Tamango - Tango Quintet, Bloomington, Indiana
This quintet formed in 2016 and plays regularly at milongas (tango dances) in Bloomington and around the Midwest. We have organized many successful events on the IU Campus in collaboration with the Mather's Museum of World Cultures and the IU Arts & Humanities Council. For more information about this band, see www.tamango.org. This project is a community-based musical group, intended to provide live-music to our local dance community and to provide a space for local musicians to learn to play tango music. It is made up of professional and semi-professional musicians.
American Roots Music Performance Seminar - IU Bloomington
Instructor, Fiddle Player
I run a seminar ensemble course in the IU Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology that brings students from across the campus together to learn about roots, old-time, and folk traditions in the United States while performing as a string band ensemble. The course combines academic and applied forms of learning alongside experiential approaches to studying roots music. During the course we also work with field collections in The Archives of Traditional Music (creating multimodal webpages and bringing archival songs to life through performance) and attend and host community music events from Shape Note Singing to Square Dancing.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
La Orquésta de Cuerdas Elvino Vardaro - Contemporary Tango String Orchestra
Violinist, Volunteer Organizer
I was a member of this neighborhood-based tango string orchestra in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 2011-2014. The orchestra is run as a cooperative and was created as a string orchestra that would back up contemporary tango composers and musicians in the Buenos Aires independent tango scene. In 2012 we were asked to perform in the Buenos Aires opera house during the city’s annual International Tango Festival. The group also performs regularly in community spaces in the Almagro neighborhood of Buenos Aires. One chapter of my dissertation is devoted to my experiences with this fascinating project.
Quinteto Clandestino Tango Quintet
Violinist, Founding Member
During my fieldwork in Buenos Aires I helped form and performed regularly with a classic tango dance quintet. We played a repertoire of classic tangos and performed in milongas (tango dances) and theaters around Buenos Aires. We also were invited to perform in Uruguay’s annual tango festival in October of 2013.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The L.A. Bluegrass Hoppers - The UCLA Bluegrass and Old-Time Ensemble
Assistant Director, Violinist, Vocalist
At UCLA, I ran this ensemble as a collaborative and participatory space of musical encounter where all the members were encouraged to work together to learn about American roots music while making it. Since the group had only been around for a year before I took over, I played a large part in designing the project at UCLA. Over the years the ensemble has featured banjos, guitars, mandolins, fiddles, kazoos, basses, washtub basses, saws, bones, and more. In 2011 we produced a CD which can be seen and heard at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thelabluegrasshoppers. The ensemble also won first place at the Topanga Fiddle Contest in 2013 and 2014, and second place in 2012. Below are some clips to some of our concerts.!
Carmina Solis - Compagnia di Musica Popolare - Sicilian Popular Music Company
Violinist and Organizer
From 2006-2009 I spent much time living in Sicily living in a small town, researching Sicilian music and culture, and performing with a Sicilian popular music group. These experiences became the bases of my M.A. thesis at UCLA. The following is an example of a Sicilian polka written by one of the members of the group.
“La Polka di Don Cono” - Summer Outdoor Festival, 2008, Sicily, Italy