Artist Bios

wild Up

“A raucous, grungy, irresistibly exuberant...fun-loving, exceptionally virtuosic family” -New York Times

wild Up is an experimental classical ensemble. A flexible band of Los Angeles musicians committed to creating visceral, thought-provoking happenings. The group, led by artistic director and conductor Christopher Rountree, unites around the belief that no music is off limits, and that a concert space should be as moving as the music heard in it: small, powerful and unlike anything else. Our projects are meant to bring people together, defy convention and address the need for heart-wrenching, mind-bending experiences.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

“The West Coast singer and producer mixes meditative synths with organic instrumentation to create a beautifully bespoke sound world.” -Pitchfork

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's formative years were spent communing with nature on Orcas Island in the northwest region of Washington state, a place she describes as "one of the most magical and peaceful places I have ever been." Though she wouldn't begin experimenting with modular synthesis until many years later, her creative work continues to be infused with and inspired by the vitality and serenity of Orcas. 

Smith left the island to attend Berklee College of Music, where she studied composition and sound engineering, initially focusing on her voice as her primary instrument, before switching to classical guitar and piano. She employed many of the skills she refined in college in her indie-folk band Ever Isles, but a fateful encounter with a neighbor who lent her a Buchla 100 synthesizer, had a profound effect on her. Mesmerized by the Buchla’s potential, she explains "I got so distracted and enamored with the process of making sounds with it that I abandoned the next Ever Isles album." Starting with rhythmic patterns and melodic pulses, she soon began sculpting lush and exciting worlds of sound.

LA Percussion Quartet

"mesmerizing.., colorful, atmospheric and...supremely melodic music." -New York Times

Since 2009, the GRAMMY-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ) has forged a distinct identity as a world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble that is dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works for percussion quartet. Originally, members Nick Terry, Matt Cook, Justin DeHart, and Cory Hills joined together to create a classical percussion ensemble that would champion the important contributions of 20th century West Coast composers while collaborating with local artists to continue the tradition of innovation and exploration. Today, the group continues their mission while broadening creative output through recordings, performances, and educational outreach.

Namad Trio

Kourosh Taghavi was born in Gorgan, Iran in 1965. After his migration to the United States in 1984 he began studying the Setâr with Ms. Partow Houshmand-Rad. He later had the great fortune to continue his studies of the Setâr and classical music of Iran with Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi and Ostad Hossein Alizadeh. These ongoing studies are the source of his unique approach to the art of Iranian music. Taghavi’s passionate and melodic approach to music is the foundation of his many collaborations and recordings with numerous artists performing both the traditional and modern art forms of Iranian music. 

Pascal Le Boeuf

"[Le Boeuf's] performances and compositions display an impressive level of sophistication. Textured harmonies and shifting time signatures are handled with aplomb." -San Francisco Chronicle

Pascal's Triangle is a modern jazz piano trio that formed with the goal of developing an approach to conversational improvisation to connect with listeners on a deeper musical and emotional level. Le Boeuf explains, "as an artist, I see my responsibly to humanity as that of a diver, charged with the task of swimming deep within the mind, beneath the surface of reality, to retrieve something beautiful, undiscovered or interesting to share with the real world. When we formed Pascal's Triangle, it was with the unspoken agreement that we would practice this art of diving together. We trust each other's choices and share an orientation towards self expression through group improvisation. Every time we sit down to make music, we are exploring the depths of what is possible".


“Their teamwork was exemplary, their playing was a delight... They not only showed a commitment to the music, but to communicating with each other.” -San Diego Union-Tribune

HOCKET is a cutting edge piano duo based in Los Angeles. Lauded as “brilliant” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, members Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff are both pianist-composers dedicated to commissioning and performing contemporary music. They have performed in some of the most exciting festivals and venues across the country including The Bang on Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, The Center for New Music in San Francisco, and the Carlsbad Music Festival. Together, they have premiered dozens of chamber and solo piano works and have collaborated with the premier, new music ensembles eighth blackbird and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. HOCKET is a recipient of a Presser Foundation Award and has been a selected artist in Firebird Ensemble's Outstanding Young Artists Initiative. HOCKET is a performing artist on the Schoenhut Piano Company Artist Roster.

Richard Valitutto

“quietly dazzling,” and “vigorously virtuosic” -Los Angeles Times

Richard Valitutto is an emphatic and dedicated performer of compositions for the piano that span the instrument’s entire existence. Described by the Los Angeles Times as a “vivid soloist,” “quietly dazzling,” and “vigorously virtuosic,” he is a piano soloist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist, and composing/improvising creative whose soloistic charisma and flexible collaborative artistry have made him one of the most sought after pianists of his generation for his tenacity in bringing dynamic life to scores old and new in the spirit of integrated collaboration and informed understanding.

Justine Aronson

“a deep reservoire of expressive devices to fill the jagged score with life and dread." -New York Times

Hailed by The New York Times as possessing "a deep reservoir of expressive devices," soprano Justine Aronson employs artistic and technical versatility to create passionate performances. Her interpretations have captured the attention of those producing new music, earning her premiers of works by composers including David Lang, Daron Hagen, Christopher Cerrone, Aaron Jay Kernis, Thomas Pasatieri, Fred Hersch, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Nicholas Deyoe, Andrew McIntosh, Richard Valitutto, and Philip Rice. Specializing in baroque and contemporary repertoires, Ms. Aronson has appeared in concert as a soloist with The New York Festival of Song, The Lucerne Festival Academy, The Bard Music Festival, The String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Brightwork New Music, Princeton Pro Musica, Reno Kantorei, The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, The Masterwork Chorale, the Westminster Summer Festival, and the Los Angeles-based modern music collective wild Up, among others.  She is equally at home with traditional repertoire, portraying roles including Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Despina (Così fan tutte), Yum Yum (The Mikado), Monica (The Medium), Nuria in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, and Yniold (Pelléas et Mélisande).


gnarwhallaby was formed in 2011 to revive and perform the repertoire composed for the unique instrumentation of clarinet, trombone, cello, and piano.

as its starting point, the quartet used the missions and repertoires of the now defunct, avant-garde polish ensemble   warsztat muzyczny as well as the later german outfit quartett avance.

as the third generation "grandchild" quartet – the first in the united states and the only currently active quartet of its kind in the world – gnarwhallaby continues to expand this largely unknown and fascinating body of repertoire with active composer commissions and original compositions by its members.

Matt McBane

“a natural composer, a fresh voice and, from the evidence of his festival, a first-rate organizer with a broad range of musical interests” -Los Angeles Times

Matt McBane founded the Carlsbad Music Festival in his hometown of Carlsbad in 2004. In addition, he is a composer whose music ranges from visceral rhythms and complex grooves to delicate melodies and rich textures, freely and intuitively incorporating a wide array of influences including: minimalism, avant pop, experimentalism, European classical music, art rock, jazz, film music, fiddle music and electronic music. He is the composer and violinist for his band Build which received widespread critical acclaim for its two albums (Place 2011 and Build 2008) on New Amsterdam Records. In 2015 his 5 movement suite for bluegrass string band “Drawn” was released on the Jake Schepps Quintet’s album “Entwined” which was selected as a top album of the year by Colorado Public Radio. He is currently a Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University. 


Alexander Elliott Miller

Alexander Elliott Miller is a composer, guitarist and educator whose music has been described as "wild....unearthly...lyrical...a voice worth listening to" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "deceptively laid back...inventive....unconventional" (Mark Swed, LA Times).   His compositions have been performed by Grammy-nominated musicians including Tony Arnold, Vicki Ray, Aron Kallay and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and ensembles including Earplay New Chamber Music and the Boston New Music Initiative.  Miller has collaborated, either as a composer or electric guitarist, with organizations including the Hear Now Festival, Carlsbad Music Festival, Long Beach Opera, People Inside Electronics, and received honors including an Earplay Donald Aird Composers Award and a MacDowell Fellowship.  


Alexandra Matloff

A native of Arizona, Alexandra Matloff is recognized as a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. With a passion for new music, Alexandra frequently premieres contemporary works, having worked with composers Julia Wolfe and David Lang, among others. She has additionally collaborated and premiered new works with members of the JACK Quartet, the American Modern Ensemble, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Alexandra currently performs in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has held positions with the Eastern Festival Orchestra, the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew Tholl

part of the wild Up Invasion

Dr. Andrew Tholl is a Los Angeles based violinist, composer, drummer, and improvisor. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed as “vigorously virtuosic,” his performances and compositions have been heard across the United States and Europe.   


Anishka Lee-Skorepa

in conjunction with the San Diego Opera

Dramatic soprano, Anishka Lee-Skorepa hails from San Diego, California where she was raised in a culturally diverse environment, speaking Spanish, listening to and performing music from many genres and cultures. Her advanced education began at San Francisco State University where she completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, with honors. From there she received a fellowship to attend the University of Arizona to earn her Masters of Music in Voice Performance.

Throughout her career she has performed as a soloist and as part of touring ensembles on stages the world over, including: San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Arizona, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Cuba, and China.


Aperture Duo

Aperture Duo is an emerging ensemble that brings violin and viola chamber music into focus in the Los Angeles area. Violinist Adrianne Pope and violist Linnea Powell met in 2014 while performing in the LA-based modern music collective, wild Up. After discovering a shared alma mater and a mutual hunger for rarely performed chamber music, they began exploring violin and viola repertoire and formed Aperture Duo in early 2015.


The B Band

The B Band is an ensemble led by Ben Phelps. Called "feisty" and "impressive" by the LA Times, Ben Phelps lives in Los Angeles, where he is a percussionist, composer and amateur urban planning enthusiast. He is director of What’s Next?, a leading post-classical new music event and performance collective in Southern California, and has performed and collaborated extensively with many other local chamber music groups, including the Definiens Project, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, WildUp, and the pioneering multimedia based theater company Rogue Artists Ensemble. 


Daniel Corral

Daniel Corral is a composer and multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Eagle River, Alaska. His music is a rich collusion of styles, constantly blurring the boundaries between the familiar and foreign, mirroring the diasporic evolution of cultural identity in the twenty-first century. Currently residing in Los Angeles, his unique voice has found outlet in puppet operas, accordion orchestras, handmade music boxes, electronic collages, site-specific installations, chamber music, and interdisciplinary collaborations. His music has gained great attention in Los Angeles, being commissioned and presented by venues such as REDCAT, The Hammer Museum, MOCA, USC’s Thornton School of Music, CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, The Pianospheres Series, and The Santa Monica GLOW Festival.


Daniel Pate

Percussionist Daniel Pate is a bustling performer who's work can be seen frequently in New York City and the surrounding areas.  He has performed on the Green Umbrella Concert Series held at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, The Ojai Music Festival, the Mondavi Center, Symphony Space in NYC and The Abrons Center in NYC.  He has also presented concerts and masterclasses at Southeastern Louisiana University,  New York University, Gettysburg University, Denver Metropolitan University and Mesa College.  


Dapper Bandits

“Is this Jazz?” you may find yourself asking, until you’re dancing to the rhythms of the swinging gypsies and the Persian melodies of The Dapper Bandits. Vafa Samiei - Keys, Koosha Hakimi - Drums, Shannon Nauss - Electric Bass, Danny Gonzalez - Saxophone.


Euphoria Brass Band

Euphoria Brass Band is a San Diego based musical collective that serves up a contemporary mix of old school New Orleans traditional brass band jazz, funky street beats and new school edginess with a West Coast feeling!


G Burns Jug Band

The G Burns Jug Band plays old American music with an intensity and authenticity rarely heard today: urban blues, mountain fiddle, and popular music of the nineteen-twenties and thirties. Based in San Diego, G Burns is led by multi-instrumentalist and native Kentuckian Clinton Davis, who grew up hearing jug band music in its birthplace of Louisville.


The Gift Machine

An Indie pop psych rock duo from North County San Diego via the Pacific Northwest, The Gift Machine is mainly the moniker for the songs of Dave Matthies, but has featured many different people over the years. Past members include Karl Blau, Phil Elverum (the Microphones, Mt. Eerie), Nate Ashley, Alex Parrish (Dame Dulce), Lisa Jackson (the Crabs), Steve Moore (Stebmo, Laura Veirs, Mount Analog, etc.), Jeremy Hadley (Vellela Vellella), and many more. 


Inspired and the Sleep

Inspired and the Sleep is a revolving project of solo lo-fi recordings as well as a psych-pop band translation in a different vein coming out of San Diego, CA. 


Isaura String Quartet

The Isaura String Quartet promotes traditional and contemporary chamber music through live performance, workshops, and collaborative projects with composers and interdisciplinary artists. The Los Angeles-based ensemble has worked closely with composers including Anne LeBaron, Gloria Coates, Mark Menzies, Cassia Streb, Daniel Corral, Sean Griffin, and Charles Gaines. 


Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble

JCDE is an internationally recognized group that combines acoustic instruments, electronic hardware, composed material, and structured improvisation. JCDE has played chamber concert series, galleries, and performance spaces nationwide. JCDE presents programs of live music to film, including The Golem and Chant d'Amour. JCDE attracted global attention in 2010 with 20th anniversary concerts of Depeche Mode's Violator performed with strings and brass. Long Beach Post says JCDE will “take the listener to a rarely-visited psychedelic state of mind… the sometimes-structured, sometimes-abstract free-form instrumentals and electronic sounds transcend traditional musical boundaries and require an open mind and an appreciation for creative exploration.”

Jesse Daniel Edwards

Jesse Daniel Edwards is an independent songwriter currently residing in the small beachside town of Carlsbad, CA. He spent seven years on the road with The Smart Brothers, releasing 5 recordings and performing with the likes of First Aid Kit, Matt Costa, American Aquarium, and John Prine.

Known for his passionate vocals and smart lyrics, JDE’s sound is infused with Americana, rock, pop, and a touch of soul. A recent review described him as, “evoking the best of World Party and Tears for Fears” (Indie Radar). 


Jodie Landau

part of the wild Up Invasion

Jodie Landau is a 23-year-old composer, vocalist, and percussionist. His music combines elements of chamber music, rock, and jazz for live performance, film, theater, and dance. As a solo performer, Jodie sings while playing vibraphone and marimba. Landau works with the acclaimed modern music collective, wild Up as a performer, composer and production manager.

Kamini Natarajan

Kamini Natarajan is one of the leading young Indian Classical Singers. Kamini comes from a musical family and started learning intricacies of Ragas and complex taal patterns since she was 6 yrs old. Kamini currently lives in Simi Valley, CA. She teaches Indian Classical Music, performs and records. She plays Indian Classical music as well as devotional, Kirtan music. Kamini frequently performs in Southern California area and is much sought after Kirtan Artist. Her command over intricacies of Raga and her soulful voice leaves audience mesmerized and asking for an encore. Her music is spiritual, mystical and simply engaging. She incorporates intricate Raagas and traditional rhythm patterns – “Taals” and lifts listeners into a higher state of consciousness- a state of pure bliss, away from day-to-day stress.


L.A. Edwards

L.A. Edwards is a young Californian songwriter.  L.A. (aka Luke Andrew) was raised on Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, and Cat Stevens. After dropping out of high school at 15, Edwards spent several years on the road with his brother as a folk duo singing love songs and gaining an education from some of America’s best songwriters in Nashville, TN.  The result is encore-ready folk rock with just the right hint of alt-country, rich in high-baritone-and-tenor harmonies and spare in all other ways, like a perfect next-generation combination of Ryan Adams, Simon & Garfunkel, and Tom Petty.



MandoBasso is a duo featuring Gunnar Biggs on bass and Bill Bradbury on mandolin.  Biggs and Bradbury first came together as colleagues working on projects at both Palomar College and Cal State San Marcos.  Biggs comes from a strong background in jazz and classical performance, Bradbury from a composition and computer music background.  Their mutual love of Irish and traditional American music brought them together in this unusual pairing of mandolin and bass.  MandoBasso performances include mainly new compositions, along with arrangements of traditional music, classical music, jazz and ragtime.


Now Hear Ensemble

The Now Hear Ensemble’s goal is to combine the intimacy of the classical concert experience and their fascination with contemporary theater, video art, electronic music, and installation art. The members of the ensemble embrace contemporary music and pop culture because they believe a cross-genre approach leads to new territory for creativity.


Paper Days

‘Paper Days is an indie-rock group out of sunny California with touches of garage-rock and post-punk. The latter two stylistic influences are particularly present in the dexterous guitars...Paper Days have a very obvious knack for memorable and energetic garage-rock/post-punk hybrids.’ -Mike Mineo


Peter Kuhn + Kyle Motl

Avant jazz duo led by Buddhist priest, Peter Kuhn who plays clarinet and saxophone. He has performed with many legendary jazz players including Lester Bowie, Billy Bang, Frank Lowe and William Parker. Kyle Motl is a bassist, composer, and improviser. Active in a variety of ensembles and settings, Kyle’s work crosses the boundaries between idioms as wide as free jazz, contemporary concert music, and extreme metal.

Peter Sprague

San Diego based jazz guitarist, composer, arranger, recording engineer, producer, and life-long surfer.  “One of the emergent great guitarists.” Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times. While he is highly conversant with many forms of both jazz and classical music, his own compositions and arrangements have often reflected a Latin flavor, though lately he has created and performed a number of pieces specifically for his "String Consort" group (featuring a string quartet of violins, viola, and cello) which range from classical- to American folk-originated explorations.



Rumi in Outer Space...Trance Rock ala Arabesque, Persian. Qamar explores and incorporates Arabic and Persian motifs into a progressive rock/Western music.


The Red Fox Tails

The Red Fox Tails---All original west-coast-surf-soul-jazz-rock sound out of San Diego, California...Surf meets jam…very often venturing South of the Border with sounds reminiscent of Latin and Afro Cuban music. Aka…'surfing spacemen in sombreros'---the quartet relays their motion picture soundtrack for the keen listener.



A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, SAKURA is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Jonathan Dormand (UK), Michael Kaufman (USA), Yoshika Masuda (Japan/Australia), Peter Myers (USA), and Sarah Rommel (USA).Drawing from the rich heritage of a repertoire that spans eight centuries, eclectic and unexpected programs are constructed around conceptual threads, with an overarching commitment to opening new vistas of beauty and expression by showcasing the great warmth and scope offered by the sound of five cellos.


Son de San Diego

Son de San Diego plays music from the southern region of Veracruz state in Mexico known as Son Jarocho. They use traditional string instruments (jarana, guitarra de son and tarima). The best-known song from this tradition is "La Bamba."

Stephanie Richards + Andrew Munsey

Traveling the spaces between new music, improvisation and performance art, Brooklyn-based trumpeter and composer Stephanie Richards examines the physical, visual and auditory interactions of live music performance. As reflected in her recently commissioned works, Rotations for twelve choreographed musicians and carousel organ and Trading Futures for six hundred choreographed found sound surfaces, Stephanie’s theatrical tendencies often result in compositional collaborations of sound, sight and movement. Andrew B. Munsey is drummer, composer, and sound engineer living and working in San Diego, CA and Brooklyn, NY. He has performed and premiered works at Lincoln Center, Vision Festival, Symphony Space, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and most recently at the Festival of New Trumpet Music, Canada.

Taken by Canadians

Band members Ben Ambrosini,  Anna Zinova, Marco Savoia and Tristan Faulk-Webster pump out rock & roll for creeps.


Trouble in the Wind

Trouble in the Wind has been labeled as folk, Americana, alternative, country, surf rock …etc but the Southern California quartet likes to call themselves “rock and roll”.

The band’s stripped-down organic sound is a multi-instrumental collective fronted by songwriter Robby Gira, whose staggering powerful voice creates the center of attention of their songs. The group’s instrumentation of accordion, upright bass, brushes, banjo and guitars color the emotional songs which blend and range from ballads to surf folk to soulful rockers.