About the Musicians
Eric LaPerna is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in Middle Eastern hand drums and stringed instruments. A performing musician for over 30 years, he has collaborated with many of Maine’s most celebrated artists including the DaPonte String Quartet and the late Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, as well as world renowned musicians, Ross Daly and Mal Barsamian. A founding member of Okbari and Maine Middle Eastern Ensemble, Eric has a busy schedule, both performing and teaching Middle Eastern percussion workshops. He is on the faculty at the Portland Conservatory of Music. Eric has been featured on over 30 albums.
Guitarist Gary Wittner has performed for over four decades on five continents around the world. He has been chosen to represent the USA multiple times as a Kennedy Center Jazz Ambassador, a Fulbright Grant recipient, and an American Embassy Outreach Artist. A specialist in the music and life of jazz icon Thelonious Monk, Gary also performs original jazz (both instrumental and vocal) as well as Latin and Middle Eastern music. Gary has published one book (Thelonious Monk for Guitar) and released seven CDs as a leader.
Violinist Michael Gallant has studied and performed Middle Eastern music, Irish music, classical music and avant garde styles for over 30 years in Maine and the northeastern United States.