An Eclectic Mix of Instruments and Musicians Reflect the Diversity of Department of Music
Middlebury, VT—An eclectic group of some of Vermont’s finest performers will take to the Concert Hall stage at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts for a collaborative performance on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 8:00 PM. Admission is free.
The diverse group of performers is made up of affiliate artists and faculty members from the college’s Department of Music, as well as a guest artist: Russ Lawton on trap drums; Damascus Kafumbe on Namunjoloba drums; Peter Sutherland on fiddle and banjo; Tim Cummings on bagpipes; Paul Asbell, Dayve Huckett, and guest artist John Stowell on guitar; Miles Donahue on saxophone; Cynthia Huard on piano; Steven Klimowski on clarinet; soprano Susanne Peck; and Anne Janson on flute. The musicians will perform as soloists and in combination, collaborating in sometimes-unusual mixes that reflect the diversity of the Department and its curriculum.
About the musicians:
Percussionist Russ Lawton
grew up in the Boston area, where he began drumming professionally and studying with Gene Roma. Early in his career, Lawton toured with the Afro-fusion band Zzebra, formed by Osibisa’s Nigerian-born percussionist Lofty Amao. He currently tours and records with a variety of musicians including Phish’s Trey Anastasio. He has co-written songs with Anastasio for Phish’s “Farmhouse” CD (featuring the Grammy-nominated song First Tube), Anastasio’s first solo CD, the live album “Plasma,” and the “Live at the Warfield Theatre” DVD with Carlos Santana. Lawton’s TV appearances includes PBS’s Austin City Limits
, Late Night with David Letterman
, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
, The Conan O’Brien Show,
and The Carson Daly Show
. Lawton also tours with the band Strangefolk.
is a newcomer to the music department faculty, teaching courses in ethnomusicology and world music, and directing an African music and dance ensemble. Dr. Kafumbe holds a B.A. in music from Makerere University (2004) and a M.M. (2006) and Ph.D (2011), both in musicology, from Florida State University. His doctoral research investigated the Kawuugulu royal drums of the Baganda people of south-central Uganda. Kafumbe is an expert performer on various East African musical instruments and of numerous East African dance traditions.
Fiddler and banjo player Peter Sutherland
has been a touring musician since 1976, playing concerts, dances, and festivals across North America and Europe, as a soloist and in collaboration with Metamora, Ira Bernstein, Rhythm in Shoes, the Woodshed All-Stars, The Clayfoot Strutters, The Arm and Hammer String Band, and in a duo with his wife Karen Sutherland. He has performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Wolftrap, South Street Seaport, the Moab Music Festival Mariposa (Canada), The Kaustinen Festival (Finland), and the Frankfurt Alte Oper (Germany). The Champlain Valley Folk Festival deemed him “practically the most musical person you may ever meet.”
Piper Tim Cummings
plays a variety of Celtic instruments: penny whistles and three types of Scottish bagpipes—Highland, border, and smallpipes, and has become a champion of these uncommon instruments and their distinctive qualities. He studied piping with Al MacRae, Sandy Keith, and Scott MacAulay, and learned at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, The College of Wooster, OH, and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. In recent years, he has led workshops and performed at the Northeast Heritage Music Camp, Maine Pipes & Fiddle weekends, the Pipers’ Gathering, PEI Fiddle Camp, the Upper Potomac Piper’s Weekend, and the Champlain Valley Folk Festival. Aside from teaching and performing, Cummings also runs Beithe Publishing, a small cottage industry devoted to publishing a diverse array of music for Scottish-style pipes.
From his early years playing blues on Chicago’s South Side, to his present multi-faceted career based out of northern Vermont, guitarist Paul Asbell
has earned an underground reputation as a true “musician’s musician.” He has played and recorded with legends like John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Pops Staples, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, and numerous others. He also appeared on the milestone recording “Fathers and Sons” featuring Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield. and Mike Bloomfield and also played on “The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions” LP featuring Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and members of the Rolling Stones. He has performed at Kool Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen, the Newport, Healdsburg, and Montreal Guitar Shows, MerleFest, Swannanoa Guitar Week, and Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival. After moving to Vermont, he formed the Paul Asbell Quartet, soon to be renamed Kilimanjaro, and recorded 2 award-winning albums for Philo Records, which led to numerous national tours and concert dates. Asbell has released several solo acoustic CDs, which have received glowing reviews in Guitar Player
, Vintage Guitar
, Acoustic Guitar Magazine
, and others.
Kansas City-born, Burlington-based affiliate artist Davye Huckett
began playing the guitar at the age of 12 after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Today he plays a broad range of music, including his own, original music, on classical, steel string, and electric guitars. His hybrid style embraces a mixture of fingerstyle, rock, classical, and jazz. Huckett is the resident guitar teacher at the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michaels College (home of the Vermont Youth Orchestra), and has six recordings to date.
Guitarist and guest artist John Stowell
began his successful career in the early 1970s with private study with guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan. Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City, and they formed a duo that recorded and toured prolifically for over 30 years, with performances in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. In 1983, John and David joined flutist Paul Horn and drummer Robin Horn (Paul’s son) for a historic tour of the Soviet Union. This was the first time in forty years that an American jazz group had been invited to play public performances in Russia. In 1993, 1995, and 1998, John returned to Russia, playing in numerous cities. His two sold-out performances in Kursk may have been the first appearances there by an American jazz musician. Today, Stowell continues to tour, record, and teach internationally. He has been artist in residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, the U.S., and Canada. His accolades include two Academy Award nominations for short film soundtracks, a selection as “Ten Best Jazz Albums of the Decade” by the Los Angeles Examiner
, “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” twice by Downbeat
’s international critics’ poll, and appearances on BET’s Jazz Discovery
and Guitar Series
Referring to saxophonist Miles Donahue
, Grammy award-winning and Boston Globe jazz critic Bob Blumenthal says “Discover a jazz treasure. Miles Donahue is one of the best-kept jazz secrets. Equally adept on trumpet and various saxophones and a composer of grace and originality...” One of his group’s concerts in 1972, performed with Charile Banacos and Jerry Bergonzi, became known as the famous Arlington Street Church Concert. In the 1980s, Donahue recorded two albums on Tioch Records, for which he wrote all the original material with New York Philharmonic flutist Paige Brook. In 1992, his first major recording as a jazz leader was released on Timeless Records. Now he has formed his own label, Amerigo Records.
Pianist Cynthia Huard
has appeared in recital as a pianist and harpsichordist throughout the United States and in Europe. Her versatile musicianship is a key element of the summer concert series of the Rochester Chamber Music Society, where as artistic director she performs with internationally known artists. Devoted to chamber music and collaborative music making, she has performed with the Lark Quartet, cellist Nathaniel Rosen, and with chamber players of several orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the National Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Utah Symphony, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Most recently she has been presenting contemporary music, including a Vermont premiere of a piece by nationally recognized composer Nico Muhly, commissioned works by Vermont composers Erik Nielsen and T. L. Read, and a piano solo by Middlebury College alumnus Tristan Axelrod ’08.
Clarinetist Steven Klimowski
studied with the famed clarinet teacher Leon Russianoff, attending the Manhattan School of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Klimowski began his career playing with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Toluca, Mexico. He moved to Vermont in 1980 and started teaching the clarinet and saxophone at the University of Vermont. He also teaches clarinet and classical saxophone at St. Michael’s College and his private studio. Currently, he concertizes in a solo and chamber music capacity throughout Vermont and northern New England. Klimowski plays with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s woodwind trio, Raising Cane, performing for Vermont’s school children. He is principal clarinet in the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly with the Opera Company of Middlebury. He is very active in the new music scene and has premiered several works for solo clarinet. In 1987, he founded the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble (VCME), of which he the artistic director. The VCME continues to commission and perform new music. In 1987 and 1990, Klimowski was honored with an individual artist fellowship from the Vermont Arts Council and in 2003 received its Citation of Merit.
Soprano Susanne Peck
’s career in music was centered in New York City and vicinity and encompasses the roles of singer, conductor, and educator. An entertaining and versatile soprano, she has sung chamber and choral music with world-class colleagues, soloed, recorded, and toured with many leading ensembles, including the Boston Early Music Festival, Mark Morris Dance Company, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Voices of Ascension, Concert Royal Baroque Opera Company, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Waverly Consort, The New York Collegium, and Musica Sacra. She has also sung for Disney and was part of the soundtrack for Hunchback of Notre Dame
Last semester she presented the world premiere of music department chair Peter Hamlin’s song cycle Abstinence Education
Flutist Anne Janson
teaches both at Middlebury College and at the University of Vermont. She is second flutist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO), and substitutes as principal flute and piccolo on occasion. She has played with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra and has been soloist with the Mozart Festival and VSO. She is an active freelance artist in the New England Region. Through the VSO’s “Musicians in Schools” outreach program, she performs in the duo “Harp and Soul” with harpist Heidi Soons.
For more information, call (802) 443-3168 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.