Musical Art Quintet
Sascha Jacobsen was born into a musical family, going as far back as his great, great, great, great-grandfather, who was a bassist for the Moscow Opera. His mentors have been Michael and James Finley, John Brecher, Nico Abondolo, and Dennis Trembly, as well as Wolfgang Guttler and Shinji Eshima. He completed a Master's degree at the University of Southern California and has served on the faculty at Humboldt State University, Laney College, Golden Gate Bass Camp, and the Sequoia Chamber Music Festival.
Sascha has performed with Rita Moreno, Hugh Jackman, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin & Patti LuPone, Marc Shaiman, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrew Lippa, Eddie Duran, Dave MacNab, Tim Weed, Clarice Assad, Tango masters Raul Jaurena, Pepe Motta, and Maria Volonte, Flamenco greats Chuscales, Jose Luis Rodriguez, and Juanito Pascual, as well as Grammy winning artists Mads Tolling, Laura Sullivan, Tupac Mantilla, and many others.
Sascha also performed as principal bass with the Santa Cruz Symphony, and the American Musical Theatre in San Jose, and as a section member of the Monterey Symphony and the Sarasota Opera, as well as on the world premier production of Rita Moreno's Life Without Makeup, Martin Short’s Fame Becomes Me, and Hugh Jackman In Performance, recorded the new cast album of A Chorus Line, and has toured the world with the Argentine Tango group: Trio Garufa.
He is the founder of the Musical Art Quintet which performs his original works. Strad Magazine say his music is "...Stylish and Vigorous...beautifully arranged". SF Bay Gaurdian says “composer-bassist Sascha Jacobsen's concoctions hop nimbly through a world of styles while impressing with ear-catching intricacy and handsome technique.”. East Bay Express says “Classical Music is sexy again”. SF Weekly says: “Classical training and a taste for evocative melodies underpin this sound”.
Sascha’s passion for music and dance has led him to collaborate with great dance groups such as The Flamenco Theatre Company of San Francisco, Tango Fatal with Choreographer Jorge Torres (Forever Tango), The Island Moving Company, San Jose Dance, and the Chitresh Das Dance Company with Jason Samuels Smith.
He is in demand as a performer, composer, and arranger with commissions from the San Francisco Arts Council, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Dance, San Jose Youth Symphony, Berkeley Youth Symphony and SF Friends of Chamber Music. Sascha is also dedicated to teaching and has coached the students at SF School of the Arts, Sacred Heart College Prep, Oakland School for the Arts, Balboa High School, St. Ignatius Prep and talented private students.
JORY FANKUCHEN, Violin
Violinist and violist Jory Fankuchen has built a reputation as an engaging performer of many genres, as well as a passionate pedagogue. In response to this versatility, the San Francisco Examiner recently raved, Mr. Fankuchen’s “flamboyant” performance “created the illusion that Eugene Ysaye had been born in Argentina, possibly in a bed next to Jean Sibelius.” His ensembles include the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Magik Magik Orchestra, Squid Ink, the Musical Art Quintet, the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco, and he appears as a regular guest with the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Jory has appeared as soloist with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, at the Tanglewood Music Center, and has the distinction of performing on Jascha Heifetz’s Guarneri del Gesu violin at the Legion of Honor.
Chamber music has always been the driving force behind Jory’s passion for music. He has performed in concert with artists such as Robert Mann, Joseph Silverstein, Joel Krosnick, Bonnie Hampton, Mark Sokol, and Ian Swensen. As first violinist of the Kailas String Quartet, he performed throughout North America, winning first prize in the Chamber Music International Competition, and silver at the National Fischoff Competition. Jory serves on the faculty of the Crowden Music Center, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and most recently as a visiting lecturer at Cornell University. He holds a B.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory, and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Ian Swensen and Lucy Chapman, respectively.
Anthony Blea was born and raised in San Francisco. Started playing the violin at age eight in public Schools and was accepted to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at age eleven as a full scholarship student. Anthony went on to receive a Bachelors Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Raphael Bronstein and his Masters Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory where he majored in String Quartet performance. Having played with Afro-Cuban bands here in San Francisco and New York City Anthony continues to play a wide variety of music in the Bay Area and internationally. He has played and recorded with Artists such as and including, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Ray Charles, S.F. Opera Orchestra, John Santos Ensemble, Jazz Mafia, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, Charanga 76, Orquesta Broadway and many more. Anthony also is a professor of Music at the San Francisco City College where he teaches Orchestra, Violin and Community Choir.
Lewis Patzner was born, raised, and currently resides in Oakland CA. He received a B.M. in cello performance from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins in 2007, where he studied with Amit Peled and graduated with the Grace Claggett Ranney award in chamber music. He is a founding member of Judgement Day, who's latest album was described by Strings Magazine as "a master class in the seemingly boundless possibilities of signal-processed, electronic string music and a testament to the band's creativity." Judgement Day currently has 6 releases, and has toured the United States, Canada, and Europe. Lewis plays with many other local groups of varying styles, including folk, jazz, Latin, Persian, and rock. He has toured as a side musician with Tim Kasher, Mates of State, Pinback, dredg, and Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So's. As a session musician he has recorded with Slash, Pete Yorn, Taking Back Sunday, Low Anthem, Two Gallants, The Matches, and others. A dedicated classical musician, Lewis performs locally with many groups, including the The Musical Art Quintet, Classical Revolution, and the Jazz Mafia. In September of 2011 he cofounded the Town Quartet.
Violist Charith Premawardhana is a native of Sri Lanka and resident of San Francisco. Charith is the founder of Classical Revolution, an organization which promotes live music performance in accessible venues. What started 5 years ago as a weekly chamber music reading session at Revolution Cafe in San Francisco's Mission District has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with active chapters nearly 30 cities in the US, Canada, and Europe. Classical Revolution is very active in the Bay Area, having presented over 700 live performance since 2006. Charith is a proponent of new music of different styles, having premiered more than 200 works since moving to San Francisco seven years ago. In addition, Charith has recorded and performed with the Musical Art Quintet (world chamber ensemble), Jazz Mafia Symphony (jazz/hip hop orchestra), The Congress (soul/funk band), Magik*Magik Orchestra (backup orchestra for pop and rock bands), Third Eye Blind, jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, pop star Vanessa Carlton, rock band The
Mars Volta, Indian/jazz percussionist Sameer Gupta, folk
singer/songwriter Meklit Hadero, gypsy folk band Rupa & the April Fishes, and numerous other ensembles from various musical styles. With all of these various projects, Charith's main interest is in chamber music, and he brings the experience gained in performing in a string quartet to each of these non-classical chamber groups. Charith has performed at the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, the Playboy (LA), Newport, Montreal, Vancouver,
and Victoria Jazz Festivals and holds performance degrees from The Ohio State University, Rice University, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.