Strings is honored to have presented these groups from around the world. Also included are groups that integrate world music into their original compositions. Listed from most recent to earliest.
Tito Gonzalez 2019, 2020
Tito Gonzalez – Lead vocals, Tres Guitar and minor percussion, Luis Valverda – Bongo and vocals, Jorge Macias- Guitar and vocals, Antonio Cortada- Bass Cuban born singer and composer Tito Gonzalez is the band leader of the musical group Tito y su son de Cuba. Performers: Tito arrived here in the Bay Area in 2000 from Havana Cuba.
pickPocket 2003-2012, 2015-2019
Rick Corrigan-accordion, composition, Chloe Allen-violin, Yates Brown-guitar, John Slattery-percussion, Colin Williams-bass, Marguerite Ostro on violin, Tim Fox-guitar
Inspired by many world musical traditions, the pickPocket ensemble inhabit a country all their own. Original and fresh, the pickPocket ensemble create a contemporary chamber café music that moves both body and soul.
Juliana Graffagna, Dan Auvil, Tom Farris, Gari Hegedus, Shira Kammen and Peter Jaques
Turkish, Romani, Sephardic, American roots and original music performed by some of the Bay Area’s most innovative and accomplished musicians. www.janamband.com
Madelina y los Carpinteros 2017-2019
Madelina Zayas- vocals, cajón, güiro, Venezuelan maracas, bombo, Fernando Feña Torres, Denis Schmidt, Craig Thomas.
An evening inspired by the socially committed Nueva Canciòn and Nueva Trova folk music ofd Cuba and Latin America. Traditional, originals with well-crafted harmonies and layered acoustic instrumentation. Latin American folk music from Chile, Argentina, the Andes Region, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the U.S
QADIM 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2018
Eliyahu Sills, Rachel Valfer Sills, Faisal Zedan, Dan Cantrell.
Qadim means ‘ancient’ as well as ‘ that which will come’. Repertoire includes Arabic, Jewish, Turkish Sufi, Hebrew-Yemenite, Armenian, Greek, Ladino and Moroccan music. Also performing with Jason Ranjit Parmar, Geri Hegedus, Bouchaib Abdehadi and Evan Fraser. Acclaimed for passionate performances, San Francisco based Qadim has a growing global audience responding to their timely message of peace and cross cultural appreciation.
www.eliyahusills.com/qadim/qadim.php Drawing by Chris Peterson
The La Peña Community Chorus 2005-2007, 2018
The La Peña Community Chorus has been singing songs of peace, justice, and hope since it began in 1978. Started by the Chilean exile community who founded La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley in 1975, the original mission of the Chorus was one of solidarity with the resistance against the dictatorship in Chile. But over the years our focus has expanded to other countries, including the struggles of people in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, and to various labor, community, and women’s struggles closer to home. This group celebrates the spirit of our east bay community.
Surya Prakasha-bass, bansuri, ney flute, multi-instrumentalists Evan Fraser and Eliyahu Sills
A dynamic ensemble. The group creates songs that move, uplift and transport. With African-sourced grooves, African and Indian melodies and songs, ‘Bolo’ speaks to the heart and a musical language that bridges continents. Prepare for entrancing music that will inspire your body and soul.
Samba Guisse 2017
Samba Guisse performs with his five-piece band: Samba Cheich Ndiguel Fall. Samba has been dubbed the Senegalese Drum Phenom of Northern California. Djembe, Tama (talking Drum), Sabar and Kora. Music from Senegal to make your heart and feet move!
Soji Odukogbe (Soji)-vocals and guitar, Pope Flynne- vocals, djembe, conga, Rasaki Aladokun- vocals, talking drum
Soji brings his acoustic band to Strings. Traditional Nigerian Folk music played by authentic masters of this music. Uplifting music that puts a heart beat into the soul of the listener.
The Bombadils 2015
Sarah Frank, Luke Fraser, Alan Mackie
Originally from Montreal The Bombadills enchant audience around the world with their unique fusion of traditional, world and progressive folk. Performing in festivals, folk clubs and forests since 2009 their diverse influences flow naturally through their compositions, arrangements and improvisations.
Incognito Express 2015
Darren Johnston, Marco Peris, Dan Cantrell, Greg Jenkins
Incognito Express features some of the hottest musicians in the Bay Area’s Balkan scene: The band takes you on a musical journey through Eastern Europe, showcasing Romani, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian traditions as well as Balkan-inspired originals. World fusion at its best!
Taraf de Locos 2015
Aya Safiya, Cecilia Cassandra, Peña Govea, Miguel Leon, Mireya Leon, Tano Brock, Greg Jenkins.
Taraf de Locos plays a mix of songs and tunes from Spain, Romania, Macedonia, Albania, Greece,Turkey, Tajikistan, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba and Mexico. The fascinating rhythms keep the audience dancing and the layers of vocal harmonies enchanted. As best friends, they bring a fun-loving energy that is genuinely contagious. http://tarafdelocos.com
Hot Blood Orchestra 2013
Ryan Feldthouse, Paul Bertin, Dusty Brough, Kevin Hill, Julien Cantelm, Chantal Shoenherz
Formed in 2011 by Ryan Feldthouse this high energy group from California beings a modern groove to traditional music from the Balkans, Turkey, Greece and beyond.
LA RUYA 2013
David Páez – Guitar, Gary Haggerty – Oud, Rebecca Kleinmann – flute, Melissa Cruz – Baile & Palmas, Murat Bayhan – darbuka-Riqq-Deff, Sam Foster – Cajon-Riqq-Deff
Sounds of Andalusia woven in with the Black Sea, the modes, movement and tonalities of flamenco with Arabic and Turkish maqam, all grounded in a latin jazz pulse – this is La Ruya, a new direction in “flamenco fusion.”
Dzhenko Andreev (gaida), Ivan Handzhiev (vocals, accordion), Nikolay Doktorov (kaval), Donka Koleva, Nikolay Kolev (gadulka)
Kabile Traditional Wedding Band is one of the most popular bands in Bulgarian Thrace. Performing on native instruments each band member is an expert in slavic heritage music. Incredible virtuosity and musicianship!
Quijerema 2003, 2004, 2005 (2x), 2006, 2011, 2012
Quique Cruz, Maria Fernanda Acuna, Jeremy Allen and Henry Hung are Quijerema.
These amazing musicians weave an original tapestry pulsing with the rhythms and colors of their native Chile, Venezuela with american jazz.www.quijerema.com
Rafael Manriquez 2001, 2007-2009, 2011, 2012
Manriquez -vocals & guitar from Chile is a legend in the Bay Area. We are honored to have had many concerts with this wonderful musician.
Manriquez also performed with Jorge Tapia-percussion, Fernando Torres-charango, cuatro and Quique Cruz (2001),Ramon Romero from Paraguay – harp, and Ingrid Rubis-vocals, piano and percussion.
Rafael & Ingrid
Music of South America. A journey through contemporary original and traditional music and songs of Latin America.
Omar Mokhtari 2001-2003, 2012
The Pacific Andaluse Conservatory of North African Music presents of concert of music of the Maghreb. Music from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia including adaluse, chabi, malouf, hawzi and kabilya. Full ensemble.
Arauco 2003-2006, 2009-2010
Manriquez, Rubis, Quique Cruz, Maria Fernanda Acuna
Originals and traditional music with passion, virtuosity and heart. Also with Jorge Tapia, Fernando Torres (2004)
Karamo Susso (2010)
International kora (african harp) star performs.
V-Note Ensemble 2008-2010
Jackeline Rago, Donna Viscuso, Sam Bevin, Lali Mejia
Formerly the Snake Trio we are thrilled to open the season with this fabulous group. International Latin fusion at its very best.www.vnoteensemble.com
Samba Ngo 2003, 2005-2009
Congolese Soukous World beat music at its best. A spiritual experience not to be missed. www.samba-ngo.com
Ze Manel 2007-2008
Ze Manel is a national treasure of his homeland Guinea-Bissau. Kriol music with pulsating rhythms and song. Ze Manel is a voice of the spirit behind the human struggle for freedom and integrity so needed in our world today. Performs with his friends.
Emily Bender, Becca Burrington, Lark Coryell, Krista Enos, Mari Marjamas, Kim Warsaw, Sara Webb-Schmitz
An cappella group with music which includes soul, gospel, Afro-Cuban, Wasgern European, 12th century music of Hildegard von Bingen, classics, the Ink Spots. Performing together for over a decade.
The Hot Frittatas 2008
Gus Garelick, Dennis Hadley, Don Coffin, Sam Page
We welcome one of Northern California’s liveliest ensembles for international café© music: Italian, Sicilian, French, Mexican, Brazilian, and more.
The Baguette Quartet 2008
Photo by Aicha Nystrom
Odie Lavault, Rachel Durling, John Schott, Rich Trevor
Parisian cabaret. Music heard in Paris from the 20s to the 40s- the golden age of accordion. Waltzes, tangos, foxtrots, paso Robles and more!
HillBillies from Mars 2008
Kevin Carr, Ray Bierl, Paul Kotapish, Daniel Steinberg
The Hillbillies combine their love and dedication to Celtic and American traditional fiddle music with ‘folk roots’ of rock ‘n’ roll, swing, Latin and African beats.
Carlos Orazco 2008
Originally from Barquisimeto, Venezuela and now living in Caracas, Carlos Orozco is the rising star of llanero music. The fast Joropo shows off the virtuosity and imagination of the performer. He will be joined by members of his trio on maracas and cuatro.
Snake Trio 2000-2007
Jackeline Rago-cuatro, mandolin, percussion, Donna Viscuso-flute, alto sax, Saul Serria-acoustic bass
Strings opened our season with this world class group for many years. Original music based on the traditions of jazz and South American folk music. With Hugo Wainzinger (2001) With Daniel Maya (2000)
Alexander Tsygankov & Inna Shevchenko 2004, 2005, 2007
These two virtuoso musicians on tour from Moskow. Tsygankov on domra and Shevchenko on piano perform classics and originals.
Acoustic Eidolon 2007
Joe Scott on custom 14-string double neck guitjo and Hannah Alkire on cello
Blend of classical, celtic and world rhythms.
Ramon Romero / Carlitos Sermeno 2003-2007
Harp virtuoso Ramon Romero from Paraguay performs with consumate musician Carlitos Sermeno music from all over Latin America full of fiery rhythms and lyrical feeling. Carol Romero also performs.
Carlos Reyes & Friends 2007
Latin harp at its very best. Exciting masterful playing full of fire and immediacy. Carlos will be joined by musicians on violin and percussion. Surprise guest artists.
Rupa & The April Fishes 2006, 2007
Rupa, Ed Baskerville, Aaron Kierbel, Adrian Jost, Kate Isenberg
A unique blend of French cabaret, North African rhythms with fabulous musicianship. Exotic and original.
Diana Stork, Shawna Spitera, Portia Diwa
A world harp adventure. Moving music that pulses with joy and vibrancy.
Ya Elah 2006
Artistic Director Bon Singer of Kitka recognized as one of the premier directors of Bulgarian choral music performs with her group. Cantorial, folk, jazz, ethnic and classical genres.
VOCO 2005, 2006
Moira Smiley, Jessica Basta, Christine Enns, John Ballinger, Jessica Catron
Eastern European to Irish to Appalachian song. The energy of street singing, risks of improvisation and the wild side of harmony and rhythm.
Geist 1995, 1996(x2), 1997, 2002, 2004-2006
Diana Stork, Teed Rockwell, Mika Scott
An exciting trio. Musical journeys with wit, brilliance and spirit.Drawing by Chris Peterson
Bolivian Flamenco Fusion (2006)
Oscar Reynolds, Chuscales, Anne Reynolds.
Andean flutes and music from South America.
Lichi Fuentes 2004, 2005
Donna Viscuso, Hugo Wainzinger, Michaelle Goerlitz
An extraordinary evening of song. We are honored to present this acclaimed and beloved artist and her group.
German Donatien, Chus Alonso, Norm Downing, Steve Parkin, Markus Puhvel
This quintet performs traditional style Cuban “son”. Beautiful lyrics, enticing melodies and irresistible Afro-Cuban rhythms.
Mariah Parker, Mindia Devi, Matthew Montfort, Debopriyo Sarkar
Indo-jazz. Eclectic music with influences from India, the Middle East and jazz. Flute, piano, gamelan and tabla.
Yassir, Bouchaib-adelhadi, Gael Alcott
A synergistic blend of near east and far west tonalities. Traditional ‘gnawa’ and ‘Shaabi’ from Casablanca accompanied by traditional instruments and cello
Chus Alonso, Mark Taylor, Paula Dreyer, Brian Rice
Original contemporary flamenco and Latin music dedicated to keeping the tradition alive and evolving.
Drawing by Chris Peterson
Hugo Wainzinger Quartet 2004
Donna Viscusa, Maria Fernanda Acuna, Weber Iago
Extraordinary musicians perform Latin music
Kaila Flexer 2004
Dan Cantrell, Peter Jaques, Michele Simon, Eva Primack, Briget Boyle
Music inspired by Gypsy (Rom), Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish, Macedonian and more Eastern European performed by accomplished musicians.
Maire Ni Chathasaigh/Chris Newman 2004
Internationally acclaimed Irish celtic harp original Maire teams up with Chris- one of Britain’s leading guitarists. Musicianship at the master level.
Murasaki Ensemble 2004
Shirley Muramoto-koto, Jeff Massanari-guitar, Alex Baum-bass, Matt Eakle-flute, Vince Delgado-percussion
Traditional Japanese, Near Eastern and improvisational jazz are integrated to create a vibrant and innovative sound.
Drawing by Chris Peterson
The Jumping Buddhas 2001, 2002, 2003
Zhang Xiao Feng, Liu He Cheng, Fred Fung, Michael Santoro
Master musicians playing authentic chinese instruments. This virtuoso ensemble performs classics and originals.
Flamenco Bridge 2003
Daniel Maya, Kevin Mummey
Jazz, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian fused with traditional flamenco.
Necati Celik/Halil Karaduman/Vince Delgado 2002
Two premier performers on tour from Istanbul. Original and classical compositions marker by “taksims”- extensive improvisations. A unique event.
Broceliande 2000, 2002
Kris Yenney, Margaret Davis, Kristoph Klover, Karl Franzen
Celtic to classical with a special flare. Music both exciting and sophisticated.
Dani Torres/Melinda Velasco/Guido Moscosco 2001
Acoustic Latin fusion. A myriad of styles from Flamenco to American folk performed by master musicians.
Moh Alileche, Henni Hached, Sadek Haddadou, Mimi Spencer
Music from North Africa performed on authentic instruments by master musicians. Music of rhythmic subtlety and lyricism.
Edmond Badoux, Francy Vidal, Daniel Zamalloa
Chaskinakuy means “to receive from hand to hand among many people”. Andean Village music on authentic instruments.
The Jazayer Ensemble 2001
Mimi Spencer, Vince Delgado, Coralie Russo
Classic and contemporary Middle Eastern music.Drawing by Chris Peterson
Mimi Burns Band 2001
Mimi Burns, Steve Tyler, Matt Feisli
Contemporary Celtic music.
Twin Harps 1998, 1999, 2001
Cheryl Ann Fulton, Diana Stork
Beautiful exciting music from medieval to ethnic contemporary performed by master harpers.
Carlos Oliveira Trio 2000
Carlos Oliveiro, Harvey Wainapel, Claudio Bueno, Cladio Bebianno, Emiliano Benavides
Brazilian fusion at its best
Aiden MacIntyre, Ralph Carney, Jon Birdsong
Sonic Bouquet. Ancient sacred instruments including gongs and singing bowls take us on a healing journey.
Lynne Arriale Trio 2000
Lynne Arriale, John Patitucci, Steve Davis
Pianist Arriale is a superb talent with an imaginative gift for improvisation. Hailed in Canada and Europe.
Sultans of Swatch 1998, 1999, 2000
Bill Douglass, Ian Dogole, Eric Golub
Rhythmic and timbral sophistication make this group on the cutting edge of world fusion.
Adres Condon, Subirá, Marjolein Leach
Direct from Chile on their tour of the States, this group brings exciting and mesmerizing music being created in South America today.
Daniel May and Tocar 1999
Daniel Maya, David Frazier, Wilbur Krebs
Latin and Brazilian music. A stew of spicy Caribbean rhythms, sweet melodies, salsa and tasty Flamenco chops.
Ian Dogole, Tom Finch, Moses Sedler, Bill Lippincott
World fusion at an amazing level by master musicians.
Alan Kushan 1999
Ian Dogole, Tom Finch, Moses Sedler, Bill Lippincott
One of the most accomplished saunter (hammer dulcimer) players in the world, Kushan performs traditional Persian music as well as original compositions.
Aldoush 1998(x2), 1999(x2)
Aldoush Albanian, Scott Hill, Jeff Obee, Joe Brigand, Scott Amandola, Mike Morris, David McQueen
Exotic exciting music with Persian, rock and classical influences. Electrifying and spiritually nourishing.
Chamber to Folk Fusion 1999
Kris Yenney, Margaret Davis, Kristoph Klover, Karl Franzen
This talented eclectic group will delight your ears with music ranging from classical to celtic fusion and beyond.
Light Rain 1999
Doug Adams, De Ann, Devin Hoff, Rusty Gauthier, Mark Bell
Gypsy fantasy music with original melodies woven into the exotic rhythms of the middle east.
Fox & Cats 1998, 1997 (x2)
Tim Fox, Dan Katz, Steven Strauss, Peter Maund
Superb musicians collaborate to create an exciting blend of flamenco jazz fusion. Incredible guitar playing.
Frank Jaffe, Heidi Schwabe, Blaise Guillen
Flamenco inspired music with influences of classical, jazz, rock, folk, new age and more to create a modern listening experience.
An Evening of Exotic Music and Sounds 1997
Lisa Sangita Moskow, Molly Axtmann, Aiden MacIntyre, Ralph Carney, Jon Birdsong
Multi-instrumentalist Sangita performs a fusion of the east and west on tablas and sarod. MacIntyre returns with his gongs and Tibetan bowls to take us on a journey into the unknown.
Joyce Todd, Shira Kammen, Tom Chandleroud, Barry Hall
Paradise Lost 1997
Maureen Brennan, Michael Harmon, Brian Theriault
Two groups share an evening. Etherial, exotic and original. Middle Easter and Celtic influences create a rich texture all their own.
Kaila Flexer and the Third Ear 1995-1997
Kaila Flexer, Nikoli Prisakar, Joel Davel, Cecelia Brown, Rich Kuhns
Special guest: Mike Marshall (1996)
Klezmer melded with Turkish, Chinese, Andean, Bulgarian and swing jazz. An original vision.
4 Shillings Short 1995 (x2), 1996, 1997
Aodh Og O-Tuama, Christy Martin, Kristopher Klover, Kris Yenney, Kevin Carr, Margaret Davis
Celtic and American folk music combined with Indian ragas, medieval, classical, blues and rock.
Avalon Rising 1996
Margaret Davis, Kristoph Klover, Deirdre McCarthy, Beth Milne
Celtic, Medieval and folk merge. Clear and bright, up-front and passionate. Musical teamwork is superb.
Conundrum 1995, 1996(x2)
Deirdre McCarthy, Mark Ackerman, Alison Bailey, Cat Taylor, Mark Unger
Accomplished musicians perform their own brand of Celtic fusion.
Frank Jaffe, Heidi Schwabe, Blaise Guillen
Flamenco inspired acoustic group adds a new dimension to the concept of ‘world beat’. A modern experience in listening.