Performers

Performers
Alex samaras

Alex is a singer and performer in Toronto. He sings with The Queer Songbook Orchestra, his solo project TRYAL and is active all over the Toronto music scene. Upcoming projects include a tour to Canada’s East Coast with TRYAL and an ongoing art song collaboration with Lara Dodds-Eden. Alex has worked all over North America leading singing workshops and conducting choirs of all ages and also has taught at U of T and Humber College.

Neema Bickersteth

Soprano Neema Bickersteth was born and raised in Alberta to parents from Sierra Leone. She is known for her skills as a singer, an actor and a maker of multi-disciplinary performance. She has performed operatic roles in both Canada and Europe and in recent years, she has specialized in contemporary projects in opera, music theatre and experimental theatre. These include: concerts and shows with Soulpepper Theatre; tours in the USA and Europe with globally-acclaimed Spanish conductor and musician Jordi Savall;  and Century Song for Toronto’s multiple award-winning Volcano and her own collective, Moveable Beast. Century Song is a work she co-created and which has had multiple tours in Canada, Europe and East Africa to critical acclaim. NOW Magazine (Toronto) has named her as one of the top ten theatre artists in the city. She has  won once and been nominated three times for Outstanding Performance at Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore awards.

In addition, Neema has been honoured to perform for the XIVth Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She is a co-founder of the experimental collective, Moveable Beast. Upcoming: singing the title role in Volcano’s Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, a reworking of ragtime giant Scott Joplin’s visionary 1911 opera.

Derek Kwan

Derek Kwan is an actor, singer, and creator working at the intersection of theatre, music and movement in a number of forms including opera, clown, and puppetry. Recent highlights include: a Deaf/hearing production of The Tempest (Citadel Theatre), an immersive Sweeney Todd in London, England (Talk is Free Theatre); Mr. Shi and His Lover (Toronto Theatre Critics Award: Best Supporting Actor in a Musical; Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination: Outstanding Male Performer, Musical Division; (Tarragon/Toronto; NAC/Ottawa); The Blue Bird (Theatre de la Sardine, Taipei); Blood Weddings (Modern Times/Aluna, Toronto); I, Claudia (Theatre Ignite, Taipei); Tails From the City (Common Boots Theatre, Toronto).

Andrea Koziol

Andrea Koziol is a performing songwriter. She has created 6 studio albums, written music for film and television, toured widely across North America, received the KM Hunter Award for Music, enjoyed a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, appeared as a guest vocalist on countless Canadian albums, and joyfully performed with symphony orchestras across the continent. In the last few years she has also found a new passion for performing improvised music. Current collaborations include duets Tarbelle (with Joel Schwartz) and Bartholomaus (with Ian de Souza). Her newest recording project (with pianist extraordinaire Bill Brennan) is a return to her jazz roots, and is set for release in June 2019.

Musicians
Rob Clutton
BASS

Rob Clutton is a musician who works in the spaces between composition and improvisation, where the impetus to play comes from listening, allowing inspiration to reside in a sonic imaginary. In addition to composing for the Cluttertones, Rob Clutton Trio, and Sweet Session, Rob enjoys collaborations with musicians, dancers, theatre and performance artists.
www.robclutton.com

germain liu
percussion

Germaine Liu plays percussion, performs, and composes. In her creative process, she loves tactile explorations of objects, everyday gestures, feelings and collaborating with friends. Liu has performed as a soloist and has been privileged to play with many incredible artists. Her latest interest is composing percussion music for anyone who wants to play.

karen ng
reeds

Toronto based improviser and curator has appeared on stage with Andy Shauf, L CON, Happiness Project, Do Make Say Think, Fresh Snow, Bry Webb, Woodshed Orchestra and Broken Social Scene. She is co-founder of TONE festival, recently appointed Assistant General and Artistic Director at Guelph Jazz and a member of several improvising and ad hoc ensembles. In November 2018 she released a tape of solo saxophone and clarinet improvisations, her first project under her own name.

matti pulkki
accordion

Finnish accordionist Matti Pulkki performs internationally with different ensembles and as a soloist. He’s always delighted to work with amazing musicians and other artists on different productions for example in the fields of musical theatre and opera. In his own artistic work, he focuses mainly on the classical contemporary repertoire and often collaborates with composers writing new music for the accordion. Pulkki completed his Master’s degree at Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki and will start his doctoral studies at the University of Toronto in the fall 2019.

greg oh
keyboards / conductor

Gregory Oh is a pianist, music director and artistic programmer who always tries to lean towards the progressive and experimental. His exploits have taken him from techno mecca Berghain in Berlin to the Wordless Music Series at the Lincoln Centre in New York to the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Recent adventures include performing and recording with improvising legend Roscoe Mitchell and the Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra, conducting the premieres of Bearing with Signal Theatre and While 100 Guitars Gently Weepwith Bradyworks at the Luminato Festival, performing on piano and marimba in Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians at Massey Hall and musical direction on Sean Griffin’s Cold Spring at EMPAC with members of Signal Ensemble and the JACK quartet.

john millard
banjo

John Millard has composed and music directed for Theatre Columbus, National Film Board, Volcano Theatre, National Arts Centre, Alberta Theatre Productions, Soulpepper, Shaw Festival and many other Canadian cultural organizations. He has toured Canada and Europe with his bands The Polka Dogs and John Millard & Happy Day. In April of 2008 John was the music director for the 90thAnniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Vimy, France and at the PEN Congress in Tokyo for Margaret Atwood’s “Year of the Flood”. John teaches at Humber College and recently completed a residency at Banff Centre for the Arts. Last season at Theatre Passe Muraille was John & Waleed with Waleed Abdulhamid for Cahoots Theatre. The Polka Dogs released a new cd in June 2018. Current collaborations include The Cave with Tomson Highway and Coyotes at Caravan Farm Theatre.