Brandon J. Acker is a soloist, collaborator and lecturer on the classical guitar and early plucked instruments like the lute, baroque guitar and theorbo. Recent achievements include three CDs released by Jester Recordings. The newest CD includes music for harp and guitar by his duo, Strung Up. Brandon has toured through England and Scotland with Chamber Opera Chicago and performed with notable groups like the Newberry Consort, Third Coast Baroque, Bella Voce, Florentine Opera, the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble and more. He has been featured live on WFMT 98.7 and has premiered several works and arrangements on WDRT 91.9. In 2010, Brandon received 1st prize in the Society of American Musician’s Competition.
Articles Written By: jenn
Mr. Magnanini had an active performing career playing solo concerts and chamber music in the United States, South America ,China, and Europe. He just retired as Professor of Bassoon and Director of Woodwinds at the University of Miami School of Music. He has recorded for RCA and CBS, Altarus, Albany and Harmonia Mundi.
Magnanini, Luciano. Twentieth-Century Music for Bassoon and Piano. Altarus Records, Inc. 1998.
Magnanini, Luciano. Poulenc, Saint-Saens, Elliot. Altarus Records, Inc. 1995
Magnanini, Luciano. Gordon Jacob.Concerto for Bassoon.
Albany Records,USA, 2000
Magnanini. Luciano. A Tour d’Anches. French Music for Winds.
Altarus Records, Inc. 2000
One of the most in demand French Horn players in South Florida, Madison Allen enjoys a full and robust season as the Principal Horn of the Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony, Nu Deco Ensemble, and Assistant Principal Horn of the Naples Philharmonic. She also performs frequently with the Sarasota Orchestra and Atlantic Classical Orchestra. Mrs. Allen also spent many years teaching for the Miami Music Project, an after school program which caters to underserved youth, and Wynwood’s prestigious Miami Arts Charter School. Madison received her Bachelor of Music and Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University under the tutelage of Myron Bloom before continuing to hone her craft at the Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Michelle Baker. She completed her schooling by obtaining her Master of Music degree at the University of Miami while studying with Richard Todd. Originally from Houston, Texas, Madison currently resides in Miami Beach, Florida where she enjoys spending time with her husband, T.J., raising her newborn daughter, Austen, baking goodies in the kitchen, and watching soccer games.
Praised for her “incisive” playing by the New York Times, clarinetist Anna Brumbaugh is an active orchestral player and chamber musician. Currently principal clarinet of the Florida Grand Opera and the Palm Beach Symphony and with Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble, she has also performed professionally with the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, The American Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, The Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and the Lakes Area Chamber Music Festival in Brainerd, MN.
Robert Weiner has been the Professor of Oboe at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music since 1998. In addition to his duties at Frost, he is the Principal Oboist of the Florida Grand Opera and other orchestras in the South Florida area. Previous orchestral positions have included principal positions with the Oklahoma Symphony and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Additionally, he has performed as Guest Principal Oboe with the St. Louis Symphony, Florida Philharmonic and New York City Ballet Orchestra, among others. Teaching positions have included Cornell University, the University of Oklahoma and the Conservatorio Ollin Yolistli in Mexico City. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician countless times in the United States and Mexico. Acknowledged as an expert in specific areas of oboe playing he has been in demand for coaching and advice by oboists of all levels, including many from major orchestras.
– Michael Doherty
Wendy Pedersen and Jim Gasior have been enduring personalities in the South Florida music scene, each widely known for their passionate commitment to a notable breadth of musical projects, both live and in the studio.
Collectively, they have performed and/or recorded with Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Alejandro Sanz, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Ariana Grande, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Little Richard, Arturo Sandoval, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard, Robin Eubanks, and countless others.
As a duo they are dedicated to a deep respect for the Great American Songbook – with fresh arrangements and performances filled with freedom and joy. Their first recording, We Two, will be released in March of 2016.
The songs for We Two were selected for their enduring significance and the creative malleability that they offer. The listener will at once sense their heartfelt appreciation for these well-loved standards. In addition, their partnership embodies all of the spontaneity, intimate communication and fun of a jazz performance.
The playfulness of It Ain’t Necessarily So, the gospel-tinged Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, the lonely heartbreak of ‘Round Midnight, and the clever spin on My Favorite Things in 11/8 meter are just a few of the personal and emotive interpretations by the duo.
Wendy and Jim’s sincerest hope is that the listener might experience these songs as if for the first time and feel welcome to share in their lively and lyrical journey.
“It’s rare to find two such beautiful cats, rare too that they should find each other and make such beautiful music together. We Two is a long-awaited treat!”
-The Real Tracy Fields, host of Evenin’ Jazz, WLRN-FM Miami
“Jim is a musician’s musician!”
“His accompaniment makes me want to play!”
Jim Gasior is a pianist, jazz educator, and arranger based in South Florida.
He has performed and/or recorded with international pop artists and groups – Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Alih Jey, Chayanne, Jose Feliciano, Little Richard, Michael Bolton, Smokey Robinson, as well as jazz artists – Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Terell Stafford, Patti Austin, John Fedchock, Duffy Jackson, Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Robin Eubanks, Jeremy Pelt, Jay Leonhart and the Jaco Pastorius Reunion Big Band. Jim performs regularly in South Florida with Wendy Pedersen, Ed Calle, The Fernando Ulibarri Quartet, Melton Mustafa, and others.
Jim is the Associate Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida where he serves as the director of the national award-winning NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble. His students regularly receive top honors and recognition such as Downbeat Student Music Awards, GRAMMY High School Jazz Band, and admission into the nation’s top college jazz programs.
Jazz at Lincoln Center frequently sends Jim to conduct clinics and master classes for high school students and band directors throughout the United States.
Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance, a Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy – both from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
“…She can steam up your contact lenses from 100 feet away!”
-Doug Adrianson, The Miami Herald
Wendy Pedersen is one of South Florida’s favorite performers. Her high-energy vocal delivery, with deep, convincing emotion has been impacting audiences for many years.
A graduate of the University of Miami’s Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program, Wendy began her singing career in high school, but her earliest memory is poring through her mom’s record collection, practically wearing out the vinyl on Elton John and Beatles records. Eventually, her heart found its way to jazz and it has felt like home ever since.
Wendy has won many awards including the Southern Bell/Pace “Jazz Artist of the Year” and a Miami New Times “best vocalist”. Leonard Pitts of The Miami Herald said, “when she sings, her voice an elegant melismatic instrument, evokes the standard emotions, yes, but deeper longings and muted desires.”
Doug Adrianson, also of The Miami Herald said, “..she can steam up your contact lenses from 100 feet away.”
The Miami New Times said, “Wendy can shake the rafters or break your heart…”
Wendy Pedersen’s discography includes her debut CD Me + Three,
Ho Ho Ho, Under The Influence, Boy Meets Girl, and her brand new release We Two with Jim Gasior.
Wendy is also a highly sought after studio singer and has recorded for or performed with artists such as Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Arturo Sandoval, Rita Moreno, Alejandro Sanz, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, James Brown and countless others.