Orange Concert Series Performers - Page Two

Carmen Artis, Soprano

Carmen Artis has performed at the Off-Broadway venues the St. Peters and John Houseman Theatres as well as many smaller theaters throughout New York City. She has also appeared in numerous operatic and musical productions throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York as well as Pittsburgh and Baltimore, most notably at with the Northeast Lyric Opera, Scranton Opera IV, and New Jersey State Opera companies. Carmen has sung under the batons of maestros Andre Previn and Michael Tilson Thomas with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Some of the halls she has appeared in, both in recital and with the New Jersey Pops Symphony Orchestra, are The Cape May Arts Center, The Watchung Arts Center, Reese Auditorium in Sparta, the Community Theatre in Morristown. Carmen will be participating in the world premiere of composer R. Wayne Walterís new Mass at the Delbarton Abbey in Morris Township, N.J. on Sunday, June 10th. Carmen has also concertized with many jazz notables such as pianists Rio Clemente and Regan Ryzuk, bassist, Ric Crane, drummer, Joe Cocuzza, guitarist Lennie Argese, saxophonist Marty Fogel and many others, performing the Great American Songbook, in the music of Porter, Gershwin, Ellington, Kern, Rodgers and others.

John Hammell, Tenor

John Hammel has performed at the Off-Broadway venues St. Peters and John Houseman Theatres and The Producers Showcase, as well as many smaller theaters throughout New York City. He has also appeared in numerous operatic and musical productions throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York as well as Pittsburgh and Baltimore, most notably at with the Northeast Lyric Opera and Scranton Opera IV. He has appeared at, both in recital and with the New Jersey Pops Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall in N.Y.C., the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, The Cape May Arts Center, The Tropicana in Atlantic City, The Watchung Arts Center, Reese Auditorium in Sparta, Ciprianiís, Dannyís Skylight Room, the Plaza Hotel in N.Y.C. and the Community Theatre in Morristown. Most recently John has recorded the lead role of Laius in composer Sam Belich's opera Laius and Chrysippus and was recently engaged at Nevada Opera in the dual lead role of Aristeus/Pluto in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. John is the tenor soloist and section leader at First Presbyterian in Orange, N.J. John was the host of the Mozart To Motorhead radio program heard for over sixteen and a half years on NPR affiliate WNTI, 91.9 F.M. and www.homegrownradionj.com

Peter Biedermann, Guitarist and Composer

Peter Biedermann has been playing guitar, composing and performing live since 1977. He has also played numerous styles of music in various bands, most notably the band PING. PING started out as an instrumental guitar duo with Ian Smit in 1984. The idea then, as it is now, was to combine acoustic and electronic elements and create electro-acoustic soundscapes originally developed by the likes of Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, David Torn and many other lesser known pioneers of ambient musical sound structures. The majority of the material played during this period was original with the occasional obscure cover thrown in. The duo performed between 1985 to 1990. A recording capturing two of the original tunes was completed in early 1987 and was produced by David Torn. This recording is available on cassette only. Phase II of PING started up in early 1991. The addition of Joe Lentine on drums, electronic percussion and samples moved the band into a larger spectrum of sound production and performance. The trio attempted to bridge the gap left in the wake of the electric Miles Davis / Tony Williams Lifetime / Mahavishnu Orchestra spirit of the late 60's / early 70's as well as continuing experiments with the aforementioned ambient soundscaping. Again, the main thrust was original music with a sprinkling of covers. The trio performed live between 1992 to 2001. A self titled recording was completed in 1993 / 1994 and is currently unavailable. Beginning in the summer of 2000, the main focus shifted to writing, performing and recording solo guitar pieces; many incorporating a hybrid style combining fingerstyle acoustic via six and twelve string guitars with electronic ambient soundscapes in real time. The music was an extension of the original concept that began in 1977 albeit without the rhythmic intensity associated with PING. Three recordings highlighting this phase of development are documented on Sound & Spirit (2000), In Theory (2001) and The Learning Curve (2001) The summer of 2002 brought forth the incorporation of rhythmic elements via real time drumming as well as sampled drum loops courtesy of Colin Biedermann. The music written during this period harkened back to PING phase II, albeit with more modern electronic processing equipment. The results were documented on three recordings...White Magick (2002), Centerpoint (2004), and Live (2004). 2005 brought yet another phase of development with the addition of Jim Stagnitto on trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards and laptop electronics. Colin B. also has updated his approach to rhythmic and electronic manipulation by utilizing laptop programming. The new ensemble is now producing music under the banner "White Light". Two recordings documenting their work were released last year Definitely (2005) and White Light - Live on WFMU (2005). White Light continued to forge ahead in 2006 with the addition of drummer / percussionist Steve Meltzer and occasionally Steve Peckman on sax / EWI and Kevin Brown on bass. All three of these musicians also perform in a wonderful ensemble fronted by my good friend Ian Smit called Monkeyworks. One live recording documenting the more experimental leanings of the group was released that year under the title Live...coming to a theater near you (2006) PB took a hiatus from performing from the fall of 2007 until the spring of 2008 due to personal reasons. A transition to solo acoustic playing became the focus in 2008 and continues into 2009. The fall of 2008 also began a string of performances in libraries and other similar listener friendly performance spaces. A new EP including four solo acoustic pieces entitled Rumination (2008) will be released sometime in March 2009.

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