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Musical Explorers

New York City
2019–2020

During the 2019–2020 season, students will explore cumbia, Armenian folk, and hip-hop in the fall semester, followed by bluegrass, Chinese folk, and Iraqi folk music in the spring.

Check back for updates this summer.

Gregorio Uribe, Zulal, Soul Science Lab, Michael Daves, Qian Yi, and Layth Sidiq

Meet the Artists

Cumbia with Gregorio

Colombian singer, songwriter, and accordionist Gregorio Uribe has forged a unique place in the music scene of both the US and Latin America. Founder and leader of the Gregorio Uribe Big ...

Colombian singer, songwriter, and accordionist Gregorio Uribe has forged a unique place in the music scene of both the US and Latin America. Founder and leader of the Gregorio Uribe Big Band, a 16-piece orchestra that blends cumbia and other Colombian rhythms with powerful big band arrangements, he released the album Cumbia Universal featuring eight-time Grammy winner Rubén Blades. Gregorio’s next project is an album with a smaller ensemble that highlights his songwriting and his signature instrument, the accordion. His music has also been showcased in documentaries and TV series, including FX’s Mayans M.C. and CBS’s MacGyver.

Gregorio Uribe

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Armenian Folk with Zulal

Zulal, which means “clear water,” is an Armenian a cappella trio that features Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian, and Anaïs Tekerian. The trio rearranges and re-imagines ...

Zulal, which means “clear water,” is an Armenian a cappella trio that features Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian, and Anaïs Tekerian. The trio rearranges and re-imagines traditional Armenian folk melodies for stage and recordings. Performing since 2002, Zulal has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to performing and arranging, Zulal also creates soundtracks for film and theater, and offers educational workshops for young audiences.

The Zulal Trio - Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian, and Anaïs Tekerian

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Hip-Hop with Soul Science Lab

Soul Science Lab is the multimedia duo of artist, educator, and creative director Chen Lo and multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Asanté Amin. The group’s work draws ...

Soul Science Lab is the multimedia duo of artist, educator, and creative director Chen Lo and multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Asanté Amin. The group’s work draws on the full lineage of black American music, from West African roots to contemporary hip-hop. Between them, they have shared the stage with The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Raheem DeVaughn, Wynton Marsalis, and dead prez, and have performed on major stages, including Lincoln Center, BAM, and the Apollo Theater. Together, they created the groundbreaking production Soundtrack ’63, combining music and visuals to explore the black experience in the US from slavery to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Soul Science Lab: Chen Lo and Asanté Amin

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Bluegrass with Michael

Michael Daves has been called “a leading light of the New York bluegrass scene” by The New York Times. He has worked with Chris Thile, Steve Martin, Tony Trischka, and Rosanne ...

Michael Daves has been called “a leading light of the New York bluegrass scene” by The New York Times. He has worked with Chris Thile, Steve Martin, Tony Trischka, and Rosanne Cash in addition to performing solo and with a band of roots-music innovators. Michael’s 2011 debut album with Thile, Sleep with One Eye Open, received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. His album Orchids and Violence features 12 bluegrass tunes, each recorded in two versions: acoustic and electric.

Michael Daves

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Chinese Folk with Qian Yi

Qian Yi began her study of classical Chinese opera (Kunqu) at the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s Chinese Opera School at age 10. Since coming to the US, she has performed classical and ...

Qian Yi began her study of classical Chinese opera (Kunqu) at the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s Chinese Opera School at age 10. Since coming to the US, she has performed classical and contemporary Chinese theater at the Lincoln Center Festival, where she played the lead role in the 19-hour opera The Peony Pavilion, and Spoleto Festival USA, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. has called Qian Yi, “China’s reigning opera princess.” In 2008, Qian Yi made her western opera debut in the title role of The Bonesetter’s Daughter at the San Francisco Opera. In 2013, she created and produced a contemporary Chinese musical called Dreaming of the Phoenix for the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Qian Yi

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Iraqi Folk with Layth

Layth Sidiq is an award-winning violinist, vocalist, and composer who has toured the world and performed with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez, Javier Limon, Jack ...

Layth Sidiq is an award-winning violinist, vocalist, and composer who has toured the world and performed with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez, Javier Limon, Jack Dejohnette, Gary Burton, and others. He directs the Arab Music Ensemble at Tufts University as well as the Center for Arabic Culture Children’s Orchestra; he also leads the Layth Sidiq Quartet. In 2018, Layth was one of the winners of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition in Poland.

Layth Sidiq

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