Class of 2021
jazz pianist & composer
Sponsored by Daniel and Sarah Gallagher♫, Tina and Arthur Lazerow, and Bayo and Funke Oyewole
Just like his namesake, jazz pulses through Ellington Carthan’s veins. This up-and-coming jazz pianist, whose diverse career includes performing, teaching, producing, and composing, holds dual degrees in jazz studies and music technology.
vocalist, pianist, guitarist
Sponsored by Cathy Bernard/Bernard Family Foundation♫ and Richard and Melba Reichard♫
Musician, vocalist, singer-songwriter, mathematician—is there anything Sheyda Do’a can’t do? Drawing on her multi-cultural heritage and upbringing in Albania, Do’a blends sounds from across the globe into what she calls “melodies for the soul.”
contemporary classical flutist
Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold♫ and Ava Kaufman
Just as the notes from his flute fly and float on air, Ceylon Mitchell is always in motion. This musician, educator, entrepreneur, and arts advocate’s mission is to keep classical music alive, authentic, and accessible.
bassist & beyond
Sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore, Jr.♫ and Belinda M. Kane
Although many know him by his stage name, “ijustplaybass,” Aaron Freeman does much more than that. This arranger, filmmaker, and multi-instrumentalist plays everything from guitar and bass to brass and keys.
Sponsored by Hope Eastman and Allen Childs♫
Singer-songwriter Rui Fu specializes in improvisational and impressionistic interpretations of Chinese ethnic musical traditions and modernist portrayals of ancient Taoist meditative music. Through her music, Fu initiates conversations between Indigenous music cultures and rare instruments around the world.
Sponsored by Dale Rosenthal and Michael Cutler♫ and Linda and Van Hubbard
Becky Hill was born with rhythm in her feet. This sought-after percussive dancer, Appalachian square dance caller, and choreographer “slides and shuffles her feet with the precision of snare brushes” (NPR Music).
Class of 2020
Sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore, Jr.
AYO’s smooth pop vocals combined with her fearless, confident lyrics create music with empowering messages that showcase her stylistic and emotional versatility.
early folk instrumentalist
Sponsored by Van and Linda Hubbard & Stephen and Tanya Spano
Niccolo Seligmann is fascinated by obscure folk instruments and early music. He plays over 20 acoustic instruments including viola da gamba and medieval fiddle, uniting historical and experimental music to create a unique listening experience.
Sponsored by Richard and Melba Reichard
Christian Douglas’ original music echoes his background as a classical tenor and musical theater performer, combining quality storytelling with a smooth, soulful voice. His heartfelt lyrics and acoustically-driven sound carry pop, jazz, and soul influence.
Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold & Ava Kaufman
Though Nataly Merezhuk’s musicianship is rooted in classical training, she embraced the role of the violin in jazz after being drawn to its improvisational nature.
Sponsored by Sarah and Dan Gallagher
Jake Blount is a fiddler, banjoist, singer, and scholar whose performances, compositions, and research venerate and reflect the traditional music of Black and Indigenous communities in the southeastern US.
percussionist & composer
Sponsored by Arthur and Tina Lazerow & Dale Rosenthal and Michael Cutler
Lucas Ashby’s genre-bending compositions are rooted in his musical worldliness. He’s played with masters of Afrofunk, Brazilian jazz, Ghanaian highlife, and more, bringing a plethora of sounds and textures to all his work.
♫ Strathmore graciously thanks our Artist in Residence Champions for their multi-year commitment and above-and-beyond support to the AIR program.
Photos by Margot Schulman
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