Presented by Small World Music Society, Martin Atkins and Jafri Music.
Gaelynn Lea was given the opportunity of a lifetime when she won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, and she certainly made the most of it. She and her husband Paul quit their jobs, sold their house, bought a van, and hit the road.
Since they left a little over a year ago, Gaelynn has played over 200 shows in 39 states and 6 countries. She has performed in the widest variety of venues imaginable – coffee shops, bars, schools, music festivals and performing arts centers. Gaelynn has been a featured performer at Music City Roots, The Kennedy Center, and even on BBC World News.
Gaelynn Lea performs from her electric wheelchair. She began playing violin 20 years ago after a creative music teacher helped her to adapt a playing style that suits her frame. Lea holds her instrument like a tiny cello and loops her classically trained rhythms and melodies “to create a symphonic cacophony that is both glorious in its reach and profoundly introspective”. (Collins de la Cour, Ear to the Ground) Her original songs explore the contrasting nature of existence – dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy.
Her band is comprised of several Minnesota heavy-hitters including Al Church, Dave Mehling, Marty Dosh, Andrew Foreman, and Alan Sparhawk.
Ali Jafri is an eclectic multidisciplinary and multicultural artist who writes and performs music that pulls audiences in with a big-hearted twist. As an experimental multi-instrumentalist, he plays guitar and sitar. He also sings, plays percussion (the bendir/daf drum, tabla) electric bass and uses electronic effects.