Sam’s pieces are mostly about luck, hallucination and coincidence. Usually they include direct presentations of magic events, objects or phenomena. Sam’s sound art work is frequently about finding ways to amplify imaginary sound. Sam’s performed pieces often feature the use of authentic spirit possession, a phenomenon he has been working with for more than 40 years. All of what Sam does relates directly to trance. He offers simple windows onto things that occur in-between the real world and that which transcends it. With almost a half century of experience, Sam Ashley has become a role model, inspiration and teacher to younger generations of musicians and artists seeking to bring trance into their work.
The 2017 fall season at Harrison House kicked off with legendary performer Big Black for a one-night only special concert. The multi-disciplined singer/songwriter, blues guitarist, drummer and storyteller performed “Another Kind of Blues,” original songs about “love and no love,” revealing a more intimate side of his virtuosity.
Most widely known as a master of world percussion and the first to integrate the African drum into modern calypso and jazz music, Big Black has performed with icons Lord Flea, Billy Cook, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie and many others.
Musicians Gabriel Lavin (Oud), Miguel Carillo (Spanish Guitar) and Janie Cowan (Upright Bass) performed a virtuosic melding of traditional Middle Eastern and Flamenco music.
Gabriel Lavin began his Middle Eastern music studies while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Oman. He has since performed and studied in Morocco, Egypt Sudan and Kuwait working with Oud masters. Miguel Carillo is a first generation Mexican-American born into a musical family. After playing drums and violin he found his love in the Spanish guitar. Classically trained he currently studies Flamenco with Adam Del Monte at USC. Alaska born Janie Cowan is a versatile upright bass player with a BM in performance from the Oberlin Conservatory. She performs worldwide in explorative improvisation groups, supporting artists and studying folk music of many countries.
Renowned harpsichordist Ketil Haugsand performed “Goldberg Variations” by J.S. Bach for two capacity crowds. This was the first occasion a harpsichord has been played within the superb acoustic environment of Harrison House.
Ketil Haugsand, professor emeritus of harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, is considered one of the important harpsichordists and Early Music interpreters of today. His highly acclaimed recordings of J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” have been singled out as original and outstanding landmark performances. Haugsand has played at prestigious venues on multiple continents as a soloist and with major ensembles. Born in Norway, he studied with the renowned Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory and was awarded the Prix d’Excellence in 1975.
Barry has been composing many commissions for various chamber groups in recent years, including his “Eight Ragas” for the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival (on a Creative Works Grant) which was released by East Meets West Music label (The Shankar label), as well as composing the score for the documentary film “4 Wheel Bob” which is making the rounds at film festivals at the moment.
As a cellist, Barry has toured worldwide with Ravi Shankar’s daughter’s group – The Anoushka Shankar Project, the Coulter/Phillips Ensemble, and many other groups.
For over 30 years Barry has arranged and produced recordings of Northern European folk music on the Gourd Music label exploring American, Celtic folk tunes and the fine and nebulous line that they walk with baroque and classical styles.
Barry received a Masters of Music degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where his teachers were Elinor Armer and Andrew Imbrie, and since 1996 he has been a student of, and a compositional assistant to Ravi Shankar. assisting Mr. Shankar in several compositions, including music for Mstislav Rostropovich, Joshua Bell, Philip Glass and the “Concert for George”, a George Harrison celebration at the Albert Hall, where he also performed on cello for both the Indian orchestra and the rock/pop sets. In 2013 Barry received a Grammy as producer/engineer of Ravi Shankar’s CD “The Living Room Sessions Part 1.
Multimedia DC-based artist Jessica Beels is renowned for sculptures and installations that highlight landscape objects in abstraction. Influenced by the geometry of nature, her organic armature forms embrace the microscopic to the macroscopic. For the first time in her decades-long career, Jessica had the opportunity to explore the Mojave desert.
Dan Joseph is a composer, performer, writer and curator based in New York City. He studied at CalArts and Mills College with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, Mel Powell and Terry Riley. For the past fifteen years, the hammer dulcimer has been the primary vehicle for his music. In 2017, the venerable New York based label XI Records released a 2 CD retrospective of his music.