2016 LA Creative String Festival



FEB 13TH 2016 Festival 10A-3P & CONCERT 730P

For all ages, professionals, students , teachers of violin, viola and cello!

The  LA Creative String Festival will celebrate our 4th year of bringing together young students, educators and professionals from across Southern California!

This years festival will feature masterclasses and clinics with outstanding guest artists representing a variety of genres, ensemble rehearsals focusing on stage presence, grooving, improvisation, etc, an electric instrument petting zoo and sooo much more!!!!

Feb 13th 10a-3p $75 ,Bring a snack! Then come back for faculty concert at 730p.

Concert only is $15

Festival and Concert held at Mt. Olive Church in Santa Monica.Fest-Poster-Web-2016-3-

2016 Line Up:

Zack Brock, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson & Mark Summer with Jacob Szekely as MC

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS HERE BEFORE Feb 10th! Tickets may be purchased at the door, cash or check only please.


Zach Brock | Violin

ZachBrock_Katz_D8C0027a_V1-820x440_cViolinist Zach Brock has fiddled his way to the top of the music world with his masterful blend of classical and jazz music — despite a life-threatening accident while a student. by Neil Tesser

“He’s studied the whole lexicon of jazz and classical music, and he encompasses it all,” says pianist and jazz composer Phil Markowitz; he and Brock co-lead this quartet, which they founded in 2012, shortly after Markowitz (22 years Brock’s senior) first encountered the violinist.

“I had never heard anybody play the instrument that way,” adds Markowitz, who had long hoped to find a violinist for whom he could compose music that fuses jazz and classical concepts. “He smashes all the previous conceptions of jazz violin.”

Both musicians live in New York, but they have come to Chicago for a weekend engagement celebrating Perpetuity, their quartet’s initial CD. Considered by many to be the outstanding violinist of his generation, Brock ’99 has led or co-led nine previous recordings and played on a score of others, earning plenty of praise in the process.

Veteran Los Angeles Times critic Don Heckman wrote, “Add Brock to the small list of players finding ways to bridge the potentially hazardous chasm between the violin and jazz.” The well-known pianist and vocalist Patricia Barber ’96 MMus has spoken of his “fiercely charismatic presence onstage.” And the storied bassist Stanley Clarke, in whose band Brock has often appeared, references yet another jazz legend in relating how he phoned the great French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty to ask, “So, who’s the new cat? Who’s got the stuff?” — to which Ponty immediately replied: “Zach Brock.”

Brock grew up in Lexington, Ky., but contrary to one report, he does not down a shot of hard Kentucky liquor at each performance. (He, however, possesses a sense of humor dry enough to have engendered that canard. When an interviewer asked if his geographic roots meant he loved bluegrass, Brock says he joked, “ ‘Oh yeah, and I drink a glass of bourbon before each set.’ She thought I was serious.”) Brock’s grandfather played trombone and ran a music store still operating in Lexington; Brock’s mother plays piano and teaches voice and singing, and one of his earliest memories is of “hanging out near our old upright while she was teaching and practicing.” His father was a trumpeter who switched to guitar during the folk-music boom of the ’60s before entering law school. But now he plays trumpet two to four hours a day. Brock started playing violin at 4 and began improvising with his parents in a folk-music context while still in elementary school.

Brock gravitated to Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music to study with Myron Kartman. “He was a teacher of some notoriety — even infamy,” Brock says with a smile. “He has a very big personality. But once you got into his studio, he was very protective; for an undergrad just coming into the school, it was almost like having another father figure, or an uncle who’s got your back.”

Learn more about Zack Brock here.

Mark Summer | Cello

mark-summer-800x800Mark Summer is a founding member of Turtle Island and is widely regarded, thanks not least to his phenomenal percussion and pizzicato techniques, as one of the outstanding cellists of our time.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a recipient of their 2007 DIstinguished Alumnae award, Summer was a tenured member of the Winnipeg Symphony for three years, before leaving the orchestra to perform in several Canadian contemporary and Baroque ensembles, as well as his own group, The West-End String Band. Asked to perform at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1985, the group went on to record Summer’s original music for CBC Radio. That same year, Summer visited the Bay Area where he was invited by David Balakrishnan to help form the quartet.

He continued to touch base with his classical roots, performing with the Chamber Symphony of San Francisco, the Oakland Symphony, Oakland Ballet, and the contemporary music ensemble, Earplay. In the 23 years since embarking on an improvisational musical odyssey, Summer has continued to develop a unique and multi-timbered style, which incorporates virtuoso jazz soloing, distinctive bass lines, and extensive percussive techniques adapted from the guitar, bass and drums.

He has been the subject of feature articles in Strings and Bass Player magazines, and has published two pieces for solo cello, one of which, “Julie-O,” has been performed by cellists all over the world. In addition to composing and performing with Turtle Island, Summer performed for several years in a trio with clarinet virtuoso Paquito D’Rivera, participating in the trio’s 2005 Grammy-nominated recording The Jazz Chamber Trio. He has been recorded for numerous motion picture soundtracks and performed and appeared on albums with singers Linda Ronstadt, Toni Childs, guitarist Jeff Tamelier of Tower of Power, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and guitarist Will Ackerman. His more notable cello exploits include performing the Brahms Clarinet Trio in a sandstone grotto by the banks of the Colorado River in Moab, Utah, and a performance on Taos Mountain at 11,000 feet on a cello made of ice.

Learn more about Mark Summer here.

 Miguel Atwood-Ferguson | Viola

migeulphotoby emilymitchellMulti-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, music director, producer, DJ, and educator based in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. In addition to all things music, Miguel is recognized as a community leader and has organized numerous special uplifting events throughout the US. Miguel also does outreach concerts and talks for adults and kids at various schools, social facilities and venues, and volunteers in hospitals and resting homes, where he is able to inspire and enliven audiences with his unique, insightful point of view and beautiful, highly nuanced sound.

The depth and range of Atwood-Ferguson’s work is vast, having contributed to over 400 recordings, and countless live concerts. He has a rare gift and serious devotion and dedication to developing it; he effortlessly bridges diverse genres and generations of musical and cultural elements into cohesive and magical presentations. And it’s his ability to connect with music of all styles, forms and traditions that sets him apart. Miguel’s interests are many and he performs, tours and records with ensembles ranging from electronica, avant-garde, jazz, classical, hip-hop, and pop to name a few from countries all around the world. Many long years of practice and study prepared him for what is now a life of constant composing, conducting, performing, improvising, and producing.

Miguel’s formal violin lessons started at age 4, though he recalls experiencing music as early as in utero. “I experienced live music while my mom was pregnant with me when she went to weekly music nights with my dad at their friend’s house.” The child of two musical parents – his mother a special-education teacher, his father a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and accomplished recording artist – Miguel was raised in a creative environment, growing up in the famed artist district of Topanga Canyon.  With so many influences to mention, both musical and other, Miguel thinks back fondly on what he listened to growing up, “Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, opera, country music, Motown, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles . . .” In addition he listens to and finds great inspiration from, “My friends and colleagues, John Coltrane, Ravel, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Hermeto Pascoal, Fritz Kreisler, L. Subramaniam, Zbigniew Seifert, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Bartok, Debussy, Brahms, Stravinsky, Charlie Parker, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Thelonious Monk, Frederick Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Woody Shaw, Eric Dolphy, Larry Young, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, J Dilla, James Brown, Kenny Kirkland, Dave Holland, Brad Mehldau, Mulgrew Miller, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Michael Jackson, James Jamerson, etc . . .”

Currently working on various solo, duet, ensemble, and concept records where he is the lead artist, Miguel also makes time to write and perform arrangements for a wide array of artists and bands as well as leading his groups Quartetto Fantastico, The Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble and specialized orchestral configurations. It is his goal “to build toward having an orchestra that plays music from across the globe with international musicians of Peace and Love.” All of this was set up by a career as a session violist and budding symphonic composer that started in his days as a junior high-school student at Paul Revere Middle School when The Pacific Palisades Symphony performed his ‘Serenade in D Major’. (By the age of 17, Miguel had already been the feature of segments on KCET and the Disney Channel, highlighting his incredible talents. It was clear then, that with focus and determination, Miguel would reach great heights, and when he presented his final project as a high school senior at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, his first viola concerto ‘In Memoriam Of Love Lost’, his path was all the brighter.) He would move on from Crossroads to the University of Southern California, where he graduated with a degree in Viola Performance, and a growing resumé.

As a violist, Miguel appeared with Big Boi (Outkast) at the 2004 Kid’s Choice Awards on Nickelodeon, with Rihanna on the Jay Leno Show and at the 2007 American Music Awards, with Christina Aguilera on her 2006 MTV special ‘Back to Basics’, and with John Legend and Kirk Franklin at the 2008 BET Gospel Celebration. He also played with Shakira, Wyclef Jean and Gnarls Barkley at the 2007 Grammy Awards, with Hall & Oates on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Extra, and The Megan Mullally Show, and with Pink at the 2008 American Music Awards. In 2009, Miguel was on the season finale of ‘America’s Got Talent’, backing up Susan Boyle.  Miguel returned to CBS studios again to perform on ‘American Idol’ backing up Lana Del Rey and to Warner Bros. to perform with both Father John Misty and Mikal Cronin on The Conan O’Brien Show in 2014. Recently, Miguel had the honor of playing violin on stage next to Lady Gaga for her career breakthrough performance of The Sound of Music at the 2015 87th Annual Oscar Awards.

In orchestral settings, Miguel has joined the likes of John Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Zubin Mehta, Emanuel Ax, James Galway, Sarah Chang, Feist, Roy Hargrove, Francisco Aguabella, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Wayne Shorter, Ray Brown, Brad Mehldau, Guru (Gang Starr), Vince Mendoza, and Henry Mancini among many others. In 2013, through a NEA grant, Miguel was commissioned to write a concerto for Flute, Viola, and Jazz Orchestra which was premiered to great acclaim.

As a studio musician, he has recorded for will.i.am, Dr. Dre, Flying Lotus, Raphael Saadiq, Seu Jorge, Heath Ledger, Lianne La Havas, John Cale, Swizz Beatz, Eddie Murphy, No I.D., Barry Manilow, Kimbra, David Foster, Joss Stone, Bilal, Michael Bublé, Marisa Monte, Common, Randy Jackson, and on Ray Charles’ Grammy winning album ‘Genius Loves Company’.

To learn more about Miguel, visit his site here.


RESERVE YOUR TICKETS HERE BEFORE Feb 10th! Tickets can be purchased at the door, cash or check. See you there!