Nirmala Rajasekar is a world-renowned Carnatic vainika (veena player), vocalist, and educator of South Indian Music. She has performed in venues throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall (New York), the United Nations (New York), Music Academy (Chennai), Musee Rietburg (Zurich), Mulgrave (Melbourne), and Chembur Fine Arts (Bombay). Nirmala is a recipient of many awards, including a Bush Artistic fellowship, McKnight fellowship, Rotary Vocational Excellence award, and Naadha Kala Vipanchee. She is a disciple of veteran veena Guru Prof. Kalapakam Swaminathan and has had vocal mentoring under Prof. Sitarama Sarma and Prof. T. R Subramaniam. For more than three decades she has become one of the veena’s best practitioners, performing it with utmost dedication, passion, and a deep love for the art. Nirmala is the founder and director of the Naadha Rasa Center for Music and is its artistic director. www.nirmalarajasekar.com
David Jordan Harris is co-founder and Artistic Director of Voices of Sepharad. He has pursued study and performance of Sephardic music throughout North America, Morocco, Greece, France, Israel, Turkey, Poland, Bosnia, and Spain. Integrating his skills as a singer, actor, and dancer, David has appeared as guest artist with Zorongo Flamenco, Katha Dance Theatre, Corning Dances and Company, Walker Art Center, Illusion Theater, Rose Ensemble, North Star Opera, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Opera, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Espan᷉ol, and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. David has co-authored four plays and composed music for the film Romania 1941/Rwanda 1994. He is Executive Director of Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council and interfaith arts special consultant for the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning. www.voicesofsepharad.com
Thanjavur Murgaboopathi (or Boopathi, as he is popularly known) is one of the best-known percussionists from the world of South Indian Carnatic music. He has been featured with veteran performers from India including vocal legends Dr. Balamuralikrishna, TV Shankaranarayanan, TN Seshagoplan, flutist Dr. N. Ramani, saxaphone artist Kadri Goplanath, violinist Kanyakumari, and vainika Gayathri. He is on the circuit all over the world with stars of the current generation such as Sudha Raghunathan, Sanjay Subramanyam (vocalists), U. Srinivas (mandolin), Shashank (flute), Ganesh Kumaresh (violin) Nirmala Rajasekar (veena), and Gaurav Mazumdar (sitar). Boopathi has performed on several stages across the globe including ABC Australia, Rumi International Konya Festival Turkey, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Royal Albert Hall in London, United Nations in NYC, and on PBS.
Mick LaBriola is a free lance performer/percussionist, cultural music specialist, educator, residency artist, dance-theater accompanist, technical adviser, logistics coordinator, and stage manager. In addition, he is a roster artist with the Minnesota State Arts Board, Compas, and the Nevada Arts Council. Mick is Music Director for the Oregon Renaissance Festival, Cue Director of the Mayday Ceremony with HOBT, and bandleader for Positive Vibrations, the Maroons, Karibuni, Maqam and founding member of Ancestor Energy, Voices of Sepharad, Beau Koo Jacks & Mojo Roots. www.micklabriola.com
David Burk is fascinated by the endless palette of sounds found throughout the world. He plays a variety of stringed instruments used in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Latin, African, Caribbean, and North American musical traditions. David has performed regularly with The Rose Ensemble (since 2005) as well as with Voices of Sepharad (since 1998), Vanessa Paloma, Yair Dalal, Josh Nelson, Yair Harel, Georges Lammam, Sattar, Robayat, Ethnic Dance Theatre, Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble, Lau Hawaiian Collective, Silver Swan Chamber Ensemble and many others. David holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and has studied ‘ud with Arabic master musicians Simon Shaheen and Bassam Saba. Aside from live performance, David has composed music that can be heard in commercials, films and television shows worldwide.