2021 Art Omi: Music Fellows

Odero George Achieng (Kenya), performs folk music, writes his own songs, and plays the Orutu (a Kenyan one-stringed fiddle). He’s a storyteller who loves telling stories, learning and sharing ideas to many people. He’s the band leader of Kenge Kenge Orutu System, a folk band based in Kenya that has traveled to many countries, including performing a series of concerts at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in the USA.

Henry Fraser (USA) is a bassist, composer, improviser and educator based in New York City. He can be heard playing in many ensembles, such as the Brandon Seabrook Trio, CP Unit, Ryan Power, and the Anthony Coleman Trio. As an improviser he regularly collaborates with John McCowen, Erica Dicker, Joe Morris, Greg Kelley & Weasel Walter. Fraser's rigorous solo bass explorations have culminated in three releases: Briggs, Buzzed, and as is the morning, is. The self-titled record debut of his band The Full Salon was featured in the Rolling Stone article “6 Paths Through Jazz in 2020.” Fraser has toured internationally and has played at the Panama Jazz Festival, Moers Festival, Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria, Roulette Intermedium, Joe’s Pub, and The Stone.

Composer and trumpeter Volker Goetze (Germany/USA) arrived in New York 19 years ago. His contributions to the art world and city are multifaceted. He recently produced New York City's first Sound Sculpture Walk (Sonic Gates), toured the globe for over twelve years with his transcultural African-Harp and trumpet duo along with griot and kora virtuoso Ablaye Cissoko, released multiple jazz albums including large ensembles and orchestral, while also creating feature documentaries—uplifting and inspiring communities and fans.

Amanda Irarrázabal (Chile) is a double bass player, vocalist, improviser and composer. Her work is based on sound experimentation and the search of her own language through different musical expressions. She has been part of the music scene in Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile, where she currently lives. She has performed in various venues, theaters and festivals in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Panama, Bolivia, United States, Germany, Italy, Holland, Austria and England. She’s currently part of multiple projects, including Los Piures, with a Miguel Francisco, Carlos Alegre and Don Malfon; a duo with Miriam Den Boer Salmon; and her solo project, Caudal, which consists of a set of her own experimental songs.

Zach Layton (USA) is a guitarist, composer, curator, teacher and visual artist based in New York. He has performed and exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, the Kitchen, MoMa/PS1 and many other venues in New York and worldwide, and worked with a diverse range of artists and musicians including Vito Acconci, Bobby Previte, Ben Vida, Tony Conrad, Elliott Sharp, Bradford Reed, Alex Waterman, and many more. He is founder of the experimental music series, "Darmstadt: Classics of the Avant Garde" (co-curated with Nick Hallett), and formerly curator at PS1 and ISSUE Project Room. He has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation, NYFA, Experimental Television Center, Danish Council for Visual Arts, Jerome Foundation, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant to artists award, and is an assistant professor of music production at Ramapo College of New Jersey and has taught at The New School and NYU.

Lee Odom (USA) is a music composer/instrumentalist whose spectrum includes gospel, free improved music, jazz, R&B, and classical. Her music compositions are a meld of these genres, while providing space for performers to experiment. Lee has worked on selected virtual service projects for Canaan Baptist Church, Harlem and Mt. Zion CME, Bronx as sound engineer, and commissioned as Producer/Director for the first virtual production of Joseph Daley's Colorations/Explorations, performed by the Dance Clarinets (directed by JD Parran). Lee has performed with outstanding groups and musicians, such as Don Byron, JD Parran, The Karl Berger Improv Orchestra, Canaan Baptist Church Music Ministry, 12 Houses Free Improv, the Makanda Project, UpSurge NY poetry ensemble, and The David Murray Octet, and also performs as band leader with Sweet Lee Music, performing at various venues and festivals throughout NY, Boston and CT.

Mint Parker (Uruguay/Mexico) is an Uruguayan singer, guitarist and songwriter. She has released two records as a solo artist and collaborated with many artists. She started her career as a cellist and playing the electric guitar in the underground music scene in Montevideo. She released her first record as the leader of Vendetta, with whom she has played in every major festival in Uruguay and even opened for Guns ‘N Roses. She now resides in Mexico City where she is involved in the country bluegrass scene, having recently toured Texas as the leader of her new country band, The Midnight Mezcal.

Alina Petrova (Russia) is a multi-instrumentalist who graduated from Gnessin School of Music and Moscow Conservatory with a classical education, playing viola and violin in the ensemble Kymatic, founded in 2015. A composer and sound designer, curator and teacher, she uses electronics, string instruments and performative practices to explore and cross the boundaries between music, theater and visual arts. She has performed in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and attended the summer residence of Bang on a Can in 2019, and has released two albums on two different American labels. She has also worked as composer and performer in the "Tao Gardner" performance in Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, and has created music for various installations and exhibitions.

Carola Zelaschi (Argentina) is a musician, composer, arranger and producer. She plays the drums as a sessionist with several projects in Buenos Aires, and composed, produced and arranged her first solo album, PANAL. She was also selected to take part in The Gonzervatory, directed by Chilly Gonzales. Currently, she is producing for a new project in which she composes and improvises with samples of various artists from all over the world.

Alumna-in-Residence
Stephanie Griffin (Canada/USA) is an innovative composer and violist with an eclectic musical vision. Born in Canada and based in New York City, her musical adventures have taken her to Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Mexico and Mongolia. Stephanie founded the Momenta Quartet in 2004, is a member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble and Continuum, and serves as principal violist of the Princeton Symphony and on the faculty of Brooklyn College and Hunter College. She has received s NYFA Composition Fellowship, and awards from the Jerome Foundation and the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil. As an improviser, Stephanie was a 2014 fellow at Art Omi: Music, and performs with various avant-jazz bands. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Samuel Rhodes, and has recorded for Tzadik, Innova, Naxos, Aeon, New World and Albany Records.

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