Spring 2020 Visiting Artists

Lucia Mense

Lucia Mense will be a guest during Wintersession in “The Recorder Today & Yesterday.” Lucia presently resides in Cologne, this after completing her studies in that city as well as Milano and Amsterdam. Her repertoire encompasses works from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as the contemporary flute literature, which she is actively expanding and developing. She has concertized throughout Europe, Russia, China and the United States as a soloist and as chamber musician.

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Antonio Sánchez

Antonio is the Charlie Haden/CalArts Artist in Residence and will teach "The Spirituality of Improvisation" during Wintersession

Five-time Grammy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Antonio Sánchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers of his generation, and that was before he caught the attention of the world with his score for Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s acclaimed film Birdman.

Born in Mexico City on November 1, 1971, he started playing drums at the age of five and began performing professionally early in his teens. He pursued a degree in classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico and in 1993 he moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee College of Music. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Jazz Studies. He’s made New York City his home since 1999.

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Thana Alexa

THANA ALEXA will be at CalArts for a Wintersession class that is open to the Institute, "Singing with Thana Alexa." 

Surprising is the word that perhaps best describes Thana Alexa, an extraordinarily creative force in music.  An awe-inspiring vocalist, composer, and arranger – for whom the voice is both a lyrical and experimental instrument – her music pushes the boundaries of the genre into new and unexplored territory with deep seeded roots in jazz and overtones of contemporary soul and world music.

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Vera Ivanova

Ivanova's compositions have been described as "... humanistic and deeply felt works ..." (John Bilotta, Society of Composers, Inc.). In her early Fantasy-Toccata (2003) for violin and piano, "the humor takes on a harder, sardonic edge recalling the composer's roots in the work of Shostakovich and Schnittke" (Ted Ayala, Crescenta Valley Weekly). In her later "Three Studies in Uneven Meters for Piano" (2011), "the greatest power of her brief, angular, crystalline music lies in its power to provoke the gods of symmetry" (Laurence Vittes, Lark Gallery Online Blog). After teaching as Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at the Setnor School of Music of Syracuse University (NY), she was appointed as Associate Professor of Music in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University (Orange, CA). Ivanova also teaches at the Colburn Academy. 

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Aaron Drake

Drake will hold a discussion on how to continue meritorious 'artistic practice' while working professionally as a composer for contemporary visual media.

Classically trained as a pianist from age 5, Drake performed competitively between ages 8 and 15 throughout the West Coast (US and Canada). Drake received an MFA in Composition from CalArts where he studied with James Tenney (microtonal music), Mark Trayle, David Rosenboom and Michael Pisaro. CalArts pushed him to conceptualize music beyond the intricacies of advanced music theory which lead to his first film collaborations.

 

 

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Neal Acree

Neal Acree is a BAFTA nominated film, television and video game composer and conductor whose work includes the massively popular game franchises World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Overwatch, Revelation Online, shows like Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Witchblade and over 30 feature films. A versatile and prolific composer with roots in classical, rock and electronic music, Acree's music has been recorded and performed by orchestras and choirs around the world, including the hit concert tour Video Games Live.

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Fall 2019 Visiting Artists

Terry Gibbs

For over 60 years vibraphonist, drummer, pianist, composer and bandleader Terry Gibbs has brought energy, creativity and capriciousness to the world of jazz. Bassist Chubby Jackson captures the tone of Gibbs' art when he says, "He's learned how to put a grin on music."

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Women in Jazz Panel

A versatile vocalist, Alina Roitstein is known for her “beautiful voice and equally beautiful presence” (El Nuevo Herald). Her career spanning chamber music and contemporary works, opera and art song, jazz and Latin music, and choral music has taken her to venues all over the world. She is also a singer and composer for River Song Quintet, a chamber jazz ensemble and the Trevor Anderies Quintet, an ensemble led by drummer/composer Trevor Anderies, exploring the lines between composition and improvisation, jazz, folk, and West African music.

(Lauren) Elizabeth Baba is a violinist, violist, composer, and improviser living in Los Angeles, California, performing a wide variety of music from original improvisatory music to jazz, classical, folk, avent-guarde, chamber, pop, and experimental styles. Baba is the composer and director of theBABAorchestra, a 17-piece big band performing her original instrumental compositions. She has composed for several short films and co-composed for several movies including BARBIE Mariposa and the Fairy Princess, Waking, and Artificial Sweetner. Baba studied jazz violin/viola and composition at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California where she received her BFA in Jazz Performance. 

Nedra Wheeler is a bassist, composer and bandleader that has been performing in Southern California and touring Internationally for more than 25 years. She is one of the recipients of the 2006 Jazz Legend of Los Angeles Awards from the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation and the City of Los Angeles. Nedra earned her Master of Fine Arts from CalArts and is a performer and teacher with the Jazz Mentorship Program at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs-Watts Towers Arts Center & Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center.

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Kirk Brundage

Originally from upstate New York, Kirk Brundage is a classically trained percussionist who went on to play in Brazilian carnaval. Kirk received an MFA from CalArts, a Fulbright scholarship to Denmark and played for many years as an ‘extra’ with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. For nearly twenty years, Kirk’s adventurous spirit has taken him to Salvador Bahia, Brazil to explore new musical horizons.  Kirk has played in Brazilian carnival with Olodum, at the Latin Grammys with Daniela Mercury, a show with The Police drummer Stewart Copeland and recorded with Grammy artist Beck. A REMO Artist, Kirk has taught at UCLA and published the book series “Afro-Brazilian Percussion Guide”.

 

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Gordon Grdina & The Marrow

The music, all original compositions by Grdina but mostly based on classical Arabic and Persian modes (many with quarter-tones, superbly executed by Helias and Roberts), provides a context for creative group interplay and solos that often involve extended tonality. The music is intricate, sometimes delicate, other times high-risk exciting. There are dark, brooding excursions propelled by Middle Eastern vamps as well as more contrapuntally through-composed works (“Wayward”) that relate to the music on Inroads.

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Raven Chacon

Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, collaborator, or with Postcommodity, Chacon has exhibited or performed at Whitney Biennial, Documenta 14, REDCAT, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Chaco Canyon, Ende Tymes Festival, 18th Biennale of Sydney and The Kennedy Center. Every year, he teaches 20 students to write string quartets for the Native American Composer Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). He is the recipient of the United States Artists fellowship in Music, The Creative Capital award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship and the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition. He lives in Albuquerque, NM.

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Myka 9

Originally known as Microphone Mike, Myka 9 is recognized as one of the most stylistically advanced rappers in the '90s. He emerged as a leading figure of the Good Life and Project Blowed communities and as a founding member of Freestyle Fellowship and Haiku D’Etat.

Freestyle Fellowship first and second albums, Inner City Griots and To Whom It May Concern, are considered the high water mark of West Coast Hip Hop.

"To say that Freestyle Fellowship significantly influenced West Coast Hip Hop is like saying that Jesus was a pivotal figure in Christianity." --Pitchfork

 

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Ro Rowan & Chloe Scallion

Panel discussion with cellist, composer, and sound designer Ro Rowan; multimedia artist and curator Chloe Scallion; and a surprise guest electronic musician.

Although RO ROWAN studied classical cello and spent most of their youth in orchestras, they have brought their rich tone and non-traditional techniques to a vast landscape of genres within the Los Angeles, Boston and New York music scene since 2002. Ro has worked with Lorde, deadmau5, Disney, Hans Zimmer, Mike Posner, Toni Braxton, Shirley Manson, Willie Nelson, Annie Lennox, The Boston Pops, Deepak Chopra, Dream Theater, Alan Silvestri, George S. Clinton, Christopher Lennertz, Ron Carter, Terri Lyne Carrington and Lalah Hathaway. Their cello can be heard on over 300 albums, film scores, television shows, documentaries, commercials, trailers, video games and sound libraries. Ro is currently in Los Angeles freelancing as a cellist, composer, songwriter and sound designer. They are a member of two Los Angeles-based ensembles: Queertet and Sonic Open Orchestra. They work with composer, Michael Gatt, as his Scoring Coordinator and occasionally with Output as a preset and content designer. Ro also founded and runs Rowboat Production, a video production company specializing in videography and video editing. Most recently Ro played for Disney’s remake of The Lion King.

CHLOE SCALLION is a Los Angeles-based, Pennsylvania-born multimedia artist and curator. She spent her teens touring the Eastern US in punk and experimental music acts while actively participating in the vibrant DIY music scene of Philadelphia. She carries those experiences into her work now as event organizer, installation artist, speaker manipulator, experimental circuitstress, video artist and musician. Her current video/ performance project, Gay Felony, has been exhibited and performed in Los Angeles and globally in galleries, warehouse parties, punk shows, film festivals and online. Scallion Chloe 8800 creates unique analog synthetic spaces in which her futuristic, techno-inspired spoken and live music performances take place. She additionally collaborates as technician with an array of cutting-edge contemporary artists working in the LA community. She is exploring the quantum workings of obsolescence, glitch, brokenness, identity and communal trauma.

 

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