De Blancos Pañuelos VA by Jairo ortizEsperanto - A Journey to the World Music

Esperanto Duo: Guitar /Percussion
Esperanto Trio: Guitar/Percussion/Dancer or Guitar/Percussion/Bass
Esperanto Quartet: Guitar/Percussion/Bass/Dancer
Esperanto Group: Guitar/Percussion/Bass/Drums/Violin/Dancers

The Esperanto show takes the audience on a World Musical Journey which is led by Aris Quiroga Nieto and supported by a cast of World-Class musicians and elaborately choreographed dancers.  Aris Quiroga brings together an ideal blend of Classical, Contemporary and Spanish music accompanied by exotic rhythms of Latin America and Indian percussion while combining the elements of dance and theatre.

Aris's original compositions and arrangements of  World music bring the most out of  the Spanish Guitar creating music that is rhythmically and technically complex while also harmonically rich, melodically satisfying and emotionally compelling.

Aris Quiroga
Aris Quiroga/ Classical & Contemporary Guitarist

As a lifelong student of music, Aris Quiroga has been inseparable from his instrument for decades, studying at the National University of Bogota, as well as the Conservatory of Music in Madrid, Spain. While continuing to elevate his talent and hone his skills, he tackled master classes with renowned guitarists such as Abel Carlevaro, Oscar Giglia, Michael Lorimer, and more. Through earnest devotion to his craft and blessed with an innate talent, Quiroga has turned himself into a one of the premier classical guitarists on the scene today. Despite remaining clearly focused on tradition and his classical roots, Quiroga utilizes influences from other genres such as contemporary, jazz, and world to create a more unique and captivating sound.

A clear veteran of the stage, the Bogota musician has over 25 years experience performing in countries from the Netherlands to Puerto Rico, including shows on national television & radio. In his native Colombia, he performed for the president with a philharmonic orchestra, as well as numerous appearances at concert halls & universities. Quiroga was also wildly popular in Spain, playing to thousands over national radio & television networks & in major cities such as Madrid, Asturias, Oviedo, & Jijon. His influence has also spread into the U.S., as he performed & taught classes in Los Angeles, along with shows throughout Florida & North Carolina .

Jim Brock
Jim Brock/ Percussionist

Jim Brock has proven to be an innovator in the world of drums and percussion. Within his forty five year career he has appeared on literally hundreds of recordings with artists such as Joe Walsh, Joan Baez, Kathy Mattea, Joe Cocker, Janis Ian, River Phoenix, and James McMurtry. With five solo recordings and a DVD entitled The Nature Of Drumming.

Jim Has traveled the world extensively with perfor-mances on The Tonight Show, A Prairie Home Companion, and multiple appearances on The View, Good Morning America, just to name a few. Among these include a concert at the White House for President Clinton in 2000. Most recently, Jim was asked to compose the music for the documentary “The Spirit of Sacajawea”. For this work he is the recipient of the prestigious Telly award, and has currently been nominated for an Emmy award in the category of Composer.

Arme Boyajian
Armen Boyajian / Violinist & Pianist

Armen Boyajian began studying violin at age 7. At 16, Armen attended a Miles Davis concert, which led him to learn and play jazz. He attended the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music.  On electric violin, Armen formed his first jazz quartet in 1972 in Rochester, NY.   He moved to Washington, DC in 1978 and began playing with young musicians and future jazz stars such as guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Ed Howard (Bob Berg, Roy Haynes), pianist Frank Kimbrough, and drummer Steve Williams (Shirley Horn).  With Kimbrough, Howard, and Williams, Armen formed the original Air Apparent in 1980, with Armen on electric violin.  The group played at Blues Alley, Concerts on the Canal, and Carter Barron Amphitheater, and it was a powerhouse straight-ahead jazz quartet!  Beginning in 1982, the members of this group were playing with national artists. Following are excerpts from reviews of Air Apparent:

While Armen had always used the piano as a compositional tool, in 1986 he began focusing more on the piano; between 1986 to 1989, he led a quartet at the Hyatt Regency with vocalist Sheila Ford.  During that period, Armen worked with Gary Thomas (John McLaughlin, Miles Davis) and the late bassist Vince Loving (Special EFX, Randy Brecker).  Armen moved to Augusta, Georgia in 1993 and from 1997-2002 led Air Apparent every Saturday night at Augusta’s historic Partridge Inn.  Air Apparent continues to play in trio and quartet settings for private and public engagements.  Armen has worked with Eric Hillman, Wycliffe Gordon, Greg Alewine, Erik Hargrove, David Weston and others in the Augusta area.

Johnny Vergara
Johnny Vergara/Drummer & Percussionist

Johnny D. Vergara was born in Panama City, Republic of Panama. At the early age of three, Johnny started demonstrating his passion for the drums. However, it was until the year 1994 when he fully immersed himself into the art of percussion. With a renewed thirst for everything related to Afro-Latin rhythms, Johnny sought; consumed and learned from any videos and books he could lay his hands, and there began his professional career as a master percussionist. Today, Johnny has extensive knowledge and experience in Afro-Latin, Caribbean and American rhythms, which he has demonstrated in performances with international Salsa and Latin Jazz artists such as Junior Gonzales, Cano Estremera, Nestor Torres, Julio Jauregui, Camilo Azuquita, Doug Beavers.

Also, he has performed with Orquesta Yaré, Expresión Latina, Steel Drums Band of Baltimore, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Panama. He has traveled and performed throughout Panama and the Caribbean, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria, Canada. In addition to live presentations, Johnny is also a recording musician, participating in productions of Grupo Tuira, and being the mastermind behind all the percussion arrangements in the latest production of Orquesta Yaré of Panama.

Nitin G Phatak
Nitin G Phatak / Tabla Player

Tabla is one of the most versatile of world percussion instruments. It is a very important accompanying instrument in the world of Indian classical music. Nitin started learning Tabla at the age of 9 from Tabla maestro Shri Yashwant Datar of Delhi gharana who guided Nitin on the path of excellence in Tabla accompaniment and in solo performance for 8 years.

For last 20 years as a Tabla accompanying artist Nitin has accompanied well known vocalist such as Pt. Arun Kashalkar, Smt. Kankana Banerjee, well known Sitar player Pt. Habib Khan.

Living in Charlotte for past 10 years Nitin has played Tabla in various dance, vocal and musical concerts. To encourage younger generation and to develop their interest in Tabla Nitin teaches Tabla both as a solo performance and as accompanying instrument. Nitin is also very actively involved in local organizations such as Swar Sangam, Indian Performing Arts Association of Charlotte (IPAAC). Nitin is IPAAC board member since founding year and for last 6 years actively participating in organizing concerts in Indian classical music by world renowned artists from India. Fans of Indian classical music have come together for several years to enjoy vocal, instrumental and also dance concerts in the ancient musical style called Hindustani.

Kinetic Works/ Martha Connerton
Kinetic Works/ Martha Connerton Dance Company

Martha Connerton is a dancer/choreographer with an outstanding range of experience in ballet, modern dance and theatre. She is the Founding Director of Kinetic Works Dance company.

Kinetic Works/ Martha Connerton