DBF 2013 Performers

Attendees at the two-stage event will experience international drumming styles through outstanding performances from some of the world’s top musicians, mostly living within a 100 mile radius of Woodstock, NY. A full list of performers to date is below. (updated frequently!)
Jack DeJohnetteJack DeJohnette will be joined by David Sancious on keyboards (recently on tour with Sting), and Luisito Quintero (currently working as the musical director for Louie Vega and the Elements of Life Band) on Congas and Timbales.




Jack DeJohnette – Drums
Jack DeJohnetteJack DeJohnette , an Ulster County resident, was born in Chicago. Widely regarded as one of the great musicians in modern jazz, Jack DeJohnette has a wide-ranging style that makes him a dynamic sideman and bandleader. Jack’s versatility on the drums is accented by his additional accomplishments as a keyboardist: he studied classical piano for ten years before taking up drums. Jack DeJohnette has collaborated with most figures in jazz history. Some of the great talents he has worked with are John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, George Benson, Ron Carter, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, and Pat Methany – or rather they worked with him. In February, 2009, DeJohnette received the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, Peace Time. DeJohnette successfully incorporates elements of free jazz and world music, while maintaining the deep grooves of jazz and R&B drummers. His exceptional experience of time and style, combined with astounding improvisational ingenuity, make him one of the most highly regarded and in-demand drummers. In 2012, DeJohnette was awarded an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for his “significant lifetime contributions have helped to enrich jazz and further the growth of the art form.”




David Sancious – Keyboards
David SanciousDavid Sancious, an Ulster County resident, was born in Asbury Park, NJ. When he was still in his teens, he was asked to join Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band as a keyboardist and occasional saxophonist. He stayed with that band for their first three albums: Greetings from Asbury Park, The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle and Born To Run. Sancious continues to remain in the limelight because of his highly valued sideman work on keyboards and guitar with people like Sting, Peter Gabriel, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Seal, Eric Clapton, Jon Anderson, Santana, and many more.





Robert Quintero – Percussion
Roberto QuinteroRoberto Quintero was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was surrounded by Afro-Cuban rhythm and music. His father, a respected composer, singer and percussionist in his native country, tutored and encouraged Roberto on percussion through his adolescent years. Roberto comes from a long line of outstanding musicians which includes his Uncle, Carlos Nene Quintero and cousin Luisito Quintero. Besides being known for his skillful Congas work, Roberto also plays bongos drum set, djembe, timbales and wide variety of assorted percussion instruments. Roberto has worked with many high-profile musicians such as; Dave Samuels, Dave Weckel, Gato Barbieri, David Sanchez, Roy Hargrove, David Sancious, Eddie Palmieri, Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci, and Marc Anthony. Quintero is comfortable working in any genre of music from symphonic to jazz, latin jazz, latin, house.






MIDNIGHT RAMBLE BAND from the Levon Helm Studios
Midnight Ramble BandRecognizable and unforgettable music; wildly successful and drawing a world-wide audience.
Levon Helm was well known as an American rock musician and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band. Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, multi-instrumental ability, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of the Band’s recordings. The Band disbanded and re-united with different members over the years. Many of these musicians played with Helm at the Midnight Rambles, his home and studio, “The Barn,” in Woodstock, NY. Helm passed in 2012, but his legacy of rock and bandmate friendships lives on in the Levon Helm Studios Midnight Ramble Band.





Larry Campbell – Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin
Larry CampbellLarry Campbell is a multi-instrumentalist who has been a studio musician, recording music with other artists on their albums, and a respected sideman, performing as a backup musician in clubs and concert venues, since the seventies. He moves freely between rock, blues, country, folk and Celtic, playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, cittern, dobro and banjo. In 2005, he released his first solo acoustic guitar album called Rooftops. In 2008, Larry was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his instrumental work from the Americana Music Association. As a sideman, Larry is probably best known for his time spent in Bob Dylan’s band. Larry was a member of Bob Dylan’s “Never Ending Tour” band from March 31, 1997 until November 21, 2004. When introducing Larry and the rest of the band, Bob Dylan often referred to them as some of the finest musicians in the country. Beginning in 2005, Larry performed regularly with Levon Helm for seven years.




Amy Helm – Vocals, Mandolin
Amy HelmThe daughter of music legend Levon Helm and singer / songwriter Libby Titus Fagen, Helm wields a powerful voice that can both stir and soothe, whether she is singing traditional gospel, blues standards or her own heartfelt compositions. She is a gifted musician on both mandolin and drums, and has clearly absorbed the lessons of the many other accomplished artists with whom she has shared stages, including Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, and Joan Osborne as well as other uniquely American performers like Dr. John and Hubert Sumlin. A founding member of the roots band Ollabelle with whom she has recorded three CDs. Her lengthy resume is highlighted by many years of singing and playing alongside her father, with whom she conceived, launched and perfected the Midnight Rambles, intimate performances held since 2004 at his home and studio in Woodstock, N.Y. The musical chemistry, affectionate humor and family pride that Amy shared on stage with her father helped shape the Midnight Ramble as it evolved into a musical event that still attracts fans and musicians from around the world. She co-produced Levon Helm’s 2007 CD Dirt Farmer, which won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album, and she is prominently featured on the Levon Helm Band’s Electric Dirt and Ramble at the Ryman Grammy-winning albums.
Teresa Williams Vocals, Guitar
Tereasa WilliamsTennessee-born singer guitarist Teresa Williams’ country roots run deep as her family’s seventh-generation farm. She grew up singing at an early age with her Daddy and picking cotton before and after school. When the theatre major moved to New York City, she eventually met up with Larry Campbell. Married two years later, they’ve been enjoying their individual musical careers and also making music together ever since. Larry and Teresa have performed locally in New York City, on Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour and on The Blue Plate Special, a radio show out of Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2006, they performed at The Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia, for Song of the Mountains, the Lincoln Theatre’s award-winning bluegrass concert series, showcasing the best in bluegrass and old-time music. They regularly performed at Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles in Woodstock, New York, for 7 years. These Midnight Rambles were held several times a month at Levon Helm’s studio. He based his Ramble sessions on the southern medicine shows of his youth and invited some of the most notable blues entertainers and musicians of our time to perform at the Rambles. Levon Helm also took his Rambles on the road, along with Larry and Teresa. After Levon Helm’s passing, Larry and Teresa continue to perform at the Rambles which feature The Dirt Farmer Band – Larry, Teresa, Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs and Justin Guip. In addition to performing at the Rambles, Larry and Teresa have performed together on tour with Phil Lesh, Hot Tuna and Little Feat.


Justin Guip – Drums
Justin GuipJustin Guip is a three-time Grammy winner who worked directly with Levon Helm from 2004-2012. Justin sat in on drums with the Levon Helm Band while the legendary musician played mandolin, he served as production manager for Helm’s Midnight Rambles and was senior recording / mix engineer at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, N.Y. Justin never missed a single Midnight Ramble at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock or a Ramble on the Road. And he was honored to sit alongside Levon as his double drummer – more often than any other musician. Justin currently occupies the drummer’s chair for two ensembles that grew out of the Midnight Ramble tradition – The Dirt Farmer Band and The Midnight Ramble Band. He also plays drums for the Amy Helm Band and appears on Amy’s upcoming solo release, which he recorded and mixed.



Byron Isaacs – Vocals, Bass
Byron IsaacsA Texas native and Brooklyn resident, Byron Isaacs played upright bass in the Levon Helm Band and is a current member of the roots ensemble Ollabelle. Isaacs and Helm framed out the rhythm section in the Levon Helm Band, which headlined the legendary drummer’s historic Midnight Rambles in Woodstock, N.Y. Isaacs also played critical roles in the success of two of Helm’s Grammy-winning CDs. He remains the only member of the Levon Helm Band to have contributed an original song to each album — “Calvary” on 2007’s “Dirt Farmer” and “Heaven’s Pearls” on “Electric Dirt,” which was released in 2009. Isaacs is currently a member of two groups that evolved out of the Midnight Rambles — The Dirt Farmer Band and The Midnight Ramble Band. Both bands continue to perform on Saturday nights at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, in the spirit of the Midnight Ramble. The lead vocals, harmonies and steady bass lines for which Isaacs has become known also shape the gospel-infused feel that drives Ollabelle.



Jim Weider – Vocals, Guitar
Jim WeiderJim Weider is a master of classic telecaster and traditional blues slide guitar techniques. He is one of a select group of musicians to have an endorsement from Fender, and has built an international reputation among fellow musicians worldwide. Jim has performed / recorded with such well-known artists as: The Band, Los Lobos, Doctor John, Mavis Staples, Hot Tuna, Kim Wilson, Lee Rocker, Bob Dylan, Robbie Dupree, Taj Mahal, Paul Butterfield, Keith Richards, Bob Weir / Rat Dog, Paul Burlison, Graham Parker.





Shawn Pelton – Drums, Percussion
Shawn PeltonShawn Pelton is an American drummer and percussionist. He has recorded with a wide range of artists and has been a first call player since moving to New York in the late 1980s. Known for his great feel, deep soulful pocket and a high level of musicianship across a broad range of styles, Shawn has recorded with artists such as Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, Roseanne Cash, Pink, David Byrne, Edie Brickell, Richie Havens, Pavarotti, Carly Simon, Dixie Chicks, Chris Botti and Buddy Guy, and has played on several Grammy winning albums for artists including Ray Charles, The Brecker Brothers, Shakira, Shawn Colvin, Les Paul and the Hank Williams tribute album with Bob Dylan. Such a broad discography shows a rare ability to be at home playing on a top ten track by Pink, recording with Jazz legend Abbey Lincoln or an icon like Bob Dylan. Shawn is also the longtime drummer in the house band for the NBC TV network’s sketch comedy and music program Saturday Night Live.



Steven Bernstein – Trumpet
Steven BernsteinSteven Bernstein is a trumpeter / slide trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, and composer who lives outside of musical convention. He has released four critically acclaimed CDs; Diaspora Soul, Diaspora Blues (featuring the Sam Rivers trio), Diaspora Hollywood, and Diaspora Suite. All four are on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. He is best known for his work in The Lounge Lizards, Sex Mob, Spanish Fly and the Millennial Territory Orchestra. Sex Mob’s 2006 CD Sexotica was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. Since November 2004 Bernstein has been a member of the Levon Helm band, playing at the Midnight Rambles in Levon’s home in Woodstock. Bernstein wrote horn arrangements for Levon Helm’s Grammy winning 2009 recording Electric Dirt, as well as Bill Frissel’s Grammy winning 2004 recording Unspeakable. Other arranging credits include Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, Marianne Faithfull, Elton John, and Marvin Pontiac.



Erik Lawrence – Saxophone
Erik LawrenceErik Lawrence, a longtime Levon Helm sideman, has built his career as a Saxophonist / Flutist / Composer / Music Journalist / Poet / Educator. Son of jazz saxophonist and rock and roll guru Arnie Lawrence, who founded the New School of Jazz in New York City and the International Center for Creative Music Studies in Jerusalem, Erik began playing saxophone at five years old. Erik currently leads Hipmotism, an innovative group featuring Sex Mob’s Steven Bernstein on slide trumpet, Allison Miller (Ani DiFranco’s drummer) and bassist Rene Hart. Proudly a member of legendary Levon Helm’s Band, (2010 Grammy winning Electric Dirt CD) with whom he has shared the stage with Elvis Costello, Jack DeJohnette, Robert Plant and Allison Kraus, Cheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Rickie Lee Jones, Richie Havens, Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, Buddy Miller, Donald Fagan and many others.


Jay Collins – Saxophone
Jay CollinsOne of the most sought-after touring musicians in American music, Jay is perhaps best known for his saxophone and flute work with many artists including Gregg Allman, Allman Brothers Band, Levon Helm (of The Band), Donald Fagen and the Dukes of September (w/ Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs), James Hunter and jazz greats such as the late Andrew Hill, Jacky Terrasson, and the late bassist LeRoy Vinnegar. In recent years, Mr. Collins has also become recognized for his gritty singing and his singular songwriting. With his Kings County Band, Collins mixes up blues, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and his ragged, soulful lyrics into a modern patchwork of root-bound sound, though his flights of improvisation could have been inspired only by jazz. At the recording sessions for his first CD, Poem For Today (Hipbone Records), Collins met vocalist Amy Helm (Ollabelle) and went on to join Amy’s dad, Levon Helm (the former vocalist and drummer of The Band), as a member of his band, playing at Helm’s Midnight Rambles in Woodstock. Jay played on 2 grammy-winning albums with Levon — Electric Dirt (2009), and Ramble at the Ryman (2011).




Brian Mitchell – Vocals, Keyboard, Accordion
Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell is well known in music industry circles and beyond for both his solo career and his high-profile collaborations. He has recorded and performed with some of music’s most respected artists, including Bob Dylan, Al Green, B.B. King, Levon Helm, Mary J Blige, Allen Toussaint, and Dolly Parton. He has also released two C.D.’s of his own original music, Songs From The Underground and his latest, Diggin Up The Roots. His extraordinary versatility on piano, accordion, Hammond B-3, various vintage keyboards, plus his distinctive vocal styling have firmly established him as one of New York City’s most gifted and sought after musicians. A native New Yorker, Mitchell is a mainstay in Manhattan’s competitive live music scene. Known for kicking out high-energy performances, his original music features a unique blend of gutbucket blues, funky New Orleans style R&B, quirky Latin rhythms and occasional visits into outer space. In addition to his various incarnations of The Brian Mitchell Band and The Loisaida Social Club, he can also be heard with House Of Diablo (w/Shawn Pelton). House Of Diablo, an ever changing aggregate, is a unique blend of electronic sounds, dub, improv, and swamp funk that can heard in dance clubs, exotic parties, as well as soundtracks for TV and films. Brian has recorded with or performed with Mary J Blige, Sugar Blue, Jeff Buckley, Solomon Burke, Ex-President Bill Clinton, Shawn Colvin, Shemekia Copeland ,The Crashtest Dummies , Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Peter Frampton, Al Green, Levon Helm, Nathan Lane, Lyle Lovett, Nora Jones, B.B. King, David “Fathead” Newman, Dolly Parton, Les Paul and Billy Presto.




Simon Shaheen dazzles his listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled grace have earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the ‘oud and violin. Shaheen is one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. Simon will be accompanied by frame drumming and Essiet Okon Essiet, bass.





Essiet Okun Essiet – Bass
Mandara_EssietOkonEssietEssiet is established as one of New York’s premier bassists. Born or Nigerian parents in Omaha, Nebraska, His father’s job for the U.S. and Nigerian government took his family to Europe, Africa and America. His early exposure to many languages, folkways and religions fostered his world view of strength through diversity. He has played with Adullah Ibrahim, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Benny Golson, Johny Griffin, James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddy Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins,Abby Lincoln, Eddie Palmieri, and Dee Dee Bridgewater to name a few. In 1997 he toured the Americas and Japan with the Blue Note Allstars. Essiet leads the group “Ibo” which mixes jazz harmonies with West African rhythms.



Dafer Tawil – Percussion
Dafer TawilBorn in Jerusalem, at the age of 12 he started learning percussion and oud at the Jerusalem Institute for Arabic Music. He performed with Mustafa al-Kurd’s Arabic Ensemble for 3 years, at Bir Zeit University, Bethlehem University, the Cultural Institute in Nablus, and Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah. In 1998, he moved to New York City to study with Simon Shaheen and since 2004 he has been a member of his music ensemble. Dafer has been performing in various musical projects including a performance at the Grammies with Sting’s Dessert Rose and the Moroccan Ganawa traditional music group.





MandaraA quintet of multi-instrumentalists / vocalists that performs music of West and Southern Africa and the diaspora, and original works on instruments from many countries. The group’s director, Valerie Naranjo is a member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live Band and Broadway’s Lion King Orchestra. Mandara is a fascinating assemblage of instrumentalists and vocalists from diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds. In the spirit of music as a unifying force for the world’s peoples, Mandara’s original music combines marimba, vibes, piano, bass, keyboards trombone, drum-set and vocals with traditional instruments from Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, South Africa and the Caribbean. Mandara will be joined by special guest, dancer – Hettie Barnhill from the Broadway shows, FELA!, Leap Of Faith and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.
Mandara has performed to rave reviews all over the world. The Washington Post called their music “delicate, intense, incantatory,” while The Chicago Sun-Times described their musicianship as “wonderfully versatile”.
“If you’ve ever had the split-second opportunity to spy Naranjo in action when SNL cuts to a commercial break, you’ve witnessed energy behind a fortress of percussion.” –Andy Doershuk, DRUM! Magazine, May 2005





Valerie Dee Naranjo – Marimba, Percussion, Vocals
f_DBF_ValerieNaranjoValerie plays in NBC’s SNL Band (for her 18th season), Broadway’s “The Lion King”, and – on six continents – solo, with Philip Glass, The Paul Winter Consort, Airto Moreira, Zakir Hussein, and others. She performed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and at the White House for the 2013 Gershwin Awards. The 2005 and 2008 reader’s poll for “Drum!” magazine named Valerie “World Percussionist of the Year” and the 2011 “Mallet Player of the Year”. The film “Knock on Wood”, documenting Valerie’s activity in Ghana, is currently part of several documentary film festivals internationally. She created the transcription series “West African Music for the Marimba Soloist” in collaboration with the late master of the West African gyil, Kakraba Lobi. Valerie affected a chiefly decree in Ghana’s upper West that allowed women to play the gyil in public. She and Barry Olsen are the only to date non-West Africans to place “first” in the “Kobine Festival of Traditional Arts” in Lawra, Ghana.


Barry Olsen – Trombone, Piano, Marimba, Percussion, Vocals
Mandara_BarryOlsen_2Barry’s performance / recording credits include; Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, Paul Simon, David Byrne, The Paul Winter Consort, Airto Moreira , Jose Neto, South African Pops Mohammed and others. Barry played piano with the Latin-Jazz group Syotos, appearing on their five recordings. He plays marimba and percussion for the Broadway hit “The Lion King”, and trombone and keyboards with the Broadway show “Fela!” which features the music of the Nigerian Afro-Beat pioneer Fela Kuti. He toured with “Fela!” in Amsterdam, London and the U.S. He toured five East African countries in 2007 in a US State Department tour. Barry recorded the CD “Always Climbing” with his piano trio and the CD “Mandara”.



Essiet Okun Essiet – Bass
Mandara_EssietOkonEssiet Essiet is established as one of New York’s premier bassists. Born or Nigerian parents in Omaha, Nebraska, His father’s job for the U.S. and Nigerian government took his family to Europe, Africa and America. His early exposure to many languages, folkways and religions fostered his world view of strength through diversity. He has played with Adullah Ibrahim, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Benny Golson, Johny Griffin, James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddy Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins,Abby Lincoln, Eddie Palmieri, and Dee Dee Bridgewater to name a few. In 1997 he toured the Americas and Japan with the Blue Note Allstars. Essiet leads the group “Ibo” which mixes jazz harmonies with West African rhythms.

Bryan Carrott – Percussion
Mandara_BryanCarrottBryan has toured and recorded with Jay-Z, David “Fathead” Newman, Ralph Peterson, Dave Douglas, Henry Threadgil, Muhal Richard Abrams, The Lounge Lizards, Charlie Hunter, Greg Osby, Tom Harrell. Bryan is a two-time recipient of New York’s Meet the Composer Foundation award and has been cited for several consecutive years in Down Beat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll. He has also been featured on BET’s Jazz Central, and on the feature film soundtrack, “3 A.M.”, with Branford Marsalis. Bryan led an educational performance at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference and was a featured soloist with Germany’s WDR Orchestra.



Vince Cherico – Drums
From 1995 – 2006, Vince was the drummer for the late Ray Barretto and his “New World Spirit” Sextet. He performs with The Caribbean Jazz Project, the Paquito D’Rivera’s Quintet, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Manhattan Transfer, Claudia Acuna, Eric Alexander, Randy Brecker, Ray Bryant, Joe Lovano, Eddie Palmieri, Arturo O’Farrill, Cristina Pato, David Sanchez, Diane Schuur and pop artist Jessica Simpson. He has given Master classes across the United States, and in Europe, Mexico, South America and Asia. He is a faculty member at the Drummers Collective and the Queens College Jazz Program and teaches privately in his own Manhattan studio. When in New York, Vince performs on Sunday nights with the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the famed Birdland Jazz Club.




with Special Guest
Hettie Barnhill – Dance and Vocals
Hettie BarnhillToday, Hettie’s constantly back and forth from New York City and Los Angeles, CA. Working on her debut album, set to release in 2012. She is currently choreographing for different projects and performing with the Broadway Vintage Variety Show. She is also a member of A Long Walk Home, Inc. is a 5 year non-profit organization that uses art therapy and the visual and performance arts to document, to educate and to bring about social change. Providing safe and entertaining forums through which the public learns about healing from trauma. (Rape and Violence) Hettie shares with them what has been given to her – a passion for the arts, a love for dance and a listening ear. Dance Coordinator for the 60×60 Festival. A 2011 NAACP recipient of the Top 12 Leaders 40 and Under Award in the field of Arts and Culture, IL,Chapter. Ms. Barnhill is a 2006 Honors graduate of Columbia College in Chicago majored in dance and twice honored in Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities. Hettie has worked with numerous choreographers internationally and received many awards including several dance scholarships, such as the Young Artist Scholarship (American Dance Festival); the Wiesman Grant for her choreographic piece (Homegrown). Cast member of the Broadway show FELA!, Leap of Faith and Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark is on her list of many outstanding credits.



NEXUSNexus has been dubbed “…the high Priests of the Percussion World” by the New York Times. The first, entirely improvised NEXUS concert in 1971 marked the formation of a group that would touch and entertain people of all levels of musical learning, in all genres of percussion music. Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Russell Hartenberger and Garry Kvistad are virtuosos alone, and bring elements of their knowledge and character to a distinct and powerful whole. They stand out in the contemporary music scene for the innovation and diversity of their programs, their impressive history of collaborations and commissions, their revival of 1920’s novelty ragtime xylophone music, and their influential improvisatory ideas.
They have enjoyed participating at international music festivals such as the Adelaide, Holland, Budapest Spring, Singapore Arts, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Blossom Music Festivals, as well as the BBC Proms in London, Music Today and Music Joy festivals in Tokyo, and many World Drum Festivals. NEXUS was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999, just before celebrating their 30th anniversary season.
Especially renowned for their improvisational skills, NEXUS was called upon to create the musical score for the National Film Board’s “Inside Time”, which won the 2008 Yorkton Golden Sheaf award for best social / political documentary & the 2008 Robert Brooks award for cinematography. NEXUS also created the chilling score for the Academy Award-winning feature-length documentary “The Man Who Skied Down Everest”. NEXUS’ list of high-profile collaborations includes Steve Reich, the Kronos Quartet, the Canadian Brass, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.
The 2012-2013 concert season will mark their 42nd year.


Bob Becker
Bob BeckerBob Becker’s performing experience spans nearly all of the musical disciplines where percussion is found. Here’s a few of the highlights from his body of work: He has been timpanist with the Marlboro Festival Orchestra under Pablo Casals; he has performed and recorded with such diverse groups as the Ensemble Intercontemporaine under Pierre Boulez; he has appeared as tabla soloist in India; he is a founding member of the Flaming Dono West African Dance and Drum Ensemble in Toronto; and he is a regular member of the ensemble Steve Reich and Musicians.




Bill Cahn
Bill CahnBill Cahn has been a member of the NEXUS percussion quintet since its founding in 1971, and was the principal percussionist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1968 to 1995. Since 2006 Bill has been an Associate Professor of Percussion at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is also a faculty artist-in-residence at the Showa Academy of the Arts in Kawasaki, Japan since 1998. Bill has received the Rochester Philharmonic League’s FANFARE AWARD (1988) for a “significant contribution to music education in Rochester,” and several other awards as well. In 2006 Bill received a GRAMMY Award as part of the Paul Winter Consort on the DVD titled, “2004 Solstice Concert.”







Russell Hartenberger
Russel HartenbergerRussell Hartenberger received his B.Mus degree from Curtis Institute – upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force Band and toured throughout the US, Europe and South America as xylophone soloist. Russell holds a PhD in World Music from Wesleyan University where he studied mrdangam; he has also studied table, Javanese Gamelan and West African Drumming. He is Professor of Percussion at the University of Toronto where NEXUS holds a residency. Russell has been a member of Steve Reich and Musicians since 1971, and performed on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Music for 18 Musicians.




Garry Kvistad
Garry KvistadFounder and Executive Director of the Drum Boogie Festival, Garry joined Nexus in the Fall of 2002 when John Wyre, one of the group’s original members, retired. He has been performing and recording with Nexus co-founders Bob Becker and Russell Hartenberger since joining Steve Reich and Musicians in 1980. Garry is one of 18 musicians to win a Grammy award for the 1998 recording of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. Garry attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, earned his BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and his MM from Northern Illinois University where he studied music, art and physics in the pursuit of musical instrument building. In the 1970s, Garry worked with composer / conductor Lucas Foss as a Creative Associate in Buffalo, New York, he then joined the faculties of Northern Illinois University and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. The Balinese Gong Kebyar Gamelan ensemble, Giri Mekar, which he formed in 1987, is currently in residence at Bard College. Garry’s credits include positions with the Grant Park Symphony of Chicago, the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra of California and even a gig with the Temptations at the Kool Jazz Festival in Oakland Stadium.




BEATBOX GUITARThe uncommon duo, Beatbox Guitar combine human beatbox, guitar, electric sitar, shahi baaja, and native American flute to create an innovative mix of flamenco, psychedelic rock, and hip hop with hints of Indian and Arabic flavors. Human beatboxer (vocal percussion), Pete List’s effortless flow of beat and breath on the mic showcases Rob Mastrianni’s intricate guitar and electric sitar stylings. They will be accompanying the stellar, fusion Belly Dancers – Irina Akulenko, and Dhyana.
“Five years ago Brooklyn met Spain on a hot summer night and made sweet love to the sounds of Flamenco, hiphop and rock ‘n roll. Their resulting lovechild, Beatbox Guitar, was born and has been fueling more sweet love on the dancefloor ever since.” – Brad Mack, creator iPod Shuffle Dance Challenge.







Pete List – Vocal Percussion / Human Beatbox
Pete ListPete List (New York City) is well-known in the world of tribal bellydance as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and human beatboxer. Pete has performed for years as an integral part of the bands Djinn & Beatbox Guitar. Recently as a soloist, Pete mixes the exotic sounds of the Indian instrument the shahi baaja, with the urban sounds of human beatbox, creating layers of live loops to build textures and create songs with the sound and power of a full band. Pete has produced multiple DVD soundtracks, and seven albums and his music has been featured in film and primetime television. http://petelist.com/







Rob Mastrianni – Guitar, Electric Sitar, Shahi Baaja, and Flute
rob mastrianniRob Mastrianni (NYC) is a guitarist and composer born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by the vastness of world music and psychedelic rock, Rob Mastrianni’s compositions infuse flamenco and eastern influences with a raw intense rock energy. Mastrianni’s unusual guitars include his Coral Electric Sitar / Electric Harp Guitar in which he utilizes the 13 sympathetic strings like a harp while hammering bass riffs on the guitar neck simultaneously. He also employs alternate tunings and percussive finger-style techniques which makes his music sound eclectic, melodic, rhythmic and innovative. Mastrianni’s music can be heard on soundtracks for network TV shows, Belly Dance DVDs and the Showtime series the L Word. He has also recorded and toured with vocalist Keith “Mina” Caputo and continues to compose, record and tour with his current project Beatbox Guitar. www.robmastrianni.com





Irina Akulenko – Dancer
Beatbox Guitar - Irina AkulenkoIrina is a New York City-based performer, teacher and choreographer with a burning passion for arts of all genres. Since 2001, Irina explored both Egyptian Cabaret and American Tribal style belly dance and now enjoys fusing these styles as well as everything in between. For more information please visit www.danceirina.com





Dhyana – Dancer
Beatbox Guitar - Dhyana
Dhyana is a lifelong dancer who loves the challenge of learning something new. From Indonesia to Germany to New York, her passion for dance followed wherever she went. She began her dance journey with classic ballet training when she was five years old at the Royal Ballet Academy of London, based in Indonesia, and then continued with hip hop, jazz dance and Flamenco until she discovered tribal fusion belly dance in 2007. Since then she has been studying with New York based teachers, as well as taking workshops with inspiring dancers like Zoe Jakes, Mira Betz, Mardi Love and many more.






TCOBU Japanese Taiko Drumminghis New York City based group performs a unique mix of Japanese Traditional Taiko Drum & American Tap Dance as a Live-Rhythm-Performance.
COBU was created as a Live Rhythm Performing Arts Group in 2000. It combines elements of the Japanese traditional Taiko drumming with NY style street dancing. Yako Miyamoto, the founder of COBU is a veteran member of the off Broadway hit STOMP. COBU’S motto is ‘Dance like Drumming, Drum like Dancing’, inspired by the combined sounds of New York and traditional Japanese culture. Their signature sound is created organically through acoustic instruments rather than digital transcription. A 3D film based on COBU by Hollywood director Duane Adler will be coming out this summer.
Performers: Yako Miyamoto & Group: Yuki Yamamori, Haruna Hisada, Micro Fukuyama, Namiko Yamada, Takae Kawabe, Nozomi Gunji



Great American Fife & Drum BandNick Attanasio, Therese Cuccia and Dominick Cuccia are recognized as the leading exponents of innovative rudimental drumming. Performing from Boston to Austin and beyond, the Great American Fife and Drum Band can also be seen throughout the northeast as the American Colonials Fife and Drum Trio, marching with the Civil War Troopers from Cornwall, New York and are featured performers on the DVD of the historic, Drummers Heritage Concert.
Eighty-eight year old Nick Attanasio, bass drummer, former member of the Sons of Liberty Ancient Fife and Drum Corps is the most decorated rudimental bass drummer in the history of percussive competition. He continues to have a profound influence on the direction of the entire marching percussion world. Therese Cuccia, fife player and drummer, is a former member of the Spirit of America fife & drum corps from Epcot Center at Walt Disney World. She is a Northeastern Snare Drumming Champion and has appeared on stage at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention four times. Dominick Cuccia, a highly sought-after teacher, performer and corps leader, was a member of the famous Hellcats at West Point as well as group leader of Walt Disney Worlds Founders of Freedom. He is the author of The Beat of a Different Drummer.



NYU SteelDirectors: Jonathan Haas and Josh Quillen
Performers: Josh Quillen + 18 student players
The NYU Steel Drum Ensemble is dedicated to exploring the art of Caribbean steel pans to the fullest, performing rare compositions and arrangements ranging in scope from Philip Glass to the Trinidadians who invented the art form.
Leading the group are virtuoso timpanist Jonathan Haas, Head of Percussion Studies at NYU, and Josh Quillen, (a member of So Percussion) Director of the NYU Steel Drum Ensemble. Josh Quillen has forged a unique identity in the contemporary music world as all-around percussionist, expert steel drum performer, and composer.
Steel pan originated in Trinidad and Tobago from steel drums or barrels used for oil. One circular metal end of a steel drum is hammered into a bowl shape and then tuned. Like other finely crafted instruments, harmonic overtones are part of the tuning process which gives the instrument its beautiful sound.
Performers: Directors: Jonathan Haas and Josh Quillen + 18 student players.



InUnity2011Singing, dancing, and drumming with Native Americans – Dennis Yerry (Seneca) and Powhatan Swift Eagle (Chickahominy, Tewa, Apache) and Matoaka Little Eagle (Chickahominy, Tewa, Apache).
Dennis, Powhatan, and Matoaka have worked together on many occasions, bringing drum, voice, and dance together in engaging ways. They resonate with each other as they weave their musical abilities and knowledge of dance into a kind of homing nest where audiences can feel “safe” to explore and share in Native culture. Always respectful and welcoming, their programs offer opportunities to enjoy and participate in Native rhythms, song, and dance.
“There’s nothing like a good round dance, seeing old friends and making new ones.”


Powhatan Swift Eagle – musician, singer / songwriter, composer, storyteller, artist, silversmith, flute maker and educator.
PowhatanHe and sister, Matoaka formed a duo Native American Tales and Journeys and have presented cultural programs to thousands, across a wide spectrum of venues- academic, cultural, corporate and have performed at many private functions and community events. He also performs individually as a musician, singer and educator. He and sister, Matoaka were vocalists in John Cage’s “Renga with Apartment House 1776″ – Frankfurt and Dresden, Germany. He has performed numerous times at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the First People’s Thanksgiving concerts. His collaborations include work with David Amram, Pete Seeger, The Hawk Project, Pete Wagula, Hugh Brodie, and many others. Powhatan is currently a member of The Fuzzy Lollipop – music group – positive rock ‘n’ roll for kids! Contact: powhatanseagle@gmail.com




Matoaka Little Eagle – Native singer, dancer, storyteller, silversmith, and educator.
MatoakaMatoaka has performed with brother, Powhatan since childhood. As adults they teamed up (“Native American Tales and Journeys”) and brought Native culture to thousands of people in schools, colleges, museums, and performance venues, here and abroad. Matoaka continues sharing her educational programs in the Northeast. She is a member of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, based in NYC, and helps to raise scholarship funds. She has collaborated with Spiderwoman Theater, Pura Fe, Ulali, David Amram, Pete Seeger, and many others, including Dennis and Powhatan at many functions. She was a voice on Terry MacMillan’s audiobook – “Touch The Earth” and acted in an award winning independent short film of Ernest Hemingway’s “Indian Camp” and in an award winning PBS documentary of “Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot Wars”. Contact: matoaka.e@gmail.com



Dennis Yerry – composer, arranger, Native American flutes, keyboards, percussion
DennisDennis Yerry is a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) composer and the founder of The Hawk Project. He was musical director, composer and performer for the American Indian Dance Theatre; for the theatrical production of Black Elk Speaks in Denver, CO and L.A.; and the Native American Day of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC and the outdoor drama, Unto These Hills in Cherokee, NC.. He is featured in the Ken Burn’s documentaries, Lewis and Clark and The West as well as many other film, TV and CD credits. Contact: dennisyerry@dennisyerry.com





POOK (the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston) and ENERGY DANCE COMPANY
POOK and Energy Dance CompanyThe Center for Creative Education was established in 1989 in Kingston, New York. The mission of the Center for Creative Education is to create a better world by nurturing and empowering youth and community through the arts. In 2005, CCE opened a performing arts training center in midtown Kingston. This new complex has a 1300 square foot dance studio, a percussion studio, homework and tutoring center, and a computer music lab that is being developed in collaboration with the Kingston School District’s Department of Fine Arts and Enrichment. CCE has worked closely with the Kingston City Schools for a decade and runs three successful arts education programs in Kingston including the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston (POOK), The Energy Hip Hop Dance Company, and the arts component of the TOPS after school program at George Washington and J.F. Kennedy Elementary Schools. The Center for Creative Education is led by founder, and full-time Executive Director Evry Mann and Artistic / Program Director Bryant Andrews.




Evry Mann – Executive Director
Evry MannEvry is a musician, composer and writer who founded CCE in 1989 as a way to bring high-quality, innovative arts education programs to underserved children and youth. Ev is featured as a percussionist on fifteen recordings and has performed with Don Cherry, Ana Ruiz, Terry Riley, David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir, OmU, Bantu, and the Gasha Band among others. He was artist in residence with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico for six years and has studied music in Mali, Senegal, Colombia and Cuba. He has a masters degree in Religious Studies from McGill University and a masters in Music Composition from Mills College. He is a published poet and has written two curriculum guides for use in K-12 education.





Bryant “Drew” Andrews – Artistic Wellness Director
Drew AndrewsFounder and director of CCE’s award-winning hip hop dance troupe, Energy, Drew has over 20 years of experience working with youth. He has trained in the streets of New York City as well as with professional choreographers in the business. Drew has been teaching choreography and performing various styles of dance in the Tri-state and Hudson Valley area for many years. He has also recently taught and studied in Cuba. He has a focus on Hip-Hop fusion and is known for his high-energy dance style and his rich hard-hitting choreography. His passion for dance and for the welfare of children and young adults is evident in the way he encourages discipline and motivation for a healthy lifestyle. Having fun living and pursuing your passion in life is a major focus of Drew’s. Drew serves as a mentor to youth, parents and other community members. He manages his role as the organization’s program and artistic director along with being a leader to the staff and an inspiration to all.




Harvey Sorgen by Scott FriedlanderHarvey Sorgen is a sought after performer who tours, records and gives workshops around the world. He has written and performed pieces for film and the stage, including a solo percussion piece for the New Day Repertoire Theater’s version of “Antigone”. A few of the artists Harvey has worked with include: Hot Tuna, Ahmad Jamal, Paul Simon, Dewey Redman, Frank Kimbrough, David Sancious, Karl Berger, Julius Hemphill, Zakir Hussain, Anthony Braxton, Jimmy Heath, Percy Heath, Roswell Rudd, Phil Lesh, David Torn, Levon Helm, Bill Frisell, Carlos Santana, Bob Weir, Greg Allman, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Samuels, Tony Levin, Garth Hudson.
Harvey’s interviews have been featured in many prominent publications including: Modern Drummer, DRUM!, Down Beat, All About Jazz, Jazz Podium (Germany), and Jazz Halo (Belgium). Through Dreamland Recording Studio and freelance work, Harvey has been involved in many great recording projects as an engineer and editor. One important project was re-mastering the entire ESP record label.
“In striving for a lifestyle unfettered by my own limitations, I am eternally grateful to have created honest music with some of the greatest artists of our time. It’s almost like I have to pinch myself sometimes to not forget how fortunate I am to have the love of my family, and the spirit to be open to what may appear to be right in front of me!” Harvey Sorgen.


Karl BergerKarl Berger, vibraphonist, is a six time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, recipient of numerous Composition Awards ( commissions by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, European Radio and Television: WDR, NDR, SWF, Radio France, Rai Italy. SWF-Prize 1994 ). Professor of Composition, Artist-in-Residence at universities, schools and festivals worldwide; PhD in Music Esthetics.
He has recorded and performed with such notables as Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Sertso, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell and many others at festivals and concerts in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Brazil. His recordings and arrangements appear on the Atlantic, Axiom, Black Saint, Blue Note, Capitol, CBS, Columbia Double Moon, Douglas Music, Elektra , EMI, Enja, Island, JVC, Knitting Factory, In&Out, MCA, Milestone, Polygram, Pye, RCA, SONY, Stockholm, Vogue a.o.
Dr. Berger is founder and director of The Creative Music Studio, a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to the research of the power of music and sound and the elements common to all of the world’s music forms. He has conducted CMS Residencies worldwide. In the 90s, he was Professor of Composition and Dean of Music Education at the Hochschule feur Musik, Frankfurt, Germany, the chairman of the Music Department at UMass Dartmouth till 2006 and presently is re-establishing CMS programming, directing the CMS Archive Project, recording and producing. CMS is joining forces with Planet Arts, Inc. Performing internationally with the Allstar Ensemble “In the Spirit of Don Cherry” and with numerous projects, collaborating with vocalist / poet Ingrid Sertso. Contact:CreativeMusicAgency@gmail.com.

Woodstock Drum Circle

The Woodstock, NY Community Drum Circle will help gather and welcome inspired folks coming for the Pre-Festival Tribute to George Hamilton Green, Jr. in the Artists Cemetery by his gravesite. The Drum Circle will be drumming from 9:30 AM – 10 AM in the back corner of Mountain View Parking Lot. Woodstock has had drum circles under the full moon in the Magic Meadow since the 1960s. Kevin Johnson founded the Woodstock NY Community Drum Circle in 2000 and he continues to lead the grooves while also building and providing the drums and seating. The Woodstock NY Community Drum Circle celebrates on the Village Green every Sunday from 4-6 PM.
“Old and young contribute to the power of individual expression, spontaneous collaboration, and the community voice that brings wide smiles and contagious dancing. We drum for peace”, The Woodstock NY Community Drum Circle.

WARD TODD – Master of Ceremonies
Ward ToddWard Todd is President / CEO of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management at Villanova University.
He was a member of the Ulster County Legislature where he served as Chairman and Majority Leader. He also is a member of the Junior Achievement Steering Committee and the American Cancer Society Legislative Committee and the Phoenicia Rotary Club. He was a member and President of the Kingston Board of Education and also served on the Onteora Board of Education. He served as chairman for several years of the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk and was also a member of the Hudson Valley Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors. He was Vice President of WKNY’s Toys for Tots campaign and was President of the Children’s Annex Board of Trustees. He also served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Ulster Country, American Heart Association, Rip Van Winkle Council Boy Scouts, American Cancer Society and Ulster County Girl Scouts. He is a well-known friend to many other charitable organizations and frequently volunteers as Master of Ceremonies at fundraising events.
In 2006, Todd was honored at the Belleayre Conservatory Snow Ball and given their “Spirit of the Catskills” Award. He was recognized for his community service in 2004 as Gateway Industries “Toast of the Town” honoree and was the 2003 Ulster County Arts Council “Arts Advocate of the Year” for his efforts to promote and advance the arts in Ulster County.
Ward is a familiar voice to radio listeners in the Hudson Valley. He was Operations Manager and Morning Show Host at WKNY-AM Kingston. He was Chief Staff Announcer at WTZA-TV (now WRNN) and was a network TV Ring Announcer for professional boxing evens involving former World Champions Billy Costello and Tracy Patterson.