joey abarta

Uilleann piper- seeking sanctuary, february 2018

Joey Abarta has spent the last sixteen years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes, the irish bagpipe.  A Los Angeles native, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club.

His Musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers.  In August of 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.  In the fall of 2014 Joey became the first American uilleann piper to win first prize at the An tOireachtas, one of the biggest competitions for traditional music in the world.  In 2015 Joey was honored to be a recipient of a traditional arts apprenticeship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council meaning he was awarded a grant to teach his art to the next generation.

Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording.  In addition to performing solo, he performs with Nathan gourley of “Life is all Checkered” fame and has toured with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America; while at home, he organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas’ Boston Music School, and organizes various traditional music concerts and events.


benvindo cruz

vocalist & composer - seeking sanctuary, february 2018

Ian Gottlieb.jpg

ian gottlieb

composer & cellist - a voice for everyone, march 2018

Ian Gottlieb (b. 1990) is a NY based composer and cellist whose music grapples with nostalgia, psychadelia, eclecticism, and spirituality. His music has been performed by various ensembles and artists, notably Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble dal Niente, Sandbox Percussion, Triple Helix, Hilary Summers, and Antico Moderno. Recent commissions include works for Contemporaneous, arx duo, and Palaver Strings. Ian is an avid performer of new music and has also performed with numerous pop artists, including tours with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Air Traffic Controller at major venues such as the House of Blues (Los Angeles), the Coliseum (Hampton, VA), Mohegan Sun (CT), and the Verizon Arena (NH). A Los Angeles native, he holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Boston University, and Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences. Currently, Ian is completing a 9-month residency in São Paulo, Brazil under the auspices of a Fulbright Scholarship, collaborating with ensemble Peixe Seco, a collective of musicians dedicated to finding new cultural contexts for traditional Brazilian instruments.


sam kelder

Violist - guest musician for fall 2017

Violist Samuel Kelder is a multifaceted performer of contemporary music and proponent of composer-performer collaborations. Beginning his violin studies at the age of six in Houston, Texas, Sam grew up with an inquisitive mind for the arts and a passionate dedication for sharing music with many communities.

Described as “dynamic and committed” by the Boston Globe, Sam performs regularly in New England with ensembles A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Guerilla Opera, Callithumpian Consort, Sound Icon, Ensemble Mise En, Palaver Strings, and various regional symphony orchestras including Atlantic Symphony, Phoenix Orchestra Reborn, and the New Bedford Symphony.

In addition to local projects, he has also performed as the featured artist at Third Practice Electroacoustic Festival and as soloist at New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Sam holds a B.M. from the University of Houston, M.M. from Mannes the New School for Music, and is graduationg May 2017 from doctoral studies at Boston University as teaching assistant to Michelle LaCourse. Other major teachers and influences include Wayne Brooks, Karen Dreyfus, Kyung Sun Lee, Laurie Smukler, and Bayla Keyes.

Sam has had the great fortune to work with many prominent living composers such as Georg Friedrick Haas, Beat Furrer, Hans Abrahamsen, Olga Neuwirth, Krzysztof Penderecki, Roger Reynolds, Nico Muhly, Philippe Leroux, Michael Finnissey, Nick Vines, Joan Tower, William Bolcom, Derek Bermel, and John Harbison.

Sam can be heard on Not Art Records. Sam is an artist member of Music for Food, a musician-led initiative to fight hunger in our home communities


charlie lennon

composer & irish partner artist - Seeking sanctuary, february 2018

Charlie Lennon is a well known composer who has worked for the past thirty years in both Irish traditional and classical music. He has worked on arranging, music production, and performance and has contributed to over 60 commercial albums. In recent years he has worked closely with the National University of Ireland, Galway. Collectively they developed and delivered a full time Diploma Course in the Traditional Arts covering music composition, arrangement, song and dance, sound recording, live sound production, and stage production. His compositions of slow airs and dance music in the traditional idiom have been recorded by many artists and groups.

His orchestral work” Island Wedding” was commissioned with the assistance of the Arts Council and performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra at the Ulster Proms in Belfast and at the National Concert, Dublin. It was subsequently recorded and published by RTE Commercial Enterprises. It has been featured on a number of occasions in concerts in Europe, United States and Canada.

His second major work was commissioned by the Moore Society and then adopted by the Irish Government and featured in their commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1845-49. It was further supported by the Irish Government in relation to performances in Britain and Australia, culminating with a concert in the Lincoln Centre, New York with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, traditional musicians and dancers and songs by the late Tommy Makem.   

His dance musical “Waves” has been screened by RTE and featured on many occasions on the American Public Broadcasting Service, PBS. He was nominated Musician of the Year by the New York paper the Irish Echo for his contribution to the promotion of Irish Music 



zhantao lin

chinese partner artist & erhu player - seeking sanctuary, february 2018

Mr. Zhantao Lin is the chairman of the Chinese Musicians Association of Boston. He was formerly an Erhu professor at the Guangxi Arts Institution and is currently a board member of the Chinese Professional Erhu Player’s guild in China. He has studied under many notable erhu teachers including famed erhu master Chen Yaoxing, Zhou Yaokun, Wu Suhua, and Peng Mingxiong.

Mr. Zhantao Lin moved to the United States in 1999, he started performing with various troupes across New England, such as the Sing Tao Chinese Orchestra, the Chinese Music Ensemble of GBCCA, the Alcyon Chamber Ensemble, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He has also been invited to give solo performances at many notable venues, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Peabody Essex Museum, Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, and Harvard University’s Department of Music. Mr. Lin was also invited to collaborate with world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma on his “Silk Road” concert series. Besides performance, Mr. Zhantao Lin also serves as an Erhu teacher at the Huaxin School of Arts and the Dana Hall School of Music. In the summer of 2016, he was invited to give lectures at the Spanish Strings Society (Galicia Fiddle ) inSpain.

As the reputation of Mr. Zhantao Lin growth, a crew from the Guangxi TV Station flew all the way from China to conduct a recorded interview, and then made a documentary film.  In 2000, he founded the Boston Youth Erhu Ensemble. In 2012, Mr. Lin accepted the position of chairman of the Chinese Musicians Association of Boston, and started to participate in various performances with the Association. He is the director, Erhu coordinator and the Chief Erhu.


strange news theatre company

producers & Actors - trapped, May 2018

Strange News is an Allston, Massachusetts based theater company with an emphasis on new work, comedy and the surreal. They aim to make theater that is fresh, idiosyncratic and accessible. This past Spring marked the end of the first full season of Strange News productions. In summer 2016 their original production of db was presented a Dorry Award for Best Touring Company in Rhode Island. 

The Strange News directors, Davis and Evan, have had the privilege of collaborating once before with Palaver Strings in December 2014. Evan has appeared as a guest artist on several other occasions with the group. They are excited to be on stage with Palaver Strings once again!


moisès fernández via

pianist & ARTS/Lab director - a dormir a sonor & BMC Residency, December 2017

Born in Barcelona on 1980, Moisès Fernández Via began his musical education at the age of ten and was lauded three years later by the press as “un nom qui’l faudrá retenir!” [“a  name to remember!”] at his official début in the French city of Agen in 1993. He is an acclaimed winner of the Scarlatti International Piano Competition in Naples (Italy) and the Richmond Piano Competition in Boston (USA). He was also a nominee for the Arthur W. Foote Award from the prestigious Harvard Musical Association and a finalist for the Kahn Career Award.

A regular guest at various Spanish concert halls and festivals, his concert activity has brought him to Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Cyprus, Israel, the United States, Canada and China. He has performed at the Palau de la Música and the Auditori in Barcelona, the Juan March Foundation in Madrid, the Auditorium Ciccolini in Naples, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Laieszhalle in Hamburg, the Centro Belgais in Portugal, the Culture Ministry in Rabat, the Felicja Blumental Music Center and the Enav Culture Center in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Music Center, the Pasydys Auditorium in Nicosia, the Walton Arts Center in Arkansas, the Tsai Performance Center and the Jordan Hall in Boston, the CMC Theater in Ottawa, the National  Museum of Fine Arts in Québec and the China Conservatory in Beijing, among many others. He has also recorded for Catalan Radio, Spanish National Radio and Television, Italian RAI and several US stations. His recent recording "From Silence / Joseph Nebra, sonatas & toccatas" received international acclaim, being considered among the finest classical recordings in 2012. He has studied piano, chamber music and conducting at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, the Buchmann-Metha School of Music in Tel Aviv and Boston University—his work with Josefina Rigolfas, Imre Rohmann, Maria João Pires and Robert Levin being especially significant.  He has been recipient of the highest scholarships and grants such as the Culture Grant from the Catalan Government, the State of Israel Scholarship and the La Caixa Foundation Fellowship.

By means of intellectual engagement, social awareness, inquiry, reflection, creative freshness and spontaneity of expression, he continues to develop innovative projects in collaboration with outstanding artists of the international scene—such as the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara or the Israeli painter Daniel Enkaoua, among others—, undertaking an exemplary review of the form and contents of the standard musical concert experience.

At the present time he leads the Arts Outreach Program, an arts laboratory in the Boston University Medical Campus.

plein air 2.JPG

ashley zipp

season 4 visual artist

I grew up in Cape Cod, Mass. These days I live and work along the Southern Maine coast. Since as early as I can remember the ocean has been a source of meditation and energy. I wonder if this mesmerizer has formed my tendency to go slow and take long looks at the physical world. There's everything to learn from nature. Observational painting is the way I study it. I like to paint still life, portraits, land and sea. However, I am partial to painting banana peels. An ever un-updated collection of these paintings and more can be viewed at