VOICE I CELLO I PIANO I CHOIR
Fairouz Foty has become a sought out full-lyric soprano in the DC metropolitan area for some years now. She has sung in leading musical performance centers such as The Kennedy Center, Strathmore Hall, the Verizon Center, The Croatian Embassy, The Slovenian Embassy, The Bulgarian Embassy, The Egyptian Embassy, The Anderson House, The Arts Club of Washington, among others. This season she performed the role of Leonora with the Washington Opera Society in Il Trovatore excerpts and other Verdi Operas. She performed at the Argentinian Embassy as part of the Arts for the Aging (AFTA) Gala performance and will be performing at The Kennedy Center Reach Center, The French Embassy, The National Pen Women’s Association among other prominent venues in the DC Metropolitan area this season.
Fairouz has performed the title of role of Cecilia in Maria & Cecilia with the In Series to stunning reviews. In addition she has performed the roles of Micaëla (Carmen, Carol Opera Company), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi, Westminster Choir College Opera), Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Westminster Choir College Opera), Voluptua (La pizza con funghi, Hubbard Hall Opera), Rosario (Goyescas, In Series), Mimi (La Boheme, Romez3arts), and covered the roles of Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly, Hubbard Hall Opera), and Tatiana (Eugene Onegin, Bel Cantanti). Last season Fairouz made her Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra debut in Ethereal Voices, A Toast to the New Year. She also debuted the role of Violetta in La Traviata and performed with the Washington Opera Society in Croatian Christmas and Christmas in Slovenia. Fairouz was a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition. She was invited to perform for the 55th-anniversary concert of the Compania Ernesto Lecuona in Teatro Milanese in Pinar del Rio, Cuba and in San Jose, Costa Rica as part of an intercultural exchange with Grupo31.
Fairouz’s musical foundation began through Arabic music where her father, a virtuosic oud player and Arabic singer, taught her and her four siblings how to play and sing in Arabic. She is in the process of using her Western Opera skills to rewriting a unique genre of Arabic Opera that focuses on the works of early 20th century Arabic composers and musicians as well as fusing popular opera arias with Arabic music. Fairouz is the Artistic Director and Founder of Quartertonez Music, a music school that utilizes western classical pedagogy as well as improvisation, world music, and rote learning to create a unique holistic approach to teaching music. Each semester Quartertonez Music focuses on a different underrepresented genre or culture of music.
Fairouz received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Africana Studies from Lafayette College in 2011 and continued her studies at Westminster Choir College, where she earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy with an emphasis on Performance.
For more information, please visit her website: http://www.fairouzfoty.com
FLUTE I PIANO
Iya Mezenov is a passionate and experienced musician with a remarkable career as a flute and piccolo player. She was born in Russia and raised in Cuba and currently resides in Maryland. Mezenov obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from the Faculty of Music at the Arts University in Havana, Cuba in 1992, where she graduated as the valedictorian of her class.
In pursuit of further specialization, Mezenov pursued postgraduate studies in Hispanic Musical Heritage at Colegio San Gerónimo de la Habana in 2013. Her desire for continuous growth led her to earn a Master of Music degree in Musical Interpretation from the Faculty of Music at the Arts University in Havana, Cuba in 2018.
Throughout her career, Mezenov has demonstrated her exceptional talent as a flute and piccolo player. She has gained extensive experience performing in orchestras, bands, and theater productions. Her repertoire ranges from classical to popular music, showcasing her versatility and musicality. Mezenov has had the privilege of touring various countries, including Spain, Japan, Dubai, Martinique, Panama, and Brazil, performing on many prestigious stages.
Aside from her performance career, Mezenov has also dedicated herself to teaching. For fifteen years, she served as a flute teacher at the Conservatorio Amadeo Roldan in Havana, Cuba. Her teaching experience has allowed her to instill a lifelong love and commitment to music in her students. Mezenov possesses superior skills in individualized instruction and is proficient in teaching diverse musical styles and interpretative techniques.
In terms of professional experience, Mezenov has been a valued member of several musical ensembles. From 2017 to 2021, she served as the 2nd Flute and Piccolo player in the Cuban National Symphonic Orchestra. Prior to that, she was a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of Ballet and Opera at Gran Teatro de la Habana from 2005 to 2021. Mezenov’s dedication to her craft is evident through her long-standing commitments to these orchestras. Additionally, she has performed as a musician in various bands, including Fascinación Quartet, Piel Morena Band, and Canela Band.
Mezenov is fluent in three languages. As a native speaker of Spanish, she brings a deep understanding and appreciation for Hispanic musical heritage to her performances and teaching. Furthermore, she possesses near-native fluency in Russian and has a professional knowledge of English.
In summary, Iya Mezenov’s impressive career as a flute and piccolo player, along with her teaching experience, has solidified her reputation as a passionate and dedicated musician. Her mastery of diverse musical styles, extensive performance background, and commitment to sharing her knowledge and love for music with her students make her a highly regarded figure in the music industry.
Book a lesson with Iya: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/iya-mezenov
BUZUQ I OUD I QANUN I RIQ I TABLA I VOICE
Fuad Foty is a highly accomplished oud instrumentalist, captivating vocalist, and esteemed musical instructor, amassing a wealth of experience spanning over three decades. In addition to his musical prowess, Fuad has also excelled in the field of information technology as a specialist and mathematical statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau.
From a young age, music was deeply intertwined in Fuad’s life, as he diligently learned classical Arabic songs from renowned musicians and composers of that era. Fueling his passion for the oud, Fuad swiftly became an integral part of various Arab bands, embarking on national tours to share the joy of music and his profound love for his culture. It was during these expressive endeavors that Fuad serendipitously crossed paths with his wife, Mona El-Bayoumi, an Egyptian-American artist, forming a family that embraced and nurtured music and art from the earliest stages of their children’s lives.
Fuad dedicatedly taught his five children Arabic Music, encouraging them to explore and create their own compositions by tapping into their boundless creativity. The result of this unique musical upbringing was a distinctive fusion of traditional Arabic folkloric songs, opera, rap, jazz, and a diverse array of both traditional and unconventional music genres.
Alongside his captivating performances, Fuad Foty shares his profound knowledge and expertise by delivering engaging lectures all across the United States. He is also recognized as a co-founder of Quartertonez music, a platform dedicated to promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of Arabian music. Presently, Fuad imparts his vast wisdom in playing the oud and the art of Arabic vocals to private students through Quartertonez music.
Fuad Foty’s remarkable journey stands as a testament to the enduring power of music and its ability to bridge cultures, inspire creative expression, and foster a deep appreciation for the rich tapestry of human artistry.
Book a lesson with Fuad: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/fuad-foty
FLUTE | SAXOPHONE | RECORDER
George Oakley is a highly talented and experienced musician who has been captivating audiences in the Washington D.C. area for over thirty years. With a deep appreciation for the great American Songbook, he specializes in performing timeless classics from this treasured collection. Additionally, George’s musical versatility extends to the vibrant and rhythmic melodies of Brazil, further enhancing the diversity of his repertoire.
With his musical group, George showcases his expertise through both intimate duos and powerful quintet performances. This ensemble allows him to collaborate with other exceptional musicians, creating an unforgettable musical experience for audiences.
Throughout his career, George Oakley has demonstrated his incredible skill and passion for his instruments of choice – the flute, saxophone, and recorder. His mastery of these instruments allows him to effortlessly bring each composition to life, engaging listeners with his technical brilliance and heartfelt expression.
Whether performing solo or in a group setting, George’s performances are always imbued with a captivating blend of artistry and emotion. His commitment to his craft and dedication to delivering exceptional musical experiences continue to establish him as a respected figure in the local music scene.
George Oakley’s talent and passion have made him a sought-after musician, earning him a well-deserved reputation for his captivating performances in the Washington D.C. area. Audiences are drawn to his dynamic interpretations and his ability to effortlessly connect with the hearts of those who listen, making his performances an unforgettable musical journey.
Book a lesson with George: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/george-oakley
VIOCE I BEGINNER PIANO | SONG WRITING
An award-winning musician, author, and youth empowerment coach, I have had a lifelong battle with a rare neurological condition called hydrocephalus, so I understand trauma. I’ve been able to use music to recover from multiple traumas, including ten brain surgeries, by writing and singing my truth, sharing my experiences, and turning my lessons into blessings. I have a unique style that marries the styles of pop, soulful ballads, and a gritty rock edge.
I’m now on a mission to save the world one song at a time, not just through my own music, but also by coaching teenagers to channel their voices and struggles through the powerful tool of songwriting. We all experience trauma, but songwriting is an effective tool to not simply communicate your teenagers’ struggles, but to identify key issues, simplify overwhelm, find the right languaging to communicate their thoughts, and present their learnings, feelings and overwhelm in a way that is non-confrontational, authentic, and creative. Youth Empowerment through Songwriting coaching is the perfect way I combine my background as a teacher, lecturer, YMCA youth coordinator and – of course – a singer/songwriter.
Music is an incredibly effective tool for alchemy: helping audiences and teen songwriters alike overcome struggles, trauma, stress and overwhelm with songs of overcoming, resilience, self-love and stepping into one’s power.
I can’t wait to work with you.
Read more about EmmaG: https://emmagmusic.com/
Book a lesson with EMMA G: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/emma-g
VIOLIN | GUITAR
Ken Giles is a versatile musician and dedicated educator. With a strong passion for both classical and contemporary music, Ken has made significant contributions to the music community in Washington D.C.
Ken currently serves as a violin/viola teacher with the esteemed D.C. Youth Orchestra Program, where he shares his expertise and nurtures young talent. Prior to this, he made a lasting impact as a music teacher at DCPS Shepherd Elementary School, enriching the lives of countless students with his knowledge and love for music.
In addition to his teaching positions, Ken runs a successful private studio where he imparts his knowledge of violin, viola, and guitar to aspiring musicians. He believes in the power of diverse musical experiences and is known for incorporating a wide range of genres into his teaching, from classical repertoire to folk tunes, blues, fiddle tunes, and civil rights songs.
Outside of teaching, Ken is an active participant in the music community. He lends his voice to the renowned D.C. Labor Chorus, using music as a means to advocate for workers’ rights and social justice. Ken’s dedication to social causes also led him to be part of the folk music band “Bright Morning Star,” where he used his musical talents to promote environmental causes and social equality.
Ken’s musical journey started at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, where he honed his skills as a violinist. He furthered his education at Swarthmore College and the Suzuki String Institute, expanding his knowledge and expertise in music theory and performance.
With his unwavering commitment to musical education and social activism, Ken Giles continues to inspire and shape the next generation of musicians, reminding us all of the transformative power of music.
GUITAR | OUD
Youstine Faltas is a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist with a strong focus on guitar. While initially trained as a classical pianist, Youstine discovered his true musical voice through the guitar, and he has been captivating audiences for the past 16 years with his exceptional talent.
His musical journey has taken him across continents and genres, where he has effortlessly embraced various styles including French folk, blues, classical Arabic, and Jazz standards. Continually pushing the boundaries of his instruments, Youstine joined Columbia’s Jazz band and the Arab Music Ensemble in 2017, further expanding his musical horizons. Whether performing blues in New York City’s iconic venues, or bringing his unique sound to reggae and funk events in the south of France, Youstine consistently delivers innovative and soul-stirring performances.
For Youstine, the connection between a musician and their instrument is an intimate and transformative experience, one that can be healing and enlightening. This profound belief influences his teaching style and philosophy, as he strives to inspire his students with curiosity and a sense of fulfillment throughout their musical journey.
With a passion for nurturing creativity and personal growth, Youstine Faltas continues to leave a lasting impact on both his students and the music community at large, as he shares his love for music and the transformative power it holds.
Book a lesson with Youstine: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/youstine-faltas
PIANO | CHOIR
Antonio Espinal He is an Orchestral Conductor (BA, National Conservatory of Music, MFA, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA), Choral conductor (MFA, CMU, Pittsburgh, PA) and a Pianist (BA with Honors, UNAM, Mexico). He made his Opera debut conducting ‘La Traviata”, in Mexico City at age 24. Prior to that, he was a Piano Faculty at the Mexico’s National Conservatory of Music. He is currently a Candidate of a DMA in orchestral conducting at the Benjamin T. Rome School of music, at the Catholic University of America.
Mr. Espinal worked at the NATIONAL OPERA COMPANY as a full-time accompanist under the baton of many international Opera conductors. He has participated in more than 70 Opera Productions at aspect of it: As an accompanist, prompter, assistant to the Stage Director, offstage bands director, choral director, and Conducting from the Pit.
He had a personal invitation for an apprenticeship with Maestro Essa-Pekka Salonen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, making his residence in LA for 10 years. He has conducted all major orchestras of Mexico, including the National Symphony of Mexico, and opera orchestras in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.
In 2012 he was appointed CHORUS MASTER (Artistic Founding Director of the Teatro del Bicentenario Opera Chorus) in León, Guanajuato, Mexico preparing the chorus for 7 operas under the baton of international conductors. His work had rage reviews by the critics.
A strong promoter of the Arts in Communities with kids at risk, he started his own non-profit organization “Harmonies Girls’ Choir”, who reached a high level of musicianship and performance. Prominent professional concerts included the “SAINT DENIS FESTIVAL” in Paris France (2007), recording the soundtrack for the film “Brownstones to Red Dirt” (2011), performing with Pop singer Demi Lovato at the ALMA Awards (2011). The group became an exclusive recording artist of French Recording label MILAN RECORDS. Many girls from this chorus were also private voice and piano students of maestro Antonio. As today there are at least 5 opera singers (one with a Master’s in Opera), several cantors in churches and even rock and Pop singers who emerged from his Studio.
In Washington D.C. Maestro Espinal has work with local companies Teatro Lirico D.C. (conducting a full-staged production of “Los Gavilanes”) and with the Washington Opera Society.
He has been appointed Artistic Director of “Opera in Movimiento A.C.” an International Opera Company (with Headquarters in Mexico). This company focus on presenting rare operas from the Baroque to XXI century operas. Mr. Espinal’s debut with the company took place on Summer 2019, Premiering Handel’s opera “ACI, GALATEA E POLIFEMO”, in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico, with great reviews from the critics and public alike.
Book a lesson with Antonio: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/antonio-espinal
OUD | MUSIC THEORY
Ahmad Damen (known to his friends as Damen) is an award-winning Palestinian musician, podcast producer, soundtrack composer and documentary director. Raised in the occupied city of Ramallah, his early passion for music led him to discover the enchanting world of the Oud, a love that has persisted throughout his life. Despite the challenging circumstances of war, music became his refuge, and he immersed himself in learning to play the instrument.
At 14, Damen began composing music for the Oud and quickly excelled in two different schools of Oud playing. He learned from Oud masters and later pursued research in Change Management in the music industry at Leeds University Business School, earning his Master’s Degree. He was also recognized with a Distinction in Western music theory from the British Royal Schools of Music.
Under the guidance of Maestro Mohammed Uthman Sidiq, he further honed his skills in music theory, orchestration, and composition. Damen’s musical journey led him to work as a recording artist in Jordan and Palestine and collaborate with World Music bands, performing live in England and Turkey.
As an accomplished soundtrack composer, Damen has contributed to more than 20 feature documentaries, short fiction films, and TV projects. Among these, he also directed films such as “The Red Stone” and “Forbidden Pilgrimage,” which have gained acclaim in prestigious festivals around the globe.
Damen’s passion for music extended to Sound Design and Music Technology. Although he started his second Master’s in Music Technology in Turkey under the supervision of teachers like the renowned music producer Pieter Snapper, a job opportunity in the US led him to new ventures. His audio recording and editing expertise earned him an award in New York (2023).
Damen aspires to share his expertise and passion for the Oud and Music Theory with you, believing that a great teacher explains complex things in the easiest way possible, understanding the subject deeply and connecting it to broader contexts.
For more information, please visit his website: https://ahmaddamen.github.io/
Book a lesson with Ahmad: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/ahmad-damen
Guitarist, Jeremy Lyons has been performing, teaching, and living in Baltimore for more than ten years. He regularly performs as a soloist and with ensembles of all sizes. In an effort to present both contemporary and period works of art, he collaborates with many different kinds of musicians and performs in a variety of venues. As a teacher, Jeremy leads classes that focus on rhythm, harmony, ear training, and guitar technique. He works with children and adults both privately and in groups settings. In addition to independent projects, Jeremy is a member of two Baltimore-based contemporary music ensembles: Mind on Fire and Pique Collective, and he also applies his extensive background in Renaissance and Baroque music by performing on period instruments such as the Renaissance lute, Baroque guitar, and viola da gamba. As a composer, Jeremy works on projects that combine music and other artistic mediums such as poetry, theater, and sculpture.
For more information, you can visit his website: http://www.jeremylyonsguitar.com
My goal as a guitar teacher is to help students make music while learning how to play the instrument. I am ultimately striving to motivate my students to get the best possible sound from their instrument while expending the least amount of energy. While there are numerous schools of thought concerning the proper way to position the hands in relation to the guitar and how to execute finger movement, I have found the teaching of Manuel Barrueco to be the most effective guidance. He has always advised me to be economical in motion and to never use unnecessary tension, but he is most insistent upon singing through the guitar. Often technical issues become clear when we sing a line of music and then attempt to play the guitar in the same way. In doing this, I find technical demands are usually dictated by musical decisions. Although developing technique from an early age is paramount to a student’s ability to learn repertoire with ease, an understanding of expression in music is not something that must wait until later in life. I believe that every student can find something very human and natural through making music, and the sooner they experience this part of music, the sooner they become excited by possible results.
With most students, I work through a graded series of method books or at least a collection of etudes to continuously improve technique and present appropriate challenges. Different methods work better for certain students varying in age, ability, and commitment. I also tend to supplement my methods with individually selected repertoire pieces that focus on a particular area of study that the student is engrossed in. I make sure to incorporate an understanding of music theory concepts and I heavily focus on rhythm exercises because these areas are imperative to the development of a complete musician. There are plenty of styles of music associated with the guitar, but the classical guitar has the highest level of repertoire available, thus demanding the highest level of technique. My approach to teaching is that every student should learn the guitar in the classical tradition in order to be prepared to tackle all levels of music. The student may wish to focus on another style of music, but I still request of my students to study classical technique as well. An introduction to music history as it applies to the guitar is a great way to spark interest in an aspiring student. Regular concert attendance also assures exposure to the vast repertoire available and the extent of abilities that a professional guitarist possesses. Finally, by providing and encouraging concert opportunities, the student learns the value of practicing towards a goal and gains experience presenting a body of work in front of an audience.
Book a lesson with Jeremy: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/jeremy-lyons
VOICE I BEGINNER PIANO
Randa Rouweyha has consistently earned high critical acclaim for the beauty of her light lyric voice, her commanding stage presence, and her exceptional acting abilities. She has been described by DC critics as a soprano who “sings with exquisite purity of tone and ringing clarity”, possesses “a sterling voice”, and an “amazingly strong performer”. Cleveland Classical’s outstanding review of her portrayal of Lucia in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” summed up her performance with the following: “Randa Rouweyha was stunning as Lucia. Her light lyric soprano voice, strong stage presence, and charm brought the role to life.”
Ms. Rouweyha is an experienced and seasoned performer, who has sung leading roles at numerous prestigious venues both nationally and internationally. In Washington, DC she performed regularly for many years in leading roles at The In Series, one of DC’s innovative opera and musical companies. She also had the honor to perform several mainstage roles with Washington National Opera at the distinguished Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. A native of Ohio, Randa takes special pride in her hometown performances with Opera Western Reserve at Youngstown, Ohio’s beautiful historic Stambaugh Auditorium, where she sang: Lucia in “Lucia di Lammermoor,” Adina in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore”, and Rosina opposite renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s Count Almaviva in Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. Some of her memorable concerts outside the US include a special solo recital at the esteemed Al Bustan Music Festival in her land of origin, Lebanon; and more recently at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center in Istanbul, Turkey where she performed the role of Queen Elizabeth II in a new musical about princess Diana, “Queen of the People’s Hearts”.
Equally at home with oratorio and chamber music, Miss Rouweyha has been a soloist with several of Washington DC’s respected chamber and choral ensembles; as well as a featured award-winning recitalist for Vocal Arts Society’s art song competition, where she was later appointed as an adjudicator for the event. Randa also has a particular affinity and love for languages. She has sung in English, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, and most recently, Chinese at the Chinese New Year celebrations in DC. Randa has also expanded her singing palate into other genres, such as classical Arabic music, which she has had the pleasure to sing at many events and concerts. Some of her favorite artists include Asmahan and Fairuz.
In addition to her own singing career, Randa is a skilled voice teacher who enjoys helping singers build their voices through her knowledge of vocal pedagogy and bel canto technique. She earned her master of music degree at Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, and her bachelor of music degree at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Randa’s teaching philosophy is to train the voice with a healthy singing production based on each student’s individual needs. Her focus is on proper technique and specific exercises to strengthen the voice. Her goal is to help students sing with ease and command of their technique so that they may be expressive, communicative, artistic, and true to the music they are singing.
For more information, please visit her website: https://www.randarouweyha.com/
Book a lesson with Ralph: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/randa-rouweyha
PIANO | GUITAR | VOICE | SAX
Felipe Paccagnella is a well rounded artist based off Columbia, Maryland. He composes, arranges, produces, mixes and sometimes masters various works for artists all over the world. He has released 2 albums of his own (“Christmas Jazz” 2013 and “My Home” 2018) as well as fully produced 2 albums for Linda D. Harris (2018 and 2020) and a full album for Laura Siderac (2019). Felipe can also be heard in singles from Robson Fonseca (2018), Phillip Olaomi (2021), Che Chin King (2021),
and on the “renovo” album by Grupo Orion (2018). Felipe also performs professionally playing piano, guitar, bass, drums and singing and has performed at Riverbend Fesfival (2016), the Strathmore (2015), the Kennedy Center(2020), and the Mid-Atlantic festival (2019, 2020) as well as several known smaller venues such as Bethesda Blues and jazz (2017) and the Blues Alley (2018). He has shared the stage with artists like Tony Craddock Jr, Henri Dikongue, Negleatha Johnson, Jader Santos and Ton Carfi, one of the biggest gospel names in Brazil as well as worked as the band director for the Washington Brazilian Choir (2018). Felipe is also the composer, arranger and director of the light switch band.
In terms of education, Felipe started piano lessons very early at age seven. Since then he has spent a summer on a song writing workshop at the Berkelee College of music, got an associates degree in jazz studies and a letter of recognition in music therapy from Howard community college, and is currently on his last semester of a bachelors in music at Washington Adventist University. Felipe also has a bachelors in psychology from the University of Maryland so that he can better serve his musician friends when they ask for advice in life.
Felipe is a current member of the Washington DC Recording Academy Latin Committee where he is helping to represent the Brazilian music community in the metropolitan area. Felipe is passionate about making the world a better place through his music. He seeks to inspire people to live a healthy and joyful life as well as create an atmosphere where they can relax, even if just for a moment. He plans on keeping to share his gifts and talents with everyone who will listen as well as keep on working with other artists in the studio to help their visions become a reality. There are 13 releases that Felipe is producing scheduled for this year as well as another album by Felipe himself scheduled for 2022. Felipe’s team is currently working on possibly touring the US this coming summer (2021)
Book a lesson with Felipe: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/felipe-paccagnella
PIANO | GUITAR | OUD | PERCUSSION | THEORY | PRODUCTION
Shafik Bastawrous is an accomplished and dedicated music educator and performer, boasting over 25 years of professional experience. Known affectionately as Mr. B, he possesses a deep passion for teaching and sharing his musical talents with students of all ages. From the very beginning, Mr. B ensures that his students derive joy from playing their favorite songs while also establishing a solid foundation in music theory and techniques.
Having a profound belief in the power of music to touch the mind, body, and spirit, Shafik emphasizes the importance of serious musical study in appreciating and understanding our culture and the rich musical traditions around the world. Through active listening, performing, and composing, he creates engaging opportunities for his students to develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of music within a fast-paced and enjoyable learning environment.
Shafik’s rigorous musical training was obtained at the prestigious conservatory institute of music, where he honed his skills across various instruments and musical styles. Proficient in piano, classical and flamenco guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar, pan flute, accordion, oud, saxophone, and more, his versatility enables him to authentically perform and sing music from diverse cultures in over five languages.
Beyond teaching, Shafik operates his own recording studio, where he has produced numerous records for renowned singers and had the privilege of performing alongside them on international stages. As both a gifted composer and instructor, his true passion lies in sharing the gift of
music with individuals of all ages who possess a love for this artistic form.
Recognized for his exceptional talent, Shafik has been awarded the title of Most Talented Musician in the Washington DC area by the international TV channel, ART America. His performances have enthralled audiences at esteemed venues such as the Library of Congress, various Greek and Italian festivals, fashion shows, and business conferences. His international endeavors include captivating crowds at the Cathedral of Saint Anthony Church in Doncaster, United Kingdom, and the opera house in Cairo, Egypt.
For the past 15 years, Shafik has been instructing students of all levels in piano, guitar, and saxophone at Music and Arts and Guitar Center in Oakton and Sterling, Virginia. Additionally, he has been teaching guitar at Harmonia School in Vienna for the past 13 years.
Shafik possesses a unique ability to share his love of music with others, teaching them their favorite songs and fostering a passion for musical expression that transcends boundaries and enriches lives.
Book a lesson with Shafik: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/shafik-bastawrous
TAYLOR M. YOUNG
VOICE | BEGINNER PIANO
A Cleveland native, Taylor is a jazz vocalist, arranger and composer. She is a double HBCU alumna, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Central State University with a Bachelor’s Degree of Jazz Studies and obtaining her Master’s Degree of Jazz Vocal Performance from Howard University. Taylor is also a former member of Afro Blue, Howard University’s premier Jazz Vocal Ensemble and most known for their appearance on NBC’s “The Sing Off”. Taylor has a passion for music education. She has been the jazz vocal instructor for the Washington Jazz Arts Institute for the past 5 years under the direction of Davey Yarborough, a previous Howard University Professor of the Jazz Voice department, and a current teacher at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, doubling as the director of the vocal ensemble Voices in Motion show choir, the Mellow Tones jazz vocal ensemble and music theory instructor. Now, she is excited to join the Quartertones team as the new voice and piano instructor.
Book a lesson with Taylor: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/taylor-young
JAZZ PIANO | ORIENTAL KEYBOARD
Meet Michael: A Multi-Talented Musician and Philanthropist on a Journey in Medicine
Michael is a multi-talented musician whose musical journey began over 15 years ago. With a deep-rooted passion for music and an unparalleled dedication to honing his craft, he has mastered an impressive array of instruments, including the piano, guitar, bass guitar, org-keyboard, oud, ney, drums, various percussion instruments, bagpipe, and mizmar. His versatility and proficiency in each instrument have allowed him to explore and excel in a wide range of musical genres.
As a professional musician, Michael has graced prestigious stages worldwide, leaving his indelible mark on audiences across the globe. He has performed at distinguished venues such as The Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, The Galleria, The Kennedy Center, The Library of Congress, and represented the musical arts at diplomatic events held by the Egyptian Embassy and Saudi Embassy. He has also added his musical talents to the ambiance of cruise ships and enchanted countless patrons at various renowned restaurants and establishments. While Michael thrives in diverse musical styles, his true passion and specialty lie in the enchanting world of jazz piano. With a flair for improvisation and a deep understanding of the complexities of jazz, he has mesmerized listeners with soulful and captivating performances time and again.
Beyond his remarkable musical achievements, Michael has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and academic excellence. During his time in school, he served as the President of the Honors Music Society, leaving an indelible impact on the growth and appreciation of music within the community. His musical talents earned him recognition, such as winning the prestigious senior “Louis Armstrong” Jazz Award and the esteemed “Musicianship” Award for his ability to professionally play multiple instruments. Academically, Michael was a true standout, receiving accolades as the Student of the Year for Loudoun County Public Schools during his junior year of high school. His dedication to serving the community extended beyond the realms of music, as he played a vital role in raising an astounding $387,000 towards curing blood cancer through his efforts with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Furthermore, Michael held pivotal leadership positions within various national honors societies, including the National Honors Society, National Honors Science Society, National Honors History Society, and National Honors Math Society, where he contributed significantly to academic excellence and fostered a spirit of excellence among his peers. An advocate for mental health and well-being, Michael served as an ambassador in his school and worked diligently with programs like “Sources of Strength” and “PEER,” supporting individuals facing challenging times and spreading positivity throughout the community.
While music remains an inseparable part of his identity, Michael has embarked on a new chapter in his life. He is currently studying Medicine at James Madison University, driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others through healthcare. With his boundless talent, unwavering dedication, and a heart full of compassion, Michael continues to inspire those around him with his music and his commitment to making the world a better place. As he treads the path of medicine, we can undoubtedly expect him to leave an indelible mark on the lives of patients and the healthcare community alike.
I hope this revised version meets your expectations! Let me know if there’s anything else I can assist you with.
Book a lesson with Michael: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/michael-bastawrous
Faith Foster is a DC/MD/VA-based conductor with extensive experience in orchestral conducting. She holds a DMA in Orchestral Conducting from the Catholic University of America, where she is currently a candidate. She also has an MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Carolina and a BM in Violin Performance from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Faith has held various conducting positions, including Assistant Conductor for the Catholic University Symphony Orchestra and Opera, Youth Orchestra Music Director for the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director for the Gaston String Orchestra. She has also served as an Interim Youth Orchestra Conductor for the South Carolina Philharmonic and as a Music Director for the Columbia Community Orchestra.
In addition to her conducting roles, Faith has been involved in other aspects of the music industry. She has worked as a Theory and aural Skills Graduate Assistant at the Catholic University of America and as an Orchestra Manager and librarian at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has also held positions such as Business Manager at Davidson Violins and After School Strings Instructor at the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra.
Faith has participated in conferences and music festivals worldwide, including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and the International Society for Music Education World Conference. She has also performed as a conductor with various orchestras, including the Catholic University Symphony Orchestra and the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Faith’s passion for music and dedication to her craft make her a highly skilled and versatile conductor.
BARITONE I EUPHONIUM I TRUMPET I TUBA | GUITAR | MUSIC PRODUCTION
Ralph Burrows is a versatile musician and music producer who excels in playing the baritone, euphonium, trumpet, and tuba. His musical journey began during his elementary school years when he discovered his passion for the trumpet. Ralph’s dedication and love for music propelled him to seek private lessons, which played a significant role in his growth as a musician.
With a deep appreciation for various genres of music, Ralph explored classical, jazz, rock, and even experimented with electronic sounds. His exploration also extended to discovering diverse “world” music styles that enriched his musical palette.
During his high school years, Ralph made a pivotal decision to pursue his musical aspirations seriously. He dedicated himself to honing his skills and successfully auditioned for the renowned Manhattan School of Music. The opportunity allowed him to study under the guidance of esteemed trumpet professors, further refining his musical abilities.
Today, Ralph continues to establish himself as a professional trumpet player, lending his talents to various bands across the DMV area in genres such as disco, reggae, afrobeat, and jazz. His dedication to his craft has enabled him to embrace diverse musical styles and contribute to a vibrant music scene.
Ralph firmly believes that playing a musical instrument can be a transformative and enriching experience for anyone, regardless of whether they pursue it professionally or for personal enjoyment. The benefits of music can positively impact various aspects of one’s life, and Ralph encourages individuals to explore the joy of making music, even if only for a part of their journey.
Book a lesson with Ralph: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/ralph-burrows
PIANO | VOICE
Mariana Amorim is a caring and professional music teacher with over 10 years of experience working with children from pre-kindergarten to 5th grade. She is passionate about creating inclusive instruction and fostering diverse learning environments. Mariana has proven herself to be a versatile choir and music multi-instrumentalist teacher, always attentive and sensitive to the individual needs of each student.
Fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, Mariana possesses strong language skills that allow her to effectively communicate with students from various backgrounds.
In her professional career, Mariana has held several positions that have showcased her exceptional teaching abilities and commitment to childhood development through music. At Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View in Washington, D.C., she served as a Music Teacher from August 2021 to December 2021, working with students from kindergarten to 5th grade.
Prior to that, Mariana was a Music Teacher at Georgetown Montessori School in Washington, D.C. from August 2019 to March 2020. During her time there, she conducted specialized musical activities that aimed to stimulate children’s motor, social, affective, and cognitive abilities.
Mariana has also worked as a Music Teacher and Musical Instrument Teacher at B&B Music Lessons in Washington, D.C. from December 2019 to December 2021. She conducted music lessons at Creative Minds International Charter School, teaching piano, guitar, flute, and voice to students of different ages and styles.
Between June 2018 and February 20
21, Mariana served as a Music Teacher and Musical Instrument Teacher at the Richardson School of Music in Takoma Park, MD. In addition to teaching general music, she also taught piano and organized regular recitals for younger students.
During her time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mariana was a Harpsichordist and Organizational Management staff member at the Baroque Orchestra of UNIRIO from July 2014 to June 2016. She was responsible for organizing logistics, rehearsals, and recruitment.
Mariana also served as a Music Teacher at Pedra da Gavea School in Rio de Janeiro from February 2013 to December 2015. Her music lessons focused on pre-kindergarten to 5th-grade students and were conducted in small groups called “living studios” to contribute to the individual and social development of each child.
Furthermore, Mariana worked as a Music Teacher for babies and toddlers at Espaço Bimbo in Rio de Janeiro from August 2013 to June 2014, providing specialized music work for children aged 6 months to 4 years old.
At Joao Caetano School in Sao Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro, Mariana worked as a Music Teacher from January 2011 to June 2012, conducting study groups with students based on differentiated learning needs.
Aside from her professional experience, Mariana has also dedicated her time and expertise to various social, religious, and community projects in Brazil, the Philippines, Panama, and the USA, where she taught choir, piano, music theory, and baby therapy.
Mariana’s academic background includes a Professional Development on Ukulele Playing and Pedagogy certificate from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, obtained in July 2021. She also holds a certification in Organizational Management from Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, MD, earned in May 2019. Additionally, Mariana is CPR/First-aid certified since January 2018, also from Washington Adventist University.
With her extensive experience, language proficiency, and passion for music education, Mariana Amorim is a dedicated and talented music teacher who has positively impacted the lives of numerous students throughout her career.
Anthony Hyatt is an internationally recognized violinist and performance artist who is native to the Washington DC area. He has been learning and sharing the voices of the violin for more than forty years and has an eclectic repertoire that includes music from the traditions of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Anthony’s BA with a music major from Iowa’s Grinnell College included a concentration in India studies from Pune University. His experiences and independent research in India focused his attention and artistry on a continuing journey of learning about the role of improvisation in music, art and life. This led him to become a master teaching artist and a medical musician working in partnership with many Washington DC area health and human service organizations. He now serves as an Artist in Residence with pediatric, cancer and palliative care programs at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and in the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts’ program partnership with Virginia’s Inova Health System.
Anthony’s performance credits include writing and performing the music for the 2014 Imagination Stage production of Rumpelstiltskin. He was for 22 years co-director of the Arts For The Aging Quicksilver dance company and has performed with many other local dance companies. He has taught and accompanied Dance for Parkinson’s classes and presented thousands of interactive programs for older adults. Along the way he has become a singer, and occasional drummer who believes that the Art of Presence promotes the emergence of healing experiences. All of these things integrate into an educational philosophy that is compatible with that of Quartertonez. Anthony shares with students his enthusiasm and respect for the world’s diverse musical cultures and his belief that the study of music makes us become better educated, healthier and happier people. He also teaches at international creativity conferences and does additional performances and facilitation work through his own organization called Moving Beauty.
Book a lesson with Iya: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/anthony-hyatt
VOICE | PIANO | PERCUSSION | SONGWRITING
Bajan – African American Soprano Alexandria Crichlow is known for her captivating stage presence and smooth timbre. Alexandria received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morgan State University and a Master of Music in Opera Performance from Mannes School of Music, where she studied with Margaret Lattimore.
In 2019 Alexandria’s portrayal of Maria in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra production of Porgy & Bess (Baltimore, Maryland) under the direction of Marin Alsop paved the way for her return to the role in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2020 live CD Recording of Porgy & Bess Highlights at the world-renowned Kimmel Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). She is an honored recipient of multiple grants and competitions, including the Michael Sisca Award and the Marian Marcus Wahl Memorial Award. First prize winner in The National Association
of Teachers Maryland District Competition and The National Association of Negro Musicians Maryland Chapter’s Marian Anderson Vocal Competition.
Alexandria’s oratorio and role credits include Handel’s Messiah with DC Strings Workshop, Fiordiligi (Così fan Tutte), and the Title role Suor Angelica with Mannes Opera. Lauretta(Gianni Schicchi), Tatiana(Onegin), with Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi) with On Site Opera, Genoveffa ( Suor Angelica) Berlin Opera Academy’s Opernfest, Kandersteg, Switzerland. La Zelatrice (Suor Angelica) with Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Maiori, Italy. Alice Ruth Moore (Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows) with Morgan State University Opera Workshop Program. Alexandria officially made her Germany and Czech Republic debut with Opernfest Berlin and Opernfest Prague for their 2022 – 2023 Season. Recently she made her debut with St. Louis Symphony and Opera Theatre Saint Louis as one of their Gerdine Young Artists for their 2023 – 2024 Season in their productions of Tosca, Così fan tutte, Susannah, and Treemonishia.
Book a lesson with Alexandria: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/alexandria-crichlow
VIOLIN | PIANO
Fedor Ouspensky is a highly accomplished and dynamic violinist, renowned for his classical training at Juilliard and his extensive experience in both performance and teaching. With over two decades of violin playing and more than ten years of teaching music, Fedor brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his students.
Having performed in diverse settings across the globe, Fedor has honed his skills in every type of performance environment. He has also had the privilege of attending prestigious music festivals and studying under world-class musicians, further enriching his musical journey.
Fedor’s teaching philosophy revolves around nurturing solid technique, efficient practice methods, and helping students achieve their goals efficiently. Whether it’s mastering beloved songs and pieces, preparing for auditions, or developing specific skills like sight-reading or tone production, Fedor is dedicated to guiding his students towards success.
As a visionary, Fedor has pioneered various programs to provide new opportunities for students to perform and learn. One such venture is Virtual Concert Halls, a company embracing the virtual world to connect students and performers through online performances, interviews, and podcasts with participants from around the globe. A major focus of Virtual Concert Halls is to enhance the quality of the live music experience online, including virtual lessons. Fedor’s expertly designed virtual teaching setup ensures seamless and engaging online lessons, surpassing any potential drawbacks.
Outside the realm of classical music, Fedor has a d
eep appreciation for various genres and encourages students to explore different styles. He curates a diverse mix of music for students to delve into and offers a vast collection of unique violin books, etudes, and materials, carefully chosen to provide the best resources for aspiring musicians.
For more information about Fedor Ouspensky and his remarkable musical journey, please visit his website at http://fedorouspensky.com.
Book a lesson with Fedor: https://quartertonez.setmore.com/fedor-ouspensky
Jouelle Roberson (Soprano) hails from Washington,D.C. She began her musical studies at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts where she participated in the Show Choir. Following graduation, she was accepted into the vocal studies program at Morgan State University where she graduated with her B.A and M.A studying vocal performance with Marquita Lister. Miss Roberson was apart of the 2019-2020 season artists of the Atlanta Opera studio program; as well as the 2021 participant in the Saratoga Opera’s young artist program. She was recently apart of Opera Lucca’s 2022 summer program where she performed the role of Suor Angelica. Miss Roberson has graduated from Manhattan School of Music with her Professional Studies program.
Miss Roberson had the great pleasure to advance to the semi finals of the 2019 Annapolis Opera vocalcompetition. Jouelle was also the first place winner in the 2019 NATS local and regional round. Miss Roberson received the encouragement award in the Southeast Region Met Competition.
She is the 2018 winner of the Emerging Young Artist Regional competition presented by the National Association of Negro Business Women and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., formerly known as the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition the 2016 District winner of the National Association of Negr Musicians,inc. Vocals Competition. In 2015, she advanced to the, Regional auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing students auditions.
On The Operatic Stage, she has performed the role of Grisostomo from Don Quichotte: At Camocho’s Wedding by Telemann, in the Saratoga Opera’s young artist summer program in the summer of 2021. Miss Roberson also performed Maria in Saratoga Opera’s main stage production of Man of La Mancha. She has also performed the role of Strawberry Woman in the world renowned opera Porgy and Bess as astudio artist with the Atlanta Opera this past 2019-2020 season. She has also performed the role of Marenka in Bedrich Smetana’s Bartered Bride with the Bethesda Summer Music Festival. Following her successful performances as Marenka, she was invited by the AAMS Opera to perform the role of the Countess (excerpts) from Le Nozze di Figaro in Ischia, Italy. With Opera@Morgan,she has performed in several scenes and fully staged productions, including the 2018 production of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows by Steven M.Allen Where She portrayed the title role of Alice Ruth Moore. Most recently,by request of the composer, she repeated her portrayal of Alice Ruth Moore in an Opera Showcase presented by CAAPA.
On The Concert Stage, she has been a featured soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the renowned Morgan State University Choir. She has travelled as a soloist nationally and internationally with the choir and the select group “Singers.” She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity.
Jasmine Proctor is a professional actor/teacher, hysterical laugher, and advocate for change and diversity from Southern MD. She has always loved performing and story telling growing up. Which led to her attending Frostburg State University and receiving a BS in Theater with a Minor in African American Studies. She furthered her studies at The Catholic University of America where she received a MFA in Acting. Some of Jasmine’s acting credits include: Junie B. Jones the Musical (Junie B.), Antigone (Antigone) and Othello (Othello). Jasmine is so excited to be a part of the QuarterTonez team and is so excited to follow through her mission which is to teach and advocate for theater to diverse groups of students.
GUITAR | BASS | CELLO
Ethan Foote is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger working in jazz, the Western classical tradition, folk, rock, and genres in between. He writes and performs in many contexts, including theatre and interdisciplinary art. Rooted in the DC music scene, he has taken the stage at many of the area’s notable venues, including the Kennedy Center and the Mansion at Strathmore, where he was an Artist-In-Residence in 2016-2017. He has toured in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Thailand. He received a Master of Fine Arts in music composition from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2020.
Ethan teaches double bass, bass guitar, cello, acoustic guitar, and piano and believes strongly in incorporating composition and improvisation into all instrumental instruction as a way of cultivating well-rounded and creatively activated musicians. Drawing on classical, traditional, and popular frameworks, he seeks to provide students with the tools that will allow them to enjoy playing their instruments and, at the same time, to develop a deeper understanding of music as a whole. He also works to help students build a foundation of technique that encourages long-term physical well-being by combining tried-and-true best practices with attention to the unique needs of each musician.
OUD | NEY | VIOLIN | RIQ
Multi-instrumentalist Chakib Hilali is noted for his exquisite feeling, playing Arabic music on a dizzying number of different instruments, which he switches between with consummate ease. Instruments he plays most often include oud (Arabic Lute), ney (end-blown flute), violin, riq (Arabic Tambourine), and oriental keyboards. He is also an expressive vocalist.
Chakib grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, born into a family of musicians who took him along to performances from a very young age. Chakib studied oud (Arabic lute) at the Conservatory of Music in Casablanca, and immigrated to the US at the age of 21.
Chakib has become a well-known performer of Arabic music in the DC area, performing both traditional and nightclub styles, and even playing the mizmar in zeffa wedding processions.
Chakib enjoys playing many styles of Arabic music, from classical Arabic music, Tarab, Moroccan music, folk music of the Arab countries, belly dance music, and Rai – a modern style that fuses western instruments with North African rhythms and melodies. In additional to being a skilled and emotive player, Chakib has the ability to take a group of musicians and help them to sound their best through arrangements and subtle touches that come from his deep appreciation for classical Arabic music. His ability to pick up new material quickly and his natural tendancy to play in a complimentary manner with others puts him in demand as a guest or support musician for visiting singers and soloists.
Chakib enjoys teaching others the music of his homeland. He teaching style favors the oral tradition of Arabic music, and he enjoys personalizing his teaching to match the individual music preferences and goals of his students.
Now based in Alexandria, Virginia (in the Washington DC area), Chakib is available for performances, lessons and workshops
Turkish mezzo-soprano Lori Şen is known for her versatility in many vocal genres, including opera, art song, musical theatre, and jazz, as well as for her teaching and research interests in vocal literature, voice pedagogy, and voice science.
Dr. Şen completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance at the University of Maryland, College Park, and received her Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, NJ, as a Fulbright grantee. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, in addition to a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and a Master of Education degree in Physics Education from Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir, Turkey.
Dr. Şen is an expert of the Sephardic Art Song genre that comprises Western classical settings and arrangements of the traditional Sephardic folk literature. Over the past few years, she has introduced this repertoire to audiences through solo recitals, in addition to her lectures on the history, language, and culture of the Sephardim, and elements and stylistic features of Sephardic music. Since 2018, she has presented her research at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City, the 14th and 16th Barcelona Festival of Song in Barcelona, Spain, the 8th Annual Judeo-Spanish Symposium (UCLAdino) at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Yunus Emre Institute, Sephardic Heritage International (SHIN) DC, and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, all in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Şen regularly collaborates with musicians and composers across a variety of genres, and has performed in Turkey, Europe, and the United States. She also teaches as a Lecturer of Voice Pedagogy at the University of Maryland School of Music and Adjunct Voice Faculty at the Peabody Preparatory of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and serves as an ambassador for the
Barcelona Festival of Song.
“In my lessons, I strive to spark curiosity, keep students engaged, and to inspire learning and critical thinking. I often make use of interdisciplinary examples, fun facts, examples of real-life applications, as well as references to popular culture. It has been my observation that when students are able to build new knowledge on their prior knowledge and experiences, and draw connections between the two, they establish long-term memory. Furthermore, they better achieve creative and consistently successful applications of the new knowledge. I believe that this sort of positive learning experience naturally leads to a discovery that learning can be fun and rewarding. I firmly believe that the teacher’s constructive feedback accelerates the learning process. Through creating a positive, energetic atmosphere, and establishing a safe, friendly environment, I aspire to encourage students to ask questions, share their thoughts and feelings in their learning process, and to exercise their creativity. These explorations are as crucial for the discovery of one’s voice as they are for the development of self-confidence and artistic expression.”
–Lori Şen. For more information: http://www.lorisen.com
OUD | ARABIC | VIOLIN
Fadi is a Palestinian performer and oud musician born in 1980 in Saudi Arabia. He had started learning the oud in Damascus back in 1997, and joined the Taqasim Music School in February 2013.
He has participated and played at many occasions to celebrate the Oud and its cultural influences. In 2010, Fadi wrote and performed a play called “Fareed & Frida” while studying in Exeter. In the play, he introduces the Oud as an individual character through which the human protagonists communicated. Fadi has also initiated a project called “A Musical Painting” in which he uses the Oud, piano and flute, accompanied by a vocalist to produce a musical conversation based on Middle Eastern and Western masterpieces. He is also passionate about writing lyrics and composing music and has written a few songs, one of which, “A Lover from Palestine”, is a tribute to the late poet Mahmoud Darwish.
Fadi is currently developing his own performing style where he simultaneously plays the Oud and recites poetry.
STEEL DRUM | PERCUSSION
Sheldon Thwaites is an award winning International Caribbean-American percussionist, specializing in Drum Set and Steel Pan. As the son of a Trinidadian music pioneer, Sheldon continues to promote his family legacy amassing an evocative resume with artist’s “Chris Daughtry”, “Lauryn Hill”, “Amel Larrieux”, “Marina Satti”, and Maryland’s premier steelband “PanLara”. He has studied drum-set with Terri Lynn Carrington, John Blackwell, & Mike Mangini. Drums were his first love, but after pursuing music at the high school level, he transitioned into composition, arranging & production. Sheldon has played drums internationally for world-renowned steelbands “Witco Desperadoes”, “Phase II Pan Groove”, and “Skiffle Bunch”. He is currently on tour and in the studio with 300 Entertainment’s new-artist “Cobi”. He is a graduate of Boston Arts Academy & Berklee College of Music. Sheldon currently resides in Hyattsville, MD.
Hailing from Guatemala, Alfonso Hernández is a Doctorate in Musical Arts candidate at the University of Maryland working with Russian pianist Larissa Dedova. Alfonso holds degrees from the University of Houston, Eastman School of Music, and Lynn University; he has participated in many renowned music festivals including the Chautauqua, Aspen, and Zeister Muziekdage in the Netherlands. A passionate educator, Alfonso is Co-founder of the International Chamber Music Festival of Guatemala and has served as visiting faculty at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala.