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March 17 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 pm
Velvet Caravan is one of the most unusual ensembles in the music business. Combining Gypsy, Honky-Tonk, Swing and Latin, this band plays upbeat tunes from all over the world with thunderous virtuosity and relentless sense of humor.
Bringing together the eclectic sounds are a motley crew of super talented musicians that draw their roots from Venezuela, Serbia, Austin TX, Boston MA, and Southern Georgia.
RICARDO OCHOA, violin
Born in Venezuela as the son of guitarist Antonio Jose Ochoa, Ricardo began formal training at a very early age with violinist Edgar Aponte. At the age of 15, he was accepted in the Venezuela Philharmonic, becoming the youngest professional musician in the orchestra. Ricardo studied at the Aaron Copeland School of Music in NY under Margaret Pardee and Daniel Philips and has a Masters degree in Music Performance from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh under violinist Charles Stegeman. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and the Savannah Symphony Orchestra. He is currently a member of the Savannah Philharmonic. Ricardo has performed as a soloist with the Venezuelan Philharmonic, Amityville Symphony and Queens College Orchestra. Ricardo is fluent in Jazz, Gypsy and Country. He performs with The Train Wrecks, Velvet Caravan and Julie Wilde & The Bohemian Dream Band. Ricardo is also performing with Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience during the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
JARED HALL, keyboards and accordion
Born and raised in Iowa and cutting his teeth in Austin, TX, Jared has performed and worked throughout the United States as a keyboardist, singer, and music educator. His style of playing includes a wide spectrum of sounds including; blues, boogie-woogie, honky-tonk, country, rock, and even classical. Throughout his career, he has performed at The Austin City Limits Music Festival, South By Southwest Music Festival, North By Northeast Music Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and various other venues. Along with touring rock bands, he has also played with symphony orchestras as well as musical theater and opera productions. He currently plays keyboards with Velvet Caravan (Savannah, GA), The Train Wrecks (Savannah, GA), Colin Gilmore (Austin, TX), Ramsay Midwood (Austin, TX), The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (San Diego, CA), and Randy Burk and the Prisoners (Des Moines, IA).
JESSE MONKMAN, cajon and percussion
Percussionist and Composer Jesse Monkman originally hails from Boston, MA. He received his formal training from New England Conservatory where he studied with Frank Epstein and Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Jesse is a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and the Spoleto Music Festival in which he performed extensively. He has played with the Boston Symphony, Portland Symphony Orchestra of Maine, Boston Modern Orchestra, and many other organizations throughout Boston and the New England area. He has had the privilege of playing under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Andre Previn, Keith Lockhart, and Charles Dutoit, amongst others.
Currently, Jesse resides in Savannah with his wife Erica, where he plays Percussion with the Gypsy Jazz group Velvet Caravan. He also performs with the Jacksonville Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Savannah Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony, and most recently the Atlanta Symphony. Jesse has also appeared as a Percussion soloist with Jacksonville symphony playing Russell Peck’s “The Glory and the Grandeur.” Jesse has toured throughout the United States and China with the Hollywood Film Orchestra.
In addition to performance engagements, Jesse’s compositions have received critical acclaim and are showcased nationwide and abroad. His “Rite of Passage” was premiered with the China Philharmonic on its Chamber Music Series. Jesse’s music is published through Tapspace Publications.
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