Elena Moon Park | vocals, jarana
Akiko Hiroshima | vocals
Domenica Fossati | flute, vocals
John Foti | accordion, piano
James Moore | guitars, banjo
Yoshi Waki | upright bass
David Cossin | drums
Colin Brooks | drums
Kaoru Watanabe | fue, taiko
Elena Moon Park is a musician and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Oak Ridge, TN, she studied anthropology and ethnomusicology at Northwestern University and completed a Masters Degree in Urban Policy from The New School in New York City. Since 2006 Elena has been touring with Grammy award-winning, all-ages folk rock band Dan Zanes and Friends, playing fiddle, trumpet, mandolin, spoons, ukulele, and singing. She is also a freelance musician in NYC who likes to play contemporary classical music. In addition to her music, Elena manages programs for Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, a network of artists who design and lead socially-engaged music projects, including the OneBeat international music exchange.
Akiko Hiroshima was born and raised in Japan, and moved to America when she was a teenager. After finishing college at West Virginia University, where she was a select member of University Choir, she moved to New York City to pursue her singing and acting career. Akiko’s first singing gig was in the chorus for a concert version of La Bohème. Since then, she has played Kim in Miss Saigon, Apostle in Jesus Christ Superstar, Pamina in the Japanese version of The Magic Flute, among others, and has sung and danced (and puppeteered!) in many experimental and avant-garde theatres and operas. Akiko has also been a member of happyfunsmile, singing Japanese retro-pop, traditional, and folk songs at bars, clubs, and various cherry blossom festivals in Brooklyn and Washington DC, plus Obon festivals. Akiko can be seen in the Off Broadway/New York premiere of Fishing for Wives, playing at Theatre Row in April 2014.
Domenica Fossati is a flutist, recording artist, and educator influenced by a wide range of musical styles. She can be found working in the realm of classical and contemporary music as well as popular folk, world, jazz, rock, and hip-hop. Among her accomplishments are performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Newport Jazz Festival, The Latin Grammy Awards, Maggio Fiorentino in Florence, and The Seoul International Drum Festival. Fossati has worked and shared the stage with some of the leading players in jazz and popular music including Miguel Zenon, Kenny Werner, Seun Kuti, members of TV on the Radio, and Antibalas. She is the front-woman of the Afrobeat ensemble Underground System, a multicultural group that diversifies the male-dominated Afrobeat scene by being one of the only Afrobeat bands to exclusively feature a female at front. She is a powerful advocate of fusing contemporary music techniques with pop and non-western music and brings her highly specialized skill set to a variety of projects as collaborator and performer.
James Moore is a versatile guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been active in New York since 2006, earning the titles of "local electric guitar hero" by TimeOut NY and "model new music citizen" by the NY Times. Performing on a wide variety of guitars, banjos, mandolins and homemade instruments, James incorporates his classical training and a healthy dose of improvisation, theatrics, and experimentation. James is a founding member and director of Dither, a raucous electric guitar quartet that is gaining international recognition for precision playing and creative programming. He can also be heard on releases for Touch, Bridge, Henceforth, New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records. James received his Master of Music in guitar performance from the Yale School of Music and his Bachelor of Arts in guitar performance and electronic music from The University of California, Santa Cruz.
John Foti is a songwriter/musician from northern New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey on purpose. He has toured with Grammy winning children's music act Dan Zanes & Friends and more recently with Improbable Theatre's production of "The Devil and Mr. Punch." When not jamming with Elena Moon Park, he performs with comedy duo Stuckey & Murray and polka party band Strip Polka. His latest solo album is titled "Everybody's Coming To Town."
Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Yoshi Waki began to play jazz bass at age of 20 and quickly emerged as a sought-after accompanist, with regular appearances at jazz clubs in Tokyo. In 1996, he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, and then to his current home of Brooklyn, NY, where he plays and tours with a number of groups in the city. He has performed with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, George Benson, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Gary Burton, Jimmy Cobb, Hal Crook, Dan Zanes and Friends, Barry Finnerty, Al Foster, Deborah Harry, Tokiko Kato, Angelique Kidjo, Simon Kirke, John Lithgow, Joe Lovano, Bill Mobley, Ben Monder, National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Shunzo Ohno, Tiger Okoshi, John Scofield, Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Suzanne Vega, Bill Ware Vibes, Frank Wess, Lenny White, Harry Whitaker, Jack Wilkins, Phil Wilson, Chihiro Yamanaka, and more.
David Cossin was born and raised in Queens, New York, and studied classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. His interest in classical percussion, drumset, non-western hand drumming, composition, and improvisation has led to performances across a broad spectrum of musical and artistic forms that incorporate new media with percussion. David has recorded and performed internationally with composers and ensembles including Steve Reich and Musicians, Bang on a Can All Stars, Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Meredith Monk, Tan Dun, Cecil Taylor, Talujon Percussion Quartet, and his trio, Real Quiet. Numerous theater projects include collaborations with Blue Man Group, Mabou Mines, and director Peter Sellars. David was featured as the percussion soloist in Tan Dun’s Grammy and Oscar winning score to Ang Lee’s film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Most recently, David is happy to have performed with Sting on his latest world tour, Symphonicity.
Colin Brooks hails from Little Rock, AR, where he started playing piano at age 5 and took on the drums at age 7. After jamming for years with his father, a self-taught guitarist, he began to form and play in bands with various schoolmates in Little Rock. He then moved to Brooklyn in 1998 to join the group Skeleton Key. After their demise, Colin played drums with a number of bands, including Bic Runga, with whom he toured across New Zealand and Australia, various New York-based singer-songwriters, the Brooklyn-based band Sea Ray, Canadian indie rock band The Stills, the off-broadway musical BETTY RULES, all-ages folk rock band Dan Zanes and Friends, and more. Over the years he has been an integral part of over 15 bands and has been given the nickname “The Machine” for his precision and energy. Colin still plays and records with his friends in the Little Rock-based band The Big Cats, and writes and records many original songs.
Kaoru Watanabe, a former member and artistic director of the renowned Japanese taiko ensemble Kodo, is a practitioner of various Japanese transverse bamboo flutes, the taiko drum, and the Western flute. His music can be best described as an ever-shifting blend of the folk and classical traditions of Japan with contemporary improvisational and experimental music. Originally from St. Louis, Kaoru received a BFA in jazz flute and saxophone performance from the Manhattan School of Music before moving to Japan to tour across the glove with Kodo, performing taiko, traditional Japanese folk dance and song, and various fue (bamboo flutes). From 2005 to 2007, he served as one of Kodo’s artistic directors and led collaborations with artists ranging from Zakir Hussain and Carlos Nunez to West African stilt dancers and Brazilian capoeiristas. In 2007 Kaoru returned to NYC to teach and continue performing fue, taiko, and western flute in a variety of musical and artistic settings.