Articles Written By: jenn

Naomi Bensdorf Frisch

cccab532-19b6-4c79-8efa-26c5c57b8edf-originalOboist Naomi Bensdorf Frisch, a Chicago native, is Principal Oboe of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. From 2003 through 2018, Naomi was principal Oboe of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and also performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra,  and others.  An avid chamber musician, Naomi has performed as a soloist and chamber music collaborator with many ensembles throughout the Midwest and coaches woodwind chamber music for the award winning Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Program.  Ms. Bensdorf Frisch received her Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University as a student of Ray Still and her Master of Music from DePaul University as a student of Robert Morgan.  Recently, Ms. Bensdorf Frisch completed her Juris Doctorate at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.  In addition to playing the Oboe, she has been working as a plaintiffs’ employment law attorney since May of 2018. 

Jeff Adkins, bass

jeff adkins for websiteA native of West Palm Beach, Jeff Adkins is a double bassist who thrives on connecting with audiences across musical genres. Jeff enjoys a diverse career in South Florida’s vibrant music scene, currently performing as a member of Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Nu Deco Ensemble where he also performs on electric bass. Jeff has had the fortune of supporting great artists including Gloria Estefan, Sir James Galway, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Mario Cantone, Bernadette Peters, and The Platters.
Also a committed instructor, Jeff coaches young bassists at The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and The Bak Middle school of the Arts. Additionally, Jeff is an Artist in Residence at The Conservatory School in North Palm Beach. As a private teacher, Jeff encourages students to seek their own path by attaining the skills necessary for personal growth and expression. Many of his students have continued their studies at top music programs throughout the country.
Jeff began his studies on double bass at age eight at Palm Beach Public School. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Lynn Conservatory of Music where his primary teachers were Shigeru Ishikawa and Timothy Cobb.

Joseph Monticello – flute

20170715_155458Flutist Joseph Monticello’s playing has been praised by both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as “graceful” and for being as “exciting as the singers.” Equally at home on both modern and historical flutes, Joseph spends most of his year as second flutist of the Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony orchestras, making his home in Miami. Joseph remains active in the historical performance world, performing with Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, New York Baroque Incorporated, and as the principal flute of the newly formed Teatro Nuovo festival orchestra, specializing in the historically informed presentation of Bel Canto operatic masterworks on period-appropriate instruments. Having received his Masters in Historical Performance from The Juilliard School, Joseph has performed and toured worldwide with many of the leading conductors and ensembles of the early music movement, including: Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Jordi Savall, Harry Bickett, Richard Egarr, and William Christie, having twice participated in the Les Arts Florissants summer festival “Dans les Jardins de William Christie” in Thiré, France. Prior to his studies at Juilliard, Joseph received his Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory under Michel Debost and later, Alexa Still. It was there he first took up the baroque flute under Kathie Stewart, before continuing his studies with Sandra Miller at Juilliard.

Farinelli – April 11, 2019

Concert3_3On Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:30pm, The M building will open its doors to one of the “most fascinating and versatile singing artists in the world today:” counter-tenor Max Emmanuel Cencic.*  Discover the unpredictable music from the 18th century for the fiery 3rd musimelange’s performance of season 8.
EverCook in tandem with Alloy Bistro Gourmet will transport us to Italy with their eccentric hors d’œuvres prepared to pair the extravagance of Max Emmanuel Cencic accompanied by an open wine bar offered and selected by Barton & Guestier followed by scrumptious desserts by Gb Catering and Frice Cream.
WHAT
Farinelli on Monday, March 11th, at 7:30pm. in the comfort of the living room in an art gallery: The M Building, nestled in the Wynwood Art District.
ACT 1: The event begins at 7:30pm with an open wine bar by Barton & Guestier paired with expertly crafted Mediterranean flavors prepared by our exclusive chef: Vincent Catala from EverCook who will be working side by side with Chef Federico Genovese from Alloy Bistro Gourmet.
ACT 2: The concert will start at 8:15pm – a Baroque concert of arias with Max Emmanuel Cencic, counter-tenor –Anne Chicheportiche violin – Claudia Cagnassone violin – Richard Fleischman, viola – Juan Pablo Peña, bass – Paul Cienniwa, harpsichord.
ACT 3: After the concert, all your senses will be in harmony and you will have a chance to get to know the artist while tasting exquisite Tiramisu by Gb Catering and smooth Gelati by Frice Cream.
WHERE
The M Building
194 NW 30th st
Miami, FL 33127
TICKETS
$55 online  |  $65 @ the door | $100 half SEASON (2 musimelange)

The online price will be available until March 10th at midnight

Reserve Tickets

* Max Emmanuel Cencic performance is made possible by the generosity of Dr. Marvin Sackner. ** Hors d’oeuvres are generously sponsored by EverCook & Alloy Bistro Gourmet. *** Open wine bar generously sponsored by Barton & Guestier. **** Desserts are generously sponsored by Gb Catering and Frice Cream.

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musiJAZZ | Feb. 25, 2019

musiJAZZ Poster.001For the second performance of season 8, musimelange, the multi-sensory chamber music series in Miami, welcomes you to experience musiJAZZ with Hendrik Meurkens. The virtuoso jazz harmonica player will be coming down from freezing New York to perform with pianist Jim Gasior, bassist Jamie Ousley and dummer Goetz Kujack – and warm our hearts with some Brazilian Jazz. The concert will be paired with EverCook creative hors d’œuvres & desserts, Barton & Guestier’s delicious selection of wines and BON Chocolatier decadent chocolates.
WHAT
musiJAZZ on Monday, February 25, at 7:30pm. in the comfort of the living room in an art gallery: The M Building, nestled in the Wynwood Art District.
ACT 1: Enjoy an open wine bar offered by Barton & Guestier and connect with Chef Vincent Catala from our 2019 exclusive partner  EverCook who will once again share his love for gastronomy through his creative hors d’oeuvres specially prepared to pair the concert.
ACT 2: Sit back and relax for an intimate concert of “Brazilian Jazz” with Hendrik Meurkens, harmonica – Jim Gasior, piano – Jamie Ousley, bass and Goetz Kujack, drums
ACT 3: After the concert, all your senses will be in harmony and it will be time for gourmet desserts by EverCook and a degustation of decadent flavorful chocolates by BON Chocolatier to know the artists.

WHERE
The M Building
194 NW 30th st
Miami, FL 33127
TICKETS
$55 online  |  $65 @ the door | $100 half SEASON (2 musimelange)

The online price will be available until February 25th

Reserve Tickets

* The quartet performance is made possible by the generosity of Dr. Fred Jonas. ** Hors d’oeuvres are generously sponsored by EverCook. *** Open wine bar generously sponsored by Barton & Guestier. **** Piano generously sponsored by Euro Piano Naples & Hamilton Pianos. ***** Chocolates are generously offered by BON Chocolatier.

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Paul Cienniwa

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Cited by the Huffington Post for his “inner sense of creative flow, fueled by an abundance of musical imagination and desire,” harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa has an active career as a soloist, ensemble player, recording artist, and teacher. He strives to bring the harpsichord to new audiences by creating a spiritual communion through focused interpretations intensified by memorized repertoire. His first solo recording, Harpsichord Music for a Thin Place (Whaling City Sound), exemplifies his artistic goals as a “transport to the threshold between the ordinary and the spiritual…to the point where the ordinary becomes spiritual and the spiritual becomes ordinary.

His playing of Francis Poulenc’s Concert champêtre was heralded by the New Bedford Standard-Times as “exquisite—no drama, no posturing—just consummate artistry and a superb performance of a marvelous concerto,” and The Boston Musical Intelligencer called his performance of Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in A Major “a joyous romp.” EDGE Boston found his playing “expert,” while The Listening Room said that his performance was “charming, polished, musically profound, and technically brilliant.”

For his CD of the Bach Viola da Gamba Sonatas with cellist Audrey Sabattier-Cienniwa (Whaling City Sound), KBAQ radio (Phoenix, AZ) called his ability to accompany “spot-on…perfect.” His recording with Grammy Award-winning uilleann piper Jerry O’Sullivan was called “drop-dead gorgeous and named one of the top ten Irish traditional albums of 2010 by The Irish Echo. An advocate of new music, he is featured on a two-CD set of music by composer Larry Thomas Bell titled In a Garden of Dreamers (Albany Records).

A frequent chamber music collaborator, he has performed the complete Bach Violin Sonatas with renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine on Chicago’s WFMT radio and during the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival. As an orchestral continuo player, he played regularly with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and Rhode Island Philharmonic. In recent years, he has appeared at Emmanuel Music with violinist Nicholas Kitchen, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the White Mountain Bach Festival, VentiCordi, and, with uilleann piper Jerry O’Sullivan, the Catskills Irish Arts Week.

Originally from Niles, IL, Paul Cienniwa began his keyboard studies at age six. In his teen years, he played thrash guitar with the Evanston, IL punk band Malicious Intent, followed by seven years as keyboardist with the innovative Chicago-based Irish group Baal Tinne. From 2003-2010, he led Newport Baroque in works from Arne to Zelenka, including performances of Bach cantatas and Purcells Dido & Aeneas, and in 2009, he was music director for Boston Opera Collaboratives acclaimed production of Handels Alcina.

He been awarded Belgian American Educational Foundation and Fulbright grants, and his musicological articles and reviews have appeared in American and European journals, including Early Music, Ad Parnassum and Early Music America. As an educator, he has taught at the Yale University School of Music, Salve Regina University, Stonehill College, Framingham State University, UMass-Dartmouth, Mount Ida College,  and the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

In 2017 he began serving as Director of Music Ministries at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, FL. Prior to that, he was music director at First Church in Boston and Chorus Master of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.

Paul Cienniwa started his undergraduate studies as a pianist in the studio of Michael Ruiz at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. After completing his bachelor’s degree at DePaul University with harpsichordist Roger Goodman and organist Jerome Butera, he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in harpsichord from Yale University, where he was a student of Richard Rephann. He has also studied harpsichord with Peter Watchorn, John Whitelaw, and David Schrader.

For more information, visit www.paulcienniwa.com.

August 2017 — Please destroy all previously dated materials. Please request permission to edit or amend.

Jamie Ousley

bfc272e7c92e75b031865596ec3e4Jamie Ousley has been one of the most in-demand bassists in south Florida since he moved to Miami in the fall of 1998 to attend graduate school in the prestigious Jazz program of the University of Miami. He has since completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Bass Performance and continues to perform and teach both locally and internationally.

Jamie has released two CDs as leader: O Sorriso Dela (2008) and Back Home (2010). Both were recorded in Japan and Miami and feature primarily original compositions. Back Home reached #10 on the Jazz Roots national radio chart. Of Jamie’s original music, Chuck Vecoli of JazzReview writes, “The compositions are all deeply spiritual pieces. . .They approach timelessness.”

Jamie has performed with many artists including: Ira Sullivan, Benny Golson, George Shearing, James Moody, Eddie Higgins, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Liebman, John Fedchock, Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Jim McNeeley, Nestor Torres, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Carmen Lundy, Harry Allen, Bob Berg, Duffy Jackson, Steve Davis, Adam Nussbaum, Vic Damone, Nicole Henry, Annie Sellick, Suzanne Somers, Stephanie Nakasian, Hod O’Brien, Wycliffe Gordon, Johnny O’Neil, Jason Marsalis and Les DeMerle.

Jamie has had the pleasure of performing for many celebrities, dignitaries, and heads of state including: President Bill Clinton, Governor Jeb Bush, Prince Albert of Monaco, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, King Kigeli V of Rwanda, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie of Ethiopia, Janet Jackson, Shirley MacLaine, Gloria Estefan, Heidi Klum, and the Dalai Lama.

Jamie has performed at many international jazz festivals and locations including: the Ballydehob International Jazz Festival in Ireland, the Montego Bay Jazz Festival in Jamaica, Festival Mizik Jakmel in Haiti, Marian’s Jazz Room in Bern Switzerland, the Berlington Vermont Jazz Festival, “Jazz in June” in Lincoln Nebraska, Festival Miami, the International Association of Jazz Educators in New York and Los Angeles, and at “Azul” in Osaka, Japan.

Jamie has studied music in the studios of Patrick Simpson, Don Coffman, Lucas Drew, and Vince Maggio. He has degrees from the following universities:

B.A. Major in Music from Virginia Tech (1998)
M.M. in Jazz Bass Performance from the University of Miami (2000)
D.M.A. in Jazz Bass Performance from the University of Miami (2008)

Goetz Kujack

Götz KujackOriginally from Bremen, Germany, Goetz studied at University of North Texas and started his career as a studio/ live drummer and percussionist in Germany before relocating to South Florida in 1992.

He quickly became embedded in several camps of the South Florida music scene, from Jazz to Blues as well as Latin and Pop music styles. He received a Grammy nomination playing with Sammy Figueroa in 2005 and has since then supported a variety of artists like, Raul Midon, Randy Brecker, Toots Thielemann, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Claudio Roditi and Rose Max to name a few. 

Previously an adjunct faculty member at FIU’s Jazz department, he enjoys teaching drums as well as Latin percussion.

Hendrik Meurkens

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Hendrik Meurkens, a virtuoso on both the chromatic harmonica and the vibraphone, is the most important jazz harmonica player since Toots Thielemans. German-born but now based in New York, Meurkens’ recordings and performances garner worldwide acclaim because the transcendent beauty of his music has universal appeal.

A two-mallet player in the tradition of Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson, Hendrik Meurkens was en-route to being an instantly recognizable vibraphonist when he heard Toots Thielemans. Inspired by the sound of Thielemans’ harmonica, he taught himself the difficult-to-master instrument.

Hendrik Meurkens’ other life-changing musical experience was his introduction to samba and bossa nova. He was so moved by Brazilian music that after perfecting his unique musical voice at Berklee, as a vibraphone major, he moved to Rio in the early 80s to totally immerse himself in music and culture of Brazil.

A regular Monday night gig at the popular Rio club, Bar 21, soon demonstrated his acceptance by Brazilian musicians. Meurkens’ poignant, emotionally affecting harmonica proved to be a sound that Brazilians strongly embraced, and during his Rio days, he met many musicians who later became collaborators in both Europe and New York.

Back in Germany by ’83, he became a respected studio musician, recording with European Radio Orchestras and leading his own groups, as well as accompanying visiting legends like Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison and Buddy Tate.

Within ten years, he had established himself as the “new jazz harmonica voice,” and moved to New York, thanks to an exclusive contract with the prestigious label, Concord Records. He has since recorded fifteen albums, and continues to perform as both a guest artist, and with his own groups, both in festivals and clubs globally.

Hendrik Meurkens’ profound involvement in both jazz and Brazilian music resulted in a very personal and instantly recognizable version of Samba jazz. This music, a cross-cultural amalgam guaranteed to touch the heart, features his harmonica and vibes along with piano, bass and drums, playing his stirring originals and arrangements. The group has been documented on a number of CDs, most notably the Hendrik Meurkens desert island disc, October Colors.

As a featured artist, he has recorded with Charlie Byrd, Jimmy Cobb, Ivan Lins, Monty Alexander, Claudio Roditi, Manfredo Fest and Mundell Lowe, as well as backing such leading artists as Astrid Gilberto and Olivia Newton John and touring with the Ray Brown Trio, Paquito D’Rivera, Oscar Castro Neves, Herb Ellis, Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, and James Moody among many others.

Also a successful composer (his compositions have been recorded by other artists and featured in the Hollywood movie, “Dolores Claiborne,”) Hendrik Meurkens remains equally at home playing jazz or Brazilian music. “My mission is simple,” he explains. “I want to create music of great beauty.”

Like any great musician, Hendrik Meurkens still practices incessantly, yet his music remains very melodic and rhythmically pleasing. “I like beautiful music, Sinatra, Jobim, Charlie Parker, so I concentrate on playing things that the audience can enjoy. Complicated music doesn’t really mean anything except for professionals who want to analyze it. I want people to feel what I do and the best way to do that is to play something touches their hearts.”

Max Emmanuel Cencic

Pressefoto_Cencic_2018_H_DSC_7426_hMax Emanuel Cencic is one of the most fascinating and versatile singing artists in the world today, and one dedicated to the revival and performance of the music of the 18th century.

His 2017/18 season will see many exciting projects, including a new production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, his debut at the Staatsoper Hamburg as well as Rossini’s La Donna del Lago at the Opera de Lausanne, where the artist will not only sing the demanding role of Malcolm but also function as director. Another high point will be the Europe tour with his new solo programme named Porpora (coinciding with the 250th anniversary of Nicola Antonio Porpora’s death) with concerts in Paris, Halle, Toulouse, Munich, Madrid and other cities. At the opening of the Markgräfliches Opernhaus Bayreuth he will perform the title role in Hasse’s Siroe, and, again, direct the production.

With his remarkable mezzo-soprano voice, Max Emanuel Cencic demonstrates that Baroque singing can be both technically brilliant and at the same time modern and emotionally engaging. For over two decades he has been performing in opera houses of the first rank, including the Wiener Staatsoper, the Theater an der Wien, the Opernhaus Zürich, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris and Brussels’ La Monnaie.
Concert engagements have taken him to the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Carnegie Hall (New York), the Barbican Center (London), Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Wiener Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus, and the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. In addition he has sung at numerous festivals worldwide. He regularly works with such conductors as William Christie, René Jacobs, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, George Petrou, Emmanuelle Haïm and Riccardo Muti. His education as a singer began as a member of the Wiener Saengerknaben (Vienna Boys’ Choir), with a solo career as a soprano from 1992, and as a counter-tenor from 2001.
On 21st September 2017, Max Emanuel Cencic celebrated the 35th anniversary of his first appearance on stage, with a performance of Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.

Max Emanuel Cencic entrances his audiences with his numerous projects, opera productions, CD recordings, and extensive tours. TV-stations such as Mezzo TV and Arte Concert have also documented several of his outstanding performances, including his revelatory presentation of Handel’s Alessandro (2012). As Artistic Director of Parnassus Arts Productions he is responsible for the conception, supervision and performance of important works of the Italian Baroque, among them the sensational re-discovery of Leonardo Vinci’s last opera, Artaserse, and, more recently, Arminio. As in its premiere in 1730 in Rome, this new production, performed with an all-male cast (including five counter-tenors), was widely praised, both in its live performances and on disc: it received ECHO Klassik awards in 2013 and 2014, the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Diapason d‘or, and was nominated for a Grammy. His inspired revival of Vinci’s opera Catone in Utica, with four counter-tenors in the cast, was equally successful, both on stage and as a CD recording. The CD Ottone with Max Emanuel Cencic in title role has been nominated for a Grammy.

His solo-recordings are every bit as riveting: with Venezia he charmed audiences and critics alike with highlights from Venetian opera, while the CD Rokoko contained a fascinating compilation of arias from the extended and virtually unknown opus of Johann Adolph Hasse. Max Emanuel Cencic’s most recent, critically acclaimed CD, Arie Napoletane, is dedicated to masterpieces of the Neapolitan school. His wide-ranging discography includes several world premiere recordings and has received a number of awards, among them the Diapason d’Or, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and Croatia’s Porin Prize. His discs have been “Editor’s Choice” in Gramophone magazine on several occasions. 2018, 250 years after Nicola Antonio Porpora’s death, two CD-recordings of the composer’s works will be published: Germanico in Germania in January with Max Emanuel Cencic in title role, and, in March, Cencic’s new solo CD Porpora.
The French Ministry of Culture has made him a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Max Emanuel Cencic is also well on his way to international fame as director, as with the live production of Hasse’s Siroe, which toured all over Europe and was released on CD by Decca. At the Handel festival in Karlsruhe in 2016 and 2017, he again undertook the double role of lead singer and director of Handel’s rarely performed opera, Arminio. In the coming seasons he will extend his directorial portfolio with new productions of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, as well as Handel’s Il Pastor Fido and Xerxes. Also on the horizon is the release by Warner Classics of arias recorded by Max Emanuel Cencic as a boy soprano.

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