Music: A Small Group of Great Players

Sunday, April 23

Noa Even (saxophone)
Carlos Santiago (violin)
Dan Blacksberg (trombone)

Doors/café 8:00pm, music at 8:30pm
Suggested donation $10–$20, no one turned away


Studio 34’s Sunday Music Series continues with a small ensemble of of great players: saxophonist Noa Even, violinist Carlos Santiago, trombonist Dan Blacksberg, and perhaps a special guest or two!

Noa Even is a versatile saxophonist dedicated to the creation of new music through close collaboration with other artists, improvisation, and most recently, composition. She embraces the challenge of incorporating unfamiliar elements into her work on a regular basis. The process of navigating new territory and synthesizing ideas yields immense personal and artistic growth.

Trained in the Western “classical” tradition, Noa gradually developed a love for interpreting music that broadened her sound concept and required her to learn new techniques. Contemporary musical scores feel like puzzles that reveal an uncharted dimension full of expressive possibilities. When Noa began collaborating with composers in 2008, she realized that bringing new music to life would be central to her creative pursuits. As she continues to focus on new works and improvisation, she also performs standard saxophone repertoire and existing contemporary music.

Noa began improvising as a doctoral student and has since continued developing her skills in that area. As an improviser, she is interested in iteration, speech patterns, and other forms of vocalized communication, and exploring the idiomatic, tactile qualities of the saxophone. For several recent projects, she requested that her collaborators create space for improvisation in their music.

Developing a foundation in improvisation has nudged Noa toward pursuing composition. She premiered her tenor saxophone solo, Herzl, in November 2021. The piece represents Noa’s exploration of her own cultural identity and its unfixed nature. More broadly, it is about coming of age, establishing personal values in the face of negative influences and doubt, and accepting the gray area, the not-knowingness, in life. Noa’s next project is a collection of solo saxophone works inspired by impactful pieces of visual art.

Trombonist Dan Blacksberg and violinist Carlos Santiago first shared a stage in 1999, with Carlos shredding jazz violin alongside Philly legend John Blake, Jr. Since then, they have performed, hung, and gotten into it musically and conversationally many many times in Philadelphia and beyond. Recently reconnected, they’ll draw all their personal and interpersonal sounds and influences into this performance.

Carlos was born and raised in Philadelphia and was educated at The Hartt School of Music and Temple University. Approaching music from multiple standpoints, Carlos has relished performing in a wide variety of musical settings and styles such as the complex mathematical compositions of the rock band Normal Love, soloing with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia playing Tango, Salsa, and Afro-Caribbean jazz with Sonic Liberation Front, and pushing the boundaries of classical music with the Bismuth Quartet. Past teachers include John Blake, Diane Monroe, Yusef Lateef, Adolf Sandole, Louis Lanza, and Nicholas Mann. Sharing the unity of all of these types of music is the driving force behind his passion for teaching and sharing music with youth.

Appearing everywhere from unfinished West Philly basements to the bright lights of Carnegie Hall, trombonist, composer, and educator Dan Blacksberg creates unique kinships between people, sounds, and cultures. Blacksberg is leading klezmer musician in the field and preeminent klezmer trombonist active today, as well as being a respected voice in jazz & experimental music, Dan creates music inside and outside known genres, from danceable klezmer melodies on Radiant Others, to genre-busting projects like his Hasidic doom metal band Deveykus. He has performed and recorded with artists such as klezmer masters Elaine Hoffman Watts and Adrienne Cooper, and experimentalists like Anthony Braxton and extreme doom metal band The Body. He also makes the Radiant Others Klezmer Podcast.

Lounge opens at 8:00 PM, music starts at 8:30. Suggested donation $10–$20 at the door, no one turned away. Complimentary tea on tap.

Note that Studio 34 is:

  • Up one flight of stairs
  • Mask-optional
  • A sober space