“Rarely are performers as at home at Lincoln Center as they are in a sweat lodge. Composer, cellist, vocalist, educator and Grammy-nominated performer Dawn Avery is equally comfortable with either. Working with musical luminaries from Luciano Pavarotti to Sting, Dawn spent years honing her musical talents, collaborating and performing with John Cale, John Cage, David Darling, Reza Derakshani, Sussan Deyhim, Ustad Sultan Kahn, Karsh Kale, Mischa Maisky, Carlos Nakai, Baba Olatunji, Joanne Shenandoah, and Glen Velez.
Dawn Avery has performed at the Montreux, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Banlieu Bleu Jazz Festivals in Europe. She’s played uptown at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as in New York’s thriving downtown music stages like the Knitting Factory and La Mama. Establishing herself in the DC metropolitan area, Dawn has performed at the Kennedy Center, Bethesda Artists Market, Washington’s Folklife Festival and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Dawn Avery specializes in the performance of contemporary Native American music with her own ensemble OKENTI, indigenous classical music with her cello, voice and percussion duo CELLOVISION! as a soloist as part of the NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN CELLO PROJECT and in her new native classical trio, THREE SIDES TAAGI.
As an educator, Dawn helps to nurture future generations of musicians as Professor of Music at Montgomery College where she has produced an annual World Arts Festival for six years. She won the award for outstanding faculty in May 2008.
Dawn Avery’s compositions span from orchestral to chamber. She has collected awards for her works from the American Dance Festival at Duke University, NYU, Meet the Composer, the Maryland Flute Association and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in Maryland, the Ford Foundation, and the First Nations Composers Initiative, American Composers Forum. Her music can be heard on a new film release (Summer 2008) on Rich Heape Films, entitled, “We Don’t Speak English Here: Indian Boarding Schools.”
Dawn Avery was recently elected to be on the board of the national organization, American Composers Forum in which she will be on education and curriculum committees as well as the committee for the First Nations Composers Initiative.
Dawn’s exploration of sacred music led her to study the relationship between music and spirituality, especially in meditative practice. Her CD and the accompanying books by Dr. Rick Jarow of Vassar She has led meditation groups and spiritual music performances at the Milan Sacred Music Festival, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, The Open Center in NYC and Musicales Visuales in Mexico City. As leader of meditation and creativity workshops, she has worked with such great healers as the Dalai Lama, Rick Jarow, Ron Young, and Hilda Charleton.”
Virginia Prescott, NPR producer and journalist
mixture of Ethnic and Classical!
A style all her own!”
passionate and virtuosic exploration of ethnic song and
“Sumptuous vocalizing, a style we
associate with Meredith Monk.” Linda Belans,
“Ms. Buckholz Avery’s work evokes
the confusion and pathos of city life, incorporating thorny
jazz textures, folk songs, fierce rock rhythms, and performance-art
set pieces. The composer dominated her instrumental ensemble,
drawing weird sounds from her cello and singing forcefully.
“. . .the public was enchanted, demanding an encore!”
Cesar Delgado Martinez,
“. . .her voice produces chants, strongly reminiscent
of medieval song, bringing to mind the Australian duet,
Dead Can Dance, only more daring!” New Music Across
“She plucks, bows and sometimes sings
in a strange language of her own. There’s a freshness
to this work. Suzanne Sloat,