Mezzo-soprano Daniela Tošić, a native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, specializes in Early, contemporary, and World music. She has appeared in concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Daniela is a founding member of the internationally renowned ensemble Tapestry, winners of tthe ECHO Klassik award and Chamber Music America’s Recording of the Year. Tapestry has premiered numerous new works and performed Steve Reich’s Tehillim with the Colorado Symphony and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop. Daniela has recently appeared as Story Woman in Steven Jobe’s opera Melusine and Yangchen in Sheila Silver’s The White Rooster. In the Boston area she performs with Blue Heron and La Donna Musicale. Daniela has recorded for Telarc, MDG, and several independent labels.
Adriana Ruiz began her studies of piano at the age of seven and completed her studies of voice and choral conducting at the Conservatorio Esteban Salas in Santiago de Cuba. Ruiz recently appeared as soloist and ensemble member with the award-winning Apollo’s Fire, touring to New York City, Cleveland, and Chicago. She also gave a solo recital of Spanish Renaissance songs with guitarist Jason Yoshida on the newly created Vocal Artist Management Virtual Recital Series. For several years, Adriana was part of the Orfeón Santiago under the direction of Electo Silva. She made various recordings with this ensemble as a soloist and lead soprano, as well as participating in tours around Europe and the Caribbean. In May of 2018, she was named an Early Music America (EMA) Emerging Artist. According to EMA, Ruiz was chosen to represent “the best of the emerging early music talent from a large pool of applicants.” As a result of her award, she performed in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the prestigious Bloomington Early Music Festival at Indiana University. Recently, she performed at the Bach@ noon series, from the Bach Collegium San Diego, offering a program from the Spanish Golden Age.
Currently, Adriana is pursuing her Master of Music in Historical Performance at Boston University, and actively performs with the Boston based ensembles Rumbarroco and La Donna Musicale.
Tenor Miguel Cabrera began his musical studies in Venezuela at the age of 6, learning the violin and later classical guitar. After pursuing a law degree, he returned to music, now as a singer. He sang in the Teatro Teresa Carreño opera choir, Caracas Camerata Barroca, Metropolitan Choir, and Simón Bolívar Symphonic Choir, acquiring experience in both the vocal field and stage skills. After completing his studies in 2016, he emigrated to Bogotá, Colombia, where he joined the Colombian Opera Choir, the Bogotá Philharmonic, ensembles from the National University, and groups such as VoceStudio. In 2019, he set up Piacere Musical Services, which serves as a platform for musicians with outstanding performance and talent, enabling them to rub shoulders with great musicians and voices, and providing new spaces for artistic diffusion for both Colombians and Venezuelans. He recently joined La Donna Musicale and Rumbarroco.
Na’ama Lion is well known in the Boston area as a versatile performer on historical flutes. She has explored Baroque, Classical, and Romantic music with numerous groups and period orchestras, including La Donna Musicale, Boston Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Cecilia, Rumbarroco, Arcadia Players, Academia Daniel, and Barrocade. She has also performed medieval music with the world-renowned Sequentia, and Renaissance music with the flute quartet Travesada. As a committed performer of new music, she has had new pieces written for her and her ensembles by Murray Barsky, Paul Brust, Robert Carl, Marti Epstein, Jorge Ibanez, John McDonald, Leon Schidlowsky, and Atsushi Yoshinaka. Na’ama holds a doctorate from Boston University, a Soloist Diploma from Arnhem Conservatory in The Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in modern flute from Tel Aviv University. She teaches at Harvard College and the Longy School of Music. Na’ama has recorded for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Telarc, and independent labels.
Diane Heffner is an active freelance clarinetist and teacher on both historical and modern instruments. She performs regularly with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, and Handel and Haydn Society, and she has appeared with American Classical Orchestra (Connecticut), Rebel Baroque Orchestra (New York), Musicians of the Old Post Road, Chicago Opera Theatre, Classical Arts Orchestra (Chicago), Dayton Bach Society, Portland Baroque Orchestra (Oregon), Connecticut Early Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and American Bach Soloists. In 2005, she appeared as basset clarinet soloist with the Arcadia Players on the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at Dartmouth College. On modern clarinet, in her home base of Boston, she is a founding member of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and Alcyon Chamber Ensemble, and she appears regularly with Alea III, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Emmanuel Music, Prism Opera, Vermont Symphony, and various other freelance ensembles. Heffner is on the applied faculty at Tufts University, the Cambridge School of Weston, and the All-Newton Music School. She received B.M. and M.M. degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory, where she studied clarinet with Joseph Allard and chamber music with Rudolph Kolisch and Leonard Shure. She is part to The Mood Swings Orchestra, a Boston’s all-women 19-piece big band in the style of the traditional dance bands of the 1930s, 1940s and beyond.
Laury Gutiérrez, viola da gamba, guitars. Laury and her mother were serenaded by her father and other local musicians at the birth clinic in Venezuela on the day she was born. In her teens she moved from Caracas to the country’s cowboy/girl zone Los Llanos (The Plains). In their home the family often held musical soirées, criollo style, where musicians spend the evening playing folk music by ear. Laury soaked up the amazing improvisations by both singers and instrumentalists. She took up the cuatro (Venezuela’s small guitar) and also began guitar lessons. Soon she became part of the town’s Folkloric Orchestra on guitar and mandolin. Moving back to Caracas after high school, she heard the viola da gamba for the first time and fell in love with it. Laury then received the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho, Venezuela’s most prestigious scholarship for study abroad, along with other top awards and recognitions, and graduated with honors in music from the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota. She did graduate work in music at the Longy School of Music, Indiana University, and Boston University. She was a 2009 Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and was included in a 2009 exhibit honoring 100 Boston-area women for their leadership and achievements. She is a resident scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University. Praised as “a first-rate instrumentalist” (Boston Globe), Laury specializes in music by women composers and in early music from Ibero-America. She has performed under the direction of Thomas Binkley, Monica Huggett, and Wendy Gillespie, among others, and has been a featured guest artist–lecturer at Harvard University, Brandeis University, and Simmons College. She is the founding director of La Donna Musicale and RUMBARROCO. La Donna Musicale’s four groundbreaking CDs, Antonia Bembo’s The Seven Psalms of David Vols. I and II, The Pleasures of Love and Libation: Airs by Julie Pinel and other Parisian Women, and Anna Bon, La virtuosa di Venezia, have received critical acclaim at home and abroad, as well as awards.
Julia Connor violinist and fiddler Julia Connor has a wide-ranging musical voice, performing everything from baroque music on period instruments to fiddle music from Ireland to new works by living composers. Julia is a founding member of both the Berwick Fiddle Consort, which performs historical fiddle music from the British Isles and Canada on period instruments and the violin and piano duo Room to Spare, which composes and performs original groove based new music. Julia performs regularly on baroque violin, fiddle, and modern violin in the Boston area. Her solo playing has been featured in the Society for Historically Informed Performance (SoHIP) summer concert series (Boston), Kings Chapel Concert series (Boston), the Music by Women Festival (MS), and ClareFM radio (Ireland). She has been an artist-in-residence at Avaloch Farm (Boscawen, NH) and PLAYA (Summer Lake, OR). Julia holds a Master’s degree with honors from the New England Conservatory and is a graduate of the Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she earned degrees with high honors in violin performance and Hispanic studies.
Kirsten Lamb is a double-bassist and vocalist from New Jersey. Praised by The Huffington Post as a “brilliant young musician” and the Boston Globe for her “versatility and assurance,” she has performed folk, jazz, classical, and contemporary music throughout the United States and abroad. Kirsten graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 2009 with a BM in music in both double bass and ethnomusicology. She has studied with bassists Thomas Sperl and Peter Dominguez, sitarist Hasu Patel, and viola da gambist Catharina Meints, and has developed a unique style of solo performance. Kirsten recently completed an MM in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Cecil McBee, Dominique Eade, Hankus Netsky, and Anthony Coleman, debuted several original solo works in Jordan Hall, played for Elvis Costello, performed in John Zorn’s 35-year retrospective, and participated in NEC’s community outreach program. Upon graduation Kirsten was awarded the Gunther Schuller Medal. Kirsten maintains a private studio, is a frequent guest teacher at schools throughout the Boston area, and recently began a weekly residency with Young Audiences of Massachusetts. Kirsten is currently working on a full-length CD featuring original solo and ensemble compositions. For more information, visit www.kirstenlambmusic.com.
Katherine Shao is a keyboard player, composer, and performance artist of Baroque, Classical, and contemporary music, including jazz. She has also played multiple roles in performance art, including production, theatrical staging, sound design, management, and media editing. After receiving a Master of Music from Indiana University, she co-founded two envelope-pushing groups: Bimbetta, a quintet of singers and instrumentalists that intertwined humor, contemporary culture, and feminism with the music of 17th- and 18th-century Europe; and American Baroque, an award-winning ensemble specializing in commissioning new pieces for period instruments. She has performed and recorded with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, San Francisco Symphony, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Over the past decade she has turned her focus to jazz piano, performing and recording her own compositions, which blend soundscapes, jazz, and modern beats. Currently, she is also a member of the contemporary music ensembles Cosmic Gothic and Cassandra Lee and the Acoustic Project.
Roberto Pérez Oraa, born in the plains of Venezuela (Guanare), has been a self-taught performer from an early age. His main instrument is the Bandola Llanera, but he also uses other native Venezuelan instruments such as maracas and percussion. As director of the Venezuelan group Percujazz, he has shared the stage with high-end international artists such as Aquiles Baez, Jeff Berlin, the C4 Trio, Michell Camilo, Edmar Castañeda, Dennys Chambers, Scott Henderson, Stanley Jordan, Mario Parmisano, and the Yellow Jackets in more than 40 international jazz festivals in Venezuela. He directs a quartet in Venezuela, where he is currently based, and gives Bandola Llanera classes to low-income children, teaching the folk music of his native country and other cultures. Currently, he is also doing musical work with the Llanos Symphony Orchestra, in the
Llanera Soul Chair, imparting his knowledge to honor the cultural growth of his country.
Considered “one of the iconic harpists of this new age,” Eduardo Betancourt is a Grammy-award winning Venezuelan musician, producer, arranger, composer, instructor, and multi-instrumentalist with 30 years of experience in traditional, fusion Venezuelan music and Latin Jazz.
In 2010, Betancourt won a Latin Grammy Award for his participation on the album “Tesoros de la música Venezolana” by Ilan Chester, and in 2016, he was nominated on the album “Pa’ Tío Simón” with Rafael “Pollo” Brito.
At the 2016 Pepsi Music Awards in Venezuela, Betancourt’s personal album, AD LIBITUM, was nominated three times for “Best Artist,” “Best Song,” and “Best Album.” His many accomplishments include more than 100 recordings, and performances with renowned international artists such as: Simon Diaz, Oscar D León, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Danny Rivera, Luis Salinas, and many important artists from Venezuela.
As a guest instructor at Berklee College of Music in 2018, he offered a Master Class of Harp and Venezuelan music entitled “Eduardo Betancourt: Venezuelan Harp, from Traditional to Contemporary” through the Latin Minor Studies program led by Professor Oscar Stagnaro. Currently, Betancourt collaborates with the Venezuelan Project, a Latin Jazz group who have performed at the House of Blues and on National Public Radio (NPR), and solo under the name EduardoProject, giving workshops and teaching master classes throughout the world.
Betancourt plays on Electric Llanera and Camac EC harps (their design and construction he helped guide for the French harp company, Les Harpes Camac). With his instruments, he explores and applies new sonorities to traditional Venezuelan music, giving his work a refreshing contemporary sound.
“Eduardo Betancourt is undoubtedly a leader in his field… With his acoustic harp, he brings together traditional Venezuelan musical styles. With his electric harp, he expands the horizons of his instrument, carving out new identities for it in the twenty-first century.” -Jakez François, President, Les Harpes Camac.
Kera M. Washington is an ethnomusicologist and the founder of Zili Misik, formerly Zili Roots an all-female world music ensemble performing roots music of the African Diaspora, or “New World Soul.” She is on the faculty of the Music Department of Wellesley College, where she is Artistic Director of the Yanvalou Drum and Dance Ensemble. She also teaches music at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA, and is completing a dissertation on Haitian folkloric music at Tufts University. Kera found her first love, percussion, while studying ethnomusicology at Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and Brown University, and has been performing and teaching music for over two decades. She has studied with master musicians from Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Brazil, and the US, and has traveled throughout Africa and the Americas to further her studies. Kera has taught at Wellesley College, MIT, and Northeastern University, as well as at St. Peter School in Cambridge. She also has worked as an artist/educator in the All In One Boat Program, and has presented numerous workshops and music residencies in Boston and the surrounding New England area. Zili Misik’s CDs are available at www.zilimisik.com.
Juan Sebastián Sánchez, percussion, comes from Colombia. He performed in the Symphonic Band of the Redemptorist College of Manizales, then completed his studies at the University of Caldas. He was selected as a percussionist of YOA (Orchestra of the
Americas), touring Ukraine, Poland, Scotland, and Germany in 2018, and Mexico in 2019. As a member of the Young Philharmonic of Colombia Seasons, he toured Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. He has won the Youth Music Exchange International Soloist Percussion Competition and the competition sponsored by the Kunming International Philharmonic, China. Currently, Juan Sebastián is studying World Percussion Performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and working as Percussion Artist with the Austrian multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger and the Red Bull brand in Salzburg, Austria.