VSA arts presents a diverse evening of musical talent featuring the 2007 VSA arts International Young Soloists. The VSA arts International Young Soloists Program recognizes outstanding young musicians with disabilities in their pursuit of a career.
Melody Gardot Drawing comparisons to Cole Porter, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone, Melody Gardot's music is drenched in a sublime vapor of mellow blues, eclectic folk, and the faintest essence of jazz. This 23-year-old award-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist burst onto the scene in 2006 with her debut, Worrisome Heart, an effervescent 11-track collection of original songs. Gardot, who sustained a traumatic brain injury, has brought her unique sound to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, and many other venues.
Niv Ashkenazi Seventeen-year-old violin prodigy Niv Ashkenazi will perform Lalo's Symphonie espagnole and Kreisler's Sicilienne and Rigaudon. Ashkenazi, who was born with spina bifida, has studied violin since the age of six. He is now a member of the American Youth Symphony and has acted as concertmaster of the California State University-Northridge Youth Philharmonic.
Yew Choong Cheong Up-and-coming classical pianist Yew Choong Cheong will perform Piano Variations by Aaron Copland and Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6. Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Cheong is hard of hearing. He has participated in international music festivals and will receive his Ph.D. in piano performance from West Virginia University in 2008.
Makabara Interpreting traditional Czech music, Czech folk music, and contemporary Czech compositions, Makabara is composed of vocalists Marie Vostatková, Katerina Ulicná, and Barbora Janová, who have low vision. Students at the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague, Czech Republic, they perform both a cappella and with piano accompaniment.