Leonor Falcon (Violin) Tomoko Omura (Violin)
Allyson Clare (Viola) Brian Sanders (Cello)
A native of Venezuela, violinist Leonor Falcon has a very diverse background in performing music of different genres. While in her home country, she was part of the acclaimed chamber music group Virtuosi de Caracas and was a member of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela, all the while honing her skills in jazz and improvised music. As a freelance musician she was very active in the local music scene performing with many pop, rock, and latin groups as well as doing recording session work.
She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from IUDEM (University of Music of Venezuela), studied under Virginie Roibilliard at Mozarteum de Caracas and holds a Master of Music degree from the Conservatory of Geneva, Switzerland and a Master of Jazz performance degree from Queens College in New York City. While in Switzerland, she co-founded Camerata Candela, a chamber ensemble dedicated to perform music from latin american composers.
Leonor spends her time performing, teaching and recording around the city with different projects which include latin american, classical, jazz and original music. Some collaborationsand performances include Willie Colon’s band, Akua Dixon’s string quartet, Sirius Quartet, Charlie Donato y su son ideal, Maelo and the Latinoexperimental Project, Karl Berger improvisers orchestra, Mario Castro, John Ehlis Ensemble, recordings for Christian Howes recording company, Off-Broadway shows with director Julianne Merrill Duo Perinola with guitarist Luis Miguel Gil, and most recently with Juanma Trujillo at Antenna and Chama, new projects of jazz/avand garde music that released their albums in 2015 and 2016.
Tomoko Omura is among today’s leading voices in jazz violin. “Roots”, her debut album for Inner Circle, is a compelling tribute to her native Japan, featuring original arrangements of ten classic Japanese folk and popular songs. In the words of fellow violinist Christian Howes, “’Roots’ is a tremendous accomplishment, and undoubtedly one of the most important and creative jazz albums produced by a violinist in recent history.” Downbeat magazine calls Tomoko “a leader with a fine future” with 4 and half star. She is also chosen for one of “Rising star” on critisc poll, Downbeat Magazine in 2015. Strongly informed by the jazz violin tradition, her 2008 self-released debut album, “Visions”, is a collection of seven dynamic original pieces, each of which is dedicated to one of the greats of the instrument, from Stuff Smith to Zbigniew Seifert. Violinst Matt Glaser praises “Visions” as such: “Her playing here is uniformly amazing, with great ideas, great tone, perfect intonation and great feel…”. “Mark’s Passion”, dedicated to Mark Feldman, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition. The release of “Visions” also prompted Strings Magazine to name Omura a “Rising Star” in 2009. In 2014, she was chosen as a finalist of the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition in Krakow, Poland. Originally from Shizuoka, Japan, she began studying the violin at a young age with her mother, and began playing jazz music while studying at Yokohama National University. In 2004, Tomoko relocated to the United States when she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. While at Berklee, Tomoko worked with such legendary musicians as George Garzone, Hal Crook, Ed Tomassi, Jamey Haddad, Matt Glaser and Rob Thomas. In 2005, during her sophomore year, she was awarded Berklee’s prestigious Roy Haynes award; an award given to one student for their exceptional improvisational skills. Tomoko was the first violinist in Berklee’s history to receive this award. She graduated summa cum laude in 2007. Since moving to NY in 2010, Tomoko has performed with a wide range of musicians including; Fabian Almazan, Vadim Neselovskyi, Paquito D’Rivera, The Mahavishnu Project, Aubrey Johnson, Tammy Scheffer, and Simon Yu’s Exotic Experiment, Miho Hazama, Mario Castro, Joanna Wallfisch. She is featured on Almazan’s Blue Note/ArtistShare debut recording, “The Rhizome Project”. She has previously been a full time member of world music band, The Guy Mendilow Ensemble, Celtic music band, RUNA and the vintage jazz band, Carte Blanche.
Allyson Clare, viola, is a composer, performer and teacher in New York City. She attended New England Conservatory, taught at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and is currently a member of chamber groups including Route 9 and Bluefox ensembles.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Brian Sanders is a versatile performer living in Brooklyn, New York. Well-versed in many different styles of music, Brian has performed and recorded with a wide range of musicians, including jazz legend Kenny Garrett and indie rock band Emanuel and the Fear, and has recorded cello tracks for more than 80 albums. He performs classical music frequently as the principal cellist and lecturer for Musica de Camara, an organization devoted to teaching students about classical music and premiering new music by Puerto Rican and Latin American composers. As a soloist, he has performed regularly with Musica de Camara, and at venues such as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, DC, and the White House. He also plays regularly off-Broadway with the Prospect Theater Company. A graduate of both the Eastman School of Music and Mannes College, Brian has studied with cellists Steven Doane, Timothy Eddy and Uri Vardi.