The Nava Dunkelman/Robert Lopez duo presents a set of composed and improvised works for a wide variety of percussion. Their vocabulary draws from various sources such as new music, free improvisation, and avant-garde jazz among many others. They will be playing works by Lopez as well as by Los Angeles based percussionist/composer Brad Dutz.
Nava Dunkelman is a Bay Area based percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother, Nava’s musical interests span the globe from Japanese taiko to Indonesian gamelan to American marching band, and from classical to contemporary to the avant-garde. Nava studied percussion under Eugene Novotney at Humboldt State University before attending Mills College, where she studied with William Winant, Fred Frith, Maggi Payne, Zeena Parkins, and David Bernstein. Since graduating with a degree in music performance in 2013, Nava has performed and collaborated with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, Dominique Leone and many others. Nava has performed classical and contemporary pieces with the William Winant Percussion Group, inkBoat, among others, as well as formed the improvisational trio Dapplegray with Jeanie-Aprille Tang and Tara Sreekrishnan, which debuted in 2012 at The Stone in New York City. Through improvisation, Nava enjoys discovering her own musical language by exploring experimental approaches to communication, progression, and space.
Robert Lopez, born and raised throughout the greater Los Angeles area and now residing in Oakland, is a percussionist working in an array of ensembles which span the various facets of experimental music including contemporary composition, free improvisation, and into pop and rock. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Music Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory at Cal State Long Beach. Outside of his degree work in Long Beach he recorded and performed with rock bands Wild Pack of Canaries, Bobby Blunders, New Lights By Dead Vines and the Vespertines. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in improvisation from Mills College where he studied contemporary percussion with William Winant, improvisation with Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, and Zeena Parkins and Ghanain Ewe drumming with C.K. Ladzekpo. Since graduating, his time has been spent making music with bands Opera Wolf, Quattour Elephantis, ZE BIB!, Jordan Glenn’s Mindless Thing and Grex. Recent and upcoming achievements include the premier of ‘Work Around the World’ by Aaron Gervais for Other Minds Festival 18, a slot at the 12th Annual Outsound New Music Summit Festival with Opera Wolf, a premier performance of ‘My Frustration of You Elevates to This’ by Moe! Staiano at the14th Annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival and a performance by Grex at the 2014 Switchboard Music Festival which followed the recording and release of their full-length album Monster Music. Currently, he is on staff at UC Berkeley, Mills College, and the Oberlin Dance Collective in San Francisco as a dance accompanist. He also teaches private percussion lessons out of his studio in Emeryville, CA.
Moe! Staiano is an experimental composer, drummer, percussionist, songwriter songwriter and multi-instrumental performance artist who has been at the forefront of the Bay Area improvisation scene for over a decade and a half. He was a former member of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Mute Socialite and formerly conducted under the name collective as Moe!kestra! (now defunct). His current project, other than the occasional solo percussion gig, is his post-punk project, Surplus 1980, which has two albums out. His cat, Arco, sits on his shoulders as he types this bio. Thank you.
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