La Orquésta de Cuerdas Elvino Vardaro - Contemporary Tango String Orchestra
Violinist, Volunteer Organizer
I performed in this neighborhood-based tango string orchestra in Buenos Aires, Argentina since 2012. The orchestra is run as a cooperative and was created as a string orchestra that would back up contemporary tango composers and musicians in the Buenos Aires independent tango scene. In 2012 we were asked to perform in the Buenos Aires opera house during the city’s annual International Tango Festival. The group also performs regularly in community spaces in the Almagro neighborhood of Buenos Aires. One chapter of my dissertation is devoted to my experiences with this fascinating project.
“Vicevertiginoso" - Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires Opera House), 2012, Buenos Aires, Argentina
“Mi Canción de Ausencia” - Oliverio Girondo Cultural Center, 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Quinteto Clandestino Tango Quintet
Violinist, Founding Member
During my fieldwork in Buenos Aires I also performed in a classic tango dance quintet. We played a repertoire of classic tangos and performed in tango dances and theaters around Buenos Aires. We also were invited to perform in Uruguay’s annual tango festival in October of 2013.
BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIME MUSIC
The L.A. Bluegrass Hoppers - The UCLA Bluegrass and Old-Time Ensemble
Assistant Director, Violinist, Vocalist
At UCLA, I ran this ensemble as a collaborative and participatory space of musical encounter where all the members were encouraged to work together to learn about American roots music while making it. Since the group had only been around for a year before I took over, I played a large part in designing the project at UCLA. Over the years the ensemble has featured banjos, guitars, mandolins, fiddles, kazoos, basses, washtub basses, saws, bones, and more. In 2011 we produced a CD which can be seen and heard at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thelabluegrasshoppers. The ensemble also won first place at the Topanga Fiddle Contest in 2013 and 2014, and second place in 2012. Below are some clips to some of our concerts.!
“Cherokee Shuffle” - Hammer Museum Concert, 2011, Los Angeles
“Big Mon" - Hammer Museum Concert, 2011, Los Angeles
“This Land is Your Land” - Hammer Museum Concert, 2011, Los Angeles
“Goofus" - Annual Concert at UCLA, 2011, Los Angeles
SICILIAN & SOUTHERN ITALIAN POPULAR MUSIC
Carmina Solis - Sicilian Musica Popolare Band
From 2006-2009 I spent much time living in Sicily living in a small town, researching Sicilian music and culture, and performing with a Sicilian popular music group. These experiences became the bases of my M.A. thesis at UCLA. The following is an example of a Sicilian polka written by one of the members of the group.
“La Polka di Don Cono” - Summer Outdoor Festival, 2008, Sicily, Italy