Spring 2020 Visiting Artists

Michael Francis Duch

Michael Francis Duch (1978) was born and raised in Trondheim, Norway, and plays the double bass. He is currently Deputy Head of Department at Department of Music at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology - NTNU, and a former member of the The Young Academy of Norway.Duch completed his project “Free Improvisation – Method and Genre” as research-fellow at the University of Trondheim (NTNU) late October 2010, where he has been doing research on Free Improvisation and the use of Improvisation in Experimental Music. He has been involved in about 70 recordings released in various formats, and has played solo-concerts various places in Norway and Sweden, and also Reykjavik, Athens, Madrid, Vienna, Glasgow, Huddersfield and London.

Event Details

Jenny Olivia Johnson

Jenny Olivia Johnson (b. 1978 in Santa Monica, CA) is a composer, sound artist, and music scholar, as well as an Associate Professor of Music at Wellesley College. Her compositions and artwork range from electroacoustic chamber songs and contemplative solo works to short amplified operas and interactive sound sculptures with lighting. Jenny’s most recent project is the immersive installation DIVE (LUCY’S LAST DANCE), currently on view at the Davis Museum from February-June 2020. The installation is based on Jenny’s forthcoming headphones-opera “The After Time,” which explores the erotics of grieving.

Event Details

Maayan Tsadka

Maayan Tsadka is a composer, sound artist, improviser, sound explorer and teacher. At the root of all his works is an attempt to grasp some understanding about the nature of sound, its behavior, acoustic ways of organization, and its environmental and social roles. He is interested in uncovering and amplifying layers and musical patterns—hidden, inherent structures— which occur acoustically, as well as in an exploration of the ways in which the sonic phenomena meets the physiology of the ear and the psychology of listening. Often, his work incorporates a dimension of imaginary and speculative sonic worlds, on the line between crypto-zoology, crypto-botany and futuristic folklore. 

Event Details

Weston Olencki

Lecture/Talk with colloquium on approaches to performance and presentation of works via Zoom. Email Matt Barbier for Zoom link if interested in joining mbarbier@calarts.edu

Weston Olencki is a South Carolina-born, Brooklyn-based musician working at the intersections of improvisation, contemporary composition & extended instrumental performance, new media technologies, and noise-based practices. 


Event Details

Gloria Yehilevsky

International percussionist Gloria Yehilevsky presents an immersive practice with improvisation, composition, and education. Her work is rooted in the philosophy that music is communication. She was selected as an artist for the World Percussion Group in 2017, received the highest awarded prize in the Italy PAS International Vibraphone competition, won the PAS/Armand Zildjian Percussion Scholarship, and is a Musical Merit Foundation protégé. Her accolades include recording for NAXOS, airing on BBC Radio 3, performing in the International Symposium at PGVIM in Bangkok, performing at PASIC and earning the Fred Sanford Award with Santa Clara Vanguard.
Gloria endorses Black Swamp Percussion.

Event Details

Julia Holter

Julia Holter is a composer, performer, and recording artist based in Los Angeles. Her interest in sonic mysteries has led her to record in various settings--in her home, outside with a field recorder, and in recording studios—as well as to perform live, often with a focus on the voice and the space between language and babble. Holter’s music is multi-layered and texturally rich. She has amassed a body of work that explores melody within free song structures, atmosphere, and the impulses of the voice. She has released five studio albums: Aviary (2018), Have You In My Wilderness (2015), Loud City Song (2013), Ekstasis (2012), and Tragedy (2011). Holter has performed her music at venues and festivals throughout the world with an ensemble of creative musicians. She has written music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other ensembles, as well as scores for the films “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (2020) and “Bleed for This” (2016) and the TV show “Pure” (2019).

Event Details

Jacob Wick

You’ll be listening to some of Jacob’s solo work, specifically from the record feel, released in 2019 on Thin Wrist. Then talk about the idea that structured feel, which is the process queer sound -> queer time -> queer space. 

Jacob Wick is an improviser, writer, and artist. His work is dedicated to and informed by queer feelings and queer politics. As an improviser and trumpet player, he has performed in a variety of contexts, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Kennedy Center, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC). He has performed with Matana Roberts, Andrea Neumann, Gerald Cleaver, Katherine Young, Judith Hamann, Toshimaru Nakamura, and others.

Event Details


Fall 2019 Visiting Artists

Stephen James Taylor

Mr. Taylor graduated from Stanford Music Department in 1976 and has worked as a film composer since 1981. He has received numerous credits and Emmy nominations, plus has many miscellaneous classical music commissions. Stephen is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, inventor, and filmmaker.

Event Details

Josh Nelson

A native of Southern California, Josh Nelson maintains an active and creative schedule as a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and recording artist. He has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Natalie Cole, Anthony Wilson, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens,  Alicia Olatuja, Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski, Richard Galliano, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Greg Hutchinson, John Clayton, Seamus Blake, Matt Wilson, Sara Gazarek, Dave Koz, Joe Chambers, Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, and Lewis Nash. Josh has performed around the world and recorded for numerous albums, films, and TV shows, but also makes time for his own projects. His latest is 2017’s The Sky Remains which is his love letter to Los Angeles. It’s the third in his Discovery Project series. It unearths hidden gems and little-known stories about the composer’s hometown.



Event Details

Coleman Zurkowski


Coleman Zurkowski is a composer living in New York City. He received a Bachelor's in Music Composition from DePaul University in 2012 and an MFA in MusicComposition from CalArts in 2014. He is currently working in New York, composing music for film, commercials and theater., as well as presenting music of his own. Coleman has self-funded two national tours of his personal compositions and one international tour. ZERO was also signed to Dangerbird Records in Los Angeles as a part of their experimental music series "Arthur King Presents" and was released in 2018.

Event Details

Tim Hagans

Grammy-nominated composer and trumpeter Tim Hagans is one of the most unique and influential modern voices in jazz. His distinct tone was described by the Village Voice as “powerfully expressive” and Gary Giddins professed him to be a “swarming, spirited tour de force.” His newest CD, FACES UNDER THE INFLUENCE, A Jazz Tribute to John Cassavetes is a suite of 7 musical portraits inspired by characters from the films of John Cassavetes. The recording features the NDR Big Band in Hamburg with Mr. Hagans as guest composer, conductor and trumpet soloist; it was released on Waiting Moon Records, Hagans' own label.

Event Details

Cathlene Pineda


Cathlene Pineda is a sought-after pianist and composer in the Los Angeles area. In 2016, Orenda Records released Cathlene's second album of original music, Passing: A California Suite. "Airy, elegant, and haunting" (Cesareo Garasa, The Californian), this album was originally a piece commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society and premiered at the Angel City Jazz Festival. The album creates “an open atmosphere that hints at the complex beauty of the city" (Lee Epstein, freejazzblog.org). The LA Times called Cathlene’s first album, A Week’s Time, (Orenda Records, 2014) a “graceful pleasure.” She is currently working on her third album, to be released in the Spring of 2020. Cathlene received an MFA in Jazz Performance from California Institute of the Arts in 2011.


Event Details

Ivan Ivanov

Lecture Surrealism in Music
Presentation of book Surrealism in Music and Leonardo Balada

Bulgarian born clarinetist Ivan Ivanov studied at the Sofia State Academy of music “Pancho Vladigerov” and finished his Bachelor’s degree with distinctions. In 2004 Mr. Ivanov became a permanent member of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and worked with such conductors as Sir Neville Mariner, Jean Bernard Pommier, Rossen Milanov and others. In addition to his full-time employment at the National Orchestra he collaborated with Radio Sofia Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra, Classic FM Radio, National Opera etc. As an orchestral player he has toured France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Nederland, Japan and etc. Mr. Ivanov earned his Master’s degree of Performance Clarinet at the Carnegie Mellon University from the studio of Michael Rusinek, Principal Clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and his Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from the studio of Dr. Marina Sturm, former first and e-flat clarinet player of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He also studied with Ricardo Morales, Boris Allakhverdyan etc. Currently, Ivan serves as substitute player with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and San Diego Symphony. 


Event Details

Latvian Vocal Ensemble


Featuring author and Professor Dr. Guntis Smidchens from the University of Washington and the internationally acclaimed a cappella group Latvian Voices.

Latvian Voices is a professional a cappella group from Latvia. With their voices as the only musical instrument Latvian Voices have developed a unique individual vocal style, in which intonations from ethnic music of many nations intertwine. Since the founding of the group in year 2009 Latvian Voices have participated in many international music festivals, competitions, workshops and given concert tours across Europe and worldwide.

Event Details