Ali Tekbas is a vocalist and composer based in Istanbul, Turkey. Born in Iraq, Ali was forced to migrate to Hakkari, Turkey with his family, where he completed his education. During his educational training, he participated in compiling repertoire and research with Ali İmran Erin and Serhat Bostancı, which encouraged him to investigate the roots of traditional Hakkari music. In 1998, he began to compose and perform music inspired by this research, through his band LaWje (“lahv-jeh”).
California-grown, Brooklyn-based Eva Salina is a groundbreaking interpreter of Balkan Romani songs. Raised in the US Balkan Diaspora, Eva’s mentors are some of the greatest living Balkan musicians. Eva’s rich, supple voice moves effortlessly through the intricate expression of Romani songs, intertwining vintage pop songs with her singular interpretations. A passionate activist for dialogue and mutual understanding, Eva is committed to a life of collaboration and evolving musical traditions.
Mehdi Nassouli is a Moroccan guembri player whose passion for preserving Moroccan music is matched by his energetic and engaging stage presence. Growing up in Taroudant, Mehdi was immersed in traditional Gnawa culture, a spiritual music of ancient and rich African heritage. Inspired by the sounds of Moroccan music, Mehdi devoted himself to studying deqqa, a traditional form of art from Taroudant, and spent nearly a decade learning traditional musical styles across Morocco.
Born and raised in Hampshire County, West Virginia, multi-instrumentalist Ben Townsend has studied and performed traditional Appalachian music extensively. With banjo mentors such as Riley Baugus and Ron Mullennex, and fiddle mentors such as Dave Bing, Joe Herrmann and Earl White, Townsend has studied a variety of old-time traditions ranging from the archaic, haunting fiddle of his home region to the round peak music of North Carolina and Virginia to the bluegrass of East Kentucky and Ohio.
Peni Candra Rini is an accomplished composer, educator and one of few female contemporary vocalists performing sindhen, a female soloist style of singing found in Indonesian gamelan tradition. Strongly committed to preserving and sharing the gamelan musical traditions of her country, Peni has collaborated with acclaimed artists from within and outside Indonesia. In addition to her extensive work as a performer, Peni is also a lecturer at the Indonesian Arts Institute in Surakarta, Central Java.
An accomplished Palestinian musician based in New York City, Zafer Tawil is a virtuoso on oud, violin, and qanoun, and is a master of Arabic percussion. He has performed with numerous musicians, ranging from Sting to avant-garde composer/performer Elliot Sharpe to masters of Arabic music such as Simon Shaheen, Chab Mami, Bassam Saba, and George Ziadeh, among others. He currently tours and leads workshops with many artists, and has recorded albums with Shusmo, Gaidi Hinawi, and Amir ElSaffar.
Alexia Webster is a South African photographer and video artist. Her work explores dislocation, identity, migration and intimacy. She was awarded the Artraker Award for Art in Conflict, the CAP Prize award for Contemporary African Photography, and the Frank Arisman Scholarship at the International Centre of Photography in NYC. Most recently she traveled to Juba, South Sudan and Tijuana, Mexico as part of an International Women’s Media Foundation Fellowship.
Kyla-Rose Smith is an acclaimed performer, violinist, multi-media artist and producer from South Africa. She is best known for her work as violinist and backing singer of Freshlyground, South Africa’s premier Afropop band. She has toured extensively inside and beyond South Africa with Freshlyground, who have garnered many awards. Kyla is now an emerging multi-media artist, leading projects that engage with aural and visual dimensions of contemporary society.
Gideon Crevoshay is a musician from the hills of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He uses the human voice to explore the countless dimensions of sound, language, and improvisation. Gideon studies traditional and ancient forms of singing from around the world, including the US, Caucasus, and Mediterranean, finding inspiration in the wisdom contained within these traditions and how they can inform present ideas of music-making and community.
Jeremy Thal is a music producer, multi-instrumentalist, and instigator of musical dialogues. As a performer, Jeremy has recorded and toured with indie rock heavyweights Neutral Milk Hotel and The National, and leads his own band, Briars of North America. Jeremy co-founded Found Sound Nation in 2010, and has led creativity workshops in such varied locations as Rikers Island, the TED Conference, and in more than 20 countries around the world.
Christopher Marianetti is a composer and producer from Albuquerque, New Mexico currently based in New York City. Chris is an artistic director & co-founder of Found Sound Nation and a co-director of OneBeat. With Found Sound Nation Chris has led music projects in New York City, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as serving as a teaching artist with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.
Elena Moon Park is a musician and producer living in Brooklyn, NY. Before moving to NYC, Elena served as a development consultant for grassroots social justice organizations on the south and west sides of Chicago. Today, she is co-Artistic Director of Found Sound Nation and an active freelance musician in NYC. Elena also specializes in music for kids, and has released Rabbit Days and Dumplings, an album for families featuring folk and children’s music from East Asia.
Ezra Tenenbaum is a New York-based music producer and audio engineer. After attending New York University, Ezra joined the Found Sound Nation team in 2010. Ezra is the singer and guitarist of Brooklyn band EZTV and has released two full-length LPs on Captured Tracks: Calling Out (2015) and High in Place (2016). Ezra also recorded Jaye Bartell’s album Light Enough (2016) released by Sinderlyn Records and contributed to Mega Bog’s Happy Together (2016) out via Nicey Music.
Christopher Botta is a Brooklyn-based composer, mixing engineer and guitarist. He acts as bandleader and guitarist in the garage-chamber septet The Cellar and Point. Members of the ensemble include players from the JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Mantra Percussion, Transit, and Ensemble Signal. He runs a mixing/mastering studio in Brooklyn called Staple Chest Audio, where he mixes pop and avant-garde music.
Ashley Tata is a director of multi-media works of theater, contemporary opera, performance, live music and immersive experiences. Her work has been presented in venues and festivals throughout the U.S. and internationally. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has taught or guest taught at Harvard University, MIT, Marymount Manhattan College, Colgate College, Bard College, LIU Post and NYU.
Eamonn Farrell is a Harrison, Virginia and NYC-based performance-maker and video designer for theater, music, and dance. With his own company, Anonymous Ensemble, he has created dozens of original, media-infused shows in New York City and around the world. Eamonn also designs video extensively for Lee Breuer of Mabou Mines. Other collaborations include Sarah Michelson, B3 Dance (Bessie Nomination), LA Dance, The LA Phil, Parsons Dance, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Portland Center Stage.
Asma Ghanem is a Palestinian electronic musician and sound artist whose eclectic compositions utilize children’s toys, electronic synthesizers, and urban field recordings. Her pieces are often accompanied by experimental visual scores that speak to Asma’s training as a fine artist. Asma’s work speaks directly to the violence and political turmoil she has witnessed while living in the disputed Palestinian Territories while exploring the juxtaposition of issues in everyday life.
Growing up in Morocco, Hatim (aka HAT) was an award-winning classical pianist, a guitarist, and surrounded by sounds of the country’s Arabic, Amazigh, and Sub-Saharan African origins. At Harvard, he studied sociology and music, and embraced electronic music as the key to unifying his eclectic influences. In 2012, Hatim founded remix ←→ culture, an international collective celebrating musical traditions in harmony with digital remix art.