Fresh AIR debut concert scheduled for
November 14 at AMP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PJ Feinstein (she/her)
[North Bethesda, MD] - Strathmore is pleased to announce the selection of six talented musicians from the Washington, DC area for this year's Artist in Residence (AIR) program. The program has been instrumental in supporting the region's emerging artists with artistic and professional development support, including mentorships, seminars, and exciting collaboration and performance opportunities.
The 2024 class of Strathmore AIR includes Kaiyla Gross, Zoë Jorgenson, Snehesh Nag, Marty Risemberg, Parker Speirs, and Alfred Yun. These musicians will work closely with accomplished artists and career navigators, led by program advisor and folk musician Cathy Fink, to gain valuable insights for their artistic journeys: pianist Marcus Johnson, baritone saxophonist Leigh Pilzer, and percussionist Tom Teasley.
Betty Scott, director of Strathmore's Artist in Residence program, expressed her pride in welcoming these outstanding musicians into the AIR family. “The AIR program has been nurturing and showcasing the incredible talents of emerging artists for nearly two decades,” Scott says. “We are excited for our new cohort to continue this tradition of excellence and innovation."
The program kicks off Tuesday, November 14, at 8pm with the annual Fresh AIR preview concert at AMP by Strathmore in North Bethesda. The event will feature multi-genre performances that highlight the diverse talents of the entire class and their mentors. It will also offer the community a chance to experience these promising musicians live before their individual concerts begin in January 2024. Specific concert dates for each artist will be announced in the coming months.
Since its launch in 2005, the AIR program, part of Strathmore's Institute for Artistic Development, has provided a platform for emerging musicians to develop their craft and business acumen. Participants receive comprehensive training in performance, teaching, professional development, and networking opportunities. The year-long program culminates with each artist premiering a new work commissioned by Strathmore. Additionally, participants give free workshops and engage in outreach activities with local schools, fostering a sense of community and passing on their knowledge to the next generation of aspiring musicians.
About the AIR Class of 2024
KAIYLA GROSS is a singer-songwriter fusing gospel, R&B, and musical theater. Originally from Lusby, Maryland, Gross discovered her passion for the performing arts at Norfolk State University. A rising star in DC’s theater scene, Gross has performed at Signature Theatre (The Color Purple, RENT), Olney Theatre Center (Kinky Boots, Miss You Like Hell), Folger Shakespeare Theatre, and Fords Theatre. Regional productions include Ragtime at Duluth Playhouse and A Christmas Carol at Virginia Stage Company.
ZOË JORGENSON is a bassist, composer, and educator whose work spans jazz, classical, indie, and folk music. She leads the Zoë Jorgenson Trio and regularly performs at the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, among other events. Previously, Jorgenson has toured with big bands and chamber orchestras in the Baltics, Sweden, Finland, and the Philippines and has conducted orchestras in Bolivia. A versatile and accomplished string pedagogue, Jorgenson is working on a masters in jazz performance and teaches violin, viola, cello, and bass.
SNEHESH NAG is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and educator who primarily plays the sitar, exploring Hindustani classical music as well as genres such as Western classical music and electronic. He has received international acclaim for his solo sitar performances in the US, Canada, and India. As a songwriter, he works on solo projects and collaborations, including his upcoming debut EP with double bassist Debjit Mahalanobis. Nag holds a master's degree in music technology and is currently working on augmenting his sitar to explore new avenues of creative expression.
MARTY RISEMBERG is a drummer, percussionist, composer, and educator. He has recorded and toured in Japan and Hungary with the jazz fusion trio Swansong and has performed at the One Belt, One Road International Youth Music Festival with the Wammie award-winning Project Locrea. Other collaborators include Outerloop, Attic Sessions Band, and Minnush. When he’s not performing, Risemberg is an educator at The International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland.
PARKER SPEIRS is a guitarist, composer, and educator. Well-versed in multiple styles of music such as jazz, rock, and classical, Speirs has performed as a studio musician and sideman, in addition to his own work as a band leader and collaborator. He can be heard on albums under his own name and his crossover trio, The Inventures, as well as with artists such as Ryan Conger, Omega Horns, and Mimi Knowles. Speirs holds a master’s degree in guitar studies and has led masterclasses on composition, improvisation, theory, ensemble interaction, and guitar.
ALFRED YUN is a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, producer, and audio engineer. Many of his compositions reflect his transient life and identity, drawing from his cultural background and philosophical studies. Born in Philadelphia, he lived in Korea as a child and studied traditional Korean music (gugak 국악) at the National Gugak Center. Yun has led bands at local venues, including An Die Musik Live, Franklin Park Arts Center, Mr. Henry's, and Rhizome DC, and has composed commercial scores for Kookmin University in Korea. Yun is a graduate of Berklee College of Music.
For more information about the Artist in Residence program and upcoming events, please visit www.strathmore.org/air.
Strathmore is a multidimensional, creative anchor in the community, where everyone can connect with the arts, and artists can explore their full potential. It presents hundreds of performances, visual arts, and education programs, annually, for diverse audiences on its Montgomery County, Maryland, campus and in the community.
For further information or tickets, call (301) 581.5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.