MFA in Music Composition

Winter 2017 Crossover Quintet / Visiting Ensemble

John Benthal

Winter 2017 Crossover Quintet: River Guerguerian, drumset and percussion; Pat Swoboda, upright and electric bass; John Benthal, guitars; Gregor Huebner, violin; Anna Webber, flute and saxophone.

River Guerguerian

River Guerguerian has been inspiring audiences with his ecstatic and versatile percussion for over 30 years. Whether collaborating with world-class artists, supporting symphonies or creating his own dynamic explorations of rhythm, River’s devotion and attention to the vibrant life of the drum reverberate through the mind and soul of the listener. River plays across a remarkable span of musical genres and traditions, both obscure and mainstream. His patient research and unrelenting passion have allowed him to develop a personal and masterful sound from Old World frame drums, Middle Eastern, Indian, Western, African and Afro-Cuban percussion instruments and more.

Pat Swoboda

Pat Swoboda is a NYC-based bass player dedicated to performing the works of living composers, and has worked closely with Steve Reich, Du Yun, Chris Cerrone, and Ken Thomson. Recent highlights include Shawn Jaeger's The Cold Pane for voice and small ensemble with Dawn Upshaw at the 2015 Resonant Bodies Festival in Merkin Hall, the premiere of Du Yun's The Man Who Swallowed a Snake for solo bass at the 2015 MATA Festival, a week-long engagement at St. Ann's Warehouse with David Byrne and Jherik Bischoff, and soloing in Chris Cerrone's High Windows with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn.

John Benthal

John Benthal is a top-call guitarist in NY who covers many styles and doubles on a huge assortment of fretted instruments. John has done world and U.S. tours with Idina Menzel and Ute Lemper, R&B singer Regina Belle, saxophonist Warren Hill, jazz artists Chico Hamilton, Charles Earland, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and recorded/ worked with many other artists, including: Paul Simon, Peabo Bryson, Harry Connick Jr, Will Downing, Kelli O'hara, Don Byron, Wayne Newton(!), Lenny Picket, Danny Rivera, Giovanni Hildago, Patato Valdes, Alejandro Fernandez, Denny Dougherty, Susan Deyhim, and others. In New York, he has performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Ballet, many jingles and film soundtracks, on-camera mandolinist in the movie "The Royal Tenenbaums", and was the principal guitarist in many Broadway shows, including The Lion King.

Gregor Huebner

Gregor Huebner was born in Stuttgartand began studying piano and violin at the age of six. He moved to New York in 1994 to earn his MA degree in jazz piano/composition from Manhattan School of Music. In recent years,he has appeared on Jazz festivals in Kork (Ireland), Tiblisi (Georgia), Montreux, New York (JVC, Bell Atlantic), Hollywood Bowl LA (Tango Festival) Stuttgart (Jazz Open) and Porto (Portugal). He performed at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, the Berlin Philharmonie. Frauenkirche in Dresden, Gewandhaus Leipzig and traveled to Southeast Asia, Japan, Russia, Columbia, Mexico, Hawaii, Georgia and Spain.

Anna Webber

Composer and improvisor Anna Webber is an integral part of a new wave of the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene. A saxophonist and flutist who persistently avoids the expected, Webber’s most recent album, SIMPLE (Skirl Records, 2014), has garnered much critical acclaim including several Best-of-2014 lists.