Jessi Harvey is a Seattle-based composer who writes music that embraces cognitive dissonance, combining the traditions and genres of many eras that is distorted, broken, and re-forged into a new amalgam. She has her Master's in Music Theory & Composition from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of the Arts in Music from Bryn Mawr College. She regularly works with other performers and artists of other disciplines in animation, theatre, and other visual arts. Jessi is currently collaborating with musical playwright and actress, Emily Cawley, on developing a new musical to be workshopped in late 2017. and working on a performance involving music, performance, animation, art, and storytelling based on the theme, and of the same name, THINGS THAT BREAK, presented in April 2018.
Karin Stevens began her training most notably with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater and The Seattle Children’s Theater. Her artistic lens has been influenced by a diverse movement background and travel, including a theatrical performance experience as a teen in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and a year studying dance in Spain as a young adult. While completing a B.A. in dance from the University of Washington, she was awarded a Mary Gates Endowment for Student Leadership Grant for her work with at-risk youth through dance. In 1999, Stevens began presenting her work and since has completed more than 70 dances. As Director of Dance at Dr Philips H. S., Orlando, FL, 2000 – 2003, she created many notable dances and was awarded multiple invitations to present in various national and local dance festivals, including a request to teach and choreograph for The Orlando Ballet School. In 2003, Stevens was awarded a full scholarship and teaching assistantship to the Mills College MFA Dance program. While dancing with the Mills Repertory Dance Company her performance in Molissa Fenley’s, Water Courses, was recognized in the Voice of Dance. Following graduate school, Stevens formed Oakland Dance Encounter, collaborating with local composers and performing in many Bay Area venues.
Stevens returned to Seattle in 2007 to form Karin Stevens Dance. 2009 – 2011, her company was established as the resident dance company of the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. As Dance Curator for the Fremont Abbey Stevens produced a number of curated dance events and assisted in the mission and launch of dance educational classes, workshops and community outreach. Stevens has danced for VOCI Dance, Double Vision, Omega West, Push Up Something Hidden Dance, Westwick Dolder Dance Theater, Molissa Fenley and Dancers, Penny Hutchinson, and various Seattle, Los Angeles and Bay Area independent choreographers. In February 2009 she joined master choreographer Molissa Fenley, as an associate artist, at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. The versatility of Stevens choreographic ability has been seen on the stage with Taproot Theatre, Book-it Repertory Theatre and through a commission by Theatre Puget Sound. Her company, Karin Stevens Dance, collaborates with many local and regional artists, composers, and music ensembles. Karin is also the mother of three daughters!
Composer/clarinetist/vocalist Beth Fleenor harbors a strong love for variety & all sonic manipulation, moving freely through genres such as jazz, rock, classical, contemporary chamber, Slavic & American folk, metal, musique concrete, ambient & pop. Her work has been heard internationally from 100,000 seat rock festivals, maximum-security prisons, and performance art in rural bars, to art galleries, bunkers, sidewalks, sacred spaces, and some of the most prestigious concert halls, museums, clubs and theaters in the country. Believing that “art is the discipline of being,” Fleenor uses sound to open the channels of communication between and within individuals and environments. Her work as been heard in live music, recordings, theater, performance art, installation, modern dance, and film. She believes that an emphasis on creativity in a culture gives rise to creative solutions to social problems.
Fleenor is honored to have worked with artists such as Wayne Horvitz, Butch Morris, Bobby Previte, King Crimson’s Trey Gunn, David Byrne, Terry Riley, Robin Holcomb, Jherek Bischoff, Joshual Kohl, Matana Roberts, Briggan Krauss, Skerik, Amy Denio, Samantha Boshnack, Led To Sea, Mirah, Soko, William O. Smith, Eyvind Kang, Malcom Goldstein, Jessika Kenney, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Jim Knapp, Denney Goodhew, Paris Hurley, Jim Black, Timothy Young, Paul Moore, John Tchicai, Gretta Harley, Bright Archer (Johanna Kunin), Mike Dillon, Parenthetical Girls, Robin Lynn Smith, Gino Yevdjevich/KULTUR SHOCK, Shane Perlowin, Implied Violence, Paul Budraitis, Jessica Lurie, Jeff Huston, Bill Patton, Monktail Creative Music Concern, Tom Swafford, John Burrow, Matthew Richmond, Stephen Parris, Michael Owcharuk, Stephen Fandrich, and Zachary Watkins, among many others.
Currently she can be found performing with Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band, Workshop Ensemble (WE), Sam Boshnack Quintet, Wayne Horvitz: Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, and Wayne Horvitz: Electric Circus.
Fleenor holds a Bachelor of Music from Cornish College of the Arts. Her work has been supported by Jack Straw Productions, 4Culture, Allied Arts, Artist Trust, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. She has been based in Seattle since 1998.
Renée C. Baker
Renée Baker is founding music director and conductor of the internationally acclaimed Chicago Modern Orchestra Project (CMOP), a polystylistic orchestral organization that grew from the plums of classical music as well as jazz. Ms. Baker is a member of the world renown collective (AACM) Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
Critical acclaim for her graphic scores novels has come from performances in Berlin, Poland, London, Scotland and as far reaching as Vietnam. As a featured ensemble, CMOP has been chosen to work with NewMusicUSA and the EarShot program of the American Composers Orchestra.
An expert at ensemble development and training, Renée developed the Mantra Blue Free Orchestra (Chicago), PEK' Contemporary Project (Berlin), the progenitor of Bleueblue Walkers/Bass Kollektief, Twilight Struggles (Berlin) as well as being involved in starting over 20 cutting edge new music ensembles.
Ms. Baker has composed over two thousand works for ensembles ranging from pieces for solo instruments, ballet, opera to large orchestral works that bridge the classical, jazz and creative music genres. As a disruptive force in composition, Ms. Baker’s eclectic visual score compositions led her to create a gestured conducting language she calls CCL/FLOW (Cipher Conduit Linguistics), which she employs when working with numerous cutting edge groups in Cologne, Berlin, Netherlands, London, Chicago, Portland (OR), and other ensembles around the world.
Currently she is working as a film score composer, having composed and released a new score for Oscar Michaeux's “race film” masterpiece BODY AND SOUL (1925) with the music performed by her Chicago Modern Orchestra Project ensemble, to much international acclaim. Included in her first world cinema series was Body and Soul, A Page of Madness and The Golem, all with original scores written by Ms Baker. Chicago Modern Orchestra Project and Ms. Baker were honored guests at the 2016 Ebertfest Film Festival at the Virginia Theatre. Ms. Baker is founder of the BrynIndie Film Society Chicago and has film programs running concurrently at Dominican University, Resistor Chicago, numerous libraries, Japanese Culture Center Chicago, Phantom Gallery Chicago, Indiana University Black Cinema Film Archives,,DankHaus Gallery Chicago, with screenings of over 37 different films scheduled for the 2017 season. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has invited Ms. Baker to screen BNS and lecture at Symphony Center Chicago in February 2017, with individual non series events topping approximately 75 new screenings in the upcoming season.
To her credit Ms Baker has composed cutting edge scores for more than 100 films.
Called the latest AACM visionary by Downbeat Magazine, Ms. Baker is one of the brightest and most fertile minds in active in composition today.
Currently based in the Los Angeles area, Strange Interlude was founded by harpist Lily Press and cellist Simon Linn-Gerstein who have been performing as a harp and cello duo since 2007. As both a duo and larger ensemble Press and Linn-Gerstein design intimate salon-style concerts with programs that are carefully curated to include seldom-performed works, pieces by contemporary composers and transcriptions and arrangements for their unique instrumentation.
Strange Interlude’s performances combine their love of chamber music with their passion for crafting non-traditional concert experiences that incorporate story-telling to bring the audience further inside the works they play and the technical, artistic and personal process of making a piece of music come alive.
Strange Interlude has performed as part of the Advent Library Chamber Series, the Nave Music Series, the Salem Arts Festival, the Candlelight Concert Series and at ArtShare LA and Spectrum NYC and has also created music for performances by Monkeyhouse, a Boston-based dance company, and for the Dance Department at Endicott College. They have collaborated with numerous composers to premiere new works for harp and cello, including Daniel Lemer's "Lone Tree Music," Mike Frengel's "On Thin Ice," and Kaley Lane Eaton's "subtle energy."