Harpist and climate activist Megan Conley founded Ocean Music Action with generous support from The Knights. Megan is the former Principal Harpist of the Houston Symphony, a Grammy Award winning musician, and a former Fulbright scholar. With Ocean Music Action, she merges her love of music with her passion for stewardship of the planet for future generations.
The Knights are an innovative young musical collective, founded by Colin and Eric Jacobsen and dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience; to eliminating barriers between audience and music; and to enlivening spaces of all kinds. The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz to klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.
Hailed as “intensely soulful” and a “virtuoso” by The New York Times and “spellbinding” by The New Yorker, Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh has gained international recognition for what the CBC has called his “incredibly rich sound” and his distinctive compositional voice across diverse musical genres. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, among others, and has shared the stage with such musical luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma and Daniel Barenboim. His recent compositions were commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, the Silkroad Ensemble, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Elbphilharmonie. Kinan has been commissioned to write a piece for Ocean Music Action, as well as performing as a guest artist.
David Liittschwager has photographed more than a dozen assignments for National Geographic, specializing in portraiture of natural history subjects. He has published seven books and is a regular contributor to popular magazines and scientific publications. Liittschwager’s photography has been exhibited at major museums including the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C.
Liittschwager collaborated with Ocean Music Action for a performance at the Moody Center for the Arts for Earth Day 2022. His incredible images of rarely-seen ocean life were projected in high definition and accompanied by a specially curated live music performance by musicians from The Knights, along with local Houston musicians and students from the Shepherd School of Music.
Indian-born conservation artist Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee settled in the beautifully diverse city of Houston, TX in 2012. She is strongly influenced by marine life, drawing inspiration from her experiences scuba diving and from the ocean itself. Folmsbee creates ethereal, intricate shapes, meant to invite the viewer into the marine world. Her interdisciplinary art installations transform a space and immerse one in beauty through abstraction and realism.
Folmsbee works with marine organizations such as the Galveston Bay Foundation, the Correa Lab, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A), and the Coral Restoration Foundation to help preserve our oceans.
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