Michael Daves is one of the premier bluegrass musicians living, performing, and teaching in New York City. He performs on Tuesday nights at Rockwood Music Hall, sometimes appearing with Chris Thile of Punch Brothers, with whom he also recorded the album Sleep With One Eye Open (2011). I spoke with Daves about how he got started in the genre, whether he imitates Dock Boggs on purpose, and what he gets out of teaching music.
Identical twin sisters Susan and Sarah Wang (Susan is older by three minutes) have been playing piano together since the age of seven.
They recently completed their Konzert Exam studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany, and have subsequently been playing, and winning awards, all over the world.
Though originally from New Jersey, they currently live in Berlin and Schwerin.
Jackson Alves is a typographer and graphic designer in Brazil whose love of traditional calligraphy influences his modern design philosophy. Alves creates custom types and lettering for different projects and companies using the basic tenets of true calligraphy, and then translates them into digital works of art. Jackson spoke with Notes on the Road about his particular appreciation for word play and the place of manual labor, so to speak, in an increasingly digital world. Jackson also designed a parting gift for us, below.
The work of illustrator Jay Fleck is bold, beautiful and bursting with imaginings of faraway lands and fantasy playgrounds. His graphics are universal and full of heart: inspired by the literature of his childhood and the supportive internet communities of today. Jay Fleck talks to us about his designs, his process, and his own youngsters.
Hougaard Malan is a self-taught photographer whose beautiful homeland of South Africa proved too beautiful not to photograph. Since embarking on his career, Malan has traveled through almost all of South Africa to capture its rich and varied landscape. He tells us how it feels to capture the perfect shot, why he loves bad weather, and why the perfect camera isn't the most important thing in the world.
Everything changed for trumpeter Philip Dizack when he learned to play a C major scale. An undying love for jazz and a devotion to practice eventually led him to New York City , where he attended the Manhattan School of Music, and won several awards. Philip has just released his second album as a leader: End of an Era.
Kyle Thompson has made a name for himself with his surrealist self-portraits. Thompson puts himself in harm's way for the sake of his art, but his risks have paid off. His work demonstrates the technique and skills of an artist far beyond his years. He even manages to make suburban Illinois look awesome - now that's talent. Check out our interview with Mr. Thompson below.
Kelly McCollam is an artist with a twist. Her interests in classical masterpieces such as Van Gogh's "Starry Night" inspired her to recreate them in her own way.
Her salt and spice formations pay homage to her favorite fine artists while conveying the visions of a young artist well on her way to success.
Broadly speaking, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks fall into the category of Americana, but they can't be boxed in quite that easily. Jazz, blues, country, and rock all play a part in their latest record Sweet Talk, the group's debut album on their new label Signature Sounds.
Composer, arranger, violist Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, has composed music for four feature films and more than a dozen short films. He has released four albums, and arranged music for artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma and the Kronos Quartet to Jay-Z.
He has recorded as a violist with Yo-Yo Ma, The Andalucian Dogs, The Knights and with his own ensemble, Ljova and the Kontraband, featuring his wife, Inna Barmash, on vocals.
Ramon Bruin is an artist based in the Netherlands who studied at the Airbrush Academy before going on to create his own company. Ramon freelances in his free time, drawing three dimensional sketches that twist and manipulate perspective to give the impression that objects are bursting out of the page.