Friday, June 24 | 7:30 pm in The Art Gallery at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church 511 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Jonatha Brooke presents her original songs in a new sonic landscape of strings, percussion and voices, with arrangements by composer Adi Yeshaya and featuring the world premiere of his string quartet “Children’s Themes," performed by the STRINGenius Quartet.
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Hailed by Billboard as "one of the most gifted and unique artists of the decade," singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke performs a very special hometown concert with The Cello Songs Project -- a new collaboration with accomplished cellist and producer Rebecca Arons. Both Massachusetts transplants, these innovative, Minneapolis-based musicians have worked together since early workshops of Jonatha’s award-winning off-Broadway show My Mother Has Four Noses and went on to co-produce Jonatha's 2019 recording Imposter.

Together they will present a program at The Art Gallery at Hennepin Avenue United Church (511 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis) that will include world premiere performances of Jonatha's poetic folk/pop songs as well as the debut of the new string quartet "Children's Theme" by composer Adi Yeshaya -- dedicated to the children of Ukraine. Adi has collaborated with Rebecca for over 20 years, arranging and recording instrumental tracks for artists such as Prince, Judith Hill, Rita Ora and many others. Together Jonatha, Rebecca, Adi & the Cello Songs Project Players have embarked on an exciting collaborative process workshopping new pieces and weaving together the artistic input of composer, arranger and performers alike.

Joining them for this performance will be an amazing cast of musicians hailing from New York, Israel and Minneapolis. The only Cello Songs Project show that will include this exact lineup and these exciting genre-bending world premieres, this is sure to be a unique musical performance appealing to a wide range of music fans.

Get to know the artists

Adi Yeshaya is a composer, arranger and jazz pianist. Graduate of Berklee College of Music, he has been active, both as a musician and educator for nearly four decades.

His credentials include arranging and orchestration for many artists, including Prince, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Doc Severinsen, Burt Bacharach, Minnesota Orchestra and The Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra / Jazzaar. In addition, he has been arranging music for NBC The Voice.

Yeshaya has taught at the University of Minnesota, McNally Smith College of Music (St. Paul, MN) and Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA).

Violinist Allison Ostrander enjoys a multifaceted career as orchestral leader, versatile chamber musician, teacher, studio musician and freelance violinist. Currently, Ms. Ostrander performs as concertmaster of the Minnesota Opera, violinist in the IRIS Orchestra where she has held the Isaac Stern concertmaster chair on numerous concerts throughout her 20 years with the ensemble, and is a regular substitute violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Previously, she has held positions with the Naples Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival orchestra as an orchestra fellow, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Symphony, the Spoleto festival, and has been a guest artist with Twin Cities ensembles such as The Bakken Trio, LOFTrecital, Musical Offering, Vocalessence and Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.

In addition to her performing schedule, Ms. Ostrander is professor of violin and chamber music at the University of St. Thomas.  She can be heard on the Naxos label performing Stephen Hartkes’ “Rose of the Winds” octet with members of IRIS Orchestra, as well as Kevin Puts’ 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning opera “Silent Night” with the Minnesota Opera.  Her primary teachers include Margaret Pressley, Vartan Manoogian, Paul Kantor and David Perry.  She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A native of Haifa, Israel, Benny Koonyevsky has made New York City his home after graduating from The Juilliard School. In 1985 he was awarded the prestigious Francoise Shapira Prize for solo percussion work. Notably, Benny was the first percussionist ever to take first place in this nationwide competition. At the age of 20, he made his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic.

Artists he has accompanied include “The Who” 2018 Quadrophenia tour, the British singer and actress Petula Clark, Ishtar the voice of Alabina (Spain/France), Turkish artist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Iranian legend Vigen, jazz artist and 2009/2018 Grammy Nominee Kate McGarry, jazz piano prodigy Sergio Salvatore, Tony winner - Kelli O’Hara, the Cuban band Son De Madre, the African band Afroblue, 3 times Tony winner - Jason Robert Brown, 2 times Tony winner Adam Guettel, The Radio City 2008 Arena Tour, violin virtuoso Lara Saint-John, , American folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary, one of the world’s reigning prima ballerinas -Diana Vishneva, The bluegrass artist Andy Statman, Colombian Piano virtuoso Hector Martignon, the Jewish singer/songwriter Debbie Friedman and the Up-and-coming Jewish artists Elana Arian.

Recording credits include Gloria Estefan, Vanessa Williams, Donald Fagan, Jason Robert Brown, Afroblue, Gabrielle Roth, Debbie Friedman, Rolando Morales Matos, Valerie Naranjo, Elana Arian, Jennifer Holiday, Yehuda Poliker - to name a few.

Benny appears on Broadway in The Lion King, Aladdin, Funny Girl, Music Man, Frozen, Spamalot, On Your Feet, West Side Story, Burn the Floor, In the Heights, Bridges of Madison County, Anastasia, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Motown, Mean Girls, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

As a classical musician, Benny has been a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta, the New York Percussion Quartet, Ethos percussion group and was Principal Timpanist with The International Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. He attended the prestigious Sleswig-Holstein Musik Festival under Sir George Solti and the Tanglewood summer festival under Leonard Bernstein. He is a regular sub at the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, NJ Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus, and Absolute Ensemble.

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