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Spring Music Festival
May 5-13, 2023

*Lineup subject to change. Stay tuned for more surprises to be added in the next months.

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Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras.

Born in Pittsburgh, Awadagin Pratt began studying piano at the age of six. Three years later, having moved to Normal, Illinois with his family, he also began studying violin. At the age of 16 he entered the University of Illinois where he studied piano, violin, and conducting. He subsequently enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he became the first student in the school’s history to receive diplomas in three performance areas – piano, violin and conducting. In recognition of this achievement and for his work in the field of classical music, Mr. Pratt received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins as well as an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University after delivering the commencement address in 2012.

In 1992 Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then, he has played numerous recitals throughout the US including performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the NJ Performing Arts Center. His many orchestral performances include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, National, Detroit and New Jersey symphonies among many others. Internationally, Mr. Pratt has toured Japan four times and performed in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Israel, Columbia and South Africa.

Mr. Pratt is currently a Professor of Piano at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

JULIA KEEFE, DIRECTOR & VOCALIST 

Julia (Nez Perce) is a nationally acclaimed and award-winning Native American jazz vocalist, actor, activist, and educator currently based in New York City

DELBERT ANDERSON, CO-DIRECTOR & TRUMPET Delbert (Diné) is enjoying a music career as one of today’s most forward-thinking artists. Recording, touring, community outreach, music educational workshops, composing, arranging and guest appearances keep Anderson busy not only in his hometown of Farmington, NM but worldwide.

RICO JONES, CO-DIRECTOR & TENOR SAXOPHONE  Rico (Mesoamerican and Andean) is an emerging artist on the jazz scene in New York. He is an avid practitioner of the history of the music and a composer who pushes the boundaries of the art form.

MALI OBOMSAWIN, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT & BASSIST

Mali (Odanak First Nation) is an award-winning songwriter, bassist and composer from Odanak First Nation. With an eclectic background in indie rock, American roots/folk and jazz, Obomsawin carries several music traditions.

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TRUMPETS

Kalí Rodriguez, Taino

Delbert Anderson, Diné

Chuck Copenance, Ojibway

Chad Willis, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

SAXOPHONE

Asa Peters, Mashpee Wampanoag and Narragansett

Rogan Tinsley, Native Hawaiian

Rico Jones, Mesoamerican and Andean

Michael Gutierrez, Comanche and Cheyenne-Arapaho

Orion White, Nez Perce and Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma 

TROMBONES

Armando Vergara, Taino

Christopher Gonzales, Mestizo

Wade Demmert, Lingít/Oglala Lakota,  

RHYTHM SECTION

Adrien Wagner, Blackfeet - AmskapiPikanii, Piano

Mali Obomsawin, Wabanaki First Nation at Odanak, Bass

Edward Littlefield, Lingít, Drums

VOCALS

Julia Keefe, Nez Perce, Vocals

Washington, D.C. native Phil Wiggins, a Takoma Park, Maryland resident, blues musician, teacher and artistic director, a two time winner of the prestigious WC Handy Blues Foundation awards, is only the third harmonica player to receive the lifetime honor of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship. Today he is the only living player of the instrument to hold the prestigious honor of being a “Master of Traditional Arts.” In 2021 he was awarded the Maryland Heritage Award, also the most prestigious cultural award bestowed on the arts in the state.

Phil Wiggins is a versatile traditional harmonica player, continuing the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. He plays the diatonic ten-hole harmonica in the country blues style, cupping both hands around the instrument and playing acoustically. His sound is not shaped by the gear, the microphone or amplifier when performing on stage, instead by his complex syncopated patterns, breath-control and rhythm, stylistic virtuosity and fiery solo runs.

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James Logan is the clarinet professor at the University of Texas at El Paso. Prior to his appointment to UTEP, he was a member of the US Navy Band in Washington DC for 26 years, serving as Associate Principal Clarinetist. He appeared as soloist on nearly 100 concerts with this ensemble as well as solo performances. Logan served as leader of the US Navy Band Clarinet Quartet for ten years, performing with this ensemble throughout the United Sates and in diverse settings that included the White House, Quarters of the Chief of Naval Operations, universities and many concert series. Additionally, he performed on 21 CD projects and witnessed many historic events. Logan has performed throughout Europe, as well as all 48 contiguous states.

 

He formed Logan Circle, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of clarinet chamber works that was very active throughout metropolitan Washington DC during his years serving in the US Navy.

 

Dedicated to the promotion of new music, Logan premiered a sonata for clarinet and piano, Beneath the Painted Skies by Dominic Dousa, recorded Erich Stem’s Bay Images on a CD entitled Semantemes and served as editor for Jonathan Leshnoff’s Concerto for Clarinet that was premiered by Ricardo Morales and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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His varied career has led him to performing on stage with Dave Brubeck, Rosemary Clooney, Ricardo Morales, Branford Marsalis and Al Hirt. He is currently serving as principal clarinetist of the EL Paso Symphony.

 

Logan holds a DMA degree and MM degree from the Catholic University of America, studying with Ricardo Morales and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of North Texas, studying with James Gillespie. 

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Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award-winning, internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, Artistic Director, and teacher.  His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry, and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought-after and active cellists today.

Mr. Bailey received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. His primary teachers include Loran Stephenson, Stephen Kates and Joel Krosnick. Mr. Bailey performs on the "rosette" 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In addition to his extensive solo touring engagements, he is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), Juneau Jazz and Classics, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington), Classical Inside Out Series- Mesa Arts Center(Arizona) and is Director of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso

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