Showcase #1 - Thursday - 9:20-9:35 p.m.
The Artful Deceiver
Highly acclaimed by his peers as "one of the most unique acts in the world of magic today," said R.G. Smith, Executive Show Director of The Society of American Magicians, Arthur Trace is the eighth magician in the history of magic to be awarded The International Brotherhood of Magicians Gold Medal. In 2006 he became a FISM award winner at the World Championships of Magic in Stockholm. And in 2007, Arthur was awarded the "Best Cabaret Magic" award at The World Magic Awards. In 2015 and 2016, The Academy of Magical Arts nominated Arthur as the Stage Magician of The Year.
Combining original magic, audience participation, and imaginatively humorous scenarios, Arthur’s show is innovative, artful, and fun. Great for young and old audiences alike, each year he brings his artful deception to corporate and theater audiences worldwide. Watch Arthur perform and find out why Kevin Pang of the Chicago Tribune called him "one of magic's bona fide superstars!"
Showcase #2 - Friday - 2:30-2:45 p.m.
Combining stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy and inventive choreography, Galumpha brings to life a world of imagination, beauty, muscle and merriment. The three performers create a sensory feast of images ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, drawn together into a seamless whole, consistently bringing audiences to their feet. Galumpha is a triumphant mix of art and entertainment, offering world-class, award winning choreography (Edinburgh Festival Critics' Choice Award, Moers International Comedy Arts Prize) that is equally at home on the concert stage, at a comedy club or at an outdoor festival.
Formed in 2002 by Andy Horowitz and Greg O'Brien, Galumpha delivers a fast-paced, athletic brand of movement, distinctive for its ingenuity. Highlights include "Velcro" as seen on The Late Show with David Letterman, Crook and Chase (TNN) and the 2002 MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon, and "Clackers," seen on MTV, Showtime, A & E, Just for Laughs in Montreal, and by over one billion television viewers around the globe. Other pieces feature experiments in human architecture set to music by Rachmaninov, Mahler and the virtuoso Czech band Jablkon, making for an exceptionally entertaining program.
Showcase #1 - Thursday - 8:20-8:35 p.m.
Arrived in Quebec from Vietnam at the age of two, Huu Bac absorbs with great enthusiasm life in his new homeland. His musical journey starts in Montreal (McGill University) with a sound foundation in jazz guitar. In 2002, he discovers the beauty of the vietnamese monochord, the Dan Bau, under the guidance of master Pham Duc Thanh. He works on traditional repertoire all the while integrating western pieces. His curiosity for ancient string instruments leads him to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he learns the chinese fidlle, the Erhu.
Nourished by his travels and encounters, he dedicates himself to the composition and performance of a present day jazz music blending eastern and western colours. The waters of the Mekong River flows in his compositions, expressing his asian cultural heritage in the North American backdrop.
In November 2013, he founded the Huu Bac Quintet, which has since toured in Canada as well as garnered various awards : “RIDEAU/ROSEQ Award 2014”, “Entrées en Scène Loto-Québec 2015-16”, “Stingray Rising Stars Award 2015” and “Public Choice Award 2016” at Vitrine des Musiques Locales Métissées.
Showcase #4 - Saturday - 11:40-11:55 a.m.
Robin Spielberg is one of America’s most beloved pianist/composers. With an impressive tour schedule and hundreds of thousands of recordings sold, this Steinway Artist has been winning the hearts of listeners around the world with her compelling melodies and sensitive piano technique since debuting her first recording of original solos for piano, Heal of the Hand.
A prolific composer, Spielberg has eighteen recordings to her credit and appears on over 40 compilations around the world. Robin just completed a multi-city tour that featured her newest recording, On the Edge of A Dream, which debuted at #6 on the Billboard new age chart. It also ranked #1 on Amazon’s “hot new releases.” Spielberg has over 215,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and 100 million streams of her music. Her memoir about touring life, Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland won the Gold Reader’s Choice Award.
Robin Spielberg is a Celebrity Spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association and a voting member of the Recording Academy. She gave a TEDx Talk on the topic of music and wellness which has over 80,000 streams on Youtube. She is a founding member of the Tony-award winning Atlantic Theater Company and an Adjunct Professor at Millersville University.
Showcase #4 - Saturday - 11:20-11:35 a.m.
Rosemary Siemens & The Sweet Sound Revival is an inspirational bluegrass/country group that breaks from the confines of a traditional concert to deliver the most amazing inspirational and captivating show featuring award-winning world-class violinist and vocal sensation Rosemary Siemens. Known for her love of sparkle and bling, quirky laugh, and warm genuine country-girl personality, Rosemary has mesmerized audiences around the world with her three-hundred-year-old violin she named Sparkle.
Inspired by her country-roots and small-town upbringing, her latest album, Plum Coulee, My Home, has gained international success, and together with her five-piece band The Sweet Sound Revival, this toe-tappin’, hand-clappin’, down-home heartfelt old-time country show brings every audience through a journey of musical memories, inspirational and emotionally relatable stories, songs that bring a smile to each face, and exciting solos that will bring you to your feet wanting more.
Her latest album Plum Coulee, My Home was inspired by her love of three-party-vocal-harmony and down-home fiddle-based country music, and pays tribute to her prairie hometown of Plum Coulee, Manitoba. Since its release in late 2016, Plum Coulee, My Home was featured in Billboard Magazine, hit #11 on the Canadian Country-Music SoundScan Sales Charts, and won the Global Music Award for “Best Bluegrass/Country Album”.
Showcase #1 - Thursday - 9:00-9:15 p.m.
Canadian-born and globally bred, Scrap Arts Music has performed in over fifteen countries and five continents for audiences of all backgrounds. 2018 marks the greatly anticipated launch of our latest production, CHILDREN OF METROPOLIS, which begins touring in March! Each production starts with giving consideration to the visual possibility of performance... Take some SCRAP, transform it through the ARTS of welding, sculpture, and choreography, and then – with five extraordinary and athletic percussionists – create beautiful MUSIC. The result? Musical works that are intricate, playful and powerful, and that delight the eyes and the ears!
Showcase #2 - Friday - 2:10-2:25 p.m.
Shana Simmons Dance, founded in 2009, has a long standing collaborative relationship with The Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra, producing four separate works to date. Simmons has produced a variety of works in Pittsburgh since 2012: Relative Positions (2012), PASSENGER (2014) and Objective I (2015). SSD has received support from the Heinz Small Arts Initiative, the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and the National Aviary for such projects. Shana Simmons Dance was recently commissioned by the VALEES Conference in March 2016 to perform works from Objective I and dancer, Brady Sanders. Simmons recently performed her latest solo work in Lehigh Valley in February 2016 and presented SSD at APAP in NYC in Jan 2017. SSD's latest project, The Missing Peace, performed in March 2018 to six sold out shows, featuring three Pittsburgh choreographers and spreading awareness towards topics such as: Alzheimer's Disease, suicide/depression, and struggles with self-identity while receiving rave reviews. She was a nominee for the Carol R Brown Award (2016) and currently adjunct dance faculty at Point Park University.
Showcase #2 - Friday - 1:30-1:45 p.m.
SHARP Dance Company blends classic dance technique with intriguing stories that speak to the human experience, which creates an artistic experience that is relatable to all audiences.
SHARP Dance Company has been touring nationally and internationally for the past 10 years. SHARP has performed in over 30 cities in the U.S. The company was selected as one of 11 artists
worldwide to go to the BAU Institute in Italy for a two-week artist residency and was selected for a two-week residency in Paros, Greece, which inspired their original work “The Garden Tour”. SHARP has also performed in England as part of the Bed Fringe.
SHARP is known for collaborative and social conscious work as seen in their newest piece “669.”Some of our former collaborators include: guest choreographers Steven Vaughn (former Parsons Dance Company member), Kevin Ferguson (former Parsons Dance Company member and Doug Elkins Dance Company), Joe Cotler (Koresh Dance Company), Charles Tyson (Underground Dance Works) and more. SHARP has also worked with Kylene Cleaver (Photographer), Lauren Mandilian Huot (Projection Artist) and Composers Liliya Danieva (Russia) and J (Philadelphia).
Showcase #4 - Saturday - 11:00-11:15 a.m.
2017 JUNO nominees and SiriusXM winners Sultans of String create “Energetic and exciting music from a band with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine UK). Thrilling their audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, Sultans of String celebrate musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar, while bass and percussion lay down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, while world rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance.
When bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool first heard founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) rumba rhythm, their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. From this rich foundation, the dynamic duo grew, featuring such amazing musical friends as bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), jaw-dropping Cuban percussionist Rosendo Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba, Parachute Club), guitarist Eddie Paton (Robert Michaels), as well as special guests such as The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, Anwar Khurshid, oud player Bassam Bishara, and more!
Showcase #3 - Friday - 8:20-8:35 p.m.
Showcase #1 - Thursday - 8:00-8:15 p.m.
Two time GRAMMY award winning, Terrance Simien and his skilled bandmates have shared studio & stage with Robert Palmer, Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, the Meters, Alan Toussaint, Paul Simon and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. Their music has been featured in TV commercials and a dozen or more films, including the blockbuster “The Big Easy”
which changed the game for Louisiana music in the late 80’s. His music has been heard on NPR syndicated radio shows like World Café, American Routes, E-town & House of Blues Radio Hour. Rolling Stone, Billboard, and other notable music industry publications, as well as major daily newspapers have praised his recordings.
In 1983 at the young age of 18, Simien began touring professionally and by 20 he was sharing the stage with Fats Domino and Sarah Vaughn at the Bern Jazz Festival. His career exploded after that and Terrance remains a pivotal part of Zydeco music history. Today he has assumed the same role as mentor to a new generation of young Zydeco hotshots because he understands how critical mentoring is to the success of his indigenous music that has become synonymous with the cultural identity of Louisiana and an important part of the musical landscape of this country.
Showcase #3 - Friday - 9:20-9:35 p.m.
A rare countertenor with an extraordinarily broad vocal range and natural fluency in many musical styles, Terry Barber has been featured on some of the world’s most storied stages and has worked with many of the music industry’s most prestigious songwriters, composers, producers, and conductors. His recorded voice has appeared on every major record label, with Grammy-winning artists such as Chanticleer, Madonna, Jewel, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Smith, and many more. A voting member of the Grammy Awards, Terry is on the advisory committee for Nelly’s X’treme recording institute. Terry’s most recent recording project, produced by seventeen-time Grammy-winning “classical producer of the year” Steven Epstein was released Christmas 2015 and was considered for 6 Grammy nominations. Whether performing classical or popular favorites, he “breathes new life into everything he sings” and crafts what the Los Angeles Times calls “performances of great vitality and verve.”
In 2009, Terry founded Artist for a Cause Inc., a non-profit which helps visual and performing artists to use their talent for community improvement. His personal work with the organization includes the aforementioned “A Sacred Journey” tour program as well as “Classical for Schools” which will impact more than 10,000 students this year throughout the USA and Canada through a performance lecture, challenging their notions about what is possible with the human voice, and recognizing the importance of arts education and a classical foundation within the arts.
This year, Terry was one of ten visual and performing artists awarded a coveted fellowship grant from the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis, Mo.
Showcase #3 - Friday - 9:00-9:15 p.m.
Meet the Fitzgeralds~ a family group consisting of fiddling and step dancing siblings – Tom, Kerry & Julie Fitzgerald. These siblings, from just outside of Canada’s renowned Ottawa Valley, have come a long way from their small town roots. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy
fiddling and mind-blowing step dancing. It is the rare combination of exceptional musicianship, incomparable step dancing, audience interaction, evident love of performing, and genuine sibling connection that resonates with audiences of all ages and sets this group apart.
Over time, they have developed their art form to include various styles of fiddle music including Celtic, jazz, bluegrass, French-Canadian, and pop. They have also explored other dance forms including tap and Irish. The siblings continue to push boundaries by fusing traditional and modern styles of fiddle and dance to create their own unique sound and style. Their creativity and passion for experimentation has led them to compose original tunes and arrangements, some which were released on their latest album. The result is a groovy and catchy new sound and look that appeals to all ages.
The Fitzgeralds are some of the most talented, energetic, animated, and genuine performers you will come across. This is a group of entertainers who truly love what they are doing and thrive on interaction with their audiences. Presenters can expect a high-calibre, polished, varied, and action packed show, with some goofiness thrown in here and there. They even step dance and fiddle at the same time!
Showcase #3 - Friday - 8:40-8:55 p.m.
The Queen’s Cartoonists are a group of musicians from New York City that play music from cartoons and the silver screen. Their concerts appeal to all ages, and include virtuosic performances, projections of cartoons with note-for-note live score recreation, multi-instrumental mayhem, singing, and comedy.
TQC’s concert repertoire features music from the Golden Age of animation, cult cartoon classics, modern animation, and other
unusual sources that will leave audiences surprised! Featured composers include Raymond Scott, Carl Stalling, Danny Elfman, Alf Clausen, John Williams, and adaptations from the classical repertoire.
Since their inception in 2015, The Queen’s Cartoonists have brought their unique (yet nostalgic) sound to performing arts centers in over 15 states, and have even opened for the New York Philharmonic. The 7 members, all currently living in Queens, New York, are world-class professional musicians. The band has been featured in over 20 publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and on NPR.
Showcase #1 - Thursday - 8:40-8:55 p.m.
Trout Fishing in America is the long-standing and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet. As individuals, they are about as different as one can imagine. Together, they blend seamlessly in a way that has captured the imagination (and hearts) of audiences of all ages for over four decades. Ezra on guitar and banjo stands 6’8′′ tall while Keith on bass stretches to 5’5 1/2′′ on a humid day. Ezra is more playful and extroverted while Keith is more serious and reserved. Each of them bring out the best in the other and the joy that comes from this musical interaction is contagious and impossible to deny.
Trout Fishing in America was in the first wave of artist owned labels (Trout Records) to successfully record and market their own music. In 2008, Performing Songwriter Magazine chose Trout as one of the top 100 most influential independent artists in the past 15 years.
Since the beginning, Keith and Ezra have played shows for kids as well as adults. Sharing knowledge and encouraging art has become another musical mission of TFIA. In the past few years, they have developed a variety of songwriting workshops for teachers and students that illustrate how art and music come from the fabric of everyday life. Their willingness to make fun of our most annoying habits in one song, then touch our hearts with tender and passionate images of family life in the next is what makes the connection between Trout Fishing in America and their audience so real.
Showcase #3 - Friday - 8:00-8:15 p.m.
If one were to name one Savannah-based musical act that most exempliflies this time-honored, eclectic and adventurous city, they’d be hard to find a more appropriate ambassador than Velvet Caravan. This unorthodox, high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion and keyboards (including accordion) has, over the past few years, emerged as one of the
shining lights of Savannah’s burgeoning music scene. In that time, the band has grown from a somewhat informal instrumental combo which routinely drew enthusiastic and loyal followers at raucous restaurant and bar gigs to a respected and admired touring act that’s as comfortable in an attentive listening room or large concert hall as they are in a crowded nightclub. Velvet Caravan’s unique ability to subtly shift musical gears without sacrificing their integrity as composers and performers is rare indeed. This has resulted in an envelope-pushing group that’s just as successful at dazzling jaded cocktail drinkers as they are at commanding the rapt attention of serious music aficionados in whisper-quiet recital environments.
No one in Velvet Caravan is married to a single genre of music. The only thing that matters to us as a group is finding a musical ‘zone’ where we all make the very best of whatever we happen to be playing.”
Showcase #3 - Friday - 9:40-10:00 p.m.
Multi-award winning performer Wayne Hoffman is recognized as one of the top mentalists in the world. He currently tours the world with his stage show “Mind Candy” and his motivational speech, “The Power and Potential of The Human Mind.” He is also the author of the best-selling book “Mind Candy.” Wayne’s passion for the mysterious was sparked at a young age and lead him to study the art of magic. Later, through extensive self studies in
sociology, psychology, and human behavior, Wayne was able to develop the foundation of his skills today.
Wayne’ s show is a high-energy presentation that involves body language, human behavior, and visual magic that will make your head explode. The audience experiences seemingly supernatural phenomena in a fun and upbeat way. Wayne continues to be acknowledged as one of the top speakers in his field and wows audiences with his combination of magic and psychology.
Wayne Hoffman’s show is a must-see for those seeking mind-boggling fun and excitement. His awards and nominations include, Lecture/Variety Artist of the Year, Novelty Entertainer of the Year, Best Male Performer, Entertainer of the Year, Guest of the Year, Variety Artist of the Year, and Best Live Novelty Artist.
Showcase #2 - Friday - 1:50-2:05 p.m.
West Virginia Dance Company was founded in 1977 with the distinct purpose of enriching lives through dance. Today, the company continues to perform a unique repertory of modern works inspired by the diverse cultures and people of the world, including those of our home region of Appalachia. Believing that movement is a universal language of communication that has the power to reach everyone, WV Dance Company offers
approachable modern dance with educational, engaging and thought-provoking themes that appeal to audiences of any age or background. The company has toured extensively in West Virginia, as well as 13 other states and Brazil.
Engagements range from single performances to multi-day residencies in K-12, college/university, or community venues. Extensive outreach options are available in a variety of formats for dancers and non-dancers alike, allowing communities to connect and learn through movement, gain insight into the process of dance and engage in a rich, participatory experience. WV Dance Company’s award-winning, curriculum-based arts education program is developed specifically for K-12 schools and reaches upwards of 20,000 students each year. WV Dance Company has received the WV Governor’s Award for both Artistic Excellence and Excellence in Arts Education.