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David Homan
composer, piano

    David Homan is a composer and collaborative artist.  Dedicated to live composition for theatre, dance, chamber music, and musical theatre, Mr. Homan's current projects emphasize collaboration in live performance and communication between performers and creators in various fields.

    His CDs include one for his classical rock band EVA, called Stops and Starts on Naxos featuring the poetry of Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, and Dickinson, and Water Rocks, a CD of his classical works.  The Water Rocks CD was played on over 125 radio stations in the US and Canada.  The CD/DVD of his modern ballet The Book of Esther, which was also played on over 117 radio stations and has resulted in several tours of the ballet. Dance and Music commissions include choreographers Randy James, Catherine Miller, Ariel Rivka Dance, and Davis Robertson, as well as a orchestral work entitled an Homage to Bloch, performed with the University of Florida Orchestra and a new violin sonata by rising star Asi Matathias for violin and piano.  His next CD, Ori, featuring this violin sonata and two works for 4 cellos will be released in 2017.

A trained actor/director and pianist, he has composed music for numerous productions of Shakespeare and modern plays, including Einstein's Dreams, which was premiered by the Colorado String Quartet, and heard at the New York Fringe Festival (with the production's receiving an extended run at the Kraine Theatre, and winning Best Director in the Festival).  He has also toured Europe (Florence and Budapest) as a playwright/composer/actor, and written theatrical scores for As You Like It, Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Orwell's 1984, and Great Expectations, among others.  As part of an Artist’s Residency on Norton Island for the Eastern Frontier Society he created the score for a modern dance work by Renata Celichowska entitled Black Ribbons.

Other dance projects include a work for BalletNY at the Joyce Theatre, with ACF Dance at the Di Capo Opera Theatre, with Mary Seidman and Dancers as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and a work at DTW premiered by D3: Valerie Madonia, Suzanne Goldman, and Moly Daly.  David’s music has been performed at Weill Hall/Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, CAMI Hall, the Thalia at Symphony Space, Central Park Ice Skate Rink and the Harmione Club.  The Da Capo Chamber Players and the American Symphony Orchestra have also performed his works.  He is the founding director of the Live Arts Collaboration, a non-profit dedicated to producing multidisciplinary works in NYC.

    David received a BA in music composition from Bard College, studying under Joan Tower and Kyle Gann, and a MA from NYU studying under Justin Dello Joio and Dinu Ghezzo.  

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Avishai Cohen
trumpet

Avishai Cohen (Trumpet) is a leading figure on the international jazz scene and one of the most sought-after trumpet players of his generation. Though deeply rooted in the bebop and post-bop tradition, Mr. Cohen is taking jazz in new directions, making waves as an improviser, composer, and bandleader.

Originally from Tel Aviv, he began performing at age 10. He toured the world with the Young Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and went on to become the trumpet player of choice for many leading jazz, rock, pop, studio, and television projects. He received a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and in 1997 he placed third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition. Mr. Cohen came of age as part of the fertile scene at Smalls, the storied New York jazz club, where he developed his artistic vision alongside such friends and colleagues as pianist Jason Lindner and bassist Omer Avital. Here the impera­tives of jazz tradition and innovation were not in conflict, but rather merged into one powerful creative stream. Mr. Cohen flourished in an environment where hard-driving swing, open-ended funk, Latin and Middle Eastern rhythms, complex extended forms and free improvisation converged under one roof, drawing en­thusiastic audiences. All of his diverse work, as a leader, co-leader, and sideman, is informed by this broad-minded legacy, which has given jazz new vitality and relevance in the 21st century. Since early 2010 – Avishai is a member of the prestigious SFJAzz Collective, which ranked at #5 top jazz band in 2010 downbeat’s critic poll. In addition, Avishai plays regularly with the Mingus Big Band, the Mingus Orchestra and the Mingus Dynasty.

To date, Avishai has 5 albums under his own name: The Trumpet Player(2002), After The Big Rain (2006), Flood (2007) Seven (2007 -triple CD),and the new CD: Introducing Triveni (released Sept , 2010). in addition, he has recorded 7 albums as a co-leader with his 2 side projects: The 3 Cohens, and Third World Love. Avishai can be heard on such soundtracks as ‘American Gangster’ and ‘Soul Man’ as well as on many other albums as a side-man.

DownBeat Magazine hailed Avishai’s last album as “singular Musicianship,” and the New York Times’ Nate Chinen called Avishai Cohen “an assertive and accomplished trumpeter with a taste for modernism.”

For more info and extended discography please visit www.AvishaiCohenMusic.com

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Eric Reed
horn

Originally from Indiana, hornist Eric Reed moved to New York in 2006. A graduate of Rice University and the Juilliard School, Eric is the newest member of the world-renowned Canadian Brass. Eric has been a member of the Oregon Symphony, New World Symphony, Ensemble ACJW and Cleveland-based Burning River Brass, as well as being the founding hornist of the Spectrum Brass Quintet. Also a member of the Harrisburg Symphony, Eric has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Opera, Florida Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and at Barge Music.  Also active in commercial and contemporary genres, Eric regularly performs with Gary Morgan’s Latin big band, PanAmericana!, as well as being a regular substitute at numerous Broadway shows.  He has also performed in back-up orchestras to Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis, and Boyz II Men. In the fall of 2010, Eric will be a contract player at the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Eric studied with William VerMeulen and Roger Kaza at Rice University and with Julie Landsman at The Juilliard School.

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James Austin Smith
oboe

Praised for his “brilliant” (The New York Times) and “confident and controlled” (The Boston Globe) solo performances, New York-based oboist James Austin Smith is an active performer of and advocate for chamber and new music.  James is an artist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and regular guest of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and Talea Ensemble.  James is a recent alumnus of “The Academy”, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, the Weill Music Institute and the New York City Department of Education.

James has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, as soloist with the Manhattan Sinfonietta and as soloist and chamber musician at Bargemusic.  His festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, OK Mozart, Schwetzingen and Spoleto USA; his performances have been broadcast across the United States and Germany.

Understanding performance as a launching point for the advocacy of chamber and new music, James engages audiences through pre-performance talks, panel discussions, program notes and podcasts. A lover of new music, James, alongside his performances in the US and abroad with the International Contemporary Ensemble, has premiered dozens of works for oboe and has worked extensively with Pierre Boulez and John Adams, and in 2008 performed Elliott Carter’s Oboe Quartet and Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord for the composer.

James received his Master of Music degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music and graduated in 2005 with Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Bachelor of Music degrees from Northwestern University.  He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Leipzig, Germany at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.” While studying in Leipzig, James co-directed a concert of German and American musicians and performed as a guest recitalist at the residence of the American General Consul to Leipzig. James’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli, Hansjörg Schellenberger and Ray Still.

The son of musician parents and eldest of four boys, James was born in New York and raised in Connecticut.

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Jason Simon
vocals

Jason Simon is a photographer, designer, singer, actor, and all-around loveable rogue who has traversed this continent more times than he’d care to mention with a variety of touring productions, most recently as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz and Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks’ The Producers. He’s also been seen on the national tours of CATS, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Funny Girl, three tours of The Music of Richard Rogers, and two National Music Outreach tours. Jason has performed in over 50 regional theater productions. Some of his favorite roles include: The Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Luther Rosser in Parade, Pilate, Herod, & Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Judas in Godspell, and of course, Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and Lenny in Of Mice & Men, both opposite his best friend and fellow EVA singer John Cormier! Jason also created the roles of Porthos in The Man in the Iron Mask, The Creature in Creation, Petey in The 12 Days of Christmas, Joey in Boomers: The Musical of a Generation and Dr. Roger Chillingworth in the 2000 Premiere of The Scarlet Letter; A Rock Musical. He can also be heard on the concept album of Creation and the Original Cast Recording of Valentino: The Musical. Jason was also once the front man of the LA based Swing-Rockabilly band Fat Guy in a Little Band! Many thanks to David for making me a part of this project and Maren for suggesting me! Much love to my loving and supporting friends, family, and Tara.

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John Cormier
vocals

John Cormier, born and raised in Billings, Montana, has been singing since before he could talk. After eighteen years of driving his parents crazy, he made his way to New York City, where he attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy to pursue a career in Musical Theater.  Aside working with Carrol Lawerence (the original Maria in West Side Story) and Loretta Swit aka Hotlips Houlihan from Mash in consecutive productions of Mame, and taking three turns in Jesus Christ Superstar (once as Judas, twice as Jesus) John spent two years touring the country in the national tours of Crazy for You, Funny Girl, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.  In 2003, he joined together with fellow performers to form the theater production company The November Ten LLC. Based in Princeton, IL, The November Ten is the creative force behind Festival 56, an award winning and highly successful summer festival of professional theater including free Shakespeare in the park.  John has recently returned to school studying to receive his Master in Acting at The New School for Drama in New York City. He is ecstatically engaged to Michael Burke, a wonderful, and very patient, man.

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John Davis
bass

John Davis is a bassist and producer living and working in Brooklyn, NY.  He briefly attended The New School and studied extensively with John Patitucci and Jeremy McCoy.  A multifaceted fixture on the New York music scene, John can be found in the studio or on stage with artists from all genres.  He is also a member of Nerve, an improvised electronic music band, and is co-owner of The Bunker Studio in Williamsburg.  John plays Fodera Bass Guitars, D’Addario Strings, Planet Waves Cables and Aguilar Amplifiers.

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Mona Kayhan
vocals

Mona Kayhan was born in Chicago, IL and since early childhood, she had a strong desire to use her voice to entertain. “My parents told me I was singing as soon as I could talk. I remember always singing in my home.” At an early age, Mona performed on the Broadway tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donnie Osmond and currently lives in NYC where she continues to sing as a recording artist and vocalist where she has performed at venues such as Don’t Tell Mama’s, The Met Room, Greenwich Street Theater and Bowery Poetry Club.

To further support her love of the arts, Mona is also the co-founder of the groundbreaking Persian Arts Festival, a not-for profit organization that throws events celebrating Persian art and culture, and is the Director of Putumayo Kids, the kids and education division of Putumayo World Music.

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Nadav Lev
guitar

An Andres Segovia Award winner (Musica en Compstela, Spain 2006), Nadav Lev’s 2008 Carnegie Hall debut was hailed by Classical Guitar Magazine as “sensitive and nuanced performance…a talented and engagingly musical performer…his stage presence is entirely gracious and personable.” Classical Guitar described Nadav’s debut album as “a CD to savour and delight in. His playing is of the utmost authority and the entire program is a sheer delight from start to finish.”

An Israel native, Nadav was the only guitarist to recently win the America-Israel Cultural Foundation prestigious Abroad Studies award, and among other prizes he has won are the “Ra’anana Guitar Competition” first prize, the “Jerusalem Guitar Competition” Rodrigo Prize and Artists International’s Special Presentation Award.

Nadav performed throughout the US, Israel and Europe, in venues such as Carnegie Hall,  Lincoln Center and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, the Centro Cultural Espanol in Miami and Iglesia De Sampaio De Antealtares in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He was invited to give recitals in prestigious concert series such as the John Marlow Guitar series in Washington D.C. and performed in orchestral and chamber productions, with groups such as the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion and the Israel Kibbutz Orchestra. Nadav also performed at the International Asian Composers League festival 2004, the International Guitar Festival in Tel Aviv and in special concerts dedicated to contemporary Israeli music organized by Tav+ Magazine.

Nadav’s numerous media appearances include a special program dedicated to him by NYC’s WKCR radio station and an appearance on the NY TV channel; His playing was also featured on Galaz radio station, Israeli Educational Television Channel, and he can be frequently heard on Kol Ha’musika– the Israeli classical channel.

Nadav graduated with honors the Master of Music program at the Manhattan School of Music, under the guidance of David Starobin and David Leisner. He earned his bachelor degree Cum Laude from the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, where he studied Composition with Ruben Seroussi and Itzhak Sadai. He also holds B.A in Philosophy from the Tel-Aviv University. During his studies Nadav composed several pieces that were performed in Israel, as well as music for theater productions. His piece “If I could tell you” was performed at the international Asian Music Festival 2004 at the YMCA Jerusalem hall.

Nadav has attended master classes in Europe and in the US with world renowned guitarists Pepe Romero, David Russell, Sharon Isbin, Manuel Barrueco, Alvaro Pierri, Benjamin Verdery and Wolfgang Lendle.

Nadav Lev was born in kibbutz Nachshon, Israel. Currently a classical guitarist and composer, he began playing jazz guitar at the age of nine. After graduating with honors from the Jazz Department at the “Thelma Yelin” High School for the Arts, he went on to join Israel’s Air Force Orchestra as a guitarist. Turning to classical music, he began studying classical guitar and composition with Ruben Seroussi.

An active music educator as well, Nadav is currently on faculty at the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center and the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York, as well as maintaining a private studio.

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Yoed Nir
cello

Born in Israel in 1980, Yoed is a classically trained cellist who began his music studies at the age of seven at the Tel Aviv Conservatory. He is a 2005 graduate of the Jerusalem Music Academy. He has won numerous competitions and scholarships, including the First Prize at the 2002 International String Competition in Jihlava (Czech Republic). Mr. Nir attended prestigious workshops for classical symphonic and chamber music under the tutelage of some of the greatest cellists and conductors of our time, including Bernard Greenhouse, Janosh Starker, Boris Pergamenchikov, Micha Mayski, Daniel Barenboim and Kurt Masur. He performed throughout Israel and Europe, most notably with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007.

What sets Mr. Nir apart from his peers and has earned him a distinguished reputation outside the world of classical music, is his ability to cross over into the genres of rock, jazz, and pop music. His collaborations with renowned Israeli, European, and American recording artists—most notably Paul Banks (Interpol) Regina Spektor, Rufus Wainwright, Diane Birch, Sonya Kitchell and Yael Naim—have resulted in over 250 record albums.

Since Mr. Nir moved to New York in the summer of 2007, he has performed at a wide variety of venues, with appearances, in New York, at the Beacon Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, in Los Angeles at the Kodak Theatre, Greek Theatre and El-Rey Theatre, and at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall. In July 2009 he gave two solo recitals at Bargemusic, one of New York’s finest chamber music venues, performing all six suites for unaccompanied violoncello by Johann Sebastian Bach.

In 2009 he has appeared as a guest artist at The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien (NBC), the Late Show with David Letterman (CBS), Good Morning America (ABC), and Later with Jools Holland (BBC).

Mr. Nir. plays the August Diehl (Hamburg, 1902) on generous loan from The America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

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Ziv Ravitz
drums

Ziv was born in Beer-Sheva, Israel to a family of musicians; he was drawn to music at an early age, playing the guitar, keyboard and drum. When he was 9 years old he started focusing on drums and by the age of 13 begun his professional career, playing the drums at various clubs in Beer-Sheva and Tel Aviv and acquiring experience in a variety of musical styles, such as Jazz, rock and avant-garde. Ziv moved to the US in the summer of 2000 to expand his musical experience and to grow as a Jazz composer. Since then he has been performing and recording with numerous ensembles in the Boston area, both as a freelancer and as an artist using his own compositions, which reflect his individual and unique sound. Ziv had the opportunity to perform with musicians such as Hal Crook, Greg Hopkins, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Eugene Friesen, Mick Goodrick, Eli Dejibri, James Genus, George Garzone, Ben Monder, Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital and more. In the winter of 2003, Ziv has become an official recording artist of Huber Music Management and Recording label of Cologne, Germany. Since then Ziv had toured extensively all across Europe with various groups such as Omer Avital Group, TAQ, Minsarah, Lee Konitz Quartet and etc. At Dec 2004 Ziv graduated from Berklee School of Music with a Jazz Composition Degree. Ziv is currently sign to ENJA as recording artist. Today Ziv reside in New York City and is  one of its most sought-after drummers, and a major force in the Israeli Jazz movement.