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Ian Gottlieb

Composer & Cellist     /     Screen door: VOICE FOR EVERYONE, August 2018

Ian Gottlieb (b. 1990) is a Los Angeles-based composer and cellist whose music grapples with nostalgia, mysticism, folk tradition, eclecticism, and spirituality. His music has been performed by ensembles and artists including Sandbox Percussion, Ensemble dal Niente, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Hilary Summers, Antico Moderno, Triple Helix, and Palaver Strings. Recent commissions include works for Contemporaneous, Arcomusical, and arx duo. His work has received support from New York State Council for the Arts, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and ASCAP.  Ian just completed 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. A Los Angeles native, he holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Boston University, and Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences.


Jen Queally

yoga instructor     /     live music & yoga, september, 2018

Jen has been a dedicated yoga teacher for over two decades, as well as a licensed clinical mental health counselor in private practice in Portland, Maine. After becoming certified to teach Kripalu yoga in 1997, Jen spent years traveling between India and the U.S., studying with master teachers in the Astanga, Anusara, and Jivamukti lineages. Jen is committed to integrating and applying ancient wisdom to contemporary challenges.  She has a particular affinity for sharing meditation and yoga with those who struggle with mental health and substance use disorders. Jen serves on the board of Sea Change Yoga, which actively supports the mission of bringing trauma-informed yoga to students who might not otherwise have access. In addition to being the proud mother of a 12-year-old son, Jen is a certified holistic health coach and runs her own health and wellness business. 


Hil Steadman

filmmaker     /    librivion music video, october 2018

Hil Steadman is a New York-based experimental filmmaker and photographer.  A graduate of Bard College, she studied 16mm film with Peter Hutton and photography with Larry Fink. As a freelancer in NYC, Hil works on commercials, music videos, and feature films. Through her work, she combines political and social commentary with strong visual and rhythmic images. As the director of Palaver’s Piazzolla music video, Hil draws influence from magical realism, incorporating poetry, tango, and more modern styles of dance. 

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Chanel Thompson

Choreographer & Dancer     /     librivion Music Video, october, 2018

Chanel Thompson is the CEO and choreographer for Performancebuild, established in 2004 to bridge the gap between record labels and talent agencies. She has choreographed for Xbox's "Dance Central" game and is a six time winner of the National Cheerleading Award. Chanel has performed among artists such as Jay-Z, Jordan Knight, Liza Minelli and Eminem. 


Maine Youth Rock Orchestra

Youth orchestra     /     Break with myro, november, 2018

Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, a 501(c)(3) organization, redefines music education for students of all backgrounds and demographics through collaboration with national artists, creating transformational experiences. Students who participate in MYRO ensembles are able to express their individuality through a classical skill set, while performing concerts with nationally-recognized artists that reinforce their love for alternative genres from classical. MYRO participants currently reside in southern and central Maine, representing at least 17 schools and 10 districts. Rehearsing once a week, MYRO brings together a community of individuals that share their love for all genres of music and the passion to perform in concerts, demonstrating what it is like to be a rock star orchestral musician at an early age.


Akenya Semour 

Composer     /     Lifesongs, march 2019

Akenya is a multi-genre singer, pianist, composer, and arranger. Her music places a strong emphasis on jazz and incorporates elements of hip-hop, funk, pop, classical, and world music. A proud Chicago native, Akenya has performed and recorded with some of the city's leading artists such as Smino, Saba, and Grammy®award winning Chance the Rapper. In 2016, Akenya joined forces with emerging rapper Noname, appearing on her acclaimed debut album Telefone and touring as her musical director and opening act in Europe, the Middle East, and North America. After appearing with Noname on her Tiny Desk Concert, Akenya was asked to contribute vocals to Chicago legend Mavis Staples's 2017 record If All I Was Was Black. While recording at the famous The Loft Recording Studio, Akenya worked closely with the album's producer and writer, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.  As a solo artist, Akenya's unique sound and versatile musicianship has garnered the attention of top tier publications such as The Chicago Tribune, The Fader, and Afropunk. She has performed her original music across the country and abroad and in her home town, has played nearly every major venue including Bottom Lounge, Lincoln Hall, and Metro. Last fall she made her solo festival debut with a stellar set at North Coast Musical Festival. 


Sophie Michaux

vocalist     /     la mappa mundi, march 2019

Mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux was born in London and raised in the French Alps.  She was noted as a “warm and colorful mezzo” (Opera News) and as “a study in color…Michaux’s expressive quality and variety is remarkable” (Arts Impulse). Her upcoming engagements include her return to the Boston Early Music Festival in November 2018 in Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’Isola d’Alcina, and as a member of the Lorelei Ensemble she will collaborate with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and with A Far Cry in 2019. On stage, her roles include the role of Ceres in BEMF’s production of Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles, and the title roles in La Cenerentola (NEMPAC) and Rinaldo (Boston Opera Collaborative), for which she was nominated as Best Female Performer in an Opera for the 2015 Arts Impulse Theatre Awards, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia (Opera Brittenica). In December 2017, she was the lead singer in The Christmas Revels, which had 18 performances in Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre. Although she focuses on classical music, her versatility and musical curiosity have led her to become an active performer in many repertoires including French cabaret songs and Yiddish repertoire. In 2015 she co-founded Culomba, a vocal ensemble that focuses on the interpretation of a variety of world polyphonies. 

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Adam Jacob Simon

composer / la mappa mundi, march 2019

Adam Jacob Simon (b. 1987) is a composer, baritone, and guitarist active in the Boston area.  Recent commissions from Conspirare, Lorelei Ensemble, The Rivers Conservatory, WordSong Boston, The Oriana Consort, and The Mak'haylah Choir in Lexington.  He is an avid folk music singer as well, performing frequently with Vermont-based vocal ensemble Northern Harmony, traveling throughout Europe, South Africa, and the U.S.  As a baritone soloist, he has been praised as singing with “wonderful romantic lyricism” and “reassuring warmth” (Rutland Herald, VT). As co-founder of the folk music duo “Sophie et Adam” alongside French mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux, he frequently performs a varied repertoire of French, American, and Yiddish folk music. In 2010 he won the St. Botolph Club Emerging Artist Award to record his String Quartet #1 with the Mt. Auburn String Quartet, founded by popular Boston cellist, Rafael Popper-Keizer.  His compositions have been performed throughout the US, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Macedonia. He studied composition with Howard Frazin and music theory with Judy Ross at the Longy School of Music. Adam was born and raised in Cambridge MA, where he still resides.


Chavi Bansal

dancer     /     you can dance if you want to, april 2019

Born and brought up in  India, Chavi Bansal's early dance training was in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, Martial Arts, and Indian Contemporary dance. Craving a broader dance vocabulary, Chavi moved to the Netherlands, where she earned her B.A. in Dance with a specialization in Choreography from Fontys Hogescholen Voor de Kunsten. In 2010, Chavi founded her company, Vimoksha, or “Liberation” in Sanskrit. Her artistic practice  is rooted in Indian martial arts (Kalaripayatt), yoga, meditation, and both Indian and modern dance. At its heart, regardless of the form, the practice is focused on three areas: self-inquiry, stillness, and connection. Since moving to Boston in 2014, Vimoksha has found a company of Boston based dancers. Her work has been presented by the University of Stavanger (Norway), Danstalier’s (Rotterdam, NL), Mundial Festival (Netherlands), Boston Center for the Arts (Boston), Dance Complex (Cambridge), India Habitat Center (India), and Omi International Arts Center (NY).



Dela Murphy

dance Caller     /     you can dance if you want to, april 2019

Dela Murphy is a contra dance caller based in Portland, Maine. Known not only for her clear, efficient teaching and solid dance choices, she's also famous for her infectious laugh and warm style that puts dancers of all levels at ease. An avid dancer, she cofounded Portland Intown Contra Dance, a weekly series in Portland, and Form the Ocean, a dance weekend popular internationally.

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Nate Tucker

Percussionist & Composer     /      "Teaching time to walk," may 2019

Nate Tucker, musician and composer, is based in Boston with a studio at the BCA Artist Studios Building. Tucker works regularly with some of the city's finest artists and arts institutions. Last season he was commissioned to compose a ballet for choreographer and former Boston Ballet Principal Yury Yanowski. He also composed and performed a new work with Alissa Cardone and Doppelgänger Dance Collective. Tucker has been seen as the DJ and Music Director for shows around Boston, including The Boston Center for the Arts Ball and Boston Lyric Opera's Gala 2016. Tucker has been the music director and composer for Mt. Auburn Cemetery's A Glimpse Beyond since 2015. As a performer, you can catch him playing  as a core percussionist for Juventus New Music Ensemble and with Flamenco Boston, as well as DJing the Donkey Show at American Repertory Theater's Club Oberon.

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Fiona Hilton


Fiona Hilton is a Los Angeles-based plein air painter.  When she is not prop painting objects for film and making typography murals for restaurants, she spends her time creating atmospheric seascape oil paintings.  For Palaver Strings’ latest season, she utilizes a combination of her graphic design expertise and her painterly hand to create color theory-based illustrations.  These designs for Season 5 were inspired by performances in Season 4, in which Palaver used color theory and specific color palettes for their ensemble's attire. The gestural ink drawings depict the orchestra's instruments in a manner that creates a vibrating effect, alluding to the dynamic nature of the performers onstage.