Zeitgeist Halloween Festival Artists 2022
Stephanie Henry, composer
Stephanie Henry is a classically trained pianist and composer from Minneapolis, MN. She has performed with classical and theatrical ensembles, as well as with rock bands. She has composed original works for film, musical theater, orchestras, quartets, and solo piano. Her music has been applauded for its originality and charismatic charm. She studied music at St. Olaf College and earned her master's degree from Hamline University. In 2021, Stephanie participated in the Minnesota Opera's MNiatures program where she composed an opera short. Most recently, Stephanie was selected to participate in the New Musical Project where a semi-staged version of her musical "Polly the Musical" was premiered. Outside of composing and performing, Stephanie maintains a piano studio where she teaches music to people of all ages. She currently lives in Princeton, MN with her husband John and their two cats, Garfield and Simon.
Zeitgeist will perform Sephanie's new work Bloodlust each night of the Halloween Festival. Bloodlust is about human monsters. Those who kill for the sake of killing. This piece tells the story of a couple who are awakened by the sound of three home invaders breaking into their home. This piece is a slow burn with repetition to imitate nerves and heart racing. Dissonant chords evoke shock and fear. Shifting tempos create the feeling of running and hiding. Intense phrases highlight the intent of the home invaders and their blood lust. This dark whimsical piece will get your adrenaline rushing.
Isaac Mayhew, composer
Isaac Mayhew is a composer and trumpet player from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has collaborated with performers around the country including Sputter Box, The _____ Experiment, and the Zenith Saxophone Quartet. His music can be heard on the albums “why can’t the world be poetic,” "Sputter (SHRINKS THE) Box," and "Convergence." In 2020, he released his first solo album, “Walking Songs,” featuring works by Twin Cities composers. Isaac holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Composition from Lawrence University, where he studied under Asha Srinivasan, Joanne Metcalf, and Benjamin Klein, and is on the board of the Millennium Composers Initiative.
Zeitgeist will perform Isaac's new work Il Mostro di Firenze each night of the Halloween Festival. “Il Mostro di Firenze” is the name given by the media to a serial killer who victimized at least seven young couples in the region around Florence, Italy during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The murders launched a decades-long investigation marred by extreme dysfunction as rounds of prosecutors and other officials within the Italian justice system compounded the original tragedies by pursuing increasingly outlandish lines of inquiry, ultimately failing the victims and their families by never actually catching the killer, and ruining countless other lives in the process.
deVon Russell Gray, composer/performer
deVon Russell Gray, multi-instrumentalist, is best known as dVRG in the acclaimed live hip hop band, Heiruspecs. Lesser known are his classical chamber music works. Gray studied composition with Lee Hyla & Michael Gandolfi. Redefining versatility, dVRG draws inspiration from an enviable record collection, from Claudio Monteverdi to Shuggie Otis, and communicates through nuanced sounds; a musical polyglot disguised as a lone star…ready to super nova.
At this moment in time Gray finds himself at odds with paper music. He believes traditional notation practices leave the creator underwhelmed and lacking satisfaction. His music almost always involves improvisation or aleatoric elements. Gray understands the power of musical offerings and uses his soapbox moments to engage with socially relevant subject matter. In the recent past his work has intertwined with: police brutality, reclaiming a sense of self and body autonomy, and the injustices that Black/Brown bodies face daily.
deVon has composed a new work for Zeitgeist, entitled between plantation memory and cosmic impulse that will be performed each night of the Halloween Festival. Additionally, he will perform a solo set on Friday at 8pm.
Asuka Kakitani, composer
“A musical impressionist and supreme colorist” (Hot House Magazine) aptly characterizes the Japanese-born composer Asuka Kakitani. Her deep love for nature and animals inspires Kakitani to transform her imagination into epic musical stories that DownBeat Magazine described as brimming with “sumptuous positivity and organic flow.”
She is the founder of the 18-piece ensemble the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra, and their first recording Bloom has been featured on the international radio program PRI’s The World, acknowledged as one of the best debut albums of the year by DownBeat Magazine Critics’ Poll and NPR Music Jazz Critics’ Poll, and All About Jazz called it “absolutely superb.”
After she relocated to Minnesota from Brooklyn, NY in 2016, she co-founded the Twin Cities Jazz Composers’ Workshop, which aims to foster creative and forward-looking composition for the modern jazz orchestra in the Twin Cities area. Kakitani also co-founded and conducts Inatnas Orchestra with her husband, composer/trombonist JC Sanford, that features both of their music and some of the best jazz musicians in the twin cities area. Kakitani has been the recipient of grants and awards including the BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, the Manny Albam Commission, the Jerome Fund for New Music from the American Composers Forum, Brooklyn Arts Council, two Composer Assistance Grants from the American Music Center, and recently was awarded a 2019 McKnight Composer Fellowship.
Zeitgeist will perform Asuka's work Ghost Story of Yotsuya each night of the Halloween Festival. Ghost Story of Yotsuya is inspired by the famous tale Yotsuya Kaidan, perhaps the most famous Japanese ghost story of all time. This new work was commissioned for the 2019 Zeitgeist Halloween Festival and was developed during the 2019 Zeitgeist-Composer Workshop.
RenegadeEnsemble regularly collaborates with professional local musicians devoted to the creation and promotion of new music in the Twin Cities and beyond. Founded in 2004 as a vocal ensemble at the University of Minnesota, RenegadeEnsemble has performed a large variety of modern music, including such 20th century staples as George Antheil’s “Ballet Mécanique,” Terry Riley’s “In C,” and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Stimmung” as wells as new works by living composers. In 2008, the ensemble performed at the Spark Festival alongside renowned composer/performance artist Pauline Oliveros, has been a frequent performer at the St. Paul Classical Music Crawl, and a guest ensemble for the Schubert Club's 2016-2017 Courtroom Concert Series. In 2022, RenegadeEnsemble refocused its mission towards vocal and instrumental chamber music written by composers connected to Minnesota and the upper Midwest to better foster a community of local performers and audiences interested in new music.
RenegadeEnsemble setlist - Thursday & Saturday at 8pm
CAROL BARNETT: Green Magic Songs
ALYSSA ANDERSON: Improvised Tarot Readings
JONATHAN POSTHUMA: “Ghost of a Genius” from Paul Klee : Painted Songs
HENRY COWELL: The Banshee
DARIAN DONOVAN THOMAS: A Disintegrating Foundation Underneath a Catastrophe of Air
Alyssa Anderson, voice
Maria Jette, voice
Jason Wells, double bass
Jonathan Posthuma, piano
Heather Barringer, percussion
Heartland Marimba Quartet
The Heartland Marimba Quartet (HMQ) was established in 2016 by acclaimed marimba soloist Matthew Coley and has done more than 140 concerts since its inception. The group seeks to give a platform to the music of American composers in its programming and continues to expand its repertoire with works from composers worldwide. Comprised of four distinctly creative forces (Ujjal Bhattacharyya, Matthew Coley, Marco Schirripa, and Matt Silverberg) HMQ exemplifies Heartland Marimba’s mission to develop and disseminate the classical marimba art form in both academic and community contexts.
J. S. Bach - Prelude No. VI in D Minor from Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2
J. S. Bach - Chromatic Fugue
Dolores White - Three Ragtime Pieces, arranged by Matthew Coley
Jenni Brandon - Badwater Basin
Beverly Cottman, storyteller
Beverly Cottman is an interdisciplinary artist creating at the intersections of literary, visual, and performance art. As storyteller, Auntie Beverly, she delivers wisdom of the ages by telling stories, folktales, and fables rooted in African and African-American traditions as well as cultural tales from around the world.
Auntie Beverly presents an enthusiastic and interactive storytelling program suitable and adaptable for any age or setting. Her storytelling sessions pass on values, celebrate culture, and invite listeners to participate in the telling.
Kristie Lazenberry, storyteller
Kristie Lazenberry grew up in the Frogtown area of St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating from the U of M, she went on to act for a number of years at the Hallie Q Brown theatre (now called Penumbra) under the tutelage of Lou Bellamy. Kristie has been a member of the group, 94 East, as a writer and vocalist for many years and has been an integral part of Pepe’ Music Inc. Kristie has always loved reading stories to children and began exploring the art of oral storytelling in the past few years. Her passion around the importance of telling stories really began with her longstanding involvement in racial justice work. Currently, she currently works at the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce as the Program Director for the DEI Collaborative. She loves to hike, bike, cook and read.
Danielle Daniel, storyteller
Danielle Daniel is an actress, creative writer, direcroe, teaching artist and storyteller. Her vivacious style fills the stage with a swirl of characters. Her storytelling programs and tour shows have been presented in Europe and the United States. She has worked in many schools, colleges, and community organizations using the art of storytelling to entertain, educate, motivate and empower people of all ages. She is a recipient of the Jim Dusso Artist Award, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, LIN Grant, Many Voices and Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright Center. Her literary work includes a children’s book, “The Ghost of Old Man Willie,” three plays, Voodoo Child, Sugar and Spice a Black Woman’s Melody, and The Magic of Laughter. She believes our stories are like air and water, we need them to survive.