Musical Saw Festival 2015

The next NYC Musical Saw Festival will take place in 2015.
Please check back for details to come.

The NYC Musical Saw Festival became a biennial event (taking place every other year) since 2011

Musical Saw Festival 2013 in the News

Musical Saw Festival

Music Made on the Cutting Edge
Actually, the Other Side Is the Star at the New York City Musical Saw Festival
By ANDY BATTAGLIA

“It’s a cut-throat industry,” Natalia Paruz said, with a pause, “and nothing pleases me more than sinking my teeth into a tune.” A chorus of groans and guffaws rose up around her—one of many memorable sounds on Saturday at a spirited tribute to a curious subject: the musical saw.
For the 10th annual New York City Musical Saw Festival, some 50 saw players from near and far assembled to celebrate an instrument known for its simple origins and otherworldly effects. Take a long metal saw, scrape its smooth edge with a bow and bend it manually with a handle or just a thumb atop the blade—the act of playing it at once resourceful and absurd.
Dozens of saw players gathered at a church in Astoria Saturday for the tenth New York City Musical Saw Festival, an annual celebration of the tool-turned-instrument. Video by WSJ’s Jennifer Weiss.
It’s also many-splendored, as demonstrated to an audience of more than 300 festivalgoers gathered at Trinity Church in Astoria, Queens. In her opening remarks, Ms. Paruz, the festival’s director, known to most in attendance as the “Saw Lady,” recounted the history of her eccentric event and announced the official declaration, by decree of Queens borough president Helen Marshall, of Natalia Paruz Musical Saw Festival Day.
Ms. Paruz, who is 36, then turned the program over to a motley mix of saw music that ranged from demonstrations of quasi-classical refinement to lively shows of rootsy verve.
“I thought a lady was singing on the street the first time I heard a saw,” said Charity Dudley, a 28-year-old performer from West Virginia who echoed frequent descriptions of the instrument as a vessel for a sort of siren’s song.
Indeed, as the show commenced, the instrument’s flair for glissando charmed and enchanted, sliding among notes like a whistle on a spaceship. Transmissions from the saw are hard to control and less than exacting in their effect, but over four hours of performance, the strange sound supported many musical modes. The Japanese player Shinsaku Murakawa offered a stirring version of “Danny Boy”; the Chinese-born Liming Chen performed a rendition of “Beautiful Spanish Girl”; a German duo did Debussy. Some players were accompanied by pre-recorded backing tracks, while others played with string sections or rustic folk bands.
Hannes Vermeulen had ventured from Langebaan, South Africa, making him the festival’s guest of honor—the saw player who’d traveled the longest distance to Queens. Back home, he’d been a contestant on the TV show “SA’s Got Talent,” so local leaders helped raised funds to send their hometown hero to New York. At Trinity Church, brochures extolling the virtues of Langebaan as a tourist destination (watersports on a turquoise lagoon, an eons-old fossil known as “Eve’s Footprint”) sat on a table in back as the 66-year-old saw man performed a portion of his nation’s national anthem.
Asked why the musical saw is the instrument he chooses to play, Mr. Vermeulen replied, “It’s the only instrument I can play.”
Outside the church, Alexi Faucomprez, an enthusiast from Lyon, France, managed to teach an unsuspecting virtuoso to play in just a few minutes as he tuned up to perform on his own. Mr. Faucomprez, who is 39, makes his own custom toothless saws, one of which features a long 15-second sustain.
Does he sell the saws he makes? “I try to,” he said.
Adam Wirtzfeld, in town from Minneapolis for his fourth Saw Festival, preferred a plain store-bought saw with teeth, the sharper the better. “I like that it’s a beautiful instrument that is also capable of destruction,” he said. In 15 years of playing, he has cut himself only twice. “In both cases, it bled kind of a lot. But it must have been entertaining for the audience to see blood flowing down my hand while I was playing.”
Happily, Saturday’s proceedings were gore-free, though not without streaks of surprise. Mike Weldeck Jr., in town with Ms. Dudley from West Virginia, played a theatrical piece titled “Invention for Saw and Typewriter.” She typed fragments of a poem, percussively; he played saw. “I figured we could have something that was multimedia,” he said.
Christine Suter had come from Long Island, where she took up the tool after attending her first festival five years ago. “I’ve always gravitated toward weird, bizarre instruments,” she said, holding special admiration for the didgeridoo and the mbira thumb piano. Her favorite, however, is the saw she played onstage over Billie Holiday singing “When You’re Smiling.”
As the event’s mastermind, Ms. Paruz conducted the festival with a sense of significance and a spirit that was irrepressible. “It’s important to preserve this art form and to propel it forward,” she said, when asked about why she has remained true to the musical saw for so many years. “I hope the festival will ensure that it won’t disappear.”
“Another reason,” she added, “is that it’s just really fun.”

This article appeared June 3, 2013, on page A24 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal

Musical Saw Festival 2013 - Natalia Paruz

Musical Saw Festival Channel One Russia TV

Musical Saw Festival

Listen to the Sounds of Sawing
By Tammy Scileppi

Musical Saw Festival
Musicians at the NY Musical Saw Festival in Astoria perform. Photo courtesy of Matt Chilton

Recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest musical saw ensemble ever assembled, the NYC Musical Saw Festival returned to Astoria for its 10th-year milestone celebration, filling Trinity Lutheran Church, at 31-18 37th St., last weekend with 300-plus concertgoers, including many diehard fans and curious folks looking for a new musical experience.
The applause was deafening as 40 international saw musicians gathered on stage to perform together or solo, while the entire six-hour event captured the essence of the unusual instrument that produces haunting, ethereal sounds.
Organizer/director Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, known for her subway station performances, was the star. She played a repertoire of beautiful arrangements and tunes, accompanied by a full orchestra of 12 musicians. Her performance of composer Scott Munson’s “Cinematic Suite” received a standing ovation.
During a phone interview, Paruz said she recently received a Declaration of Honor from Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, in which Marshall proclaimed June 1 “Musical Saw Festival Day.”
“It was a huge surprise for me and I’m so grateful to her,” Paruz said. She also got letters of recognition from Councilman Peter Vallone and others, even Mayor Bloomberg.
“It’s really gratifying how the festival took root, and I’m really grateful how the Musical Saw Festival is getting recognition,” Paruz said.
A skilled musician plays the musical saw using a violin or cello bow and creates arrangements by ear, or plays popular tunes using standard musical notes, without any visual indication on the instrument as to where the notes would be. So, for example, quarter and half notes are achieved by gently manipulating the blade back and forth causing it to vibrate, thereby generating sounds that can only be described as other-worldly.
Paruz, who has performed at the Queens Botanical Gardens, Flushing Library, various churches and parks, and yearly at The Astoria Historical Society, started playing the musical saw about 19 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. She says she’s still learning. It all started when she traveled to Europe with her parents at age 6 and happened to come across a man playing his saw on a street in Austria.
“There were no teachers I could go to, so I had to sort of reinvent the wheel for myself. But today I teach, and other people teach, so it evolved,” she said.
Offering lessons from her home, her students range in age from 14 to 83. Paruz said, “It’s not like violin lessons that are ongoing; there’s one lesson and I teach you everything you need to know, and there’s exercises where you practice on your own. Very few people ever need a second lesson.”
And you don’t have to have prior musical training. But it helps.
The Saw Lady says she finds classical music the most challenging to play and her favorite traditional composers are Bach, Mozart and Brahms. Along with performing pop and show tunes, she works with a lot of composers and singer-songwriters. “I don’t compose, but I interpret other people’s music,” she said.
Paruz’s fascination with musical saws grew over the years as she honed her special talent and turned it into a passion that truly defines her. She has shared her gift with thousands. That’s why she still chooses to perform in the subway. It’s not only because of the great acoustics, but especially because her audience is always close by and easy to connect with.
Her favorite stations to play are: Union Square, Herald Square and 59th Street at Lexington Avenue. She usually performs three days a week.
“It’s so nice to see at the Saw Festival how this art form transcends ages and cultural barriers,” Paruz said. “It’s really an art form for everyone.”
Paruz has an upcoming performance June 22 at Parrish Art Museum in the Hamptons, L.I. For more information on the festival and Paruz, check out www.musicalsawfestival.org.

Natalia Paruz

Reactions to the 2013 Musical Saw Festival

Musical saw Festival participants
Photographer: Joseph Peknik III

I was glad I could make it… my first one. I was very impressed by all everything. The way it’s put together and run, it flows very well. And you make it look effortless.
Chris P.
NY

Natalia! thank you so much for this awesome experience.
Your passion is magnetic and I’m glad we’ve made contact.
Matt T.
NY

It was great seeing old faces and new and hearing some fantastic playing at the festival today! Nice job as always, Natalia! Thanks for all your hard work.
Adam W.
Minnesota

Had a blast Natalia!!
Pianist/organist Judy D.
NY

Hi Natalia,
Thanks for everything today. I had to leave at 5:45 to get home to start writing, but I had a great time while I was there.
WSJ reporter Andy B.
NY

Natalia,
I just wanted to express again how much fun I had at the Saw Festival! It was an incredible experience.
Walker P.
Iowa

i had a wonderful time. learned a lot. found out i’m not half-bad but there’s lots of great saws out there. and new and interesting styles etc. thanks natalia!
Tim E.
Michigan

I enjoyed yesterday’s festival. Glad I went!
Black P.
NY


Russia’s premier TV channel reported on the NYC Musical Saw Festival

Many many thanks to Natalia Paruz for organizing another wonderful day full of singing saws!
Christine S.
NY

Natalia, you rock! That was an amazing festival!
Tine K.
NY

Your festival was absolutely genius!! What an experience to hear you, original pieces, divine sounds, great organization and a very charming announcer. You are truly amazing and I was honored to be at your concert. Hugs from around the corner.
Barbara
NY

Hi Natalia,
Thank you! I really enjoyed meeting you and listening to the music on Saturday and wish I could have stayed longer. Thanks for having me, and congrats on a terrific event.
Jennifer W.
Wall Street Journal videographer
NY

A fun event as always, Natalia!
Pat M.
NY

I really enjoyed this event! it was great! – Congratulations to Natalia and to everyone involved in the organization of it, all your effort was reflected in a great result. :)
Charles L.
NY

Had the time of my life.. Was wonderful to meet you in person.. Thanx for all your hard work & everyone else who made this event possible…
Jeff J.
Arkansas

thoroughly enjoyable event, lovely to see folks from 2011 and to meet new players and performers.

Scott Munson’s new 4-piece work was outrageously wonderful, a joy to hear and the players–especially the saw player (Natalia)–the epitome of perfection.

Thank you Natalia and Scott and all your assistants for3a wonderful afternoon.
Best,
Poet Willa F.
NY

The Saw Festival turned out to be a full house. Great show a usual.
Debra M.
NY

Dear Natalia,
The 10th musical saw festival has again shown your talent for organization and your dedication to the presentation of the musical saw. Each year, I’ve met new friends and chatted with folks I had met in past years. I’ve heard the soloist present diverse styles and have been inspired by the playing. Although I had to leave somewhat early to catch my train, I left with a renewed spirit of inspiration. It was a memorable day and I look forward to next year’s festival!
Thank you for all your efforts,
Stew W.
PA

Think ya have Disneyland beat Natalia. Good work!
Jim L.
CA

Hey Natalia!

I just wanted to let you know what I great time we had!
Can’t wait for next year.
Again many thanks, I had a blast!
Sean T.
NY

Thank you for Saw Fest X, it was SO great!
DJ Bronwin C.
NY

Had a great time at the festival So looking forward to next year!!!!
It was such an awesome festival, so amazing in every way. Just amazing to have so many of us “musical sawyers” gathered together in one place. It was so nice to meet everyone!!
Sandi S.
Ohio

Dear Natalia,
First of all, congratulations with the success of your 10th festival. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and for me it was an experience of a lifetime.
It was nice to meet you and the other saw players.
Travelling from USA to RSA for a holliday is cheap because you can buy almost R10 for $1. For me it was the opposite and even though I had sponsors, I still had to spend R5 000 from my bank account, but it was worth it.
I obtained a copy of the Wall Street Journal and my sponsors are very pleased,maybe I will get sponsored again next year.
Hannes V.
South Africa

Hi Natalia,
thank you so much for having Adam Wirtzfeld and the Roe Family SIngers at the 10th Annual Saw Festival a few weeks ago on June 1. We had so much fun, as usual! I loved getting to hear so many different players from all over the world again this year. And I once again marveled at how, no matter when the festival is held, it always seems to be on the hottest day possible. ; )
We wish you continued success with your own performances and with the Saw Festival. Here’s hoping it lasts at least another ten years!
Be well,
Quillan R.
Minnesota

The Musical Saw Festival was a Gas- even more than the others I’ve been to- I saw a number of very artistic saw cases, and it seems that more and more good-lookin’ women are taking up the saw…of course I may have enjoyed it more since I got to sit in the back row with the bad kids….
George H.
New York

Hello Natalia,
Thank you so much for all of what you did for me in my recent New York trip.
I came back to Tokyo safely the day before yesterday. I really enjoyed 7 days of New York trip, especially the 10th NYC Musical Saw Festival. It was a great and special opportunity to be able to play musical saw in front of foreign audience for me and exchange friendship with US and international musical saw player. Especially it was a great pleasure that I could meet Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, A person leading global musical saw scene.
I hope I can meet you again in the future.
Thank you again, Natalia and all the best,
Shinsaku M.
Japan

Hi Natalia,
I think Sawfest was great. I’ve known about it for a long time but this is the first time I came. Great space to have it in as well! One of those cool events that makes NYC great. I hope it continues to grow and grow.
Best,
Jason
NYC

Hey,
This is Mike Waldeck Jr. from the saw festival this summer. Thanks for having me at the musical saw festival. I had a blast. It’s great to meet other saw players and see that they are all great people as a whole. I feel blessed to be a part of the saw community now. That festival was the highlight of a very busy summer.
Mike
WV

Musical Saw Festival 2013

You’re invited to the 10th NYC Musical Saw Festival:

Musical Saw Festival 2013
Flyer art by Zina Saunders

Download the 2013 NYC Musical Saw Festival Flyer
Full page DOWNLOAD HERE
Two on a page DOWNLOAD HERE
Four on a page DOWNLOAD HERE

When: Saturday, June 1st, 2013, 2pm
Where: Trinity Church, 31-18 37th Street (37th Street at 31st Avenue), Astoria, NY

Church where the NYC Musical saw Festival takes place

How to get there:
Parking: Street
Public Transportation:
* ‘R’ subway train to Queens: Get off at the Steinway St, Station. Exit near intersection of Broadway and Steinway Street. Walk (2 blocks) west on Broadway towards 38th street. Turn right onto 37th St. Church is at the end of the block.
* ‘N’ or ‘Q’ subway train to Queens: Get off at the ‘Broadway’ stop. Walk on Broadway to 37th street (6 blocks). Turn left onto 37th street. Church is at the end of the block.
View Larger Map

Admission: $10

The NYC Musical Saw Festival recieved a proclamation from the Borough President of Queens, Helen Marshall, declaring June 1st 2013 ‘Musical Saw Festival Day’ in Queens!

Musical saw Festival Day

What:

* NATALIA ‘SAW LADY’ PARUZ, founder & organizer of the Musical Saw Festival, will present the musical saw as an ensemble instrument in music composed for film and TV

* Premier of new compositions for the musical saw by composers Ady Cohen and Scott Munson

* A musical saw art exhibit
Paintings by: Lisa Alonso Canellas, Shoshana Kertesz Hoyt, Yirmi Pinkus, Zina Saunders, Heidi Younger, Aaron Porter, Jamie Isenstein, Kenly Dillard, Rodney Bauer, Miriam Paskalski, Barrett Cobb, Alyssa Steele, Young Joo, Michael Watson, Kauri Sievers

* Musical saw poetry: poet Willa France will recite her poetry about the musical saw.

* Solos by musical saw players from around the world

* The ‘Chorus of the Saws’ (all participating musical saw players playing together, accompanied by piano).

* Musical saw workshops
Musical Saw Festival workshop instructor Olivier Doucet Musical saw player Olivier Doucet of Canada will teach a workshop about his unique technique. Points in the workshop:
Advantage of moving both ends of the saw
Approach of bowing based on fundamental physics (from light and fast to slow and heavy)
Fundamental difference between violin bow and musical saw bow
How to jump from note to note without glissando
How to avoid scratching sound
Edge modification & conditioning
Staccato on the saw
Modulating the sound level of a high note after playing a low note

musical saw player Doc George - photo by Pat Merino Musical saw player Doc George of NY will teach a workshop about the hammered musical saw.
musical saw player Mike Waldeck Jr Musical saw player Mike Waldeck Jr. of West Virginia will teach a workshop about miking the musical saw
musical saw player Thom EnoMusical saw player Thom Eno of Michigan will teach a Beginner Saw workshop (for people who have never played saw before) – covering how to hold the saw, picking a good saw and some basic theory with demonstrations and a chance for everyone to try to play a saw or two.

The musical saw player who travels the farthest in order to attend the festival is considered the “guest of honor”.

NYC Musical Saw Festival souvenir T-shirts will be available for purchase:
* new design (M, L, XL, – $20 each, XXL – $25)
* old design (only L available – $20 each).

Orange Musical Saw Festival t-shirt

Time Magazine’s report of the last Musical Saw Festival:



Musical saw players wishing to participate in the festival :
If you would like to participate as a saw player (whether as a soloist, a participant in the ‘Chorus of the Saws’ or to take the workshop) or as a member of the audience, please contact us through the ‘Contact’ page and send us your name, e-mail address and whether you are a saw player or not.


If you wish to sponsor the NYC Musical Saw Festival – please contact us.

Non musical saw musicians participating in the festival:

Ady CohenComposer ADY COHEN is a film composer who composed for the musical saw in his score for the award winning animation film ‘Strings’.
He also composes music for the stage, TV and the concert hall. He is the winner of the 2012 ACUM (Israeli ASCAP) Award for Best Score for a Children’s Film, and the 1998 Israeli Academy Award for Best Film Score. His career ignited with the help of the late Maestro Leonard Bernstein, who has been Ady’s patron and sponsored his studies at New York University where he graduated with Honors as a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Ady has composed over 30 film scores, among them: “Passover Fever”, “Song of the Siren”, “Dangerous Acts” and more. He has written the music for numerous theater plays, among them “The Imaginary Invalid”, “Night in Tel Aviv”, “Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson”, and dance performances, as well as for TV films and series, such as “The Ex List” (Channel 2, sold to NBC), “When Shall We Kiss” (Channel 10, sold to HBO Europe), “Custody” (Channel 2), “Deus” (The Children’s Channel) and more. His talents are also employed by the advertising industry in TV, cinema and radio commercials and jingles.

Scott Munson Composer SCOTT MUNSON’s music has been performed throughout the world in concert halls, TV and on radio. He composed numerous pieces for the musical saw, including the musical saw solo in the Fox Searchlight movie ‘Another Earth’.
In 2007 his work “The Undeterred” for piano, voice and musical saw, premiered at Carnegie recital hall and was later repeated at New York’s Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. His ballet “Stand Back” (with musical saw part) has been performed numerous times by members of the Eric Hawkins Dance Company. In 2009 the ballet company Eidolon performed choreography to two of his works for musical saw at the Joyce Theatre Soho. His two works for musical saw and string quartet were played at a concert in Israel in spring 2010.
Mr. Munson’s music has been heard on many TV stations including CBS, MTV, FOX,CNN, Bravo, A&E, The WE Channel, The History Channel as well as on radio stations such as XM Radio, WBAI, Radio Marabu (Germany), Radio Centraal (Belgium) and others. In 2006 an hour long radio program dedicated to the music of Mr. Munson along with an interview with the composer aired on Radio Kol Hamusika in Israel, the most prestigious classical radio station in that country.
He has won numerous awards, commissions and grants including first place in National Public Radio’s (NPR) “All Songs Considered” contest for his original arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and a “Meet The Composer” grant for his composition “Fantasy” for trumpet and vibraphone.

Daniel RadtkeDANIEL RADTKE (Conductor) has conducted a wide repertory from Medieval through Modern music with the Goliard Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, The Astoria Symphony, The Most Precious Blood Concert Choir and Orchestra, The Bronx Concert Singers, The Brooklyn Consort, The Canby Singers, The Saint Joseph?s Chorale and Orchestra. As a singer, he has performed as a member of The Greg Smith Singers, The Manhattan Chorale, The National Chorale, The Juilliard Choral Singers, The New York Choral Artists, The Temple Emmanuel Choir, Musica Sacra and Voices of Ascension. As a member of the Commission on Music for the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese, has performed as conductor, cantor and organist and has directed workshops in Song Leading and Conducting. He began his professional career in 1973 as a member of the U. S. O. performing for American troops in Europe. He is an honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point where he frequently performed leading roles in musical theater, opera and dance productions. He has been the Music Director at Most Precious Blood parish in Astoria for the past 23 years. Dan has been a long time advocate of the music of Scott Munson. He has commissioned and conducted premiers of many composers dating back to 1980.

Lawrence Zoernig LAWRENCE ZOERNIG (Cello) has been principal cellist of many New York symphony and chamber orchestras, including New York Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Bachanalia, Opera Manhattan and the New York Scandia Symphony.
He has appeared with well-known dance ensembles including the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the David Parsons Dance Company. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall in New York and the Phillips Collection and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
His Scandia Quartet was invited to play for former US President
Jimmy Carter and his wife, Roslyn, at the Carter Center in Atlanta,
Georgia, and for the Prince and Princess of Denmark at the Hans Christian Anderson Centenniel Celebration.
As a concert artist on the international scene, Mr. Zoernig has
been presented at the Teatro Amazones in Manaus, Brazil and the World Expo in Seville, Spain and has also performed extensively on Cunard Line cruise ships throughout the world, as well as on the National Tour of the award winning hit Broadway show, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”.
Meet the Composer Foundation provided Mr. Zoernig with a
grant for his work as a composer of music for cello.
He received a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School.

Elaine Olschesky ELAINE OLSCHESKY (Flute) residing in Astoria, Queens, is active in many areas of the classical music business, holding positions as a performer, music instructor and arts administrator. She received her Master’s Degree in flute performance from New York University where she studied privately with world-renowned flutist, Keith Underwood, and new music/extended technique classes with Robert Dick. She earned her Bachelor of Music in performance from Ithaca College where she studied with Kelly Covert. Ms. Olschesky’s previous engagements include a solo concerto world premiere with the Astoria Symphony, two concerto soloist performances with Goliard Concerts, and principal flute/piccolo concerto soloist with the Queensborough Orchestra. She has also performed with the Light Opera of New York, the Julliard School, Ohio Light Opera, Vertical Player Repertory, Christ Church Festival Orchestra, and with the New Music and Dance Ensemble at NYU’s contemporary music festival in Genova, Italy. Ms. Olschesky was the conductor and chamber music coach for NYU’s Wednesday Night Orchestra, and she has held several arts administration positions as the Administrative Director of Goliard Concerts, Orchestra Manager for NYU’s Symphony Orchestra, and additional positions with MidAmerica Productions and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Kathleen Ditmer KATHLEEN DITMER (French Horn) M.A., Western Illinois University; B.M., Hartt College of Music. Studied with Paul Ingraham, William Capps, James Jacobs. Former faculty member, pre-college divisions of Manhattan School of Music and Hartt College of Music. Currently teaches privately, at the Wharton School of Music, and at select summer band camps nationwide. Well-known French Hornist with a wide variety of solo, chamber music, orchestral, brass band and jazz band credits in New York and New Jersey as well as throughout the U.S. Extensive career includes performances with the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Long Island Philharmonic, Queens Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, New Jersey Symphony and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. Broadway credits include Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Recordings with Odyssey, Audio Media, Sound Stage Productions, LSI Studios, Nashville Sound Studios, and Opryland USA Show Orchestra.

Alex Anisimov ALEXANDR ANISIMOV (Violin) was born in Russia in 1975 into a musical family, and started his musical studies at the age of six. He graduated from the Russian State Music Academy and also has got the postgraduate Diploma with Prof. Shisman.
Since 2000 he has regularly performed as a soloist and conductor with various orchestras in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan (Tatarstan), Ufa (Bashkortostan), Astana (Kazakhstan) and others. Since 2010 to 2012 Alexander has worked in the National Symphony Orchestra (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia) as a concertmaster, soloist and a second conductor.
Alexander was the first performer of works by contemporary composers and composes himself. In 2009 Alexander was admitted to the Association of Russian Composers. For his achievements in performing arts, he was awarded a grant from the Russian Musical Association, TV prize “Person of the Year”, and Orenburg Governor’s Prize.
He has also been the prize winner of the following International competitions: “Citta di Moncalieri” (1999, Italy); “Hopes, Talents, Masters” (2004, 2007, Bulgaria); “Valtidone Competition” (2005, Italy) and others. He was awarded prizes in various categories: “Solo performance (Violin)”, “Chamber Ensemble”, “Composition”.
In 2011 Alexander has received his PHD.

Bass player Mark Wade MARK WADE (Bass) A graduate of New York University, Bassist Mark Wade is an active freelance player. Credits include the Janecek Philharmonic, Orchestra of the SEM, The Antara Ensemble, Orchestra of the Bronx, DiCapo Opera, Key West Symphony, Light Opera of New York, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He played on Broadway for “It A’int Nothin But The Blues”. Jazz credits include Jimmy Heath’s “Four Black Immortals” project, Stacy Kent, Bill Warfield, and The Natchez Music Festival. He is a founding member of the Queens Jazz OverGround.

jeff ellenberger JEFFREY ELLENBERGER (Viola) Violist/violist/mandolinist/conductor Jeffrey Ellenberger graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Erick Friedman. He will receive his masters degree in conducting from Rutgers University in Spring of 2014. He has performed as the concertmaster of the Bar Harbor Festival Orchestra, and played on Broadway with “Les Miserables”, and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and New York City Opera. In the pop world, he has performed for Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick Jr. This is his 8th season as conductor of the New York Mandolin Orchestra, which perhaps will soon feature a soloist performing on the saw!

JULIANNE KLOPOTIC violin JULIANNE KLOPOTIC (Violin) Founder of Light and Sound Concerts, a new music series residing in Brooklyn, NY. She received degrees with honors from the North Carolina School for the Arts, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Mannes College, with post graduate studies at Juilliard. Appearing as a performing artist in NYC and abroad, she is winner of the Artists International Solo Competition, grant recipient of the Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, NY Women Composers Society and has been nominated into both National and International Who’s Who of performers. In addition, to her classical performance is her innate ability to work with and record 20/21st century chamber music; including works of living composers and arranging for songwriters/bands. Recordings Ms Klopotic can be heard: A&M, Arista , American Federation of Microtonal Music, 4-Tay, Colombia, Durtro, Electra, Geffen , Equal Vision, Naxos, Pitch, Polygram, Restless, Socialist, Stockholm , Sony Classical, TTP, Touch and Go and Universal records.
Julianne has played with and arranged for strings and saw on the album ‘Dogs’ with Nina Nastaia. (track-Stormy Weather) You can learn more about Julianne by visiting her Light & Sound website at www.lightandsound-concerts.org

Carlos Baptiste - violin CARLOS BAPTISTE (Violin) was born in London England of Caribbean parentage. At the age of seven he began his Violin studies and continued them at the Yehudi Menuhin school and the Royal Academy of Music in London. During his studentship at the Academy, Mr Baptiste was the recipient of the Academy’s highest honors in Violin performance including the Concerto competition in which he performed the Concerto in D major by Tchaikovsky.
Mr Baptiste came to New York City to continue his studies at the Mannes College of Music as a scholarship recipient. Carlos Baptiste currently makes his home in New York City and he makes regular appearances as a soloist and chamber musician. He is also founder of the critically acclaimed African-American group “Diaspora Chamber Players.”

Nuno Antunes - clarinet NUNO ANTUNES (clarinet) was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and began his music studies at the C.N.R. of Leiria at age 11. Mr. Antunes continued his education at ANSO (Lisbon), and earned his MM at Manhattan School of Music.
Mr. Antunes’ appearance in competitions has resulted in several prizes, including the R.D.P. Young Musicians Prize and the Portuguese Young Clarinetist Competition. Having a recognized versatility in several different musical styles, Nuno Antunes has performed extensively as a recitalist, chamber musician and in various professional orchestras, both in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
His love for chamber music led to the creation of The Gene Project, a unique combination of clarinet, bassoon and harp. He is also a member of Ensemble 54 clarinet quartet. Mr. Antunes had his NYC debut as a soloist in 2007 at Musica Bella Concert Series and he gave a recital at the XX International Clarinet Meeting (Lisbon, Portugal).
Mr. Antunes is the principal clarinetist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and a member of IRIS orchestra.
Nuno Antunes teaches clarinet at the Horace Mann School and is on the faculty for Praxis Youth Leadership Orchestra and for New York Summer Music Festival

Francisco Salazar - violin FRANCISCO SALAZAR (Violin) Born in Caracas Venezuela, Francisco Salazar began his violin studies at age 6, and at age 8 made his debut as a soloist with orchestra. Since then he has performed extensively as a concert violinist, and has toured all over the world with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela which he joined at age 14. Having already established himself as one of the top performers in his native country, Francisco decided to come to the United States to attend The Juilliard School where he obtained his B.M and M.M degrees as a scholarship student of Margaret Pardee. Since coming to the States Francisco has continued the success that started early on in his native country, and has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician to rave reviews by music critics in prestigious venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie’s Weill, Kimmel Center, and many others.
Currently Francisco resides in New York City, is a member of the Harrisburg Symphony, concertmaster of a variety of ensembles in NYC, and maintains a busy schedule as a soloist and chamber musician.

JUDY DIMINO (piano) is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, serving in the choir, the handbell choir, as an assisting minister, and as a substitute organist. Judy is a graduate of Queens College, now known as the Aaron Copland School of Music, with a B.A. in Music Education.
Judy was a pianist for the Committee Of Police Societies Chorus and Runner-Up in the International Piano Recording Competition 1982 She received the Presiding Bishop’s Certificate of Church Music from the Leadership Program for Musicians at The Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, Long Island in 2004. Judy has taught piano, guitar and accordion in various locations in the Queens area. Judy recently received a Certificate in Church Music from Westminster Conservatory, Princeton, New Jersey.

Romulo Benavides violin ROMULO BENAVIDES (Violin) studied with the late Emil Friedman in his native Venezuela and obtained his Bachelors degree from The Juilliard School. As Concertmaster of Arcos Juveniles de Caracas, he performed as soloist in the United States, Spain, Dominican Republic and throughout Venezuela, and in 1985, he won 1st Prize at the Juan Bautista Plaza Violin Competition in Caracas. He went on to perform as soloist with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, Carabobo Chamber Orchestra and the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra. In New York City he has performed with the Carpentier Quartet, Ensemble America, Frank Valiente Tango Quintet, and with Mauricio Najt and Alberto Quiroga. Benavides performs as the first violinist of the Dali Quartet and is Concertmaster and featured soloist of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded for New World Records and performed in master classes for Itzhak Perlman at Brooklyn College and for Peter Winograd at The Aspen Music School.

Musical Saw Festival 2011 in the News


NY1 TV News

Reuters TV News

The Daily

Time Magazine





Assemblymember Aravella Simotas Presents Citation of Honor to NYC Musical Saw Festival
Queens Times

Assembly Member Aravella Simotas presented the Queens based NYC Musical Saw Festival with a citation of honor for “9 years of artistic excellence in Astoria ”.. In her speech at the festival, which took place on July 16th, Simotas said she has a love and appreciation of music since she used to play the clarinet, and she finds it so wonderful that the NYC Musical Saw Festival takes place at the Hellenic Cultural
Center in Astoria and she hopes it will continue to do so for many
years to come.
The festival presented 37 musical saw players who came from
as far away as India , Japan , Germany and Sweden , and as
nearby as Astoria and Sunnyside. Amongst the many performances
in this concert which lasted 4 hours was a world premier of a
composition commissioned by the festival from composer Eyal Bat.
The composition, titled ‘Courts of Heaven’, was written for four
musical saws and piano. This is a historical first for the art form
of playing music on a carpenter’s handsaw, since it is the first time
a composer set out to write for this particular instrumentation. The
piece resembled a fuge form and showcased both harmony passages
as well as individual solo lines. Pianist Judy Dimino provided gentle accompaniment to the otherworldly choir of saws.
Natalia ‘Saw Lady’ Paruz, founder and organizer of the annual festival, presented a few pieces from her new album ‘I Saw the Future’: ‘ Bend ’ and ‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis’ – two piece for string quartet and musical saw by Scott Munson as well as ‘Air on the G String’ by J.S. Bach. ‘I Saw the Future’ is available f rom www.cdbaby.com/Artist/NataliaParuz
The Trinity Handbell Choir, directed by Richard Walker, accompanied Paruz on two classical pieces – Gymnopedie/Satie and Pavane/Faure.
Poet Willa France recited two of her poems about the musical
saw and 12 visual artists presented their paintings inspired
by the musical saw. A little girl named Lillian Carver, daughter
of the “Singer & Saw” duo who presented a comical skit revolving around the musical saw, was so inspired by the art exhibit that
she asked for a piece of paper and during the concert she drew her
own impression from the concert, depicting the music as heavenly
through a visual of the ‘Saw Lady’ playing on a cloud.
Many musical saw solos and duos followed as well as the ‘Roe
Family Singers’ – a band featuring the musical saw. Music ranged
from Liszt & Beethoven to pop classics such as ‘Mona Lisa’ & ‘Bessame Mucho’, to religious tunes such as ‘How Great Thou Art’ to movie music such as ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka.
The concert ended with the ‘Chorus of the Saws’ – all saw players playing ‘Over the Rainbow’ together. Eerily mesmerizing, 37 saws playing together is certainly an unearthly sound unlike any other.
After the concert saw players were treated to four workshops that
ranged in difficulty from beginner to advanced. To celebrate the success of the festival, ‘Opa’ Greek restaurant received an influx of
diners carrying musical instruments that evening. The festival,
which is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts, was also supported by local merchants such as Maria’s Hair Salon and Imagination Hairdesigners, who displayed the festival’s poster in their storefront windows.

Reactions to the 2011 Musical Saw Festival

New York State Assemblymember Aravella Simotas honored the Musical Saw Festival with the following (click on image to enlarge):


Citation of honor from NY State Assemblymember Aravella Simotas

Aravella Simotas
Photographer: Harris Graber

Hi Natalia–
I hope you have had the chance to crash! What a wonderful event you created. I enjoyed every performance and thought the final saw “orchestral” numbers were terrific. I could see everyone taking cues from you. And I also observed so many playing styles, more than i could have imagined.
Best, Willa
(NY)

Hi Natalia,
Each year my pilgrimage to the saw festival brings new musical surprises, new friends and new techniques that I can try and work on. The talent and diversity in style that was demonstrated by those who participated reflected their dedication to the musical saw and many hours of practice. This, I believe, is the result of the encouragement and the promotion by you through the saw festival. It brings like minded musicians together. Thank you for all the efforts you put into planning this superb festival. I for one look forward to attending again in 2012.
Best wishes,
Stew
(PA)

Hi Natalia,
I hope you have had a chance to relax after another successful festival. Sarah and I had a great time.
Thanks,
-Nathan
(NY)

Nathan’s daughter, Lillian, was inspired by the art exhibit at the festival and drew this drawing at the festival:

Lillian Carver's drawing

Natalia,
It was an honor to be at the saw festival this year. It was great. Thanks for all your dedication to our unusual but beautiful instrument, the musical saw!
I hope you get some time to recover from this years event. You did a wonderful job with it all and Anne and I wish you the best in the future. It would be awesome to attend again in the future.
Until we meet again,
Rev. Harris | Minister of Music
(North Carolina)

Dear Natali Paruz!
Thank you so much for your festival and perormances!
I was the pianist who came up to you before the concert with my mother.
I wanted to ask if i can set up a lesson with you if you have time.
Sincerely and all the best,
Maxim
(NY)


3D video (you need 3D glasses to see it properly)

Thank you Jay Kusnetz http://www.sophont.com for this video

Hi, Natalia. Thank you so very much for all of the time, love and energy that you put into yesterday’s festival.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and take good care!
Many hugs,
Jeff
(PA)

congratulations! …on a wonderful event this saturday.
it was lovely playing with you!
warm regards,
RG. (violinist)
(NY)

Natalia,
Thank you so much for putting together this festival. It was fun and informative and I indeed thought the workshops very interesting and helpful. It was fun joining you for dinner and getting to know you a little bit. I hope to be able to come again next year and will keep working on the “Dyer” Song Blade.
Yours Truly,
David
(OH)

The festival was awesome, everyone did a great job, I think the rate this is going you are going to need a bigger place. I enjoyed everyone, of course my most favorite is my husband Steve and Stew, they brought tears to my eyes, I was so proud of them. Thanks for all you do, you are one unique lady, and so is your husband, I know he did alot of work also to pull this off.
Charlene
(PA)

Musical Saw Festival Participants
Photographer: Harris Graber

Great event. I loved it. Dinner in the restaurant was fun too!
-Paul
(NY)

Natalia:
Great job and a wonderful time at the festival.
Thanks for making this gathering such a success
Bob
(NJ)

Great time today and our friends enjoyed it very much!
Pat
(NY)

I didn’t realize the musical saw is so versatile!
Debbie
(audience)

Excellent as usual
Aaron
(visual artist)

Chorus of the saws
Photographer: Harris Graber

Wonderful
Inez
(audience)

Stunning!
Kaylee
(audience)

Splendid, great, superb
Joseph
(audience)

Excellent!!!
Leslie
(audience)

Super!!!
Virginia
(audience)

Beautiful
Aime
(audience)

Wonderful time
Steve & Charlene
(PA)

Wonderful day!
Stew
(PA)

Looking forward to the next Saw Festival! It was an awesome experience.
Cynthia
(audience)

Musical Saw Festival 2011

You’re invited to the 9th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival:

2011 Musical Saw Festival flyer
Flyer art by Zina Saunders

Download the 2011 NYC Musical Saw Festival Flyer
Full page DOWNLOAD HERE
Two on a page DOWNLOAD HERE
Four on a page DOWNLOAD HERE

When: Saturday, July 16th, 2011, 2pm.

Where: Hellenic Cultural Center, 27-09 Crescent Street (corner of Newtown Avenue), Astoria, NY 11102-3142
The entrance to the festival is on Newtown Avenue.



View Larger Map

Parking: Street
Public Transportation: N/Q Train to 30th Ave (walk on 31st street one blockto Newtown Avenue. Make a left onto Newtown Avenue. Walk almost 4 blocks to the Hellenic Cultural Center).

Admission: $10

What:
NATALIA ‘SAW LADY’ PARUZ, founder & organizer of the Musical Saw Festival, will present the musical saw as an ensemble instrument in contemporary and classical music, with participation of a string quartet and a handbell choir.

* Premier of 2 new compositions for the musical saw by composers Scott Munson and Eyal Bat (piece for four musical saws and piano), commissioned for the Musical Saw Festival.

* A musical saw art exhibit
Paintings by: Zina Saunders, Heidi Younger, Aaron Porter, Miriam Paskalski, Jamie Isenstein, Kenly Dillard, Barrett Cobb, Alyssa Steele, Young Joo, Michael Watson, Kauri Sievers, Claude Bonang

*Musical saw poetry: poet Willa France will recite her poetry about the musical saw.

* Solos by saw players from around the world

* The ‘Chorus of the Saws’ (all participating musical saw players playing together, accompanied by piano).

* Musical saw workshop
 
The musical saw player who travels the farthest in order to attend the festival is considered the “guest of honor”.

NYC Musical Saw Festival souvenir T-shirts will be available for purchase:
* new design (M, L, XL, – $20 each, XXL – $25)
* old design (only L available – $20 each).

Orange Musical Saw Festival t-shirt





Non musical saw musicians participating in the festival:

Trinity Handbell Choir TRINITY HANDBELL CHOIR, directed by Richard Walker

Lawrence Zoernig LAWRENCE ZOERNIG (cello), has been principal ‘cellist of many New York symphony and chamber orchestras, including New York Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Bachanalia and Opera Manhattan. Mr. Zoernig premièred Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino for ‘Cello and String Orchestra at Trinity Church with the New York Scandia Symphony, for which he is also principal ‘cellist. He has also recently performed the Cello Concerto by Johan Svendsen with the Scandia Symphony.
As a chamber musician, he performs frequently with the Goliard
Ensemble and Bachanalia. He has appeared with such noted artists as
violinists Nina Beilina, Sidney Harth and Mark Peskanov, clarinetist
Charles Neidich, guitarist David Starobin, and well-known dance
ensembles including the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the David
Parsons Dance Company. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall in New York and the Phillips Collection and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C..
His Scandia Quartet was invited to play for former US President
Jimmy Carter and his wife, Roslyn, at the Carter Center in Atlanta,
Georgia, and for the Prince and Princess of Denmark at the New York
Public Library’s Hans Christian Anderson Centenniel Celebration.
As a concert artist on the international scene, Mr. Zoernig has
been presented at the Teatro Amazones in Manaus, Brazil and the World Expo in Seville, Spain and has also performed extensively on Cunard Line cruise ships Queen Elizabeth II, Caronia, Vistafjord, Sagafjord, and Royal Viking Sun throughout the world.
Lawrence Zoernig recently returned from the National Tour of the
award winning hit Broadway show, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”.
Meet the Composer Foundation recently provided Mr. Zoernig with a
grant for his work as a composer of music for cello. Additionally, he
maintains an active teaching schedule and is presently a faculty
member of the Sylvan Academy of Music in Closter, NJ.
Lawrence Zoernig was born in 1960 in Sioux City, Iowa. He began
studying ‘cello at age eight. He attended the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, an arts-centered boarding school. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Alan Harris, and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where he studied with Harvey Shapiro. At Juilliard he also worked extensively with Felix Galimir, Joel Krosnick, John, Cage, Albert Fuller and Jaap Schröder.
He has also coached with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Budapest,
Tokyo, and Hungarian Quartets.
He plays a Stradivarious model ‘cello made by Tim Hulley of Ottawa,
Ontario, completed in 2004.

Olivier Fluchaire - violinOLIVIER FLUCHAIRE (violin), won his first international competition at the age of 11. Two years later, upon receiving his Premier Prix from the Grenoble Conservatory, he entered London’s prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School. At the Menuhin School, he had the privilege of studying with Lord Menuhin himself and in 1991, performed J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins with Maestro Menuhin at the Montpellier Opera House, France. By the time he arrived in America in 1992, he had already concertized in Austria, England, France, Belgium, Lithuania and Russia.
Mr. Fluchaire gave his New York recital debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2001 as winner of the Artists International Competition. Following engagements with the French Philharmonia Orchestra, Bachanalia Orchestra, Jupiter Symphony, Hunter Symphony, Orchestra of the Bronx and the Camerata Lisy, he has recorded for the Vox and Keuka Labels, as well as Radio France, MDR Leipzig, “The Listening Room with Robert Sherman,” WQXR-FM, National Public Radio and the BBC Television, Bronxnet Television, National Educational Television and France 3 Television.
Olivier Fluchaire has performed chamber music concerts alongside members of the Guarneri, American, and Emerson string quartets, as well as Martin Canin, Nina Beilina, Mark Peskanov and Anthony McGill and is a founding member of the New York String Quartet. An ardent champion of new music, he has premiered works by standing composers such as Toshi Ichiyanagi, Samuel Adler, Nils Vigeland, David Keberle, Mathew Harris, Gerald Chenoweth, Lethat Klein and Elias Tanenbaum.

Rachel Golub - violinRACHEL GOLUB (violin) is a violinist, vocalist, string arranger and session artist of many colors and sounds. She has been seen on stage with artists ranging from Sting, Elton John and Lady Gaga to Jay-Z, Andrea Bocelli, Florence Welch, Joss Stone and Suzanne Vega.
As an arranger and session artist, her performances can be heard on recordings with EarthRise SoundSystem (Makyen Ghrir Allah, Ajnabee), The Walkmen (Lisbon), Ryuchi Sakamoto, Breaking Benjamin (Without You), Modern English, Average Superstar, Lucy Woodward, Seth Glier (The Next Right Thing), Chris Caffery, and many others. As her alter-ego, Go-Ray, she and writing partner Duke Mushroom recently released ‘The Yoga Sessions: Go-Ray & Duke’, featuring Duke’s beats and Go-Ray’s strings and vocals, on Yoga Organix/Black Swan.
In New York, Rachel can be heard leading improvising ensembles like Ensemble Sospeso and the Club Foot Orchestra, often accompanying silent films, and performing with the Sirius Quartet or members of FLUX. She is a frequent player with Elliott Sharp’s Orchestra Carbon and Syndakit, and was featured in 2010 at the Whitney Museum’s Christian Marclay Festival.
As an orchestral player she is often onstage with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New Jersey Symphony, American Ballet Theatre, Opera Orchestra New York, Sympho, and other symphonic engagements ranging from Star Wars in Concert to Pierre Hughye’s antarctic orchestra for ‘A journey that wasn’t’. Other regular chamber music engagements include North/South Consonance, Lost Dog Composers’ Collective, Lincoln Center Present’s educational programs, and Musica Viva. Rachel was the violin soloist with the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre’s klezmer band for their production of ‘On Second Avenue’ and the BQE Project’s The Golem, featured live on WNYC on several occasions.
Rachel is featured on White Swan, EMI and Chesky Records, and in Universal and Warner Bros. pictures including ‘Music & Lyrics’.

Boris Deviatov - violaBORIS DEVIATOV (viola) – Boris Deviatov earned his Master’s Degree and Doctorate of Music from the Lvov State Conservatory, Ukraine. As a member of the Leontovych String Quartet, one of the leading string quartets from the former Soviet Union, Mr. Deviatov has appeared in the major concert halls of North America, South America and Europe. He also participated in numerous international festivals, including Mostly Mozart, Music Mountain, and the Newport Music Festival.
His chamber music performances include collaborations with such distinguished artists as Yuri Bashmet, Ruggiero Ricci, Ruth Laredo, Vladimir Spivakov, and Samuel Sanders. Mr. Deviatov is the winner of several competitions, both as a violist and conductor, the most notable being first prize in the All Soviet Union Viola Competition. He has concertized throughout the Soviet Union and Europe as a music director, conductor and soloist of the Ivano-Frankovsk Chamber Orchestra.
Here in the United States, he performs as a member of the Lumina String Quartet and the New York Chamber Symphony. He is a principal violist of the Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra and the String Orchestra of New York City. Mr. Deviatov has recorded for Greystone Records, Koch International Classics, The Musical Heritage Society, and Melodia (USSR).

Musical saw workshop:
Open to musical saw players only (not open to the public at large).
The workshop will take place after the concert.
Adam Wirtzfeld Musical saw player Adam Wirtzfeld of MN will teach the technique of Multiphonics – playing two notes at once on the saw, using overtones.
Doc George - photo by Pat MerinoMusical saw player Doc George of NY will teach a workshop about the hammered musical saw.
musical saw workshop instructorMusical saw player Joel Eckhaus of ME will teach a workshop about the “long bow” technique.
Gene NicholsMusical saw player Gene Nichols of ME (Associate Professor of Music, University of Maine) will teach a workshop about ‘A Lumberjack Song’ for saw and chamber orchestra.


Last year’s Musical Saw Festival:





Musical saw players wishing to participate in the festival :
If you would like to participate as a saw player (whether as a soloist, a participant in the ‘Chorus of the Saws’ or to take the workshop) or as a member of the audience, please contact us through the ‘Contact’ page and send us your name, e-mail address and whether you are a saw player or not.


Queens Council on the Arts NYSCA
The festival is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts.

Musical Saw Festival 2010 in the News

The 2010 Musical Saw Festival was reported on in the ‘Astoria Times’ newspaper, with photo on the FRONT PAGE:

Musical saw festival in Astoria Times

Making music with a saw and violin bow may sound like a niche interest, but the NYC Musical Saw Festival at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria Saturday proved it is one with an international appeal that only seems to be growing.
Festival organizer Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, a 17-year saw player who lives in Astoria, said the event began with four musical saw players and now, eight years later, has grown to 30, with players coming from as close by as New York City to as far away as Japan.
This year also featured the debut of both a new song composed specifically for the musical saw, “Seen and Unseen” by Eyal Bat, and the debut of Paruz’s new band, Ameriklectic, which played compositions in which the musical saw is the featured instrument. Paruz said she is already planning to record with her new band and to hold next year’s festival at a larger venue.
“Astoria has sort of become a pilgrimage place for musical saw players,” Paruz said.
Paruz’s passion for the instrument, which has led her to multiple concert and media appearances from a solo in Carneige Hall to an appearance on MTV’s “Andy Milonakis Show” to NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion,” has made her a lightning rod for other fans of the instrument.
Before she became a musician, Paruz was a dancer but was hit by a car while walking on the street.
“That put an end to my dance career,” Paruz said, “and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.”
When she took a trip to Europe with her parents a short time after being hit, she saw a man playing a saw, which she said was the first time she had felt excited about something since the accident. When she started playing, it began as a hobby, but her neighbors heard her playing and asked her to play for a charity function.
Word of mouth spread, first to other venues that wanted Paruz to play for them, which led to Paruz playing the musical saw and other musical instruments such as handbells professionally, then to other musical saw players. Eight years ago, a musical saw player from California contacted Paruz and wanted to come to New York to meet Paruz. She said yes, but only if the other, local musical saw players Paruz knew could meet the Californian as well.
This was the birth of the first musical saw festival. In subsequent years, more and more musical saw players wanted to meet with Paruz, and what began as meet-ups turned into an annual event that now takes all year to plan. The small theater was packed at the Hellenic center at 27-09 Crescent St.
“They just unanimously decided I should be the one to put on the festival,” she said.
Paruz said the musical saw is played by placing the handle between the legs for stability, then using the left hand to bend the blade from the tip as the right hand runs a violin bow along the non-serrated edge. The more the saw is bent, the higher the notes. Any saw can be played this way, although most saws made for music have no teeth or have teeth that are decorative and not sharpened.
“I’ve been playing for 17 years and I’ve never hurt myself,” Paruz said.
Lisa Mayer, a former Hillcrest resident who played at the festival with her husband and Kew Gardens native Sruli Dresdner, said the saw’s use as a carpenter tool and a musical instrument is one of its appeals.
“It’s utilitarian and artistic,” she said.
WooYoung Park, who came from Osaka, Japan, to play at the festival, said the sound of the musical saw is also a prime appeal.
“The sound is beautiful and unique,” she said. “It’s a free sound.”
Paruz said that for her the music has become a way for her to meet people of all ages, religions and backgrounds, in addition to sounding beautiful.
“It’s angelic and otherworldly and spiritual,” Paruz said. “It has a magic to it.”

musical saw festival in Queens Gazette

Musical Saw Festival Opens With Mayoral Proclamation

All participating 26 musical saw players playing together. Photo Harris Graber
All participating 26 musical saw players playing together.
Photo Harris Graber

The eighth annual New York City Musical Saw Festival welcomed 26 musical saw players from around the globe to the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria on August 7. A proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg was read to open the event.

Ameriklectic, a local 10-piece band, featured the musical saw (played by festival founder Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz) as the lead instrument in jazz compositions by Scott Munson. Two musical saw trios were presented at the festival, “Moscow Nights”, played by three musical saw players from Osaka, Japan. A ragtime piece by composer Eyal Bat, commissioned by the festival, with musical saw players Chelsea Winter, Sharif Vakili and Paruz, with piano accompaniment by Judy Dimino, had its world premier.

Musical saw player Paul Gherson parodied the lyrics to George Gershwin’s “Summertime”.

“Summer time, and the living is easy,

Bows are swinging, and vibrations are high…

Oh, but sawyers are few, and Natalia’s still looking,

The Carpenter’s Union she invited to try!”

Hip Hop poet Mason Granger presented a poem about the musical saw and musical saw player Doc George Hiller played his amplified musical saw attached to guitar pedals that alter the sound in various ways, making it sound like a Jimmy Hendrix guitar. A workshop where advanced musical saw players dispensed information to beginners followed the concert. At the workshop, two aspiring musical saw players drew their very first note from a saw.

Mark Grant, who has composed for the musical saw, said: “As a composer I learned a little more about the musical saw just by listening at the festival, especially to the [Eyal Bat] trio at the beginning of the program but also to other parts of the program. I was also pleased to get acquainted with Scott Munson’s work as a composer and arranger–his stuff is first class all the way, a ‘good listen’ and very well put together for the band, including the musical saw as a lead.”

“I’ve been wanting to go to the festival for five years, since I started playing the musical saw, and this is the first time I was able to be in New York City for the summer,” said one of the musical saw players.

“I liked meeting like-minded musicians from across the world and the U.S., and I learned a lot from the workshop, where we could talk freely about problems with our own playing, saws, bows, etc.,” said another. Heidi Younger, one of the painters exhibiting works at the festival, said, “I loved the festival! It was a very happy event. I am sorry I haven’t attended in previous years.”

Jeffrey Dayton, an audience member from Long Island, said, “To finally get to see what I have only read about is an experience I will never forget. I will cherish the memory for a lifetime. Every one of the performers was made to feel like they were the star of the show. No talent was too small.”

“Kudos to Queens Council on the Arts for support of the 8th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival: SawLady + gang is amazing,” Clyde Fitch, who lives near the Hellenic Cultural Center, twittered after the festival.

Three people residing in the vicinity of the Hellenic Cultural Center, where the festival took place, said they were inspired to dig into their toolboxes and try to fiddle with a saw when they returned home from the festival.

Audience members are invited to leave comments about the festival at www.MusicalSawFestival.org.

For more information about the annual New York City Musical Saw Festival, held in Astoria every summer, and to see videos from the event, visit www.MusicalSawFestival.org

musical saw festival article

NYC Musical Saw Festival
8th Annual Musical Saw Festival Held At The Hellenic Cultural Center In Astoria

Musical saw trio
Musical saw trio. Photographer: Pat Merino

The 8th annual Musical Saw Festival was held at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. This fine art dates back to 17th century when woodcutting musicians around the world simultaneously began developing the saw as a musical instrument. In time a number of companies started manufacturing saws to cater to this part of the market.
The art form emerged in places as far away as Sweden, France and Japan; but we understand that America has emerged as the center of the art form. The Musical Saw Festival held in Astoria is the world’s largest and the following report captures some of its flavor.

Twenty-six musical saw players graced the stage of the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria, home to NYC’s 8th Annual Musical Saw Festival. Some played solo acapellas, while others were accompanied by piano, guitar, vocals and even by a four-string washbasin. ‘Amerikletic’ is a local ten piece band which includes the festival’s founder, Natalia ‘Saw Lady’ Paruz. ‘Ameriklectic’ played a few Scott Munson jazz compositions which were a huge hit.
Three musical saw players traveled from Osaka, Japan to participate in the festival. Another group, including saw players Chelsea Winter, Sharif Vikili and Natalia Paruz played a ragtime jazz piece composed by Eyal Bat which was commissioned by the festival. Judy Dimino accompanied them on the piano.

Musical saw players
All participating musical saw players. Photographer: Pat Merino

Saw musicians are not without a sense of humor. Paul Gherson provided alternative lyrics to Gershwin’s Summertime which brought chuckles from the audience. Hip Hop poet Mason Granger recited a poem he’d written about the musical saw. And Doc George Hiller played Jimmy Hendrix style tunes on his amplified saw which he has creatively attached to guitar pedals to create new sounds.

One member of the audience, Jeffrey Dayton of Long Island, remarked, “To finally see what I have only read about is an experience I will never forget. I will cherish this memory for a lifetime”. Segments from the program were broadcast by CBS and Reuters. The program received some funding from the Queens Council Of The Arts.

Reactions to the 2010 Musical Saw Festival

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of NYC, honored the Musical Saw Festival with the following (click on image to enlarge):

Mayor Bloomberg's proclamation

What musical saw players said about the 8th annual Musical Saw Festival:

Natalia, I had a GREAT time today!Thank you for doing this- I WILL be back next year (and I’d love to perform). I had such a blast at this year’s Musical Saw Festival!! I’ve been practicing the saw every day since the Fest!
Take care, Werner (MD)

Had a blast. Hope to return someday.
All the best,
Henry (CO)

All participating musical saw players
26 musical saw players participated at the 8th NYC Musical saw Festival. Photographer: Harris Graber

Hi Natalia,
just wanted to say, congratulations! I know it took so much to put the festival together, and I think it was a wonderful success. The workshop also was amazing. Thank you for all your work, and I hope you get a break now!
All best,
Tine (NY)

Hey Natalia
I wanted to thank you for organizing such a wonderful festival, we had a great time. I especially like the Ameriklectics, what wonderful compositions and arrangements!
I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay for the workshops, I’m sure there was lots of great knowledge being passed along.
I hope the festival was a success for you as well.
All the best, I’ll see you next year if not before!
Jeff (NY)

Chorus of the Saws
Musical saw players performing in the ‘Chorus of the Saws’. Photographer: Pat Merino

I had a wonderful time at the festival…I’ve been wanting to go for 5 years since I started playing and this is the first time I was able to be in NYC for the summer. You did an amazing job of putting everything together and sharing your beautiful sawing.
Caroline (NY)

Natalia,
The 8th annual saw festival was, as others, a most enjoyable day. I saw it as a day of opportunity in which we had the chance to play or to listen to others play with their diverse styles. I liked meeting like-minded musicians from across the world and the US, and I learned a lot from the workshop where we could talk freely about problems with our own playing, saws, bows, etc. Also, it was enjoyable to walk to a local restaurant there and dine with you, your husband and our saw playing friends. It was a great day! Thank you and your helpers for the efforts you put into arranging a wonderful experience. I look forward to next year’s event.
Best regards,
Stew (PA)

Thank you so much for the opportunity to get to play at the saw yesterday, and thank you for the kind compliments!
Nicole (NY)

All musical saw players playing together
‘Chorus of the Saws’ – all musical saw players playing together. Photographer: Harris Graber

Hi Natalia:
You really did an AWSOME JOB in putting everything together. I enjoyed myself immensly & Stew couldn’t get done thanking me for driving & staying for the workshop & for Dinner.
Sincerely,
Steve (PA)

Hi Natalia,
Thanks for sending me all the information re: the Saw Festival and also inviting me to attend. I also want to thank you for the specific directions you gave. I was able to ride on the train, get out and walk directly to the venue without any problems. That was terrific. It was such a great experience to be there. I had the opportunity to meet you and other Saw players. The workshop was very meaningful and helpful to me. I am sure you recognized how excited I was when I struck my first note. I will be practicing daily so that I can improve my skills on the Saw. So you can expect a few emails from me when I have questions. It was also nice meeting your husband, say hello to him.
Thanks again. Have a great day!
Floyd (WA)

I thought that the Sawfest was terriffic.
Doc George (NY)

Hi Natalia
We really enjoyed this festival and trip.
We are so happy to join you.
We met many wonderful saw players.
Your band was so cool!
That was very exciting.
Hopefully,we wanna join your festival every year.
If next year’s date has been set,please tell me.
The sooner we can get cheaper flight.
Take care,
WooYoung (Japan)

Natalia, what an honor and a joy to have been a part of the saw festival today and to have finally met you and experienced your talent in person. You are an extraordinary person, full of life, love and enthusiasm!
Thank you for creating this event. Thank you for the workshop and the chance to get some great coaching. And thank you for posing for a picture with me!
I am already looking forward to next year’s festival and any other events that may be going on in between now and then. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to the next time I see you.
Fondly,
Jeff (PA)

I had the best time 2day & can’t wait 4 next year where I will play a solo!
Jenn (NY)

It was such a wonderful experience, thank you for inviting us!
Jeffrey
the Venn Diagrams (NY)

Hi, Natalia. I hope you remember me from the festival and the workshop. I asked you to pose for a photo with me downstairs at the end of the workshop and of course you did!
I have only being playing since March 9, 2010 and was too shy and not confident enough to do a solo in August. Since the festival and the workshop, I have been playing my heart out amost every day. I have improved so dramatically that I cannot wait to register for a solo next summer. I really have YOU to thank for my inspiration…..so thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeff B. (PA)

Musical saw trio
Musical saw trio. Photographer: Pat Merino

Audience reactions:

I loved it Natalia! Your festival was a very happy event. I am sorry I haven’t went sooner.
Heidi Y.

Hey Natalia! Enjoyed the festival. Had a great time yesterday. To finally get to see what I have only read about is an experience I will never forget. Living out here on the island doesn’t give me many chances to see you as much as I would like to which makes each time very special and that I will cherish it for a lifetime. You are a catalyst to a brighter future for N.Y.C. Thank you for everything.
My friend that played the saw with her father’s saw is already planning for the next saw festival. Bravo!!
Bravo Natalia!! You have performed above and beyond all expectations making everyone feel like they were the star of the show. No talent was too small. Again congratulations.
Jeffrey D.

Great Festival !! Enjoyed it very much
Pat M.

Ameriklectic
Ameriklectic – 10 piece band featuring the musical saw. Photographer: Pat Merino

Kudos to Queens Council on the Arts for support of 8th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival: SawLady + gang is amazing
Clyde F.

Hi -
I went to the Saw Festival last weekend and was really inspired to learn to play the saw. Do you have any suggestions on how to get started? The festival was awesome. I’ve seen you play a number of times in the subway and have been very moved each time. It was a great surprise to see that the Festival was taking place and just a couple of blocks from my apartment as well! Thanks for putting it on!
Best,
Charles

Musical saw players playing together
26 musical saw players performing together. Photographer: Harris Graber

Dear Natalia,
Just a word to say that I very much enjoyed the Saw Festival yesterday in Astoria. As a composer I learned a little more about the saw just by listening, especially to the trio at the beginning of the program but also to other parts of the program. I was also pleased to get acquainted with Scott’s work as a composer and arranger– his stuff is first class all the way, a “good listen” and very well put together for the band, including the saw as a lead. Bravo to both of you! (and what hard work to put the whole program on….)
Again, great fun yesterday, and nice to see you and Scott,
Cheers,
Mark G.

Hi Natalia!
just wanted to tell you how much I really appreciated the 2010 Musical Saw Festival. Thanks so much for bringing everyone together. What a wonderful day of such great SAWING!
Cheers!
- Matt

Ameriklectic
Ameriklectic – band with musical saw as the lead instrument. Photographer: Pat Merino

Reactions of musicians who participated in the Musical Saw Festival, who are not musical saw players:

Natalia and Scott,
Thank you for inviting me to participate in the wonderful concert yesterday. I’m very impressed with the high quality of music, and I am one of many who now see the musical saw as a more serious instrument. I’m looking forward to the recording and future projects with AmeriKlectic.
Rob S.

Hi, Natalia:
It was very nice to be part of this festival this year!
Amazing to see so many Saw Players at the same time.
Great for you to have all this media coverage. It’s great motivation and exposure for the Saw Festival.
Congratulations for this successful 8th Annual Saw Festival.
Thanks!
Sandra

Thank you for asking me to play!! I had a GREAT time! Congratulations
Amy

Ameriklectic
Ameriklectic band featuring the musical saw. Photographer: Pat Merino

The Musical Saw Festival was so fun today! Scott Munson’s new group Ameriklectic was amazing!
There were some really good players this year too. Very impressed with the ladies from Japan! I don’t think I ever heard Scott play before. Man his group was good!
Judy

Hey Natalia,
I had a great time at the festival Saturday, and many thanks to you for letting me do my thing on stage. If there’s an audience anywhere on Earth that poem was meant for, it was right there.
Mason G.

Hi Natalia,
I really had a great time playing at the festival.
Cynthia

Chorus of the Saws
The sound of multiple singing saws. Photographer: Pat Merino

Reactions of people who saw the Musical Saw Festival on TV:

Hey, Natalia!
I’m already gathering money so I can go and join you next year!
I saw a report in portuguese television about this year’s festival… I see it all went well! Congratulations once again!
Yours truly
Edgar

Musical Saw Festival 2010

You’re invited to the 8th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival:



Flyer art by Zina Saunders

Download the 2010 NYC Musical Saw Festival Flyer
Full page DOWNLOAD HERE
Two on a page DOWNLOAD HERE
Four on a page DOWNLOAD HERE

When: Saturday, August 7th, 2010, 2pm.
Where: Hellenic Cultural Center, 27-09 Crescent Street (corner of Newtown Avenue), Astoria, NY 11102-3142
The entrance to the festival is on Newtown Avenue.



View Larger Map

Parking: Street
Public Transportation: N/W Train to 30th Ave (walk on 31st street towards Newtown Avenue. Make a left onto Newtown Avenue. Walk almost 4 blocks to the Hellenic Cultural Center).

Admission: $10

What:

*NATALIA ‘SAW LADY’ PARUZ, founder & organizer of the Musical Saw Festival, will present the musical saw as a band instrument in jazz/pop/world-music, with AmeriKlectic the band.

* AmeriKlectic – a 10 piece jazz band featuring the musical saw as the lead instrument. AmeriKlectic is an acoustic chamber music group featuring musical saw, vibraphone, strings, horns and rhythm section, performing original music with a disinct sound that seemlessly blends styles from classical and jazz, to pop, newage and ethnic musics.

* World premier of new compositions for the musical saw, commissioned for the Musical Saw Festival, including a piece for three musical saws and piano by Eyal Bat.

* A musical saw art exhibit

* Solos by saw players from around the world

* The ‘Chorus of the Saws’ (all participating musical saw players playing together)

* Musical saw workshop

NYC Musical Saw Festival souvenir T-shirts will be available for purchase – $20 each.

Non musical-saw musicians participating in the festival:

Scott Munson SCOTT MUNSON (composer, vibraphonist) graduated from Rutgers University where he studied composition with Pulitzer prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen, percussion with William Moersch, and jazz theory and jazz improvisation with the legendary jazz musicians Kenny Barron and Ted Dunbar. After graduation he became assistant to composer Charles Wuorinen, working closely with the composer, creating piano arrangements, full scores and performance parts of the composer’s works for performances with the NYC Ballet, the NY Philharmonic, The San Francisco Symphony and other major orchestras around the world.
In 2000 Mr. Munson was composer in residence with the Goliard Chamber Ensemble where he had an opportunity to tour the United States performing his works and giving lectures. Since then, the Goliard Chamber Ensemble has commissioned Mr. Munson numerous times, including a large scale work for string orchestra and voice that premiered in 2004 to an audience of over 600 to great acclaim.
In 2007 his work “The Undeterred” for the unusual combination of piano, voice and musical saw, premiered at Carnegie recital hall and was later repeated at New York’s Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. His ballet “Stand Back” has been performed numerous times by members of the Eric Hawkins Dance Company. In 2009 the ballet company Eidolon performed choreography to two of his works at the Joyce Theatre Soho. He wrote two works for musical saw and string quartet, which were performed on radio and at a concert in Israel in spring 2010.
His most recent commission, for Flute and Orchestra, was premiered December 2009 by the Astoria Symphony in Astoria Queens NY.
His newly formed 10 piece band ‘AmeriKlectic’ is premiering at the Musical Saw Festival.
Mr. Munson has worked as an arranger, orchestrator and music editor for Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr. and many others. Mr. Munson’s music has been heard on many TV stations including CBS, MTV, FOX, CNN, Bravo, A&E, The WE Channel, The History Channel as well as on radio stations such as XM Radio, WBAI, Radio Marabu (Germany), Radio Centraal (Belgium) and others. In 2006 an hour long radio program dedicated to the music of Mr. Munson along with an interview with the composer aired on Radio Kol Hamusika in Israel, the most prestigious classical radio station in that country.
He has won numerous awards, commissions and grants including first place in National Public Radio’s (NPR) “All Songs Considered” contest for his original arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and a “Meet The Composer” grant for his composition “Fantasy” for trumpet and vibraphone.

Andrew Beals ANDREW BEALS (saxophone/flute) joined legendary jazz organist, “Brother” Jack McDuff and the “Heatin’ System” in 1986. Beals became the latest in a long line of Jazz Saxophone greats, including Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Red Holloway, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Harold Vick, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk to work with Jack McDuff’s band. It was marked by a busy performance schedule, which included lengthy tours of North America and Europe. Andrew Beals has appeared as a leader of his own band and as a featured soloist with Jack McDuff, and others, at many renowned Jazz clubs and festivals. Beals was a semifinalist at the 1993 Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition; and in 1998 he was awarded the prestigious NYU Jazz Orchestra Scholarship for graduate studies in jazz performance and composition. Andrew is currently an adjunct professor of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Improvisation at Western Connecticut State University(W.C.S.U) and a woodwind instructor at the Greenwich Music School. He received his Bachelor of Arts Music degree at Livingston College and Rutgers University, and has a Master of Arts Music Degree from New York University. His teachers were Paul Jeffery, John Stubbelfield, Frank Foster, George Garzone (saxophone), and Jim McNeely (composition).

Bim Strasberg BIM STRASBERG (bass) was born in La Jolla, California and has lived in New York since 1985. He received his B.A. from the University of California at San Diego where he studied with Bertram Turetzky. He later studied bass with John Neves, Todd Coolman, and Dave Holland as well as composition with Jim Whitsitt and Hal Crook.
He has performed with many notable artists including Charles McPherson, Eddie Harris, Terrel Stafford, Dr, Lonnie Smith, Mike Wofford, Johnny Coles, Jack Sheldon, “Papa” John Creach, Scott Hamilton, Mickey Roker, Cecil Payne, Eric Alexander, and Bill Mays. He is currently a member of the legendary Robert “Bootsie” Barnes’ Quintet which features trumpeter John Swana and can be heard on Weldon’s Midtown Blues (Amosaya) and Larry Gillespie’s Contour (Blue Line).

Rob Susman ROB SUSMAN (trombone) has appeared in music festivals in the North Sea, Pori, Vienne, Aruba, Bermuda, Gubbio (Italy), The Canary Islands, COTA (PA), Discover Jazz (VT), Red Bank, OSPAC, NJ Jazz Association (NJ), and What Is Jazz? (NYC).
He has toured the with Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra and Salsa singer La India. He has performed with Branford Marsalis, Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Frankie Ruiz, Ismael Miranda, Liza Minelli, Jay and the Americans, Leslie Gore, Neil Sedaka, The Drifters, Ashford and Simpson and Neil Diamond.
He has been a guest musician on radio’s “Rambling with Gambling” , Television’s “The Vicki Lawrence Show”, and Joe Pesci’s MTV video “Yo Cousin Vinny”. He was a guest faculty soloist with the NYU Orchestra.
He can be heard playing on several nationally televised commercials. He has been a member of the Supper Club All Stars, The Rainbow Room Orchestra, Mike Longo’s NYSAE, Charli Persip’s Supersound and Broadway pit orchestras.
He can be heard on recordings by Swingadelic, Andrea Burns, Science For Girls, The Davenports, Blue Number Nine, The Electric Ladybugs, Peter Buchi, Hemingway, NoNoNonet, Stefanie Seskin, Repercussions, The Marshall Plan Kids, A Mass for Mass Trombones, Janet Speaks French, Fatback, Hagatha, Renar, and the Flipped Fedoras.
He has composed for PBS’s “Reading Rainbow”. His arrangements are performed by top ensembles, such as Boston Brass and brass ensembles under his own direction. His credits include: The Cairo Symphony Orchestra, The N.Y.U. Symphony Orchestra, Johnny Farina (of Santo and Johnny), and The Imani Winds. He arranged the popular swing version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” that appears on the Pottery Barn CD “Hip Holidays II”.
Rob is the Brass Studies instructor for the NYU Dept. of Music Education. He has given master classes at NYU, Brooklyn College, The Dalton School, and the Moses Brown School. He directs ensembles at The Village Community School, and The Rudolf Steiner School.

Tim McLafferty TIM MCLAFFERTY (drums) The son of a painter and sculptor, Tim grew up in a free thinking environment where he began playing drums at age four. He’s played drum-set and percussion in numerous Broadway shows, including Urinetown and Grey Gardens, Happiness at Lincoln Center, and the premier of the Philip Glass score for The Bacchae at Shakespeare in the Park.
Active in all genres of music, with a focus on jazz and improvisation, Tim has performed with Karl Berger, Mark Helias, David Liebman, Graham Haynes, Badal Roy, MIck Rossi, Eric Friedlander, Rona Figueroa, and also leads and records his own various groups. A very productive poet and visual artist, his poems have been set by composers Mick Rossi and Scott Munson.

Amy Nelson AMY NELSON (trumpet) has performed solos in a variety of venues including the Grant Park Music Festival (Chicago), Great American Brass Band Festival (Kentucky), Grand Celebration of Brass Bands (Iowa), World Music Conference (Holland), Illinois Music Educator Association Conference and the International Women’s Brass Conference. She was awarded first place in both the slow melody and technical solo divisions of the North American Brass Band Association’s national solo competition four different years, placing in the top three nine times over nine years. She placed first in the International Women’s Brass Conference category three trumpet solo competition. Amy is a performing artist for Richard Smith Musical Instruments and plays a Smith Watkins soloist cornet.
Amy served as principal cornet and personnel manager of the Chicago Brass Band, winners of the 2004 NABBA Championship division and the NABBA representatives at the 2005 World Brass Band Competition in the Netherlands. Prior to joining the CBB she was a member of the Illinois Brass Band, six-time NABBA champions, where she served as cornet section leader and personnel manager and was a frequent soloist. She toured England with the IBB and toured America with the Regent Brass Band of London, England. These days Amy can be found in New Jersey performing with the Imperial, Princeton, and Atlantic Brass Bands. She is the principal cornet of the Athena Brass Band.
Amy is currently freelancing in the New York City/Tri-State area. She is a member of the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York. She has performed with such Broadway shows as Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the national tour of Evita. Orchestral performances have included work with the Queens Symphony, the American Symphony and the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra. She recently completed a recording project with composer Joseph Dymit of original trumpet works entitled Battlecry (www.piquedamemusic.com). She believes in the importance of music education and works with a program in Brooklyn which provides instrumental instruction for students without access to music in schools.

Lawrence Zoernig LAWRENCE ZOERNIG (cello), has been principal ‘cellist of many New York symphony and chamber orchestras, including New York Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Bachanalia and Opera Manhattan. Mr. Zoernig premièred Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino for ‘Cello and String Orchestra at Trinity Church with the New York Scandia Symphony, for which he is also principal ‘cellist. He has also recently performed the Cello Concerto by Johan Svendsen with the Scandia Symphony.
As a chamber musician, he performs frequently with the Goliard
Ensemble and Bachanalia. He has appeared with such noted artists as
violinists Nina Beilina, Sidney Harth and Mark Peskanov, clarinetist
Charles Neidich, guitarist David Starobin, and well-known dance
ensembles including the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the David
Parsons Dance Company. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall in New York and the Phillips Collection and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C..
His Scandia Quartet was invited to play for former US President
Jimmy Carter and his wife, Roslyn, at the Carter Center in Atlanta,
Georgia, and for the Prince and Princess of Denmark at the New York
Public Library’s Hans Christian Anderson Centenniel Celebration.
As a concert artist on the international scene, Mr. Zoernig has
been presented at the Teatro Amazones in Manaus, Brazil and the World Expo in Seville, Spain and has also performed extensively on Cunard Line cruise ships Queen Elizabeth II, Caronia, Vistafjord, Sagafjord, and Royal Viking Sun throughout the world.
Lawrence Zoernig recently returned from the National Tour of the
award winning hit Broadway show, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”.
Meet the Composer Foundation recently provided Mr. Zoernig with a
grant for his work as a composer of music for cello. Additionally, he
maintains an active teaching schedule and is presently a faculty
member of the Sylvan Academy of Music in Closter, NJ.
Lawrence Zoernig was born in 1960 in Sioux City, Iowa. He began
studying ‘cello at age eight. He attended the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, an arts-centered boarding school. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Alan Harris, and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where he studied with Harvey Shapiro. At Juilliard he also worked extensively with Felix Galimir, Joel Krosnick, John, Cage, Albert Fuller and Jaap Schröder.
He has also coached with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Budapest,
Tokyo, and Hungarian Quartets.
He plays a Stradivarious model ‘cello made by Tim Hulley of Ottawa,
Ontario, completed in 2004.

ZAKARIA ENIKEEV (viola) ZAKARIA ENIKEEV (viola), Zakaria Enikeev is the first-ever violist in South of Russia who won an International String Competition Award. In the age of sixteen he gave his first recital with the Rostov Symphony Orchestra conducted by A.S. Mileikovsky, the People’s Artist of Russia. Later on Zakaria often performed as the soloist with the orchestra, playing works of Hummel, Weber, and Bartok. Now Zakaria studies at the Juilliard School. As a soloist and as a chamber musician, Mr. Enikeev has been performing in the most prestigious concert halls of New York, including Alice Tully Hall, Paul Hall, Merkin Hall and Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. Zakaria Enikeev has served as principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra on many occasions. Nina Beilina, an eminent Russian violinist, once said about Zakaria Enikeev: “Not only has the young musician a great technique and a command of various styles, he is truly in love with his instrument. You can feel the charm of a refined artistic individuality in his manner.” Awards, honorary titles: Second Prize of the Togliatti International String Competition (Russia, 2002) and the Governor’s Prize For Great Success in Arts and Culture. Finalist of the Stulberg International String Competition (USA, 2003); awarded the Russian Federation Governmental scholarship program For Outstanding Creative Abilities.

Cynthia Marcus CYNTHIA MARCUS SMITH (violin) performs regularly throughout the tri state area. She is a violinist and Co-Founder in the Dynamic Motion Company. This ensemble pairs a small group of dancers with a string quartet in live performance. She plays in many New York based orchestras and regularly performs at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Cynthia also is the violinist in the chamber pop band, The Staves.
She has been lucky to perform around the world at the major concert houses of Italy, Austria, Singapore, Mexico, Washington DC, and New York. Cynthia is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory where she studied with Pamela Frank and Shirley Givens.

JUDY DIMINO (piano) is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, serving in the choir, the handbell choir, as an assisting minister, and as a substitute organist. Judy is a graduate of Queens College, now known as the Aaron Copland School of Music, with a B.A. in Music Education.
Judy was a pianist for the Committee Of Police Societies Chorus and Runner-Up in the International Piano Recording Competition 1982 She received the Presiding Bishop’s Certificate of Church Music from the Leadership Program for Musicians at The Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, Long Island in 2004. Judy has taught piano, guitar and accordion in various locations in the Queens area. Judy recently received a Certificate in Church Music from Westminster Conservatory, Princeton, New Jersey.

More information about the 2010 NYC Musical Saw Festival will be added here soon.

Musical saw players wishing to participate:
If you would like to participate as a saw player or as a member of the audience, please contact us through the ‘Contact’ page and send us your name, e-mail address and whether you are a saw player or not.


Last year’s Musical Saw Festival:



The NYC Musical Saw Festival is made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Queens Council on the Arts DCA NYSCA