Philadelphia classical music events, discussion, and directory
September 22, 1pm-3pm
Hamilton Hall at the University of the Arts
320 South Broad Street
Over 300 concerts around the world will take part in celebrating Playing for Change Day and a dedicated and talented group of musicians have volunteered to provide you with an inspiring afternoon of world, jazz (and more) music while helping two music education organizations in the process. 50% of the donations will go to LiveConnections here in Philadelphia, and 50% will go to support worldwide efforts of the Playing for Change Foundation. Join us to celebrate! If you can't make it to the concert, please consider contributing through a donation.
(in alphabetical order)
Anna Crusis (women's choir)
Beta Test Music (geek music band)
Phyllis Chapell (vocal, guitar)
Stephan Dijoseph (vocal, guitar, keyboard)
Tim Dilenschneider (double bass)
Chico Huff (jazz bass)
Eunice Kim (violin)
M'Balia (vocal, guitar)
Ken Ulansey (sax, penny flute, music director)
Dave Posmontier (keyboards)
Joey Tayoun (middle eastern percussion)
Stacy and John Weathers (banjo, guitar, vocals)
Anna Crusis Women’s Choir strives for musical excellence, singing to celebrate women and their lives, while promoting equality and opportunity for all. In her 37 year history, Anna has sought to act as an agent of social change by empowering, challenging and uplifting audiences with music that inspires and transforms. As a premier performing group in the Philadelphia area, Anna Crusis is committed to reaching diverse audiences, including those who have limited access to the arts. Anna supports other organizations working for social justice by singing at benefits and fundraisers throughout the year.
Anna Crusis was founded in 1975 by Dr. Catherine Roma. Cathy’s influence on what was to become the first feminist choir in the country was profound. Her passion for the music, her commitment to the peace and social justice movement, her drive to unearth unknown works by women composers, her desire to pull together women from all walks of life into this new musical family, became the model for women’s choirs all across the country.
Anna Crusis continues to promote those ideals that Cathy held so dear. Special focus is placed on music by, for and about women and their lives. The choir values diversity and inclusion in its membership, its audiences and its repertoire. While honoring their common ground, choir members work to respect and learn from each other, from their differences in sexual orientation, racial and cultural heritage, age, class and spiritual expression.
Beta Test Music
Beta Test was formed in 2011 by Douglas Laustsen, Steve Lakawicz, and Ellis Jasenovic. Their goal was to create a multifaceted chamber ensemble that performed music with a geeky flavor. Music that fell under this description included classic video game tracks, awesome television and film scores, and works from the classical and contemporary repertoire that resonated in some way with geekdom. The group’s first performance was on May 6, 2011 at Philadelphia’s now defunct Bookspace. Since then, Beta Test has performed throughout Philadelphia and been featured on showcases by LocalArtsLive and at NerdNite Philadelphia.
The group has performed new works written for them by composers Melissa Dunphy and Nat Evans. They’ve transcribed and performed Schubert, Gesualdo, and Gabrieli. Television and movie transcriptions have included Doctor Who, Beetlejuice, and Firefly. They have arranged and performed music from many video games, including the Mega Man series, Sonic the Hedgehog, Castlevania, Super Mario Land, and many more.
In addition to performing their own arrangements and pieces, Beta Test curates a monthly series of music at Dalet Art Gallery. They aim to feature musicians from Philadelphia and nearby cities who perform music that responds to the art work featured at the gallery.
Justin Bulava: Clarinet
Mark Zelesky: Saxophone
Ben Mulholland: French Horn
Douglas Laustsen: Trombone
Steve Lakawicz: Tuba
Rob Tait: Drums
Phyllis Chapell has spent her life developing a universal musical style, singing "world songs." Her repertoire includes songs in 13 languages from Brazil, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well as American folk, jazz and popular music. She also has a repertoire of original songs; and her "Soul in Flight" won 2nd place in the Best Cabaret/Torch song category of the Just Plain Folks awards. In 2009, Phyllis Chapell was named one of the top 521 jazz vocalists of all time by Scott Yanow in his book "The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide" published by Hal Leonard.
Phyllis Chapell has performed in concert as a solo artist and/or with her ensemble SIORA in the U.S., Latin America, Brazil and Europe. She lives and performs mostly in the Philadelphia area (including the Mid-Atlantic region).
In addition to her CDs with SIORA ("SIORA", "Vis-a-Vis" , "Vision of the Dry Bones", and "The Other Side of the River"), she has recorded 2 solo CDs called "World Songs" and "Voice in Flight."
Anything can happen when multi-instrumentalist / composer / producer Stephen Dijoseph enters a studio. Whether it’s the percussive grooves of his solo guitar and vocals, the backing drives of a firey rhythm section, the quirk and funk of his trademark solo “Pianopoetry,” or the ease and flow of his ambient productions and collaborations, Dijoseph the recording artist is a man of many skills and moods. “Though technical preparation is required,” he emphasizes, “It’s all about what I feel.”
And what Stephen feels is made unique by another very “outspoken collaborator” as he refers to his experience of living with Tourette’s Syndrome. “Tourette’s showed up for me around the same time as my passion for music.
I was around 6 years old,” Dijoseph recalls. With that passion and “partnership” with Tourette’s, he has fashioned an award-winning career, garnering praise and accolades for his multi-genre CD releases and video productions.
Dijoseph’s pursuit of a musical career began with drum lessons in 4th grade. Within a year he began asking for a keyboard and lessons. Influenced by his favorite progressive rock and jazz icons, Stephen soon gravitated towards classical piano studies and composition.
At 17, his uncle Louis gave him an old Harmony guitar and with it he began exploring songwriting. “My aim with the guitar has always been to create something interesting that would support a good vocal melody”.
Stephen is now in production of his first autobiographical movie A SynapTic Adventure: Tourette’s and Beyond. In it, Dijoseph tells the story of growing up in “the dark” as it were, trying to understand the strange urges, movements and compulsions that filled his childhood.”
My intention here is to tell this story from an emotional perspective. I hope to convey a very relatable feeling to the viewer.”
Originally from outside Philadelphia, I grew up in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania and started playing bass when I was in third grade. This fall will be my fourteenth year of study. I am currently a full-tuition scholarship student at the Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia, and will be entering my senior year. Presently, I am studying with Edgar Meyer, prominent contemporary bass soloist and composer, and Harold Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Prior to Curtis, I studied with Ranaan Meyer, “Time for Three” trio bassist.
My recent orchestral experiences have included performances with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, the Pacific Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra. I have spent the last nine summers advancing my bass performance through orchestral and bass focused programs of study. Through these different orchestras I have had the privilege to travel and perform in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Born in Savannah, GA, I moved to Massachusetts at a very young age. My interest in playing music began when my father brought home an electric guitar and amp one night when I was around 11. I turned it up to ten, played a power chord, and I was converted. I played primarily guitar until the age of 15 or sixteen.
I began playing mostly with a guitarist friend of mine, Ralph Nelson and my brother Nick on drums. Ralph and I would switch off on bass for the makeshift power trio. Eventually the balance became more me on bass. I then got my first gig ever playing bass and that was it, I was a bassist. I never had formal schooling so it's all been playing by ear and trial and error. I've picked up enough sight reading skills to get by but I won't be getting called to play West Side Story any time soon.
I've always felt what I missed in terms of the technical aspects of music I made up for in learning how to adapt to different styles of music, using my ears to find the best part for whatever I'm playing, and learning much about being out there on the gig making things work on the fly.
Over the years I've had the pleasure of playing music with James Taylor, Carly Simon, Solas, Cathy Ryan, Karan Casey, Jeff Golub, Richard Elliot, John Swana, Liz Carrol, John Doyle, John Belushi, Charlie Musslewhite, Jef Lee Johnson (check him out, folks), Dave Posmontier, Kit Walker and a long list of others I'm too lazy to put right now. Peace! Obama!
Winner, Astral Artists’ 2012 National Auditions
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, violinist Eunice Kim has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician across North America, Asia, and Europe. She has appeared as soloist with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Prometheus Symphony, and the San Francisco School of the Arts Orchestra. She made her solo debut at the age of seven, with the Korean Broadcasting Symphony in Seoul.
A winner of Astral Artists’ 2012 National Auditions, Ms. Kim is the recipient of awards and honors from the California International Violin Competition, the Pacific Music Society Competition, the Korea Times String Competition, the Youth Excellence Scholarship for the Arts, and the Chinese American Music Teachers Association. Her performances have been broadcast on NPR’s “From the Top” with Christopher O’Riley, New Tang Dynasty Television, Philadelphia’s WHYY, Taos’s KTAOS Solar Radio, and KEMS in Korea.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Kim recently participated in “Curtis on Tour” in New England, performing with violist Roberto Díaz and Time for Three. She also tours and performs with her piano trio, the KCK Trio, and, as one of the co-founders of “Formerly Known as Classical,” she has organized and performed in numerous contemporary music concerts. She has participated at the Aspen Music Festival, Music From Angel Fire, Music@Menlo, Great Mountains Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, Hotchkiss Summer Portals, and the Taos School of Music.
Eunice Kim began studying the violin at age six, with Wei He in the preparatory division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She represented the Conservatory as a performer on the Millennium Stage Concert Series at the Kennedy Center, appearing in gala concerts with renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. Ms. Kim currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Ida Kavafian, where she is the recipient of the Rose Paul Fellowship.
M’Balia is a singer-songwriter and vocalist based in Philadelphia, PA.
Her 4-song cd- “Nobody’s Coming”- reflects the pop-radio of her youth, when R&B like New Edition met the Rock & Roll of Van Halen, and she has taken those sounds and blended them into a smoothie all her own. There’s “YouHoo!”, an infectious pop wonder that’s a tribute to finding the right one, followed by the hauntingly soulful regret of untenable love in “Clever &Honest.” The title track refers to what M’Balia calls “that moment when you really accept that you’re grown and truly responsible for the choices in your life. Good or bad, they’re yours, and nobody’s coming to hold your hand, so just go ahead and live already!” And finally, her southern roots get their due in “Traje de Luces”, a beautiful duet with one of her dearest and most talented friends, guitarist Thom Loubet (The Citizens, Alice Smith).
M’Balia’s shows build not only on her original songs, but her original off-kilter sense of humor. Coming to an M’Balia show is a commitment to having a good time, letting go and listening, letting go and laughing (a lot), letting go and singing or clapping or making words up. She says, “I’m just not that waify hum-and-strummer girl gazing at her shoes. I’m loud and goofy and alive and artistic, and so are you- there’s no difference between us. When I’m onstage, I get to unleash my artist, and so do you!” It’s not uncommon for M’Balia to throw egg shakers into the audience and request words that rhyme with “Healthcare Reform” in order to write her next great hit.
M’Balia has had the good fortune to perform with varied and talented musicians: as an undergrad at Yale University, she sang with the Mitchell-Ruff Duo and Vijay Iyer and she can be heard on various commercials and studio projects, most notably on John Legend’s Grammy-nominated single, “Stay With You”, and Orrin Evans and LuvPark’s debut album.
Dave Posmontier has been playing keyboard since the age of seven and has played professionally for the past 35 years. He majored in mathematics at Temple University in the late 1960's but played with the Temple Jazz Band and knew he would be a full-time musician after graduation.
In the 1970's, Dave formed an organ trio with Micky Roker and Bootsie Barnes and played extensively in the Philly area. He also joined a trio with Tony Williams and Al Jackson, two other notable Philly musicians. Later, Dave worked with guitarist Steve Giordano, playing contemporary, original music using piano, organ, synthesizers and voices.
In 1980, Dave, his brother Rich, and drummer, Tom Cohen, formed the Posmontier Brothers’ Quintet which performed extensively at concerts and clubs and made radio and television appearances in the Philadelphia area. The group produced an album, "PBQ'" of Dave's original music in 1985. It was very well received by the jazz community and received airtime on local jazz radio stations.
In 1994, Dave teamed up with trumpeter, John Swana to perform at the South Street Arts Festival in Philadelphia and the Chadds Ford Winery Jazz Festival. They can be heard on John\'s CD, "The Feeling's Mutual," on CrissCross Records. In the spring of 1995, Dave appeared at the Villanova Jazz Festival backing up featured artists, Mike Pedicin, Jr., Anne Sciolla and John Swana. As part of the Tony Williams Jazz Festival, Dave performed with noted saxophonists David "Fathead" Newman and Grover Washington, Jr. in 1999 and again with Newman and the legendary James Moody in 2000.
Dave has also been playing traditional and innovative klezmer music with a band called Klingon Klezmer. They appeared at an international music festival in Berlin, Germany in late 1998 and 1999, and in Munich in 2002 and have just released their second CD.
In celebration of its 100th birthday in 2007, the renownedSettlement Music School honored 100 alumni who have made a difference in the world of music. Dave and his brother Rich are among this list of honorees.
Currently, Dave is playing, composing, arranging, teaching, and participating in educational jazz concerts and clinics with noted jazz violinist, John Blake, and percussionist, Leon Jordan, in schools throughout the area. Dave can be heard on several CD's of Philadelphia area jazz artists and is currently working on a CD of his original compositions.
Dave has been on Musicopia’s Roster of Artists since the early 1990’s. He is a member of the John Blake Jazz Quartet and co-directs the Pos-Jordan Jazz Ensemble with Leon Jordan. The ensemble conducts A Jazz Journey for Youth assembly program,Fundamentals of Jazz residency, and jazz and percussion workshop sessions.
Joseph Tayoun, a second generation Lebanese American, is an accomplished Middle Eastern percussionist. He started playing at age eight at his family’s renowned Middle East Restaurant in Philadelphia where live authentic Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Greek, and Israeli music and dance were performed nightly for forty years. Learning from many of the area’s top Middle Eastern players, Joe became adept at the many styles of drumming within these different traditions. He performs much of this repertoire with an ensemble at the Nile restaurant (the former Middle East Restaurant) in Philadelphia, and with other ensembles locally and nationally, including Jaffna, a band that combines styles of Middle Eastern and Indian music.
Having taught music in a New Jersey public school for years, he currently teaches drumming at St. Maron’s Hall in the heart of Philadelphia’s Lebanese community, in part, through PFP's FAME program. In the summers, he teaches at Al-Bustan Arabic Day Camp along with Middle Eastern dancer Michele Tayoun. He also conducts workshops at conferences and universities.
Joseph’s performance history includes seasons at two of the world’s largest casinos: the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and Foxwoods in Connecticut. He has participated in several residencies with Zakir Hussain and with Simon Shaheen at Swarthmore College and The Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. He accompanied Yair Dolal of Israel for performances in Princeton, New Jersey, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and performs with Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Ohad "Udi" Bar David, and his Intercultural Journeys ensemble. For the past decade, Joseph has also been playing "Concerts for Peace" with the Arabic-Jewish ensemble Atzilut, with whom he has performed at the United Nations, and traveled throughout the U.S. as well as Germany and Portugal. Currently participating in PFP's Folk Arts Education program, and collaborating in Tito Rubio's PFP artist residency this year, he will be one of PFP's artists in residence in 2005-2006.
Ken Ulansey, musician and psychologist, has explored many worlds of music. He recently received the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Grant for composition; Philadelphia Music Foundation Award for Best Traditional or Contemporary Folk Performance, and was a finalist for the Pew Foundation $50,000 Grant in Composition. His band, the Ken Ulansey Ensemble, chosen by Philadelphia Magazine as the Best Party Band in town, records and plays at jazz clubs and dance parties, drawing from Swing, Motown, Zydeco, Klezmer, Samba, Rhythm and Blues, and Afro-Pop, in addition to classical and the omni-present pop and rock of our time. He played with Relâche, the Ensemble for New Music, for eight years, producing one of their CDs. Ken toured with them extensively in Europe and the United States, including performances at Lincoln Center, Bang on a Can Festival, Seattle Museum of Modern Art, Prague Spring Festival and the Telluride Composer to Composer Festival. They premiered many new works written for and in collaboration with the ensemble by, among many others, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.
Ken has played on over one hundred recordings of classical, jazz, folk and pop music, including Off To Philadelphia (Irish music by the Cassidys), Compositions (Jazz originals by Rich Rudin), Origami (New Age by Jay Ansill), Comets Collide (folk rock by Patti Shea, Outcome Inevitable (new classical by Relâche, And the Angels Swing (Klezmer meets Jazz by Bruce Kaminsky). His role as producer or co-producer of CDs includes credits for Pick it Up (new classical by Relâche), Post-Hip (original jazz byHeath Allen), The Complete Jewish Party CD, The Complete Latin Party CD, Everything is New (folk by Mike London) and Favorite Places (an album of free improvisations featuring cellist David Darling).
Ken has recorded for MTV, as well as for many TV commercials, several small films and dance pieces.
Stacy and John Weathers
John and Stacy have been playing as Stolen Thyme, a neo-traditional string band made up of Stacy (banjo), John (guitar), and Ben Lewis (fiddle). The trio embraces the American folk music tradition and transforms it for a modern sensibility with hypnotic arrangements of ballads and fiddle tunes. Recent venues include the Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival and the Black Rose Acoustic Society downtown concert series. The band was also featured in an article in Pow’r Picking, the newspaper for the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society.
Although they have been recently living in Colorado, they are products of the Philadelphia folk music scene. Inspired by a wandering banjo player in the early hours of the morning at her first Philadelphia Folk Festival when she was sixteen years old, Stacy decided that one day she too wanted to be able to play lonesome banjo tunes under the night sky. Since that time, Stacy has been exploring the possibilities of both clawhammer and finger picking styles on the banjo. She is also a knowledgeable and powerful singer of traditional American and English ballads.
John was first introduced to the wide-range and roots of American folk music combing through the stacks of records when he co-hosted a college radio show entitled “Post-Industrial Bluegrass”. At about this same time, John got his first guitar and also met Stacy, who was just getting serious about learning the banjo. His fate was sealed. He has since drawn musical inspiration from Norman Blake, John Doyle, and Doc Watson, among others.
John and Stacy began performing together on street corners and subways in 1994 while hitchhiking through Europe and the Middle East. They even enjoyed five minutes of fame playing live on Turkish Radio in Cappadoccia. Past musical projects include playing in the traditional folk music band Cruel Sister, which played in venues such as the Lansdowne Folk Club and the Xtreme Folk Festival.
Since 2008, LiveConnections has served as a creator and curator of innovative, cross-genre music experiences. Through live performance and interactive education, LiveConnections’ three program areas connect diverse audiences with top-notch artists from across the musical spectrum. Programs take place at World Cafe Live venues in Philadelphia and Wilmington, in a partnership that opens the venues to new audiences and capitalizes on the acoustics, intimacy and artist-centered design.
About Playing For Change Foundation
Playing For Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. The Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF) was established in 2007 and is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to create positive change through music and arts education. We support music schools and programs that are created and operated by the local community, and then purposefully connect those communities around the world.
To date, PFCF has created eight music schools and programs in South Africa, Ghana, Mali, Rwanda, and Nepal. 600 children participate in regular music instruction. We’re constantly working to strengthen our existing programs and to expand our programmatic reach worldwide. We have plans to create new programs in America, Thailand, and other places as funds allow.
For more information about the Playing For Change Foundation and its programs, go to
www.playingforchange.org or email to email@example.com.
LocalArtsLive (LAL) strives to connect the classical music community together in the greater Philadelphia region, provide support for fledgling ensembles, and present classical music in new and unexpected ways.
The LocalArtsLive.com website and social media presence provides a central source of information and promotes discussion. LAL helps musicians and related organizations by creating or assembling marketing material and helping to build audiences for fledgling ensembles via periodic showcase presentations and web based publicity. Many ensembles and musicians don't have the ability to raise funds themselves, so even modest levels of support from LocalArtsLive may contribute to their long term success. Simply put, working together is more effective and more efficient than individual efforts. In addition to periodic showcases, LAL seeks to collaborate with other organizations, including other genres of arts and technology, to bring the music to new audiences.
About the Corzo Center
The Corzo Center provides ecucational and support services to creative arts freelancers, start-ups, and businesses.
The Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts links creative arts, innovation, and business. We formed the Center to keep art where it belongs — at the center of a society and an economy that requires ideas and imagination. Guided by the belief that entrepreneurship is both a form of business innovation and a form of public and social action, we have shaped its programs to provide artists, performers, and media makers the tools they need to control their economic lives and to lead.
The Center is a 2012 Knight Foundation grant recipient.
For more information about the Corzo Center and its programs, go to http://corzocenter.uarts.edu/