An Evening of Romance
A prolific and versatile artist, audiences can find Danielle Talamantes in performances on the operatic stage, concert hall, and recital salon. With repertoire ranging from fiery fioritura to lush warmth and soaring crystalline heights, audiences are enchanted with her charismatic interpretations.
“It’s not often that an operagoer is fortunate enough to witness the birth of a star!,” noted of Soprano Danielle Talamantes’ recent turn as Violetta in La Traviata with Hawaii Opera Theatre. she made her Washington National Opera début as Maria Hernández in Kamal Sankaram’s Rise as part of their production Written in Stone, returned to her signature role as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème with Jacksonville Symphony and three world premiers: Mosaic for Earth by composer Dwight Bigler at her Alma Mater, Virginia Tech, the rhapsody written for Talamantes and orchestra based on T.S. Eliot’s iconic poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock with the National Philharmonic, and the stunning choral cantata Kohelet with the Washington Master Chorale and Santa Clara Master Chorale; the latter two works by acclaimed composer Henry Dehlinger. The conclusion of the season was with the Fairfax Symphony in the Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and a debut as guest soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic.
Fall Music Festival
Described as "passionate, electrifying, and innovative," international recording artist Chelsey Green breaks down stereotypes of traditional violin and viola playing. A native of Houston, Texas, Dr. Chelsey Green is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, entrepreneur and educator that combines Classical and Contemporary to make music uniquely her own.
Chelsey Green and The Green Project breathe new life into their unique blend of jazz, R&B, soul, funk and more. The Green Project has released five studio projects, debuted on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart (Top 30), appeared in the Top 5 albums of iTunes Jazz chart and performed live shows, jazz festivals and educational workshops around the world; including shows throughout the United States, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Japan, Haiti and more.
Selected performance highlights include the Capital Jazz Festival, Seabreeze Jazz Festival, GRAMMY Awards with Lizzo, Songs In The Key Of Life Tour (D.C.) with Stevie Wonder, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival with jazz violinist Regina Carter, NPR Tiny Desk with Maimouna "Mumu Fresh" Youssef and Wu-Tang Clan, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival with Terri Lyne Carrington, ensemble debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra and The United States Air Force Band and even a nationally syndicated Walmart commercial produced by BET Networks appearing alongside Kirk Franklin and Estelle.
Dr. Green completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A) degree in 2017 at the University of Maryland College Park and was appointed Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music in August of that same year. Committed to music education and arts advocacy as well, Chelsey performs educational outreach concerts introducing the power of music and owning your creative voice in a unique way to audiences of all ages around the world. Dr. Green is also a member of the Program Council of NewMusicUSA and also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Recording Academy (The GRAMMYs).
Mike Block Trio, featuring Joe K. Walsh (mandolin/vocals) and Zachariah Hickman (bass/vocals), is led by cello player, singer, and composer, Mike Block, who has been hailed as “one of the bravest, most intriguing musicians on the American fusion scene” by Gramophone Magazine. The trio fertilizes American roots music with contemporary and international influences, bringing an exciting and personal perspective to the acoustic music scene.
“A collection of playful and stoic reinterpretations of Appalachian folk and world beat music. Never before have we heard the combination of these three instruments traverse such a wide breadth of music so effortlessly; it’s equal parts Baroque, bluegrass and latin jazz, virtuosic all the same.” - WBUR Boston
Benjamin Jacobson, violin
Tereza Stanislav, violin
Jonathan Moerschel, viola
Eric Byers, cello
Hailed as "Superb" and "imaginative, skillful creators" by the New York Times, the Calder Quartet captivates audiences exploring a broad spectrum of repertoire, always striving to fulfill the composer’s vision in their performances. The group's distinctive artistry is exemplified by a musical curiosity brought to everything they perform and has led them to be called "one of America’s most satisfying - and most enterprising - quartets". (Los Angeles Times)
Winners of the prestigious 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant, they are widely known for the discovery, commissioning, recording and mentoring of some of today’s best emerging composers. In addition to performances of the complete Beethoven and Bartok quartets, the Calder Quartet’s dedication to commissioning new works has given rise to premieres of dozens of string quartets by established and up-and-coming composers including Peter Eötvös, Andrew Norman, and Christopher Cerrone. Inspired by innovative American artist Alexander Calder, the Calder Quartet’s desire to bring immediacy and context to the works they perform creates an artfully crafted musical experience
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
Spring Music Festival
May 5-13, 2023
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.
Kalí Rodriguez, Taino
Delbert Anderson, Diné
Chuck Copenance, Ojibway
Chad Willis, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
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
Armando Vergara, Taino
Christopher Gonzales, Mestizo
Wade Demmert, Lingít/Oglala Lakota,
Adrien Wagner, Blackfeet - AmskapiPikanii, Piano
Mali Obomsawin, Wabanaki First Nation at Odanak, Bass
Edward Littlefield, Lingít, Drums
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.
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.
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.