Aurora Nealand (clarinet, sax, voice) is a band leader and contributing member to a number of performing groups, as a saxophonist, singer, composer, and improviser. These include Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses, Panorama Jazz Band (playing Klezmer, Balkan, and Afro-Caribbean music) and a number of free-improvising ensembles. She recently toured Switzerland with the Liquid Land ensemble, playing instruments handcrafted from trash found in New Orleans. Her compositions are explorative and expansive, whether combining pre-recorded tape material with viola, bass, and saxophone, or eliciting a modern-day cabaret feel with solo voice, accordion, and stripped-down drum set.
Lucie Páchová (voice) – Lucie Páchová’s music draws from varied musical backgrounds, including contemporary classical music, jazz, Balkan music, experimental and electronic music, and free improvisation. She has focused on new media theater performances, experimenting with projections, dance and multi-channel sound installations. Apart from playing with her band, Talaqpo, Lucie has worked with established artists and ensembles from around the world, including the Prague improvisational orchestra, Dunami Ensemble, Ato-nut, NAU, George Cremaschi, Peter Graham, Phil Niblock, and Suzanna Gartmayer. She has also scored music for contemporary theater, film, and dance.
Darbuka Siva (percussions, voice) – Darbuka Siva is a self-taught drummer, percussionist and bassist based in India. Beginning drums at the age of 17, Siva was quickly drawn to latin and world percussion like the darbuka, djembe and cajon. He has led many collaborative projects working to combine different art forms with contemporary Indian classical music, including a collection of ancient Sanskrit shlokams, a project called La Pongal, which fuses traditional Tamil folk and contemporary pop, and experimental works with Bengali Baul musicians.
Greg Chudzik (bass) – Greg Chudzik is an active performer across numerous genres on the double bass and electric bass. Currently, he can be seen performing regularly with several new music groups, including Signal Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and Talea Ensemble. Greg is also a member of several bands, including Empyrean Atlas, Bing and Ruth, and The Briars of North America. Greg’s recording credits include playing on the Grammy-nominated “Barcelonaza” by Jorge Leiderman, the album “Americans” by Scott Johnson (Tzadik records), multiple recordings with Signal Ensemble on New Amsterdam and Mode Records, the album “Grown Unknown” by Lia Ices (Secretly Canadian records), and the album “High Violet” by The National.
YC The Cynic (MC, Songwriter) – Born in the poorest congressional district in the country, Matthew Jefferson (aka YC The Cynic) has become a torchbearer for progressive hip-hop music. Known for his quick-witted lyricism, YC has been on a mission to revitalize the birthplace of hip-hop culture. As a founding member of RDACBX, a hip-hop community center in the South Bronx, YC has begun teaching the “Art of Rap,” with the hopes that the youth will be able to further change the climate in mainstream music. He has been featured on MTV, BET, The Source, and Complex Magazine; was named one of the “Top 5 Underground Hip-Hop Artists in NYC” by The Deli Magazine; and has toured the country doing what he loves. So, as YC would say it, “life is good.”