Harpist and climate activist Megan Conley founded Ocean Music Action with generous support from The Knights. Megan is the 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.
Indian-born conservation artist Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee settled in the beautifully diverse city of Houston, TX in 2012. She has moved between cities to find her own space in this world, and to hunt for the connection amongst us. After crossing continents, this hunt has propelled her toward an element that physically connects us all – water. She is strongly influenced by marine life, drawing inspiration from her experiences scuba diving and from the ocean itself.
In her work, 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. Passionate about serving the community, she serves on the Board of a non-profit Writers In The schools (WITS) and is a Panelist at the Houston Arts Alliance.