Congratulations to our AIR alums - you all really cleaned up at the Wammies! Check out this amazing list of "Bests":
The Sweater Set
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
Folk Contemporary Female Vocalist
Folk Contemporary Duo
Folk Contemporary Instrumentalist
Folk Traditional Duo
Folk Traditional Instrumentalist
Folk Traditional Recording
Modern Rock Vocalist
Modern Rock Instrumentalist
Pop Rock Instrumentalist
Pop Rock Records
Artist of the Year
An up-and-coming Washington, D.C. singer-songwriter, Owen
Danoff was born into a musical family—his father, Bill Danoff, is a Grammy-winning
songwriter and musician with his Starland Vocal Band—and has grown up
surrounded by accomplished musicians. Danoff released his debut EP Never Trust A Man at Strathmore in 2012,
incorporating influences of pop, folk and country. A skilled singer, writer,
bassist and composer, Owen has made the rounds at notable local music venues,
having performed at the Kennedy Center, Black Cat, The Birchmere, 9:30 Club and
The Hamilton. At age 16 he wrote his first song, and at 20 he decided to
dedicate his efforts toward crafting a career as a full-time musician. He is a
2011 graduate of the Berklee College of Music.
As a film composer, Charlie Barnett’s scores have appeared in more than 400 television projects and theatrical films. He has written music for Saturday Night Live, The Cosby Show, Third Rock from the Sun and Weeds. His score for the PBS series The Appalachians was released by Sony records and his score for Dreamer, a documentary about C.S. Lewis produced by Walt Disney Productions, was released as part of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe boxed set.
Mr. Barnett is also a musician whose orchestral and chamber works have been performed worldwide. Personal favorites include Serenade for Double Bass, which was recently performed in London and has been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra; the release of Concerto in Fourths, The Brooklyn Affair and the symphony The Blue Chevrolet on Big Kahuna Records; the recent recording by Osman Kivrac of the viola concerto From Istanbul; and his symphonic suite, The Tarot, which received its premier in 2010 by the Capital City Symphony in Washington, D.C. Barnett was commissioned to write a spoken word piece in collaboration with Dr. Maya Angelou for the Pageant of Peace in Washington, D.C.
He continues to proudly tour with the eclectic lounge band, Chaise Lounge. Barnett can also be heard as an occasional commentator on NPR.
Drummer and composer Nasar Abadey is the founder, leader and driving force of SUPERNOVA. Abadey began playing drums at age 5 and received his first drum set at age 16. Inspired by Tony Williams, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones and his cousin Frankie Dunlop, Nasar Abadey creates jazz music steeped in modal, free form, fusion and avant-garde styles. He is Professor of Jazz Percussion at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.
His latest album, Diamond In The Rough, was released in 2011. Abadey has performed with many jazz greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Rouse, Gary Bartz, David Sanchez, Cyrus Chestnut, Sonny Fortune, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Kenny Kirkland, Gary Thomas, Stanley Turrentine, Frank Morgan, Bobby Hutcherson, Pharaoh Sanders and Malachi Thompson. Nasar Abadey and SUPERNOVA were selected by the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center as Cultural Ambassadors, embarking a one month tour to with the American Music Abroad Rhythm Road to Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Mozambique.
Abadey has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, the D.C. Commission for the Arts, Creative Arts Performance Services (CAPS), the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Prince George's Arts Council, and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region respectively.
Best known for the syncopated lyricism of his fiddle playing, Rickie Simpkins is a lifelong musician, building a catalog of recordings and appearances that testifies both to his creative flexibility and to his roots in the classic bluegrass of his native Virginia. He has appeared on numerous artists recordings such as Nils Loftgren, Ralph Stanley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Charlie Waller, Tony Rice, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Eddie from Ohio, The Isaacs and Mike Auldridge. He is currently performing internationally with Emmylou Harris and Her Red Dirt Boys.
Simpkins has won many awards including the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America's Fiddle Player of the Year, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumental Group of the Year and Bluegrass Now's Fan's Choice Award for Fiddle Player of the Year. In 2008 Simpkins was inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame, which includes other notable native Virginians such as Patsy Cline, Mother Maybelle Carter and Roy Clark.
Soul diva Deborah Bond has released three studio albums, DayAfter, AfterDay and Madam Palindrome.
Her latest disc is a range of psychedelic funk, soul and R&B tracks,
grabbing the #1 spot on the UK Soul Chart for three consecutive weeks. The music
video for the album’s debut single “You Are the One” is currently featured on VH1Soul
and MTV.com.uk. Bond has shared the stage with noted soul stars Eric Roberson,
Floetry, Kindred the Family Soul, Raheem DeVaughn, Mint Condition, Ledisi, YahZarah, Frank McComb and Sy Smith. In 2010,
Bond was featured on the famed Capital Jazz SuperCruise’s Underground Soul
Deborah Bond's concerts are sponsored by Potomac Valley Alumnae Chapter Fund, Inc.
Chosen for the 2012-2013 Strathmore Artist in Residence program and the 2013 Artist Fellowship Program of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), Wytold layers percussive bowing and melodic finger-picking on the cello. Two extra strings on his electric cello allow him to capture the depth and power of a stand-up bass, the rich tonal timbre of the acoustic cello, and the bright crispness of violin solos and harmonies. Wytold records these sounds live on both electric and acoustic cellos to create his own rock-orchestral accompaniment on stage. Wytold is an NS Design featured artist and also received a 2011 DCCAH Young Artist Grant to help fund his first solo album: When Fulvio Finds Celeste, four songs of which received European and Australian radio play. Two of those songs are also featured in the upcoming independent film, “Blood Brother.”
Wytold (William Wytold Lebing) began private lessons in classical cello repertoire at age 10 and participated in school and regional youth orchestras throughout Northern Virginia, often as the principal chair. Wytold always dreamt of going to college to study cello performance but was held back by a bad case of carpal-tunnel syndrome. After a 1.5 year hiatus, Wytold reintroduced himself to playing music by learning folk songs on the acoustic guitar and gradually writing his own songs. Soon he rewrote his songs on the acoustic cello, adapting guitar techniques to rhythmic cello bowing and finger-picking. Soon after, Wytold started live-looping and taught himself to play the shoulder-strapped six-string electric cello. His educational background in mathematics and physics helps him visualize and manipulate the different cello loops when composing and performing.
Wytold is actively performing and composing in the Washington, DC metro area. As part of the Strathmore Artist in Residence program, Wytold is releasing a new holiday EP, Do You Hear What I Hear, available in November 2012, and a new original album, My Regards, available in February 2013. The new album will feature Wytold’s signature cello layering techniques combined with progressive world percussion, bass guitar, and a remix of the Prelude to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 accompanied with beatbox by GRAMMY-nominated progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon.
Jazz singer Integriti Reeves is a graduate of D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts and The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where she perfected her craft under the tutelage of world renowned Jay Clayton and in private lessons with Connaitre Miller, Howard University Jazz Professor from 2006-2010. Her relationship with Miller landed her a spot as a member of Afro Blue, appearing on NBC’S The Sing Off and in concert with legend Smokey Robinson. She has also performed alongside contemporary jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Geri Allen, Bobby McFerrin and Ernie Andrews. In 2010 Integriti co-wrote lyrics and recorded with the renowned vibraphonist/pianist/drummer Warren Wolf. She strives to incorporate jazz and violin improvisations during her performances.
Integriti Reeves' concerts are sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore Jr.
Isabelle De Leon
“March to the tempo of your own beat” is a motto created by Isabelle De Leon which sums up her approach to music and life. Learning piano at the age of 4 and drums at the age of 7, she has spent all her life doing music. She began by playing drums in church as early as the age of 7, and at a young age did countless bands and ensembles, including the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra and the Archdiocese of Washington Honors Band, where she was featured many times on drumset. Now a senior at the University of Maryland, she is studying both jazz drums performance and pre-medicine and is a distinguished College Park Scholar, as well as a Dean’s List student. One of the few undergraduates in UMD’s top jazz ensemble, she attributes much of her growth to the mentoring by her teacher, Chuck Redd, with whom she has also had the privilege to perform around the DC area. In 2008 she won the Washington Post Music and Dance Scholarship Award for her performance on drums. In April 2011, she had the honor to perform for the International Sweethearts of Rhythm with the Leigh Pilzer and Jen Kruppa quintet at a Smithsonian event honoring them and launching Jazz Appreciation Month. In the summer of 2011 she was awarded the Stanley Kay Scholarship by the DIVA Jazz Orchestra to attend the New York Summer Festival, where she had the privilege of working with renowned faculty such as Justin DiCioccio, Dick Oates, and David Tull. In both 2012 and 2013, she was the selected drummer for the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra, an honors college band comprised of students from schools along the east coast. Working with composers/arrangers Mike Tomaro and Eric Richards, they have performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center and St. Peter’s Church in NYC. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the prestigious Strathmore Performing Arts Center in Bethesda, MD under the mentorship of Nasar Abadey, and will be featured at the Mansion in the month of April.
Despite all this, she manages to practice and perform regularly with her family band, Ivy Rose, where she is a contributing songwriter and arranger, backup vocalist, the drummer and recording pianist. Continually gaining prominence in the DC music scene, they have played at venues such as the Kennedy Center, DAR Constitution Hall, the DC Armory, and in cities like Toronto, ON and New York City. In April 2010 they had the honor to open for Weezer and Ben Folds at the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium after winning a battle of the bands competition at UMD. They also placed 2nd at the Next Big Thing Tour Battle of the Bands at the 9:30 Club and 1st at Quest Battle of the Bands. Most recently, from December 2011-January 2012, they toured in the Philippines and were guests on multiple radio and TV shows. This year they were featured on the 2012 season of NBC's America's Got Talent and made it as far as the semi-final round in Las Vegas.
Isabelle is thankful to God, her family, teachers and friends who have supported her along the way and is grateful for all the privileges she has had.
Isabelle De Leon's concerts are sponsored by J. Alberto Martinez, M.D.
Daisy Castro started
playing violin at the age of 6. Starting out with the Suzuki method and
classical training, she quickly learned to play by ear what her classical
instructors could not teach her. That same year, she took a trip to France with
her parents, where she was first introduced to the style of music known as
“Jazz Manouche” or “Gypsy Jazz.” Intrigued as a listener from the start, over
the years she has found this music to be a perfect genre for her playing style. Her ability to embody this
passionate and beautiful music at such an early age has charmed audiences both
in the U.S. and abroad, and has landed her on stage with some of the finest
players in Europe and the U.S. She recorded and released her first solo CD, Gypsy Moth at the age of 13, and
fittingly, it bears a strong Gypsy jazz influence.