Bana Haffar is a meandering electronic musician, field recordist, and bass player. She has released music with Touch, Vent, and Make Noise records and composed for Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion. In 2014 she, together with Eric Cheslak, founded Modular on the Spot in Los Angeles. She is a co-founder of the Beirut Synthesizer Center in Lebanon. https://banahaffar.bandcamp.com/
Chari Glogovac-Smith is a composer, vocalist, instrumentalist, and mixed media artist. Using an evolving mixture of traditional and experimental techniques, Chari is dynamically exploring and illustrating various counterpoints between the human experience and society. Their examinations and integrations of mediums, materials, and methodologies have centered around their research into the theories and practices of afro-futurism, deep listening, revolutionary art and social change, and healing. Chari resides in Seattle, WA, and is pursuing a P.h.D in Digital Arts and Experimental Media from the University of Washington. instagram - @charliveworks twitter - @charimuse web- https://chariglogovacsmith.com
Veronica Anne Salinas
Dereck Higgins is a self taught music maker and multi-instrumentalist, primarily known as a bass player, with experience playing everything from classic rock to reggae to punk to jazz to electronic to improvisation and more. Dedicated to the moment of music making, listening to allow the music to speak, Dereck was inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame in 2019 and is a three time OEAA winner with multiple nominations. He has also gained exposure as a result of his extensive record collection. Some bands past and present: Digital Sex, Son Ambulance, RAF, 3gypt, Skuddur, Hotlines, InDreama, Chemicals, Norman & The Rockwells, Icky Blossoms, Hotlines, Norman & The Rockwells and many more. He has performed on stage with Mark Burgess (The Chameleons UK), Tatsuya Nakatani, Soul Asylum, Toxic Reasons and Preston Love. Dereck is also a visual artist working specifically in collage and has had multiple public exhibitions of his work.
Ayelet Rose Gottlieb
Described as an “intoxicating vocalist” (Vancouver Sun) with an “individually rigorous tone” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times), Ayelet Rose Gottlieb is an international performer, an explorer of sound, and a seeker of musical adventures. She creates in sophisticated simplicity blending jazz, middle-eastern & Jewish music with contemporary composition and conceptual improvisation. She is inspired by poetry, nature, magic, science and the vulnerability of the human experience. The music spinning on her record player spans from Jeanne Lee to J. S. Bach. From Oum Koulthoum to Ornette Coleman. Ayelet’s innovative style as a composer and improviser has led her to fascinating collaborations. She has performed John Zorn’s music at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sung her own compositions to erotic Biblical texts inside a cave in the Israeli desert, and performed with Mycale (a-cappella quartet) in a butchery in Austria and in a golden church in Ecuador. With Michael Winograd, James Falzone and François Houle she created Pneuma – a quartet of three clarinets and voice, performing songs they set to poetry about the wind. Ayelet’s multilingual and multicultural approach is a constant thread through all of her work. Her latest recording, “13 Lunar Meditations: Summoning the Witches” is her eleventh album as bandleader or co-leader. Weaving together texts by women and girls from around the world, Ayelet composed a masterful song cycle that reflects upon the moon and our connection to it. Her musical story telling is both global and highly personal. Previous recordings include “Two More Dreams,” an album of lullabies for all ages created with pianist Anat Fort; In “Roadsides” Ayelet connects her eastern and western roots, combining the sound of the Oud with that of the euro-classical guitar and jazz piano; In “Shiv’a” ayelet reflects on the process of mourning in an instrumental composition for string quartet (ETHEL) and percussion (Satoshi Takeishi). Jerusalem-born, mother of three, Ayelet has lived in twenty-four apartments, ten cities, five countries and four continents before finally making a home with her family in Montréal, Canada. In 2019, she founded the “Orchard of Pomegranates,” a platform for Vocal Intensives, private sessions, Listening Hours, self-produced concerts and her new monthly series – 13 Lunar Conversations, under the new moons of 2021. Ayelet cultivates community and connection through her music, teaching, and facilitating. Orchard of Pomegranates: Vocal Intensives I-II & III have included workshops by acclaimed vocalists Jay Clayton, Jen Shyu, Theo Bleckmann and Sofia Rei.
An avid solo and chamber performer, Hannah Weaver is passionate about performing contemporary music and exploring interdisciplinary collaborations, such as her work with visual artist Sarah Hall and choreographer Katrinka Stayton. Hannah believes in the importance of making the arts more accessible to and representative of all people, advocating for this through her programming choices and participation in projects such as the New Quartets Project, for which she and fellow Heartland Marimba Quartet members commissioned six marimba quartets by female composers of diverse backgrounds. A member of the Heartland Marimba Quartet, Hannah performed with the quartet as soloists with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and will be leading the International Marimba Orchestra with her quartet mates at PASIC 2021 as the culmination of their fall 2021 tour. She also performs in the mixed chamber trio “Odds and Ends” (saxophone, clarinet and percussion), which will release its debut album fall ‘21. Summers of 2016-2018, Hannah was percussion fellow with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and summer 2019 she attended the Lake George Music Festival as one of two percussion fellows. She has also held fellowships with the Texas Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra. Hannah is Assistant Professor of Percussion at University of Nebraska-Omaha. An open and energetic teacher committed to cultivating her students' individual musicianship, she previously taught at Virginia Tech during the 2018 spring semester. Hannah has presented clinics at a number of universities, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Bowling Green State University, Radford University, the University of Indianapolis, and Eastern Tennessee State University. She has coached and conducted percussion ensembles at Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Virginia Tech, and University of Rochester. In November of 2018, Hannah competed in the semifinals of the TROMP International Percussion Competition in Amsterdam. She also placed in the semifinals of the 2009 Paris International Marimba Competition and won the 2014 PASIC Orchestra Mock Audition. In 2015 she was a featured concerto performer with the National Repertory Orchestra, performing Russell Peck's "The Glory and the Grandeur." Hannah previously held positions as Principal Timpanist for the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and Second Percussionist for the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Roanoke Symphony and Syracuse Symphoria. She has performed with Renee Fleming, Augustin Hadelich, Orli Shaham, Audra McDonald, Bob Becker, Jennifer Koh, So Percussion, Carol Jantsch, and Michael Burritt. She has had the opportunity to work closely with many great composers, including Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho, Andrew Norman, Sean Shepherd, Chris Cerrone, Steve Mackey, and Ted Hearne. Hannah received a B.M. in Percussion Performance from Eastman School of Music, an M.M. in Percussion Performance and an M.M. in Chamber Music from the University of Michigan, and a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance and Literature and the Performer’s Certificate from Eastman. Hannah is an active member of NAfME and PAS and is a proud endorser of Malletech products.
Dr. Andrew Janak is an active saxophonist/composer/arranger/educator currently based out of Lincoln, NE after previously spending several years in Chicago, IL. Andrew has shared the stage with jazz greats Randy Brecker, Jeff Hamilton, Phil Woods and Jimmy Heath. Recently he has worked with some of the Midwest’s finest jazz musicians such as Mitch Towne, Marcus Lewis, Peter Schlamb, Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, Bob Lark’s Alumni Band Band and the Tom Matta Big Band. Andrew has several creative projects specializing in original music such as the Andrew Janak Organ Trio, Andrew Janak and Wind Armada and the Andrew Janak Octet. He also has performed/recorded with national acts such as the Temptations, Aloe Blacc, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Brady, Michael Feinstein and Justin Townes Earle. As a classical saxophonist Andrew studied with renowned performer/pedagogue Dr. Paul Haar and performed with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wind Ensemble, Omaha Symphony, Lincoln Symphony, Lincoln Municipal Band, and various chamber groups. Also a prolific composer, some of Andrew’s compositions have been performed/recorded by groups around the United States including the UNL Jazz Orchestra with Victor Lewis, DePaul Jazz Ensemble with Randy Brecker, Bob Lark's Alumni Big Band and the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra. He was also a finalist for the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards and received a Downbeat Outstanding Performance award for outstanding graduate college arrangement. Dr. Janak is also an active scholar with research interests in jazz composition, jazz saxophone and jazz improvisation pedagogy. He has presented at the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) regional conference and the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference. Andrew graduated with a bachelors degree in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a masters of music in jazz composition from DePaul University, and a DMA in jazz studies/composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Currently Andrew is the Jazz Band Director/Instructor of Saxophone at Doane University in Crete, NE.
Virginia Kathryn is a songwriter and storyteller. As a musician, she has participated in the Silkroad Ensemble's Global Musician Workshop and Richard Thompson's Frets & Refrains songwriting workshop. She was nominated by the Omaha Arts and Entertainment Awards committee for Best Blues Artist in 2017, and Best Folk/Americana in 2018. Her debut album, Vintage Sepia, was released in June 2018 and is available on all streaming services. In 2021, she participated in the Futurescapes workshop for writers of speculative fiction. She is currently writing her second novel, a magical realist manuscript interweaving myths and realities in the fabric of human memory.
Zach’s creative and research interests have largely been dictated by his involvement in the contemporary experimental electro-acoustic music and sound art communities. Although considering himself a conceptual sound artist of the non-cochlear type, he has a continuing interest in media, installation, theater, and performance. Zach’s research in electronic music history (The Ecology and Economy of Frequency Modulation: A Revised History of FM Synthesis) has recently been presented at the International Computer Music Conference while his investigation into photographic imaging and technical literacy (Looking at Latitude: Imaging Technologies and Academic Negligence) was presented at the University of Texas Conference in American Studies. His ongoing research into the history, technology, and design of electronic musical instruments has also been featured at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Music Technology Forum. Recent commissions include the design and fabrication of analog-to-digital hardware controllers (Mozari- Santur), large format synthesizer control modules for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Emu Modular system, and control systems, hardware, and programming for large-scale gallery installation (Dunning; Christiansen-Birth, Death, Breath). While designing and teaching several upper division/graduate seminars at CSU Long Beach (exploring interactive technologies, sound synthesis, media, and performance), he was instrumental in the formation of the CSULB Laptop Ensemble, co-designing and constructing amplification systems and hemispherical speaker arrays (among other specialized devices and software). This ensemble continues to perform locally and internationally.