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2022-23 Season

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Sofia Ribeiro, voice and Juan Andrés Ospina, piano

September 23 • 7:30pm

Sofia Ribeiro is one of the greatest voices from Portugal, a magnificent singer who has the ability to immediately attract the listener to her unique musical universe. With a solid background in jazz studies, a deep connection to Portuguese traditional music and endless hours of listening to Brazilian legendary musicians, Sofia’s artistry challenges the boundaries of music labels. With ten albums as a leader, she has been touring all over the world for the past 18 years. Sofia taught alongside ten-time Grammy award winner Bobby McFerrin at Omega Institute, she was an artist in residence at the Carnegie Hall in New York, and recently gave a TED talk in Colombia about the transformative power of vocal improvisation.

Juan Andrés Ospina is one of the most active and prominent exponents of an outstanding generation of Colombian musicians. His wide range of musical projects make him hard to define: he might as well be producing and arranging an artist’s album, conducting and performing his big band music, playing the piano as a sideman, composing for film, teaching vocal improvisation workshops, composing and singing songs, or creating comedy content for the internet. Parallel to his work as a composer, pianist and arranger, Juan leads the musical humoristic duo Inténtalo Carito along his brother Nicolás Ospina; together they have performed in festivals around the world, and their Youtube Channel has more than 40 million views to date.

 

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Jane Boxall, percussion

November 4 • 7:30pm

Jane Boxall is an adventurous percussionist, working across diverse musical genres. Jane is actively and consistently working as a soloist, collaborator and session player. She has performed in concert halls, art galleries, cafes, castles, kindergartens, hospitals, universities, forests and festivals from Cyprus to San Francisco, India to Quebec, and Manhattan to France. She is dedicated to new music, specializing in contemporary art music on marimba and vibes, and rock and hiphop drumkit for original artists. Born in England and raised in Scotland, Jane completed her BA and MA in Contemporary Music at the University of York (UK), and her Doctorate in Percussion Performance at the University of Illinois.


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Ashraf Sewailam, bass/baritone

November 10 • 7:30pm

Mr. Sewailam began his career as a Cairo Opera Company house soloist, where he performed many roles including Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Gaudenzio in Il signor Bruschino, Ramfis in Aïda, Palémon in Thaïs, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Mr. Sewailam was named a prize winner at the New Voices (Neue Stimmen) international competition in Gütersloh, Germany and was featured in the opening concert of the New Alexandria Library singing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Arabic. In addition to his singing engagements, Mr. Sewailam has taught at the American University in Cairo, San Diego State University (as director of opera studies), and served as music director for Disney Character Voice International (DCVI) dubbing Disney productions into Arabic, and performed several of the characters including Mickey Mouse and Ursula. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Best of the West Guest Artist: WindSync

December 1 • 7:30pm

WindSync has established itself as a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers. The quintet eliminates the “fourth wall” between musicians and audience by often performing from memory, creating an intimate connection. This personal performance style, combined with the ensemble’s three-pronged mission of artistry, education, and community-building, lends WindSync its reputation as ”a group of virtuosos who are also wonderful people, too” (Alison Young, Classical MPR).

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Western Colorado Jazz Festival Guest Artists:

JB Scott, trumpet and Lisa Kelly, voice

May 1 • 7:30pm

Performing together since the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, award winning jazz artists Lisa Kelly & JB Scott have played major stages from clubs to concert venues and festivals throughout the greater U.S, Europe, Canada, and elsewhere internationally. Their appearances include the Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Pescara Jazz Festival, Midwest Band Clinic, the Kennedy Center, IAJE, FMEA, and JEN major music conferences. They both have been inducted into the Jacksonville Jazz Festival “Hall of Fame” (Lisa in 2013, JB in 2017), and profiled in the 2010 book, “The New Face of Jazz” among 120 of today’s top jazz artists and mentors. A most charming musical chemistry between them, Lisa’s artful vocal song styling and JB’s trumpet flare offer a highly engaging partnership of beloved jazz standards from the Great American Songbook and classic big band, to Modern Jazz and New Orleans favorites, in styles of swing, easy ballads, Bossa Nova, funk, Street Beat, and more.

Kelly and Scott have released 8 acclaimed CD music projects, been featured on countless others, and on TV and radio. They maintain a full schedule of performing, teaching at jazz camps, and present jazz clinics, co-leading small group presentations to big bands with the region’s top musicians, including the 18-piece, Florida Swing Orchestra. In 1997, Lisa established the official Jacksonville Jazz Festival jam session, hosting it annually for 22 years with JB and their group, with guests from Diana Krall, to Horace Silver, Poncho Sanchez, Dave Valentine, and Roy Hargrove sitting in, to name only a few. As a Board member for Friday Musicale organization, Lisa established Northeast Florida’s first intergenerational jazz camp in 2019 for vocalists and instrumentalists, ages middle school to adult, administrating the camp annually. 

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Priscilla Hallberg, violin
and CMU professor emeritus Arthur Houle, piano

May 7 • 7:30pm

Priscilla Hallberg is a concert violinist and a 27-year veteran of the Boston Pops-Esplanade Orchestra. The recipient of a doctorate in violin performance from Rutgers University, Hallberg holds additional degrees from Boston University and the University of Iowa, and has studied at Juilliard and Indiana University. Dr. Hallberg has a longstanding and well-traveled teaching, performing and administrative career. Some of the schools at which she has taught include the University of Northern Iowa, Holy Cross College (MA), Murray State University (KY) and Washington State University. She has also served as Director of the Central College Community Orchestra in Pella, Iowa, the Garden City (KS) College-Community String Orchestra, and the Academy Orchestra at the Medicine Hat College Conservatory in Alberta, Canada. Hallberg is the Executive Director and Lead Teacher of the String Academy of the Southwest, which she founded in 2008 in Kansas and, in 2017, moved to the North Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she currently resides and teaches. She is now writing a memoir about her eclectic life as a musician.

Arthur Houle was Director of Keyboard Studies at Colorado Mesa University from 2006 to 2020 and is now professor emeritus. He is founder/artistic director of the International Festival for Creative Pianists, a critically acclaimed performer, and a published writer, composer, arranger, and editor. Houle was Abundant Silence’s 2015-16 Featured Composing Educator and recipient of five CMU Exemplary Faculty Awards, a 2011 Music Teachers National Association Fellow Award, and, most recently, a 2018 Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award.