Israeli pianist Ran Dank, a protégé of famed pianist Emmanuel Ax, has won virtually every major prize available to a young musician in his own country. Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, who is married to Dank, has played with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series in New York City. The duo will perform individually and together, sometimes using two pianos and sometimes playing four hands.
Russian-born Svetlana Shmulyian and her all-star jazz swing band have won an enthusiastic following through their appearances in the Back Room, New York City’s only remaining Prohibition-era speakeasy. The lively ensemble transports their audiences, moving seamlessly from sophisticated, tender works to rowdy, exuberant, foot-stomping pieces that are utterly contemporary. The band’s diverse set list is enhanced by superb musicianship and Svetlana’s engaging vocals.
The Band of Heathens was voted “Best New Band” at the 2007 Austin Music Awards. Their 2008 self-titled studio album went to #1 on the Americana Music Association’s radio charts. After appearing on Austin City Limits with Elvis Costello, the band earned nominations for best New Emerging Artist and Best Duo/Group by the Americana Music Association. Recently, the Heathens went into their hometown studio in Austin to record their own version of the classic Ray Charles album, A Message from the People.