Skip Ewing and others. Stories and humorous experiences weave her songs together for an event that you won't soon forget.
Cathy is booked in venues for concerts, coffee houses, private home concerts, and church services traveling around the U.S . and Canada .
Her music has also taken her to Australia, The Netherlands and Germany.
Cathy's dear friend, the late, Great Dennis Weaver composed a poem many years ago to which Cathy set to music in 2006. She titled it DREAM YOUR EAGLE and placed in on her ANGELS and EAGLES album. It is currently receiving radio airplay and was presented as consideration for a 51 st annual Grammy Award , in 2009. The following link is a wonderful journey of Dennis' film career, accompanied by this song. Click on "musical tribute to Dennis" for a heartwarming experience. www.dennisweaver.com
Songwriting projects include compostions on each of her 8 music albums, a track composed for a children's DVD and for an author's website upon the release of that author's published book. Cathy's most recent composition submission was for Eckhart Tolle and Robert Friedman's movie based on their children's book titled Milton's Secret, An Adventure of Discovery Through the Power of Then, When and Now.
Windham Hill included four of Cathy's Inspirational selections of music on two collaboration albums, along with pieces by Yanni, George Winston , and Jim Brickman .
Concert openings include world known recording artist Toby Keith and the late, great Dan Seals . With travel to Nashville, in the past, for her music business, as a performer and songwriter, she performed several times at the renowned Bluebird Café .
Another aspect of her career includes providing music for the Conversations with God Spiritual Retreats with author, NEALE DONALD WALSCH. For the past 13 years she has played a large role in these life changing experiences as people gather from around the world to share their life stories as they move beyond their fears and self limitations with Grace and Gratitude. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Trustees , as well as being The Music Director for the CwG Foundation in Ashland , OR .
Other authors that she has provided music for include Alan Cohen, Joan Borysenko, Debbie Ford, James Twyman, Echo Bodine, Lisette Larkins and the creator of The Spiritual Cinema Circle, Stephen Simon, prior to, and during their literary presentations.
"The largest reason that I continue to deliver my gift of music is to touch HEARTS and LIVES in a profound way. It is always my intention that the words from the songs that I write, and sing - either my own or another songwriter's masterpieces - and the vibration of my voice strike a chord in you, so that it can change that moment, your day, or even your life because of that vibration. It is my intention to "serve" in this way. May the songs that you hear in a live performance or in my recordings make a difference for you. Thank you for allowing me such a bless-ed opportunity!"
Neale Donald Walsch, author and friend says about her: “The joy, the love, the gentle wisdom, and the deep insight that Cathy and her music bring to the space produces the miracle called Healing. There is no “thank you” large enough to embrace the enormity of that gift. I'm always humbled and inspired by her.
Visit Cathy at her website.
"Most promising new talent of the year", "Best Fingerstyle Guitarist around” and many other accolades describe Trace Bundy's performance. His rapid strumming with single notes still rings clearly, with lightning fast harmonics, and passages played entirely by hammering on and pulling off slapped strings and just about every other special technique you can think of, all executed with outstanding control.
Trace Bundy must be seen, not just heard. His music is poetry in motion, using harmonics, looping, multiple capos, and his unique banter and stage presence to deliver an unforgettable live concert experience. Listening to his intricate arrangements is one thing, but seeing the fan-dubbed "Acoustic Ninja" play live confounds even the most accomplished music lovers as to how one person can do all that with just two hands and ten fingers.
Trace has independently sold over 59,000 albums on his record label, Honest Ninja Music, and regularly sells-out shows with standing ovations at venues across the USA and around the world, in 16 countries and counting. Video clips circulate virally at astonishing speed, with over 12,000,000 YouTube views to date.
Trace was named "Most Promising New Talent" of 2008 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, as well as winning third place in the magazine's "Best Fingerstyle Guitarist" category the same year. Last summer, he performed at Colorado 's Red Rocks Amphitheatre in front of a crowd of over 7,000 people, as part of The World's Largest Music Lesson. Over the past couple of years, Trace has shared the stage with Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, Judy Collins, David Knopfler (Dire Straits), Bill Nershi (String Cheese), Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), David Wilcox, Chris Hillman (The Byrds), Stanley Jordan, and MOFRO, among others.
Dave Kirby from the Boulder Weekly says "Possessing a staggering acoustic technique, on both right and left sides, Bundy has made his reputation as a next generation solo guitarist of serious repute."
Audiocast Magazine from Austin , TX agrees: "Bundy's live show is without a doubt an event that needs to be witnessed rather than told about. With such a jaw-dropping performance, Bundy's live concert is a slap in the face that would leave a palm print on the memory of everyone in the audience."
Trace has a fun site here.
Jayme Stone keeps an ear to the ground. His curiosity and unlikely set of reference points started early with the quirky physics of the banjo, led to a mysterious librarian who stocked his local public library with a vast trove of banjo recordings, and landed him long-lasting lessons with a series of maestros, from Tony Trischka to Bill Frisell. Influenced by Japanese poetry and Brazilian literature and featuring what he calls a “tiny symphony that takes place inside an imaginary light bulb”, Stone's album, The Utmost, won the 2008 Juno Award for Instrumental Album of the Year.
The most recent chapter in Stone's musical travelogue takes place in Africa . He went knowing what's still news to most: that the hide-covered instrument with an “extra” drone string we call the banjo actually comes from West Africa . He became particularly curious about the music that may not have made it across the ocean on slave ships headed west from Senegal and Mali in the 1700-1800's. An eight-week trip to Mali was supported by a prestigious Chalmers Arts Fellowship and found Stone sitting in with Toumani Diabate and the Symmetric Orchestra in downtown Bamako, lost in circles of Wassoulou polyrhythms and in a rural Dogon village with no electricity where he inadvertently discovered a banjo predecessor unheard of in the West. The resulting album, Africa to Appalachia , is a boundary-crossing musical collaboration with singer and kora maestro Mansa Sissoko. Produced by David Travers-Smith and featuring celebrated ngoni master Bassekou Kouyate, the recording won the 2009 Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year.
Inspired by folk dances from around the world, Stone's brand new album, Room of Wonders, includes music from Norway , Sweden , Brazil , Bulgaria , Italy and North America . His third solo recording, following the international breakout success of Africa to Appalachia , features fiddle pioneer Casey Driessen, gravity-defying guitarist Grant Gordy, former Punch Brother Greg Garrison and special guests Olov Johansson (nyckelharpa), Nick Fraser (drums), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), William Carn (trombone) and more.
Visit Jayme's website
Willson and McKee
The nationally known duo who has entertained audiences in Ouray County many times
Willson and McKee, a nationally touring duo specializing in original as well as traditional Irish and Scottish acoustic music, has won both 1 st and 2 nd place International Songwriting Competition in 2003 and 2 nd place in 2005, at the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the largest Irish Festival in the World. They have garnered rave reviews from world and folk publications such as Dirty Linen Magazine : “Willson & McKee both have clear sweet voices… and are accomplished and versatile musicians! … Impressive and expressive!” The performance will feature blazing Celtic instruments, warm harmony vocals, and a lot of laughter. Kim moves effortlessly between her instruments and her palate includes hammered and mountain dulcimer, folk harp, accordion, guitar and bodhran. She received 15 years of classical training before turning to traditional Irish music, 25 years ago! She is the 2002 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion.
Ken Willson adds a folk flavor to their performance with his guitars (including the newest member of the family, the cardboard guitar) and Irish bouzouki. An engaging weaver of wit and tales, he can also spin a fine Ceili swing on the dance floor! Willson and McKee have been touring professionally since 1990, performing at thousands of school performances, lyceums, residencies, adult workshops, community concerts, college campuses, festivals, and just plain having fun!
A Willson and McKee concert is more than a performance. It's a gathering of past and present...and a comfortable musical evening with friends!
And even more than that! During breaks in the concert you will have opportunities to admire their unique instruments up close, ask questions of the musicians, and get treated to demonstrations and explanations that provide insight into the history and special features of the instruments.
Willson and McKee have published many outstanding CD's that showcase their amazing talents. Their recordings range from Ballads to Celtic, to Christmas songs, performed with unique and rare instruments.
Listen to samples – and order your favorites – at this site: http://cdbaby.com/cd/willkee5
And find out much more about their educational programs, funny tales from their tours, and other interesting tidbits at their website: http://www.jigheads.com/
Central City Opera
CENTRAL CITY OPERA HOUSE ASSOCIATION
"Love Notes" are reflections on the ups, the downs, the all around magic love from operas and music theater by Mozart, Puccini, Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin and others. Performing for student and community audiences are members of Central City Opera's Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. Recognized as one of the most effective and competitive career-entry training programs in the country, CCO's Artists Training Program has earned international renown. Graduate level students of Colorado University's Opera Studies program, directed by Dr. William Gustafson, make up the remainder of the roster for the tour.
2008 marks the 12th year for Central City Opera's “Opera in the Rockies ” award-winning touring program and the fifth year of collaboration with Colorado University (CU). The 2008 tour of “America On Stage” begins April 23 and will include appearances in Southwest Colorado communities such as Canyon City, Montrose, Ouray and Ridgway through April 25.
“Touring the state is our way of giving back to the many people who support us. We're happy to be able to partner with CU to bring opera performances to the diverse communities we visit,” states Central City Opera's Director of Education and Community Programs, Deborah Morrow. Central City Opera's Education and Community Programs have visited over 100 communities across Colorado and entertain and educate more than 60,000 people each year, making it one of the most active opera companies in the nation in education and community services.
Central City Opera’s touring programs are sponsored in part by generous grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts, CW2 Gives, a Fund of the McCormick Tribune Foundation ,National Endowment for the Arts, Wells Fargo, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and Xcel Energy Foundation.
BRIEF HISTORY AND MISSION
Flush with mining wealth, the leaders and citizens of the City of Central raised funds to build an opera house that, upon its opening in 1878, was described as “…a theater of which any city might be proud.” Fifty years later the gold rush was over, Central City had fallen on hard times, and the opera house was in sad disrepair. But once again, in 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression, patrons and volunteers rallied their resources and set to work. Thus came the night of July 16, 1932, when the world's attention turned to the stage of the beautiful, painstakingly restored opera house and, in the spotlight, Miss Lillian Gish as Camille.
With that second opening, Central City Opera revitalized the summer cultural scene in the Rocky Mountain West. Since then, and still owing to the dedication of many friends, Central City Opera House as been constant to its purpose of preserving the historical integrity of its unique mountain setting.
During its 74 th year, Central City Opera continues with marked success to pursue the four areas of activity mandated by its mission:
- To present artistically excellent, professional opera in Central City. The programming strategy established in 1996 for the Summer Opera Festival combines selections from the traditional repertoire with works that may be unfamiliar but that have proven merit and can challenge audiences and artists alike. The 2006 Opera Festival will feature the 50 th anniversary production of Moore 's The Ballad of Baby Doe ; a new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni , a 250 th birthday tribute to the great composer; and a new production of Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea , an opera which will have its debut this year at the Central City Opera.
- To offer career-entry training to help young singers make the transition from preparation to performance. The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program is recognized as among the most effective and, therefore, the most competitive in the country. In 2005, 33 young artists were selected from nearly 800 applicants, and many program alumni have established careers of international renown (including “the Voice of America,” Denyce Graves).
- To maintain education and community programs available year-round to schools and communities throughout Colorado and the region. A varied roster of programs ranges from interactive introductions to the operatic art form to concerts featuring opera excerpts complete with props and costumes. Planned in collaboration with educators and community arts organizations, programs can be made suitable for audiences of all ages, from 6 to 90, and the scope of the activity makes Central City Opera a national leader in opera education and outreach.
- To preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties located in the Central City/Black Hawk National Landmark Historic District. The Opera House itself, the oldest operating theater in the Rocky Mountain Region, has received awards for the excellence of its restoration. The other properties are all in use as residences for artists and facilities to support productions.
David Taylor Dance Theater
Founded in 1979 and regarded as Colorado 's original professional contemporary ballet company. A 12 member troupe. Awardee of the 1997 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. Directed by James Wallace, former dancer and choreographer-in-residence. They perform throughout Colorado and beyond and attract children of all ages. They are very well received, enthusiastic and organized.
Combining traditional tunes of the UK and Brittany with jazz, classical and Celtic. 5 musicians. 4 CDs. Bronwen, studied music therapy and violin performance and played with Irish musicians when “Lord of the Dance” came through town. Bronwen has played professionally on tour locally and nationally. Nina Cooley graduated from Evergreen State College with degrees in Music and Music Theater. She currently teaches piano, flute, and voice lessons and speaks fluent Greek, Spanish, and Japanese. She has appeared in Hello Dolly, Barnum, and West Side Story and is an experienced choreographer in ballet, tap, and jazz. Tiffany Draper has commenced piano at age 8. In 2005 she started taking bodhrán lessons. In 2007 Tiffany mastered the Irish flute. She is also a member of the Irish traditional band, Rusted Reel. Mary Johnston-Coursey has been singing since she could speak. In the early 1980s, she traveled to Ireland and performed there as part of the local folk circuit. She became a professional dancer and choreographer and has collaborated with poets, storytellers, and performance artists. George Schoemaker began playing the ukulele at age four and taught himself guitar when he was six. He received lessons in classical and rock guitar and played in local Irish sessions for thirteen years. He is the driving force behind the longevity and success of Stonecircle and has performed in Dublin , Ireland.
Much more about Stonecircle here.
Sweet Sunny South
Acoustic Old Time string band featuring a unique blend of new and traditional music. One of Colorado 's “Movers and Shakers” in Denver 's Westward Magazine in 2007 and winner of the New Belgium Brewery What's Your Folly contest. Featuring mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass and strong vocals.
An instrumental Celtic band that is pushing the frontiers in Irish music. With the unusual combination of fiddle, cello, keyboard and drums, they deliver a rocking show that connects deeply to their audiences. Group numbers are interspersed with soulful duos, solos, and trios. Their repertoire includes haunting versions of “Star of the County Down ”, to timeless songs, and all-out rockin' interpretations of hot Irish fiddle tunes. FEAST completed their first European tour in January 2008. Fiddle player Ilya Goldberg brings a rich, fat sound and Celtic flash to the group. Tyme Mientka's cello captivates with tone and amazing finger dexterity. On keyboard, Kathryn Mientka makes use of everything from Steinway to cosmic synthesizer sounds. David Alderdice has been called a wizard of percussion. Accomplished violist Stephanie Mientka will be joining the band on March 14.
Music, photos, tour dates, and more at their site.
Jeff Solon Trio
Jeff Solon is a self-taught musician, who plays saxophone, harmonica, and flute. He performs jazz as a soloist, composer, arranger, teacher, and bandleader. He began as a street performer, playing his way through Central and South America (1980 – 1985), and has performed continually since 1985. He has been a yearly grant recipient (1993 –2009) from the Durango Friends of the Arts for his public school assemblies and workshops, and has won several music awards from the Colorado Council on the Arts. He has led three tours for U.S. Embassies in Latin America, released 13 CDs, and teaches jazz at Fort Lewis College . Jeff Sweet is a keyboardist with a unique talent who has performed at the Telluride Jazz Celebration. Joyce Simpson is a four-octave jazz vocalist with an onstage persona often compared to vintage Sarah, Billie, and Dinah.
Jeff has a schedule and music samples at his website.
Michelle Wilkinson Trio
Michelle Wilkinson - Woodrich, piano & vocal
Listen to music played by Dennis Woodrich and Michelle Wilkinson:
"Spin Off" and "Speed Dial".
Michelle is a jazz vocalist and pianist, and an excellent and prolific composer. Michelle's various bands and ensembles have performed at most major festivals and events on the Western Slope, including; The Colorado Mountain Wine Fest; The Palisade Peach Festival, The Wells Fargo Arts and Jazz Festival; Viva El Vino and Jazz Among the Grapevines. The various venues her bands have performed at include: The Peaks, The Aspen Ritz-Carlton, The St Regis in Aspen , Bachelor's Gulch in Vail, Sorrel Valley Ranch in Moab , The Grand Junction Hilton Hotel, and The Grand Junction Double Tree Hotel.
Michelle has concertized as guest artist with the Intervention Band of Aspen, (number 7 in 2010 jazz charts), The Mesa State College Faculty Jazz Ensemble and The Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra. Michelle has also performed as guest artist (vocal and piano) with The Grand Junction Symphony. She also has adjudicated the jazz vocal events at the annual Colorado West Festival in Grand Junction . Her trio has regularly participated in the Grand Junction Musical Arts/Grand Junction Symphony "Springfest", bringing music to the elementary schools.
The Trio, Michelle, Dennis and Rob, have performed together since the early 1990s. They have evolved into a unique and adventurous jazz trio. Spontaneity and improvisation rule.
Dennis Woodrich, bass
Dennis has performed and or recorded with Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham (The Sweet Baby Blues Band); and more recently; Anthony Ortega; Frank Rosolino; Phil Urso; Curtis Peagler, Artt Frank; Matt Criscuolo; Rich Dellerata and Jazz for Peace; and The Mesa St. College Faculty Jazz Ensemble with numerous guests including Ed Soph and Ray Smith.
Dennis is a voting member of NARAS, The Grammy Academy. He enjoys national and international credits as a composer, arranger and performer.
Dennis has participated in many local workshops, for example the Roaring Fork Jazz Workshop
and has collaborated with well-known pianist Walt Smith and drummer Rob Labig.
Rob Labig, percussion
Rob is a 1997 graduate of Colorado Mesa University , teaching private drum set lessons since 1996. Rob has performed in front of thousands of elementary students over the last several years as the co-director of the ethnic percussion ensemble, Talking Rhythms. Among all the groups Rob performs with periodically, he currently plays drum set with the Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra, Swing City Express, Michelle Wilkinson Trio, The New Fall of Man, and the Thomasina Brown Project. He continues to record with various local individuals and ensembles and is the owner/operator of RL Drum Studio.
The Intervention Band with NorthYSur
Bob Levey is the son of legendary bop drummer Stan Levey, who pioneered the original Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie groups in the mid ‘40s, and subsequently played with every major star in the music business from that period. In the ‘60s Bob studied with many well-known drummers and went on to play with the likes of Jeannie Brown, Charlie Albertine, Jimmy Espinosa, Phenias Newborn Jr., Big Mamma Thornton, Joyce Dewitt, Duke Mitchell, Bobby Nutcoff, Neil Young's Crazy Horse , Ted Nash Jr., Randy Kerber, Phil Goldberg, and many more. Bob has also contributed to the world of Hip-Hop, most notably being sampled by artists such as Cypress Hill and De La Soul. Locally, Bob has played gigs ranging from the St. Regis Aspen, to Summer Festival concerts for Jazz Aspen/Snowmass, to "The Ten Spot Series" at The Thunder River Theater in Carbondale, and also performed at the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz Festival.
Tim Fox graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Music Education. He has played trumpet and/or piano in the Chicago area, in the Roaring Fork area, and on the road, with the likes of "The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra," under the direction of Buddy Morrow, with "The Temptations" and "The Four Tops," with Red Skelton, Barbara Eden, Connie Francis, Mitzi Gaynor, and with many more. He is currently a freelance musician, a member of the Mesa State Faculty Jazz Quartet, a member of the "Intervention Band ( http://theinterventionband.com/ )", and works in the RE-1 School District. Tim also facilitates, with the generous support of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, the Roaring Fork Jazz Workshop.
Josefina Mendez began operatic voice classes at a young age in her hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She became the youngest singer from the La Orquesta Argentina de Jazz (the Argentinean National Jazz Orchestra, currently the Oscar Serrano Orquesta) at the age of 18. Shortly thereafter, she relocated to the United States, finding her new home in Colorado. Josi adeptly sings in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. She created the group NorthYSur together with Jeremy Fleisher (classical guitar), augmented by Justin Anderson (upright bass), Bob Levey (drums), Ross Kribbs (violin) and Tim Fox (piano/trumpet). NorthYSur blends the sounds of traditional North and South American jazz and Bossa Nova in their own unique style.
A 20+ year Roaring Fork Valley resident, Jeremy Fleisher studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has shared the stage with many local musicians, as well as recognized national acts. Most recently, Jeremy was a member of Carbondale's Redtones, who featured prominently at Mountain Fair and on other Valley stages.
Justin Anderson moved to Carbondale in 2006 and began playing upright bass with the Symphony in Valley out of Glenwood Springs. Since then he has played a variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and swing in some of the Roaring Fork Valley's finest venues.
Alex Komodore is a Denver-based virtuoso guitarist. His powerful interpretations, formidable technique, and natural musicianship have won unanimous praise from critics, audiences, and many of the world's finest guitarists. First Prize National winner in the Music Teachers National Association 1985 guitar category, his subsequent appearances on NPR and PBS broadcasts brought swift national acclaim. John Dileberto of PBS Echoes, gave his collaborative 1990 CD Redstone with flutist Rod Garnett a rare highest rating, which also earned the coveted "Best of Westword " best classical recording of 1990. He has played as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra soloist in virtually every concert venue along the Front Range . He has performed extensively across the United States, including at New York's Town Hall at the age of 11, a solo recital in historic New York's St. Paul's Chapel at the age of 16, and an appearance at the United Nations while still a music performance major at New York University. His 1994 solo debut recording Passport won praises from several of the world's most prominent guitarists, including Christopher Parkening and Sharon Isbin, both who hailed his interpretation of Carlo Domeniconi's Koyunbaba as "Terrific!" Of his cd, David Russell, remarked, “"Played with beautiful atmosphere, and great skill."” His many CD appearances on Etherean, Folk Era, Delos, Salt, and Poco a Poco labels have received global distribution, including worldwide airplay at the 1992 Summer Olympics from Barcelona . His recordings and appearances with top-notch choral ensembles such as Kantori and the St. John's Cathedral Choir have also received national acclaim. A tireless teacher, Alex heads the guitar program at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where he is assistant professor of guitar and music theory. Many of his former students have placed in international guitar competitions and top graduate music schools in the U.S.and abroad. His columns on guitar technique and advice have also been featured in Fingerstyle Guitar magazine.
“Judging by this excellent new CD , Passport , beautifully recorded at Denver 's St. John's Cathedral, this local guitarist is now world-class . This colorful 61 minute recital can hold its own against almost any recent guitar record."
The Denver Post
"Came next the familiar Vivaldi Concerto, with local guitar virtuoso Alex Komodore manning the frets in an exemplary fashion. For Walton's Five Bagatelles, Komodore's skills and sensitivity were much in evidence,”"
KVOD Critic's Circle
“A masterful performance executed with style and grace."
The Village Voice,
New York City
(Review at age 17)
“The art of Alex Komodore is marked by two important characteristics which guarantee his place in the international guitar world: Technical excellence and deep musical understanding. In addition to these, he possesses the natural flair that identifies the born performer. I have no doubts about the brilliant future of his performing career."
Lamont University of Denver Guitar Chair
Alex has manymusic samples at his website.
Chameleon String Duo
Christine Embree has enjoyed playing the cello since the age of nine and has studied with cellists from the Chicago Symphony and the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago. She also attended the American Conservatory of Music to continue studying the cello. After marrying and having two daughters she decided to put aside playing and concentrate on her family. In 1986, she returned to her playing, and again resumed private study. She played with a local community orchestra and the Willow Creek Community Church Orchestra until moving to Colorado in 1999 when she joined the Valley Symphony as their principal cellist. She is also a member of the Chameleon Ensemble, greatly enjoying her experience with a wide variety of chamber music.
Mary Ella House has been an avid member of Denver 's musical community for several decades. Having started to play violin at age 6 and viola at age 15, she went on to earn an undergraduate degree in music education from Colorado State University and a masters degree in viola performance from the University of Denver.
Over the course of her career she has performed with several chamber ensembles, the Denver Symphony, the Colorado Springs Symphony and the Colorado Ballet. She has served as principle violist with the Centennial Orchestra and the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra with which she has toured internationally. She has also been hired to perform with such luminaries as Smoky Robinson, Ray Charles, Charo, and John Denver.
After her recent move to Ouray , Colorado , Mary Ella is continuing to teach and perform with the Grand Junction Symphony, the Valley Symphony and the Chameleon Ensemble.
With Telluride Choral Society
Under the direction of Dr. David Lingle, this fine choral society will sing selections by John Gardner, Lloyd Pfautsch, Irving Berlin, and Tchaikovsky among others. Centering on the theme, “A Day for Dancing” and rejoicing in the spirit of the season, the group will perform music old and new, frolicking and tender, joyous and reverent.
WinterSing 2006 includes performances of “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and a surprise rendition of the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” from “The Nutcracker Suite.”
The Telluride Choral Society consists of the Choristers (a children's group), Omni Voce (a teen choir), Emanon (a girls' ensemble), and the full Chorale. The Ridgway concert will also include a cameo performance by another group, Men Without Rhythm.
A non-profit organization, TCS is now celebrating its 13 th season. Its mission is to enrich and expand the cultural musical experience of singers and audiences within the Telluride region and beyond through performances and musical activities.
Visit the website of the Telluride Choral Society
Known for their shimmering vocal blend and exceptional musicianship, Dolce Voce (“sweet voice” in Italian) has rapidly become a favorite musical fixture in the Uncompahgre Valley . Hailing from Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose, and Delta, these eight a cappella singers perform an eclectic blend of music—ranging from 16th century madrigals to modern jazz, and from foot-stomping spirituals to Baroque and Romantic classics. Their premiere CD, A Dolce Voce Christmas, has been hailed by the Montrose Daily Press as “a stunning array of songs that celebrate the spirit of the human voice.”
Please find more information and music samples at their website dolcevoce.com
David Baker and Friends
A wide range of musical treats
David was raised in Dallas, worked in Nashville, but happily for the past 7 years calls Ouray his home. For much of his career, Baker worked as a sound tech and studio engineer in the film and video industry in Dallas, and wrote and produced underscores for countless TV spots, corporate and entertainment projects. A talented composer, he wrote the scoring for Disney Channel's "Oak Street Chronicles," as well as PBS's "Wishbone" series, and was one of a team of song-writers for "Jay Jay the Jet Plane." Since moving to Ouray, Baker has emerged as a well-known and well-loved figure in the local acoustic live music scene. Tonight’s concert was David’s idea and OCPAG is delighted to work with him to present this fine “local” program for your enjoyment.
Singer songwriter Dee Harthan has been writing her music for the past 20 years. She began performing locally in Montrose, Ridgway and Ouray six years ago and consistently gains strong reviews from a growing fan base.
Irish whistle player Mike Hockersmith has been doodling on the whistle for over twenty years. With wife Nancy Ziglar and other members of the Chameleon Ensemble, he has performed at the Silverton Folk Festival, the Ridgway Rendevous, and other numerous events in Ouray County. When not practicing law in Ouray, he also has been known to overact in several theater productions both locally and across Colorado.
Mike Kern is in his 16th season as conductor and musical director of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and he teaches as an adjunct professor at Mesa State College-Montrose. Educational, he received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and his Master of Music degree in Music Composition at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana. Kern also studied jazz bass with nationally acclaimed jazz pedagogue, David Baker who is still the head of the Jazz Program at Indiana University. Kern has performed with a variety of artists including Marvin Gaye, Wes Montgomery, Freddie and Junior Hubbard, Doc Severinson, Buddy DeFranco. Mike is currently the regular bassist with Swing City Express a Montrose based swing band. Mike retired from public school teaching a little over one year ago.
Nancy Ziglar has a B.A. in music education and an M.M. in music history and literature. She currently teaches chorus and music appreciation at Ouray High School and piano, guitar and dulcimer at her private music lesson school, FEAST ON MUSIC. Other interests include jamming on cello with the CHAMELEON ENSEMBLE, hiking, tai-chi and their influence on moving the mind and natural curly hair.
Ken has been a drummer / percussionist since age 9. He’s played with school and community bands in Connecticut from 10 years old on. He has Degrees in Music Production and Engineering ( Institute of Audio Research - NYC, NY), Music/Percussion performance (Berklee College of Music - Boston, MA), and Music Education (Metro State College - Denver, CO). He has been a professional drummer/percussionist and recording studio drummer in New York City, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles, and Denver since the 1980's. Currently he’s with Ouray Schools as the Music/Band Director. His Jazz Trio includes John Tuttle and Don Allen.
Jane Holmes, flutist, has lived in Ouray for over 17 years and is a current and founding member of The Chameleon Ensemble. Prior to relocating to Colorado, she earned a bachelors degree in music at the University of Missouri-Columbia, then resided near Springfield, Missouri where she played flute in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and founded a chamber music group called Flutes Too. She enjoys traveling, learning guitar, and spending time with her husband, Rob, and son, Eli.
Carrie Stuckert and Jennifer Lockwood
Violinist Carrie Stuckert and cellist Jennifer Lockwood often perform together as Da Capo Areato, a versatile string duo performing a variety of classical, Celtic, and modern music. They are musicians with 20+ years of experience and have performed in a variety of venues. Their classical repertoire includes works by composers such as Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Dvorak. They also perform many styles of Celtic music including traditional Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton pieces, as well as modern acoustic arrangements from The Beatles to Metallica.
Kevin grew up in a family band. He has been a professional drummer for 46 years including staff drummer for the Make A Wish Foundation in 1989 and for Scotties International Steel Guitar Convention in 1985. He did two world tours for the troops during Desert Storm in 1990-1991 with the band "Axe Factor". He has worked on countless recordings with various artists. He helped found the band, "The Last Bus" five years ago and continues as their drummer to growing acclaim.
Kenny first got involved in music during High School ( Olathe CO), playing tympani, bass, and singing in choirs. He has a B.A. in vocal music ( University of Northern Colorado), a Masters in Choral Conducting ( Portland State University), Kodaly Level 1 certification, and a State of Colorado K-12 music teaching license. Kenny has performed or directed in 8 countries in a variety of professional musical settings and has taught music at all levels, including University. Some career highlights include opening for Alabama, writing and recording movie soundtracks and award-winning tunes in the Northwest, studying/playing with Andrew Hill (Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis) and Vijay Singh at Portland State and with Joe Sample in New Orleans. After a little storm that starts with the letter "K" hit NOLA, Kenny found himself back at home in the Uncompaghre Valley, where he now teaches elementary music to over 40 classes of kindergarten through 5th graders in Montrose County.
A member of the renowned local octet Dolce Voce, Barbara Boulden has sung with the New York Choral Society, the San Francisco Bach Choir, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Pete Seeger, and Jesse Norman in such venues as Carnegie Hall and the ancient amphitheaters of Greece. She is the author of three books and lives in Ridgway with her husband Craig, a wildlife videographer.
A music, art and theater lover, Melanie Storter has been performing in the Montrose area for the last 19 years. Currently, she teaches art classes at Montrose Center for the Arts and sings locally with the a cappella ensemble, Dolce Voce. She is happily married to Dave and has two beautiful children; Jeremy and Callie.
Tammy Kenning is a local singer, elementary music teacher, member of the a cappella ensemble Dolce Voce and theatrical performer. She has taught music in many incarnations for the last 20 years. Tammy has directed choirs and sung in musicals and operas for the last 30 years and has enjoyed every minute. She has sung the national anthem on national television (okay she was in a choir that sang on national television). Tamela is the mother of two exceptional musicians, and the wife to another. Thank God she hasn’t had to depend on her jobs as a musician for a life sustaining income!