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JULIE LYONN LIEBERMAN
Julie has been on the Eclectic Styles Committee for American String Teachers Association four times. She is the author of twelve music books and a memoir titled The Roaring Brook Fiddler as well as five DVDS.
Her newest three music books, A Festival of Violin & Fiddle Styles for VIOLIN, VIOLA and CELLO (Hal Leonard) include 24 American and world styles, backing tracks, and video tutorials that cover styles from around the world.
Her other titles include Twelve-Key Practice: The Path to Mastery and Individuality, The Creative Band and Orchestra, The Contemporary Violinist, How to Play Contemporary Strings: A Step-by-Step Approach for Violin, Viola, and Cello, Improvising Violin, Rockin’ Out With Blues Fiddle, You Are Your Instrument, Planet Musician, and Alternative Strings: The New Curriculum. She authored the “Creative Musicianship” section of the American String Teachers’ curriculum book, Standards, Goals, and Learning Sequences for Essential Skills and Knowledge in K-12 String Programs.
Julie has also written over fifty magazine articles for publications such as STRAD Magazine, STRINGS Magazine, Fiddler Magazine, and the American String Teachers Association’s Journal.
Her DVD titles include Alternative String Styles in the Classroom (written and produced for ASTA: American String Teachers Association and NAMM: National Association of Music Merchants); Rhythmizing the Bow; Techniques for the Contemporary String Player; The Violin in Motion; Violin and Viola Ergonomics; and Vocal Aerobics.
Julie Lyonn Lieberman was one of the first educators invited by Juilliard to teach improvisation to their students in the L&M Department as well as world music in the MAP Program. She has been on faculty at Juilliard, The New School for Contemporary Music, William Patterson College jazz department and Manhattan School of Music, to name a few.
A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world through organizations and institutions like American String Teachers Association, The Starling-Delay Symposium at Juilliard, European String Teachers Association, National Orchestra Festival, Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, Suzuki Institute, National String Workshop, International String Workshop, Django in June, The Juilliard MAP Program, National Young Audiences, the Carnegie Hall LinkUp Program and The Academy (a Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard-sponsored program).
Julie has also created seven hours of programming for National Public Radio on jazz violin (The Talking Violin hosted by Dr. Billy Taylor, and Jazz Profiles: Jazz Violin hosted by Nancy Wilson).
In addition, Ms. Lieberman produced four American Jazz String Summits in the eighties and nineties featuring many of the top improvising string players in America, and co-produced three alternative string festivals within American String Teachers 2003, 2004, and 2005 conferences, serving as the chair for the 2004 component.
Julie is a D’Addario Elite Clinician and an NS Design performance artist. Her books and DVDs are distributed worldwide by Hal Leonard Publications and currently has a portfolio of over two-dozen string orchestra scores in American and world styles published by Kendor Music, Carl Fischer and Alfred Publications. Her original music is licensed by Cinephonix.
Julie is the recipient of the 2014 ASTA Kudos Award, over two-dozen ASCAP Plus Awards, and three American String Teachers Association’s National Citation for Leadership & Merit awards and was honored to be invited by ASTA’s Board to compose String Dreams for the opening ceremony at the 2015 American String Teachers Association’s Salt Lake City Conference. The score has been published and is now available through Carl Fischer Music.
Redefining the role of the violin in contemporary music, Tracy Silverman has contributed significantly to the repertoire and development of the 6-string electric violin and what he calls “post-classical violin playing.”
Lauded by BBC Radio as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin”, Silverman’s groundbreaking work defies musical boundaries. Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School. A concert electric violinist, Silverman is the subject of several electric violin concertos composed specifically for him by Pulitzer winner John Adams, “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley, Nico Muhly and Kenji Bunch, as well as the composer of 3 electric violin concertos of his own. He has performed as a soloist with the world’s finest orchestras at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Adelaide’s Festival Theatre, Sao Paulo’s Auditorio Ibirapuera, The Hollywood Bowl and Vienna’s Musikverein among many others.
A true eclectic, Silverman has recorded with the BBC, Nashville and Detroit Symphonies, contemporary music’s Terry Riley, The Calder Quartet and The Paul Dresher Ensemble, jazz legend Billy Taylor, rock band Guster and country superstars Big & Rich.
TV/internet and radio includes a solo Tiny Desk Concert on NPR, Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday, A Prairie Home Companion and a profile on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.
Mark Swed of the LA Times enthused, “Inspiring. Silverman is in a class of his own.” The Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein raved, “Blazing virtuosity. You will be astonished that anybody can play a fiddle like that” and Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, wrote, “Fleet agility and tangy expressivity with wailing hints of Jimi Hendrix.”
A long-standing advocate for music education, Silverman’s instructional book, The Strum Bowing Method: How to Groove on Strings is a seminal treatise on the subject of post-classical string technique. He is an in-demand clinician and on the string faculty at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. www.TracySilverman.com
2018 Grammy Nominee Sara Caswell “is a brilliant world-class violinist…one of the very best of the present generation of emerging young jazz stars” according to the late David Baker, internationally-renowned jazz educator and former Director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Rooted in an early exposure to a variety of musical genres, Sara’s technical facility intertwined with her gift for lyricism continue to attract growing attention to her artistry as a jazz soloist, sideman, and teacher.
Recognized as a “Rising Star” in the DownBeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls every year since 2013, Sara’s two groups (the Sara Caswell Quartet and the Caswell Sisters Quintet) have been heard in venues ranging from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club to university concert halls nationwide. In 2013 Sara and her sister, vocalist Rachel Caswell, released their CD, Alive in the Singing Air featuring jazz pianist Fred Hersch, to rave reviews and its selection by jazz critic Thomas Cunniffe as one of the year’s “Best Vocal CDs” on Jazz History Online. Sara’s two CDs, First Song (Double-Time Records, 2000) and But Beautiful (Arbors Records, 2005), were recognized in several year-end best-of jazz album releases.
Sara regularly performs with mandolinist Joseph Brent’s 9 Horses and has toured extensively with Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society, clarinetist David Krakauer’s The Big Picture, vocalist Roseanna Vitro’s quintet, violinist Mark O’Connor’s American String Celebration, and violinist Darol Anger’s Four Generations of Jazz Violin. She has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Brad Mehldau, Linda Oh, Fabian Almazan, Regina Carter, Jenny Scheinman, Lynne Arriale, Alan Ferber, Ike Sturm, John Clayton, Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd, Skitch Henderson, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Bruce Springsteen. She is a member of the New York Pops Orchestra with whom she has been a featured soloist several times in Carnegie Hall, and was part of the house band for NBC’s weekly variety show “Maya & Marty” starring Maya Rudolph and Martin Short.
Currently on faculty at both the Berklee College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, Sara’s formidable teaching experience also includes the Mark O’Connor String Camps, the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, the Indiana University String Academy, and a private studio. She has given numerous jazz string improvisation workshops and master classes and is involved with JEN (Jazz Education Network), MENC (National Association of Music Education), and ASTA (American String Teachers Association).
As an award-winning classical violinist, Sara has soloed with several orchestras, given numerous recitals, and performed as a chamber musician in a variety of settings. She was raised in a musical family and began violin at age 5, moving through the first five Suzuki volumes in just nine months. Subsequent years of private lessons at Indiana University led to her involvement in the classical competition circuit where she won numerous awards and 1st-place prizes. “Sara has always shown a remarkable understanding of different musical styles and an uncommon power of communication. These qualities are making of this young artist an outstanding one,” spoken by the late violin maestro Franco Gulli.
A graduate of Indiana University which she attended under full scholarship as a Wells Scholar, Sara received B.M. Degrees with High Distinction and an Artist Diploma in both Violin Performance and Jazz Studies. In 2006 Sara completed her M.M. Degree in Jazz Violin at the Manhattan School of Music. In addition to several years of study with the legendary Josef Gingold (classical), Stanley Ritchie (baroque), and David Baker (jazz), Sara worked with many of today’s top jazz artists at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Summer Residency Program and at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Jazz Festival.
Sara’s artistry and unique sound lead international recording artist/violinist Mark O’Connor to write: “Most good violinists will never experience what Sara creates with her instrument. It is beautifully refined emotion that lifts the spirit…Jazz violin needs a universal ambassador…a player who can pick up where the last generation left off. Sara is well on her way to extending that tradition to touch new audiences.”
Chuck Bontrager is the very definition of the versatile 21st-century musician: classically trained yet experienced in multiple performance styles; fluent in several variations of his instrument (viola, violin, baritone viola (chin-cello), mandolin and mandola, and especially his 7-string Viper electric violin). He is capable as a performer, arranger, and conductor, and wholly dedicated to the advancement of his instrument and the education of new generations.
As a performer, Chuck most recently served as Concertmaster for the entire 3+ year run of the Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. He has performed in over twenty other productions on the Broadway In Chicago series as well as shows with Drury Lane Oak Brook, Marriott Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare, Court, Northlight, Steppenwolf, and The Goodman theaters. He has been heard with every major symphony orchestra in the Chicago area, including the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also performs regularly as String Captain with local tribute giants, Tributosaurus, and heavy-prog stalwarts, Nomadic Horizons
Chuck teaches at Columbia College Chicago and the Merit School of Music. He is an experienced private lesson and group class teacher, chamber coach, Rock Band instructor, and clinician; his Bowed Metal demonstrations are a frequent addition to local school curricula, most recently at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Illinois, and with the Audience Matters outreach program sponsored by the Chicago Sinfonietta.
In addition, Chuck is a ten-year faculty member at the annual Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp, where he joins a world-class group of performers and teachers, including Mark Wood, Rachel Barton Pine, David Wallace, and Tracy Silverman, in helping future generations find their creative voice.
DR. DAVID WALLACE
Dr. David Wallace is a fiercely eclectic musician, award-winning composer, and master teaching artist who currently serves as Chair of the String Department of Berklee College of Music. David’s concert appearances include solo performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic, as well as international tours with the Teaching Artist Ensemble of the New York Philharmonic. David concertizes regularly with his flute-viola-harp trio Hat Trick and his Texas-style swing band The Doc Wallace Trio. David has been broadcast as a soloist and chamber musician on NPR, WQXR, KTV (Korea), CBS, ABC, PBS, Tokyo-MX, and NHK television. The New York Times compares his solo improvisations to “Jimmy Page fronting Led Zeppelin.”
Known for his mastery of eclectic styles ranging from all classical genres to fiddling, rock, and free jazz, David has also gained widespread acclaim for his ability to connect with audiences in diverse community settings, including schools, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, houses of worship, and prisons. Symphony magazine hails his book, Engaging the Concert Audience: A Musician’s Guide to Interactive Performance, as “an invaluable manual for all musicians, classical or otherwise.”
As a composer, David has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, the Juilliard School, and the Marian Anderson String Quartet. Through the New York Philharmonic’s radical Very Young Composers program, he has mentored over a hundred children whose original compositions were performed by members of the orchestra.
David received his D.M.A from the Juilliard School where he served as a Morse Teaching Artist Fellow and Teaching Assistant to legendary violist and pedagogue Karen Tuttle. In addition to his active studio at Berklee College of Music, David teaches at Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp and MyTalentForge.com. A short list of David’s clients and presenters includes Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, UNESCO, and Young Audiences.
VIOLINIST ALISSA JACKMAN is a multi-genre musician based out of New York City. You can catch her playing anything from classical to funk, jazz, fiddling, or rock. Alissa performs with her acoustic as well as her electric Viper violin. She has played in venues such as the Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Symphony Space, and the LDS Conference Center. Alissa frequently freelances with bands and other artists playing clubs and bars in NYC and is also an active studio musician.
Alissa is a music education activist. She has performed in multiple benefit concerts to help support music education, such as the Muzart World Foundation We Are Hope concert and the Electrify Your Music Foundation kick off concert. She was also featured as a student spokesperson for the Electrify Your Strings program in an interview on ABC with the program’s founder.
JOE DENINZON has been hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the
Violin”. He has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen,
Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin,
Les Paul, The Who, and as a soloist with the NY City Ballet and Jazz
at Lincoln Center.
Joe is the lead singer and violinist for the progressive rock band,
Stratospheerius (www.stratospheerius.com), and the Latin Jazz string
quartet, Sweet Plantain. In 2015, Joe premiered his “Concerto for
Seven String Electric Violin and Orchestra” with the Muncie
Symphony Orchestra.He regularly travels as a clinician and has
contributed articles to Strings, Downbeat, and Making Music
Magazine. He has taught at the Mark O’Connor String and
Mark Wood Rock Orchestra camps.
Chris Haigh has played on over 100 albums, working with artists as diverse as Bob Geldof, Morcheeba, Alison Moyet, Najma Akhtar, Michael Ball, and Oumou Sangari. He has played at private parties for Paul McCartney, Sting and Elton John, has filled the Albert Hall with goth rockers All about Eve, and appeared at the Hammersmith Apollo with Riverdance.
He covers a huge range of fiddle styles with ease and authority, and has written ten books on fiddling, mostly for Schott. Chris’s website gets a million hits a year and is the primary source of fiddle information on the web, and he runs a rapidly growing YouTube channel, “The Fiddle Channel.”
Vi Wickam is the Technical Director for Strings Without Boundaries.
From bluegrass and jazz to rock & roll and old-time fiddle, VI THE FIDDLER exudes energy, passion, humor, and musical mastery in every performance.
Vi Wickam is an accomplished solo performer and also fronts his own band, cleverly named Vi Wickam and The Band. In addition, he’s a member of The Whiskey Chickens, Fritto Misto, and Fiddle Whamdiddle. The latter’s albums Old School Old Time and Not My Monkey were honored by inclusion on the Grammy Ballot in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
In 2018, Vi had 2 albums chart in the top 5 of Folk DJ Radio. His album Armadillo on a Hot Tin Roof hit #4 in April and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas hit #5 in December.
He’s a 4-time Colorado State Fiddling Champion, a finalist at the Grand Masters’ Fiddler Championship, and Runner Up in the National Fiddle Contest.
In addition to performing, Vi is a highly regarded music instructor. He’s a founder of the online music school myTalentForge.com, and is much in demand as a teacher at music workshops and camps around the US.
Franco-American fiddle master Donna Hébert teaches the ongoing Fiddling Demystified class at the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s Folk School. In 1998, she founded the Great Groove Band of young folk performers still going strong at Old Songs and Philly Folk Festivals and is one of the founders of the Facebook Fiddlers’ Association. With apprentices throughout New England as a master teacher in the NEA’s Master-Apprenticeship program, Donna also recently retired from her teaching positions at Smith and Amherst Colleges and now lives in Cape Breton, home of the big fiddle! Recognized for her fiddling by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 1998, Donna has been published on three Smithsonian recordings. Her CDs and books, including Fiddling Demystified for Strings (with a forward by Darol Anger), are available at www.fiddlingdemystified.com.
Raised on a small farm in Spokane, Washington, Joy Adams began playing the cello at age 15 and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. Despite a string of classical adventures that included winning Musicfest Northwest, attending the Aspen Music Festival, soloing with the Spokane Symphony, and touring with the Selden String Quartet, Joy ultimately returned to her roots, joining an old-time band, the Windsor Folk Family, during her last year at Eastman. Recipient of a Mancini Fellowship at the Frost School of Music (where she also taught bluegrass songwriting, contemporary improvisation, and led the Frost Fiddle Band), Joy completed her Doctorate in 2016. She teaches for the American Music System and Denver School of the Arts, and has been on the faculty of fiddle camps in Boston, Charleston, Maine, Connecticut, New York City, and Sandpoint, Idaho. She has made over a dozen concerto appearances and has shared the stage with major artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, Bobby McFerrin, and Chic Corea. Recent highlights include releasing Trifecta, a CD of Indian fusion music, publishing Fiddle Club Favorites for the Cello, touring the Northwest with fiddle-cello duo Half Pelican, and performing at the 2017 Big Sky Big Grass festival with Darol Anger and the Furies. In her spare time, Joy enjoys eating pie and climbing on things.
Enion Pelta-Tiller has been teaching violin, viola, and fiddle for over 18 years. She studied violin performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore where she studied with Richard Field, Susan Bates, and Janet Chisolm. Enion also studied bluegrass, jazz, improvisation and composition with Darol Anger, and David Balakrishnan. She has been a guest instructor at fiddle camps, workshops, and colleges around the world, including Mark O’Connor’s celebrated Strings Conference, Brian Wicklund’s American Fiddle Method Camp, and the Escola Municipal de Musica Folk e Tradicional in Vigo, Spain. Enion uses techniques developed by Mimi Zweig (Suzuki) and Shirley Givens (traditional) for her youngest students, as well as a combination of methods and materials she has developed and collected over her years of teaching.
Beyond being a dedicated teacher, Enion is also an internationally touring violinist, composer, and singer, and is widely recognized for her playing and teaching in styles ranging from gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and classical music and everything in between. Enion leads the Taarka with her husband David, and also records, performs locally and tours with many Front Range groups including Elephant Revival, The Railsplitters, FY5, Whitewater Ramble and many others.
Enion was principal violist of the Oakland Lyric Opera, has performed under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and has shared stages with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, The David Grisman Quintet, and Yonder Mountain String Band, and has had her arrangements played by the Colorado Symphony.
Abby Newton is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of the cello in American and Scottish traditional music. She began her career touring with Jay Ungar and John Cohen in the Putnam String County Band, the first modern string band with a cello. Although classically trained, she improvised the cello parts to traditional tunes.
She has produced and performed on over a hundred folk recordings including 17 CDs with Scottish singer, Jean Redpath. Abby’s solo CDs “Crossing to Scotland” and “Castles, Kirks, and Caves” have earned her critical acclaim both in the US and abroad. She has been the director and cellist of the Shokan Chamber Artists, Trillium Piano Trio, and currently performs in the Celtic Trio “Ferintosh”, “Celtic Crossing”, the “Mother-Daughter String Band” and “Esopus Chamber Orchestra”.
Mel Bay has published two books of Abby‘s transcriptions of Celtic tunes for the cello: Crossing to Scotland and Castles, Kirks and Caves. The combination of her teaching, performing and publishing have inspired many amateurs and professionals to play traditional music on the cello.
CHRIS MURPHY is a violinist who has impressively navigated the music industry as a performer, composer, singer-songwriter, producer, record label owner, and educator. In the last 30 years his fearless exploration of multiple genres has developed his uniquely individual style and chameleon-like talents as a violinist in the genres of Folk, Blues, Jazz, Bluegrass, Gypsy, Swing, Celtic and other world music styles, including Industrial Mood Music (EDM), and more recently ambient Music – with his successful 2020 release SECRETS OF NAVIGATION by Seven Crows.
His provocative talent has been described as an energetic force of nature. Stylistically, he has been recognized for that rare ability of combining a balance of soulful melodies with innovative approaches, yet keeping his music always accessible to his audience. He has performed in over 40 states, England, Ireland, and The Netherlands featuring his own compositions that include a catalog of over 500 works. His 20 solo albums reflecting his multifaceted musicality have received rave reviews and he is a much sought-after collaborator as a co-writer and producer in the Los Angeles area. Always inspired and exploring the capabilities of the instrument, he has strived to pioneer and promote the electronic violin as equally relevant to its classical counterpart. Murphy has also been featured in film and television on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, ‘Til Death, Deadwood, The Golden Globes, Hallmark Family and Friends, and has scored music for the documentary LOST TOWN. As a life-long independent musician he has created his own music business entities that include the successful Teahouse Music Company, a music booking agency and the Teahouse Record Label in Los Angeles; and is the director of his own music school – The Blacktree Music School, featuring his unique pedagogical approach. A graduate of New England Conservatory in Third Stream Studies he is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist recognized for his performances on Mandolin, Guitar, Dobro, Turkish Percussion, and more. He is an Eastman Strings Artist, Coda Bow Artist, and newly signed artist to Friendly Folk Records in Europe.
Jeremy Cohen is a multi genre violinist. His training and experience includes a broad range of disciplines, from classical to tango, bluegrass, jazz, latin, western swing and many more.
Jazz violin teacher and string program coordinator for nine years at the Henry Mancini Institutein Los Angeles, Jeremy’s professional career has brought him through a multitude of playing scenarios which have given him a very unique overview and practical hands on experience and knowledge about necessary string playing skills in the modern age.
In 1995 Cohen was awarded the position of lead violinist in the all Argentine company of Forever Tango in San Francisco, becoming the first non Argentine to receive this honor. His group Quartet San Francisco received the Grand Prize at the 1st International Tango Competition held at the Argentine Consulate in New York City (2004). The quartet was invited to and performed three concerts in Buenos Aires.
Quartet San Francisco’s 1st commercial CD entitled Latigo (an all latin and tango CD) was nominated for a Grammy award in the Classical Crossover category.
Cohen is the Artistic Director of Stringmasters.com website, and is a current faculty member of the Clazz International Music Festival. He teaches ongoing workshops on string playing technique and improvisation through Stringmasters.com.
He has a uniquely inclusive musical view and refuses to see walls between genres.
Cohen also has numerous Tango Tutorial and performance videos easily searched on his Violinjazz123 channel on YouTube