Sana Nagano (violin) + Harvey Valdes (oud)
Violinist/violist/composer Sana Nagano has been an active musician in NYC since 2010. Sana started learning classical violin at the age of 3, while listening to rock, jazz, video game music and daily noises of Tokyo, Japan where she grew up. Sana came to the United States when she was still in high school and has performed as a street musician as well as in local symphonies and restaurants. She received a full tuition scholarship to study classical violin at the University of Memphis in Tennessee where she enjoyed Memphis' music and blues scene, church music and opera performances. Her interest in music led her to study jazz, theory, improvisations and compositions at Berklee College of Music, and at Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College where she received her MA in Performance. She has studied with Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Mat Maneri, Dave Fiuczynski, Mark Feldman, Antonio Hart, Darren Barrett, Jeff Galindo, David Berkman and many others. Sana has also worked with Karl Berger's Improvisers' Orchestra, Adam Rudolph's Go:Organic Orchestra, Firey Strings Company led by Nioka Workman, Daniel Carter, William Parker, and with her collective avant-improv trio "Matryshkas" with Harvey Valdes, Omercan Sakar and more.
Harvey Valdes’ eclectic musical journey spans the East and the West, the electric and the acoustic, the ensemble and the power of the solo voice. Traversing expansive stylistic ground from jazz, world, to funk, punk, and avant-garde, Harvey plays the six and seven-string guitar, the oud and Turkish cumbus.
Endlessly curious about the guitar’s sonic range, Harvey plays with pushing its potential. Highlighting texture, stretching time, and shaping tone he re-imagines the guitar as a horn, an orchestra, a mechanistic roar. His composition, “Listen", was chosen as Editor’s Pick by Guitar Player Magazine. And, his score for Utopians, which premiered at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, had “one of the most long lasting guitar improvisations since (Neil Young’s score for) Dead Man.”
He currently leads a guitar/drum duo with Damion Reid, exploring polyrhythm and compositional elements within improvisation. He is also a member/soloist with Karl Berger’s Improvising Orchestra and Butch Morris’s Conduction Groups, both of which feature many leading players of NYC’s downtown jazz scene. He is a featured player with avant rock group, K.Page & Sleepwalker’s Parade, performing at spaces including Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAM Café, and Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium.
Also an Associate Artist with renowned experimental theater company, The Wooster Group, Harvey played electric guitar for Francesco Cavalli’s 1641 baroque opera, La Didone. This production toured Europe and had extended runs at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn and Redcat Theater in Los Angeles. As an oud player, he worked extensively with Middle Eastern Balkan Jazz Ensemble, Anistar, developing a repertoire that blended Middle Eastern forms with Western jazz.
Harvey teaches Eastern and Western music styles, guitar, and oud both privately and at various music schools in the NYC area. He gives equal respect to the musical interests of students at all levels and emphasizes individual creativity. He studied at The New School University earning a BFA in Jazz Performance.
Photo credit: Hisao Kishimoto