NATASHA BREWER-GROSSFELD is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Hawai’i prior to moving to Boston, MA to attend Berklee College of Music. Prior to college, Natasha was fortunate to engage in several performances around Hawai’i and an international music exchange with students in Japan focused on sharing the musical culture of Hawai’i with others. Natasha now focuses on her full-time work as a Hospice Music Therapist but continues to enjoy performing and singing in her free time. Natasha is thrilled to be performing with the Deborah Abel Dance Company!
GINA MICHELLE BUCKNER is a vocalist and drummer who loves and performs music of all different styles, western and eastern. She has sang in over 20 different languages. Gina is the lead singer, director, and founder as well as percussionist and dancer for her world music ensemble Meraki Caravan. She is one of the vocalists and percussionists for Sweet Rasa and the Deborah Abel Dance Company. Gina is also a belly dancer and co-choreographer of Snake Dance Theater Company and has been performing Middle Eastern folk and fusion dance since 2011. In addition to performing, Gina teaches music and expressive arts in Cambridge and works with children with special needs. She is also a drummer for Drum Massage. Gina studied Music Therapy and Vocal Performance at Berklee College of Music with specializations in mental health and world music. She is an advocate for expressive arts therapy and education. Gina lives to empower others and create beautiful things and plans to continue to follow her passion for music, dance, art, helping people, and share her artistry and love with the world.
LOUISA BYRON is a multi-genre violinist/violist and composer for film and multimedia from Waseca, Minnesota. She is currently studying Film Scoring and Violin Performance with minors in Conducting and Video Game Scoring at Berklee College of Music.
In her first two years as a Berklee student, Louisa became well versed in styles such as Classical, Folk, R&B, Rock, and Jazz. One of her highlights in her first year at Berklee was being invited to perform at the Berklee’s 2017 Spring Convocation with a violin solo. She was selected as Concertmaster 2017 for the Berklee World StringsOrchestra and led the ensemble in concert with Eugene Friesen’s Trio Globo. She is a member of the Berklee Scoring Sessions Program and plays with the Funkestra Touring Ensemble. Spring 2019 Louisa competed in the American String Teacher’s Association Master Chamber Music Competition with her string quartet from Berklee and was awarded first place.
Louisa has had the privilege to perform with guest artists such as Brandi Carlile, Lucius, Paquito D'Rivera, Tigran Hamasyan, 王力宏 Wang Leehom, Toniho Horta, and Howard Levy.
As a composer, Louisa enjoys writing for orchestra, string quartets, quintets, and piano trios. Louisa was awarded the 2016 Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship as an entering student. Also in 2016, Louisa won first place with her string quartet, ‘Lost” in the Class 4 division of the Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs Junior Composers competition. She moved on and won 1st place at the National level. In 2015, Louisa was MPR Minnesota Varsity composition winner. She has written for the Copper Street Brass Quintet (2016) for the Schubert Club Composition Mentorship, and for the Young Artists Summer Program Curtis Institute of Music piano quartet (2015).
MELIKA M. FITZHUGH, a native of Stafford, Virginia, (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition) has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. S/he studied composition and conducting with Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos and Thomas G. Everett. Melika, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth and the early music ensemble Quilisma Consort, in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the ambient rock band Rose Cabal and the genre-defying band Sans Nomenclature. Melika enjoys playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including: violin/viola, acoustic guitar/bass, recorders, flute, dumbek/djembe/kahoun.
JÜRGEN KERN has been an improvisational pianist for the last 40+ years. Working in the idioms of jazz, free-form, funk, rock, blues and even just a little bit of country, he has led and co-led ensembles of various sizes, and performed in a wide array of settings. These include playback theater and a group improvisational ensemble, duos, trios, quartets and quintets, all the way up to big bands. Currently Jürgen can be heard with the Atkins-Kern Duo, leading the jazz-funk band Impulse, and playing out with One Foot in the Groove. He recently released a "legacy" CD of solo piano improvisations, and returns to the Deborah Able Dance company after having performed on the Beauty Road in 2009.
ROBIN MILLER is an instrumentalist who specializes in flutes from all around the world. She has been a member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band since 1983 and with that ensemble has performed on Prairie Home Companion, in Great Performances for PBS with Itzhak Perlman and has performed in concert halls all over Eastern and Western Europe. She has been an English and Drama teacher in the Newton Public Schools for the past 29 years. This is her second time performing with the Deborah Abel Dance Ensemble and she is delighted to be back.
MARYTHA PAFFRATH, a singer and accomplished percussionist, tours nationally and internationally with the acclaimed world music ensemble Libana whose concerts illuminate the spirit of women’s global experience through music, song and dance and convey a profound sense of hope, peace, celebration and universal community. www.libana.com As a drummer Marytha has had the honor of studying with Babatunde Olatunji, Glen Velez, Nurudafina Pili Abena, Layne Redmond, Sipho Bellinger, Moussa Traore, Ubaka Hill and Arthur Hull. In performance she moves with ease between an array of world drums which include dumbek, djembe, tapan, naqqara, bombo, riqq and frame drum. She is the director of the Instrumental Music and Dance Program at the Cambridge Friend’s School in Cambridge, MA, where she brings her 29 years of teaching, and commitment to multicultural arts to the development of faculty, programs and curriculum. She infuses her lively yet patient teaching style into vocal and drum workshops around the country, focusing on international repertoire, rhythm and solid technique. An innovator, teacher, composer and writer, Marytha believes deeply in bringing the simplicity of rhythm and song to the complexity of the world.
FAITH PYNE, originally from St. Louis MO, currently resides in Brockton MA. Faith began playing classical piano at the age of 6 and violin at the age of 8. She attended University of Iowa as a music major, Faith has played in several local symphonies over the past 20 years. For the past 15 years she has had the opportunity to play electric violin in several bands, (enjoying the diversity of many local bars). Currently she is the fiddle player for the Lisa Martin band. Faith has taught violin and piano privately on the South Shore for 15 years.
GABE WEISS (MFA, MOJO) has been puttering around with one instrument or another since just about ex utero. He gave up classical music some time ago and now enjoys a variety of styles. He lives in Sudbury, Mass., and prefers the company of small furry animals. He's also pretty handy, so if you need a kitchen faucet installed, give him a call. Reasonable rates.
Calling to You Musicians
ENID AMES, singer/songwriter and mother of three, graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Theatre and studied Songwriting at Berklee College of Music. She has two CDs and continues to perform and record. Having sung for the Deborah Abel Dance Company performances of “The World Is Breathing” (in 2007), she is particularly happy to be singing for “Calling To You” as it dovetails with her deep interest in Indian spirituality and music.
MARY CUNNINGHAM, flute, earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University, a First Diploma from the Hochschule fuer Music und darstellende Kunst “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria, and a Master Music in Flute performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has studied with Maurice Sharp, Helmut Zangerle and Nicolaus Harnoncourt. Ms. Cunningham is active as a choral conductor, vocalist and flute soloist throughout the Boston and New England areas and has toured internationally with the National Flute Association, UU Partner Church Festival Chorus and Vienna International Institute. She is the Artistic Director of the Halalisa Singers, Music Director at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reading and frequent performer with Revels. Ms. Cunningham is on the faculty of the Powers Music School and has a private teaching studio in her Lexington home.
KRAIG LUDENSKY, Tabla, grew up in the Boston area and earned his BA from UMass Boston and MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. While living in India he had honor of studying Tabla with Benares Hindu University professor of music Pandit Chotte Lal Mishra in Varanasi, India. He has also been fortunate to have studied intensely with Nagara master Nathu Lal Solanki in Rajasthan, India and Jazz avant-garde great Barry Altschul in NYC. While living in Ehime, Japan he also studied Japanese folk music with local teachers. Performing at camel Fairs, village festivals, mountain passes and home town bars he has always found the right people to help him share the lessons, stories and traditions that have influenced his music. He currently plays his percussion picnic in the Boston based world-fusion rock group Goodbye Space.