(Listed in alphabetical order)
Will Ackerman and David Cullen
Will Ackerman (Youtube Sample)
Founder of Windham Hill Records, producer of George
Winston, Michael Hedges and Liz Story among many others.
Grammy Winner, multiple Grammy nominee, recipient of
more than 25 platinum and gold records in the US
As a Producer he is the Recipient of more than 20
Platinum and Gold Records in the United States and Internationally.
Albums that he has produced have won multiple ZMR Music
Awards and no producer has ever had more #1 albums on
the NAR/ZONE charts.
David Cullen (Youtube Sample)
David Cullen is a Grammy Award Winner for Best Pop Instrumental Recording.
He has performed with Will Ackerman, Samite, Michael Manring, and Victor Wooten.
David also has played with The Jaco Big Band and with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
David has performed in a dazzling wide range of styles including Classical, Jazz, and World Music.
He has performed throughout North America for Classical Guitar Societies, Jazz Festivals, and Performing Arts Series.
He has released 10 CDs for the acoustic guitar label Solid Air Records.
David Cullen's recordings have been featured on NPR stations across America.
Hennie Bekker (Youtube Sample)
Hennie Bekker is an award-winning, multi-platinum-selling musician, master composer and arranger whose international career
spans decades, cultures, generations and genres. Bekker is best known for his New Age sound on Dan Gibson's "Solitudes - Exploring
Nature with Music" series, and his own "Kaleidoscopes", "African Tapestries", and Hennie Bekker's "Tranquility" album series.
He was also a creative force behind BKS, one of Canada's most successful techno/dance bands. Bekker's impressive discography
encompasses over sixty albums and over a thousand works he has either composed or arranged, or to which he has contributed his
Bekker was raised in Mufulira, a Zambian copper mining town 10 miles south of the Congo border. His young spirit was captivated
by the symphonic sounds of the African wilderness, the haunting harmonies of tribal chanting, and the rhythmic dialogue of
drummers communicating between mining camps at sundown. Bekker began playing music at a very young age and spent eight years
performing with various bands throughout Zambia, South Africa, Congo and Zimbabwe, finally settling in Johannesburg, South Africa.
There he formed several bands bearing his name, and his success as a musician and bandleader elevated him to become a musical
director for Gallo Record Company, and later for Teal (a Polygram company). Bekker went on to produce and arrange countless works
for many well-known South African artists. He also released a handful of solo albums on various labels including His Master's Voice,
EMI, and Gallo.
After successfully establishing himself in South Africa's flourishing music industry, Bekker, looking for new challenges, took
his skills to England to further explore his thriving musical career. In 1980 Bekker returned to South Africa, adding film scores,
music for television, radio and hundreds of commercials to his discography. In 1987, Bekker immigrated to Canada. A steady stream of
commercial and stock-music work eventually led him to 'Solitude", where he composed ambient melodies to compliment Dan Gibson's nature
sounds. Bekker and Gibson collaborated on the first fourteen "Solitudes - Exploring Nature With Music" albums, many of which have since
sold gold, platinum, double and triple platinum volumes.
Having established himself as a top Environmental / New Age composer, Bekker went on to compose, arrange and produce several
solo series of soothing, meditative, nature-inspired albums. In his Kaleidoscopes and Tranquility series, he applied his
signature style to original songs, capturing the essence of moods, memories and seasons, and incorporated his unique
interpretations of familiar classics, carols and lullabies on various albums. Bekker's multi-platinum-selling African "Tapestries"
series pays homage to his homeland and is a masterful fusion of New Age and World music interwoven with the diverse sounds of
the African wilderness.
In 2011, Bekker released "Spectrum - An Anthology of Relaxing Instrumental Music", an epic compilation encompassing some of
Bekker's most significant instrumental works. The album, featuring fourteen soothing tracks from eleven of Bekker's memorable
New Age inspired albums, truly showcased Bekker's strength as a multi-genre artist. Spectrum topped the ZMR Charts, debuting
at #3 in September 2011 and moving to #1 two months later. It also garnered a number of positive reviews by key New Age music
reviewers and journalists, including Michael Diamond of Music and Media Focus, who wrote the following about Bekker: "Rarely
have I heard a recording artist able to cover such diverse musical terrain and do it so well. From tender piano melodies, to
dreamy ambient soundscapes and earthy African-influenced grooves, Hennie Bekker is a consummate composer and masterful musician."
The response to the release by radio and media was an indication of the recognition of Bekker as one of the world's top New Age
"Spectrum - An Anthology of Relaxing Instrumental Music" went on to win two categories in the ZMR 2011 Music Awards, namely
"Best Contemporary Instrumental Album" and "Best Electronic Album". The album was also a finalist in the 2012 COVR awards for
"Best New Age Album", and was voted one of the best New Age albums of 2011 by NewAgeMusicWorld.com.
Heidi Anne Breyer (w/ Premik Russell-Tubbs and Michael Ronstadt)
Heidi Anne Breyer (Youtube Sample)
Heidi's first brush with music occurred on the stage of a small English nursery school at the tender age of two.
There, wearing a paper flower petal skirt she danced beyond the end of the music and for Heidi the rest of world ceased to exist.
"As children we perceive music very physically and allow it to carry us away to a different place..."
To this day Heidi believes that this is how music can transform, whether through teaching, learning, composing, performing or simply listening.
Since that early age Heidi's life was inextricably linked to music through dance, drama and music study at the Arts Educational School in Hertfordshire, UK and later at Trinity College of Music in London.
Heidi immersed herself in teaching piano, violin, musicianship and theory, performing recitals, accompanying chamber and choral groups and playing the church organ.
In recent years Heidi experienced a musical awakening and harnessed her deep passion for writing music.
"Winter Light", was the result of an explosion of creativity.
This first album was released in October 2009 and features original compositions and well-known Christmas carols.
"Winter Light" lead to her collaboration in 2010 with legendary guitarist and producer Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records.
The critically acclaimed second album, called "Another Place and Time" is a collection of Heidi's original piano and instrumental compositions
with haunting melodies and vocals that reflect upon the most intimate moments of our lives.
It garnered many awards including ZMR Best New Artist and 2010 Best Instrumental Piano Album.
"Beyond the Turning" followed quickly, produced by Grammy winning (and 5 time nominated) producer and engineer,
Corin Nelsen and featuring some of today's top instrumentalists including multi-instrumentalist Premik Russell-Tubbs
and Michael Ronstadt with whom Heidi will play this evening.
Premik Russell-Tubbs (Youtube Sample)
Premik, a composer, arranger, producer and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist performs on various flutes, soprano,
alto and tenor saxophones, wind synthesizers, and lap steel guitar.
Premik has worked with everyone from Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin,
Ravi Shankar, Narada Michael Walden, Clarence Clemons, Ornette Coleman, Jackson Browne, Jean-Luc Ponty,
Lonnie Liston-Smith, Scarlet Riveria, James Taylor, Sting and Lady Gaga just to name a few.
He is equally adept in pop, R&B, jazz, world and experimental genres.
Michael Ronstadt (Youtube Sample)
For seventeen years, Michael has been offering his music to audiences on cello, guitar and voice.
Conversant with a wide range of styles, he has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with
artists like David Bromberg, Linda Ronstadt, and Muriel Anderson. In addition to solo performances, Michael
currently tours with his group Ronstadt Generations and regularly appears with Craig Bickhardt, Lisa Biales,
and David Trotta. His playing can be found on over 50 albums from the last 12 years, including
Trotta & Ronstadt's 3.30.11 (2011), Ronstadt Generation's Prelude (2012) and Lulo (2010),
Lost In Holland's The Last Great Loss (2009), Amber Norgaard's last three albums from 2006-2010,
and Santa Cruz River Band's Volume I (2004) and II (2005). Michael Ronstadt's 4 solo albums,
Crazy Rhythm (2012), Bridging The Gap (2010), Cotton Dreams (2008) and Motionless Swirls (2006),
"...show him to be a performer with an amazing command of the typical and exotic sounds of the cello,
a true virtuoso and a man of instinctive musicality" (Dan Buckley, Tucson Citizen, 2008).
Stephanie Ledgin, author of Discovering Folk Music, writes that Michael is "...an exceptional musician-composer,
Ronstadt creates a masterful canvas with genre-blending explorations on cello and guitar in complement to
thought-provoking lyrics"(2011). Michael received his Master of Music in Cello Performance from the
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in June 2008, and his Bachelor of Music in
Cello Performance from the University of Arizona in May 2006. He has studied under esteemed pedagogues
Yehuda Hanani, Nancy Green and Dr. Gordon Epperson.
Catherine Marie Charlton
Catherine Marie Charlton (Youtube Sample)
Pianist Catherine Marie Charlton always strives for passionate and evocative performances that touch her
listeners' hearts. Music reviewer Bill Binkelman describes her music as: "deeply introspective
(even somewhat avant-garde at times), and intimately reflective...with astute control of nuance and tone,
exemplified by songs which can hover in the air like wisps of smoke or explode in a cavalcade of drama and
As a young girl Catherine Marie soaked in the music of classical masters such as Debussy, Chopin,
and Rachmaninoff, the old-time country fiddle music of her native Virginia, and identified with
soothing music from the likes of Liz Story, George Winston, and Enya. It was during a combined
engineering/music program at Cornell University that she discovered her ability to re-create raw
emotions through improvisation, and the music has been coming in torrents ever since.
She went on to devour the music of improvisational masters such as Keith Jarrett, David Darling,
Cecil Taylor, Chick Corea, and Bobby McFerrin. Having loved all these great artists, she was tickled
when a fan called her music "a cross between George Winston, Erik Satie, and Cecil Taylor".
Catherine Marie received the 2011 Zone Music Reporter award for "Best Instrumental Album- Piano"
three days after the birth of her second child for RED LEAF, GREY SKY: PIANO IMPROVISATIONS, music
inspired by the turbulent emotions from her first year as a mother. Her journey as a recording artist
started in 1994 when a selection from her first CD of piano improvisations, based on the mathematics
she loved from her engineering studies, appeared on millions of consumers' desktops as an example file
in the first release of Apple Computer's QuickTime multimedia software. In 2004 THE UNDERSHORE debuted
at #3 on the NAR radio charts and was a New Age Finalist in the Independent Music Awards. More recently
Charlton released a re-mastered 10th Anniversary Edition of her 2001 bestselling
RIVER DAWN: PIANO MEDITATIONS. Inspired by her move from her corporate banking job to that of full time
musician, the original release was recorded in her living room on a Steinway B, and debuted at #3 on the
NAV radio charts. New Age Retailer magazine called it "a gentle tranquil serenity that had me in tears
of gratitude for the exquisite beauty". April 2013 brings the sequel RIVER FLOW, also a 60 minute
uninterrupted solo piano performance. Recorded on the same piano, this time late at night after her
family was asleep in bed, the new music is inspired by the search for moments of peace amidst the chaos
Michael Brant DeMaria
Michael Brant DeMaria (Youtube Sample)
Four-time GRAMMY nominee, award winning composer and four-time #1 Chart topping recording artist
Michael Brant DeMaria is a multi-instrumentalist whose albums and live performances touch his audience
and listeners with his sincere and heartfelt music. His last 4 albums have all gone to #1 on the
New Age/ZMR Chart and have stayed there for a total of 7 months. They have also each gone on to be
nominated for a GRAMMY Award. He is a Native American Music Award Winner and has garnered 5 ZMR Awards
including Best World Album, Best Relaxation/Meditation Album, Best Ambient Album and Album of the Year
for his GRAMMY nominated album Gaia in 2011. His music is regularly heard on XM/Sirius Radio,
Soundscape Cable as well as cable, internet and radio stations throughout the world. Michael was also a
contributing artist on the GRAMMY winning children's album "All About Bullies Big and Small" in the
54th GRAMMY Awards.
Michael has been the featured musician for world renowned poets Robert Bly and David White in addition
to playing onstage with many GRAMMY winning artists including friend, mentor and teacher GRAMMY winner
David Darling. Michael is a graduate from David's renowned school for music improvisation and
facilitation. Michael performs on indigenous and ethnic world flutes, piano, synthesizers,
and a wide range of world percussion.
Michael's love of music started early when only seven-years-old, Michael began using music for his own
healing from surgery trauma. From the beginning Michael found true joy in improvising and creating his
own music. He loved how music soothed and calmed him and at times even took him to another world.
However, it wasn't until the age of 30 after working with abused children that he found himself on a
Native American reservation where he first heard the hauntingly familiar sounds of the Native American
flute. It literally brought tears to his eyes and led him to dedicate himself to this instrument and
years later to writing the play and soundtrack Siyotanka which tells the story of how this amazing
instrument came to be. Since then he has become known for his work with indigenous flutes from around
In addition to Michael's 6 solo releases on the Ontos Music label, he is also a Sounds True recording artist -
where he has crafted two albums specifically designed for emotional healing, In The Flow released Summer 2011,
and Solace released in Summer of 2012. The title track to his award winning album Ocean was also chosen by Eckhart
Tolle to appear on his album "Music for Inner Stillness".
Jon Jenkins and David Helpling
Jon Jenkins (Youtube Sample)
While there is often much debate as to whether the sonic landscapes Jon Jenkins creates should be
classified as electronic, ambient, chillout, instrumental rock or any number of other categories being
used these days, there is never any doubt about it's lasting impact on listeners.
His solo debut, Flow was designated as "Critic's Choice" by Billboard Magazine, and his album "Beyond
City Light" made its way onto the Amazon.com Editors' Top Ten Best of the Year list. Both releases,
along with "Treasure", a collaboration with David Helpling, were listed among the best CDs of the last 20
years by American listeners in NPR's ECHOES Radio Show's 20th Anniversary Poll, and his music has been
heard in movie trailers, TV shows, and sports broadcasts including The Olympics.
"Growing up", Jenkins says "I listened to a lot of the deeper more progressive work of Pink Floyd,
Genesis, Marillion, Peter Gabriel, Tangerine Dream and other music along those lines because those
artists always made albums to be experienced rather than just listened to; they maintained a nice
balance between power and space. I couldn't get enough of that stuff, so I just started to create
the music I wanted to hear."
On the 2007 release, "Treasure", Jenkins found the perfect musical collaborator in David Helpling.
The two express their vision on an epic and expansive scale. Their latest collaboration, "The Crossing",
was released in 2010 and won both the "Best Ambient Album" and "Best Electronic Album" ZMR Music awards in 2010. Their third effort together is expected in 2013.
David Helpling (Youtube Sample)
As a young teen, David Helpling pushed himself to learn guitar - experimenting with various effects and
signal processors to create illusions with sound. Together with his passion for synthesizers and
percussion, this guitar sound became centric to a complete vision and musical style that expresses sonic
moods with a definite soundtrack feel.
David's debut release, "Between Green and Blue", was a finalist for an INDIE Album Of The Year award.
On his second release, "Sleeping On The Edge Of The World", Helpling took his unmistakable style and dense
sound to a deeper, more powerful and cinematic level. As an accomplished composer of music scores for
film, David is continually honing his compositional skills. "Creating music for picture is wonderful
and rewarding, but it also has its limitations. I think the emotional writing and technical experience
of scoring certainly gets me closer to the core of what is important in my own music."
Working side by side with Jon Jenkins, David's driven pursuit to create the music of his dreams was
realized with the release of "Treasure". The international success of this album is proof that the
combination of these two artists is explosive and limitless.
Jeff Oster, w/Michael Manring and Carl Weingarten
Jeff Oster (Youtube Sample)
As one of the few trumpet/flugelhorn artists working in ambient terrain, Jeff Oster draws from a rich background of classically
trained, jazz tinged horn study, mixed with contemporary electronica and loop based electro-orchestral bed tracks.
Three of Jeff's albums, RELEASED, TRUE and SURRENDER were voted by broadcasters worldwide as the Album of the Year for
2005, 2007 and 2011 at the ZMR Music Awards.
Both TRUE and SURRENDER were chosen by Echoes as one of the 25 Essential Echoes albums for 2007 and 2011, and TRUE was
included as one of Echoes' Top 200 Albums of the last 20 years.
SURRENDER was co-written and co-produced by producer/composer Bryan Carrigan and Jeff Oster. Both RELEASED and TRUE were
produced by William Ackerman, Grammy Award winning guitarist and founder of Windham Hill Records.
Jeff, Michael Manring and Carl Weingarten perform worldwide as BLUE ETERNITY.
Michael Manring (Youtube Sample)
Hailed by many as the world's leading solo bassist, Michael Manring has been pushing back the boundaries of what is
possible on the bass guitar for over two decades.
Building on the conceptions of his teacher, the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius, Michael has developed a new approach to the
instrument that includes unorthodox tunings, techniques and methodologies. He has honed his skills on hundreds of recordings
as a session musician and thousands of concerts throughout the world. Michael has worked with a surprisingly diverse collection
of musicians from New Age keyboardist Suzanne Ciani to avant-improv guitar innovator Henry Kaiser to celebrated folk troubadour
John Gorka to experimental post-metal rockers Tim Alexander (Primus) and Alex Skolnick (Testament) to electro-pop pioneer
Thomas Dolby. His long-term collaboration and close friendship with the late acoustic guitar genius Michael Hedges led to a
lengthy stint as house bassist for Windham Hill Records; a label for whom he also worked as a solo artist, releasing four
recordings under his own name: Unusual Weather (1986), Toward the Center of the Night (1989), Drastic Measures (1991),
Thonk (1994),The Book of Flame (1998.
He has garnered two gold records, Grammy and Bammie nominations, a Berklee School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award, two
Just Plain Folks Awards and numerous Bass Player Magazine Reader's Poll awards including 1994 Bassist of the Year. He was also the
subject of a recent PBS TV documentary, The Artist's Profile: Michael Manring.
Carl Weingarten (Youtube Sample)
Carl Weingarten is an American guitarist, photographer, and founder of the independent music label Multiphase Records.
Described as "one of the best indie musicians working today" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Carl is best known for
his atmospheric sound and use of the slide guitar and Dobro. Weingarten has played a significant role in the
progressive independent music scene for 30 years, recording nearly 20 solo and collaborative instrumental albums.
Carl's music has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and the syndicated programs Hearts of Space, New Sounds,
and Echoes. His 2002 CD escapesilence was voted the #1 album on the annual Echoes Listener's Poll.
Carl's latest CD Panomorphia, featuring Michael Manring, Celso Alberti and Jeff Oster has been nominated by
Zone Music Reporter as the best "Chill/Groove" CD of 2012.
Sajjad w/ Meagan Ballantyne, Jeff Oster, Daniel Andrews, and others
Sajjad (Youtube Sample)
Evocative. Inspiring. Global. SAJJAD is a one of a kind Canadian contemporary instrumental musician with a
vision that encompasses the world. Distinctly gifted - or perhaps even hard wired at birth - he started
composing music in his young mind long before he ever laid hands on a keyboard. Without the benefit of any
formal training or musical notation, SAJJAD intuitively felt he knew how to play the keyboard and piano -
a peculiarity that remains a mystery to him to this day. Beginning his career as an IT consultant largely
out of economic necessity, this virtually unknown musician personally financed a five year labour of love,
securing first-rate musicians to work on his debut project along with impressive production values.
The result? The album "Where I Belong" soars with a multi-layered musical tapestry of international sounds,
transporting listeners on a far-reaching travelogue of universal textures and themes, strong beats, resonant
rhythms and memorable melodies.
Amid positive music reviews from critics comparing SAJJAD to established artists such as Yanni and
Omar Akram, "Where I Belong" has swiftly circled the world via ongoing radio support, TV interviews, a
stunning concert, and the 'Best New Artist' award at the Zone Music Reporter Annual Awards in 2011.
SAJJAD's personal conviction and passion for music remains enormously contagious as he works on a new
Meagan Ballantyne is originally from the small town of Sundridge, Ontario in Canada. She has had the opportunity
to participate in a wide range of musical productions, which have varied in both style and scope. These have
included playing in the cello section of the North Bay Symphony Orchestra for the last three years, accompanying
various artists at the Canadian Music Week Festival in Toronto, as part of the string section for world music artist
"Sajjad" at his premier concert in Toronto as well as writing and recording songs for the band "Authentic Imperfection"
alongside fellow writer, performer and engineer Clynton O’brien. In addition to performing, Meagan has a keen interest
in the world of recording and has played cello on more then a dozen songs in various studios though out the Toronto area,
including Metalworks Studios in Mississauga and Soundhouse Studios in Burlington with producer John Jamison.
Currently happy to be living closer to her Northern roots, Meagan has recently enjoyed contributing to the musical
community of the North Bay area by participating in many Orchestra related events in addition to the regular Symphony
concert schedule. From Classical music to Alternative music, Meagan is always looking for new ways to experience as
many different musical environments as possible.
Lorrie Sarrafin (w/ Rod Ibieta)
Lorrie Sarrafin (Youtube Sample)
In 1993, Lorrie Sarafin heard her first Native American Flute at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts
played by R. Carlos Nakai. In 1996, she bought her first Native American Flute and took it out into the
Sonoran Desert to learn how to play. She is fond of saying it is the desert that taught her how to play
the flute, her teachers being the wind and all things in Nature.
Her latest CD, MANY PATHS, is a 2011 Zone Music Reporter Winner for Best Native American Album. SECOND WIND,
her first CD released in 2005 and received a 5 star excellent review from long time New Age Music Reviewer Bill Binkelman.
Musical influences range from Opera to Big Band; from country to oldies - music of all sorts has
contributed to Sarafin's growth. However, the desire to create washes of ambience using synthesizer and
world percussion caught Lorrie's attention in early 2003 - and thus began her journey to create music
which would relax, soothe and heal.
Rod Ibieta has been obsessed with music from an early age but did not learn to play an instrument until age 18.
Being left-handed ruled out playing the guitar. So, he decided he would teach himself how to play the keyboard using
an old abandoned piano that sat in a corner of the large house he lived in at the time in Santiago, Chile. In a few short
years Rod was playing in local bands, eventually getting signed up with EMI records in 1987. In 1989 Rod moved to the US
to continue his studies in Education and Technology. Music took a secondary place in his life during those years although
he continued his solo work eventually publishing five CDs under the Lucid Dream Machine moniker (available on Bandcamp.com).
In 2004, Rod found new musical friends and the acid jazz/funk band The Catfish Groove Farm was born. The band is still going
strong and working on its fourth CD (all available on iTunes and CDBaby).
Rod is always working on new ideas and material and one of those projects was with Lorrie Sarafin in the early 2000s,
combining electronic keyboards and Native American flutes. The result was a series of inspired, haunting songs that continue
Rod has also composed music for movies and other projects. His original score for the short science fiction movie "Fallout"
was nominated for an award by an independent movie festival in 2010. Rod lives in Tempe, Arizona with his wife Claudia and
works in Human Resources when he's not in his home studio dreaming up his next musical project.
Matthew Schoening (Youtube Sample)
Matthew Schoening (Shane-Ing) plays the
electric cello through a complex process of live looping. This means that Matthew can record myself live, and instantly
play back what he just recorded, while playing on top of it, or even adding to it. This results in a solo performance that
can sound like a full band, or even an entire symphony.
Matthew has two rules for himself...
1) Whatever music he composes has to be able to be performed live, with no pre-recorded tracks. This means that what you hear
on his albums is what you hear live. No hidden tricks, no extra cellists hidden back stage...
2) All of the sounds have to come from his electric cello. These sounds include bass lines, percussion sounds, and rhythmic