Shelley Washington writes music to fulfill one calling: to move. Described as having the ability to “expertly mine the deep wells of private emotion,” (Steven Jude Tietjen, Opera News) she uses driving, rhythmic riffs paired with indelible melodies to create a sound dialogue for the public and personal discourse. Washington performs regularly as a vocalist and baritone saxophonist, and loves making sound — anything from Baroque to Screamo. She is based in the New York City area, and is currently studying at Princeton University in pursuit of the Ph.D. in Music Composition. She is a founding member of the Kinds of Kings composer collective.


photo: Peter Yankowsky


Composer Gemma Peacocke grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand, and she moved to the United States in 2014. She writes a broad range of music including art-pop songs, EDM-inspired tracks and orchestral music. She has a particular love of interdisciplinary work and often collaborates with artists, writers, and theatre designers. Gemma’s first album, Waves & Lines, sets poems by Afghan women from a book by Eliza Griswold called I Am the Beggar of the World. Waves & Lines was released on New Amsterdam in March 2019 and has been performed as an evening-length multimedia song cycle at Roulette Intermedium and National Sawdust in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Australia’s Melbourne Recital Centre. Peacocke’s music has been performed and commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Rubiks Collective, ~Nois saxophone quartet, the Furies, cellist Nick Photinos, and Alarm Will Sound. In January 2020, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra premiered All on Fire, a piece commissioned by the orchestra in honour of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Peacocke is a founding member of the Kinds of Kings composer collective. Described by The New Yorker as “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” the collective focuses on amplifying and advocating for underheard voices and producing immersive and wondrous concerts. The collective is an Artist-in-Residence with National Sawdust for the 2019-2020 season. So far, Peacocke has lived in six different countries and she currently lives in BedStuy, Brooklyn, with her husband George and highly-strung rescue poodle Mila. She is a Ph.D. candidate in both Music and Humanistic Studies at Princeton University.


photo: Gemma Peacocke



Amanda Feery is an Irish composer working with acoustic, electronic and improvised music. Much of her inspiration comes from literature, folk musics, cultural criticism, and the natural world. She has written for chamber and vocal ensembles, film, theatre, and multimedia. Graduating from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Music in 2006, she continued her studies with an M.Phil in Music and Media Technologies. She recently completed a PhD in Composition at Princeton University.


Amanda has collaborated with leading ensembles and artists in Ireland and overseas, including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Chamber Choir Ireland, Alarm Will Sound, Third Coast Percussion, Ensemble Mise-en, Gallicantus, Quince Vocal Ensemble, Amatis Trio, RTÉ ConTempo Quartet, Dublin Guitar Quartet, Paul Roe, Michelle O’Rourke, and Lina Andonovska. Her work has featured at New Music Dublin, Cork International Choral Festival, First Fortnight Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival, among others, and she has been composer-in-residence at Mizzou International Composers Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, SOUNDscape, Ostrava Days, and Centre Culturel Irlandais.


Recent projects include This is the House of with Alarm Will Sound, exploring the discord between the church as an architectural space and an institution of abuse; Give Us The Night with Third Coast Percussion, an ode to Dublin city's rapidly disappearing clubs and night spaces; and Stray Sods, with cellist Amanda Gookin's Forward Music Project, a project commissioning multimedia works that encourage social change and empowerment for womxn. Future projects include a film score for Tadhg O’Sullivan’s upcoming feature film, To the Moon, and an opera to be premiered in 2021 with Irish National Opera.

photo: Jamie O’Rourke




Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel

(1805, Hamburg [Germany] – 1847, Berlin, Prussia) was a German pianist and composer, the eldest sister and confidante of the composer Felix Mendelssohn.


Fanny was regarded as equally or more talented than her brother, and the two children were given the same music teachers. Felix readily admitted that his sister played the piano better than he did, and Fanny remained his chief musical adviser until he left home. Fanny wrote about 500 musical compositions in all, including about 120 pieces for piano, many lieder (art songs), and chamber music, cantatas, and oratorios. Six of her songs were published under Felix’s name in his two sets of Twelve Songs (Opuses 8 and 9), while the few works published under her own name include several collections of short piano pieces, some lieder, and a piano trio. Most of her remaining works exist only in manuscript.




José ANTONIO Zayas Cabán, Recent winner of the New Music USA Project Grant, and now McKnight Fellow, has presented performances and taught master classes throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and North America.


A native Puerto Rican (born and raised in Mayagüez PR) and musician activist, Zayas Cabán now resides in Minneapolis MN and is building an artistic career focused on developing projects, albums, and collaborations that address, respond to, and raise awareness about current events and social issues.


Presently, Zayas Cabán is developing a project titled Puerto Rico se Re-Inventa to schedule annual residencies in Puerto Rico and bring free music concerts to the communities of Puerto Rico. By documenting these visits to the island, he aims to raise consciousness and awareness about Puerto Rico in the mainland United States.


Zayas Cabán is the co-founder of the Chamber Music Trio {Trés}, featured on this album, which was started as a collaborative project with the purpose of creating transcriptions and commissioning new works for a two saxophone and piano ensemble to perform. The trio has since performed chamber music by a wide range of composers in Central America, the Caribbean, and throughout the United States. In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and María, {Trés} finished a national tour (2018) titled A Tribute to Puerto Rico to help raise funds and awareness about Puerto Rico and the island’s efforts to recover from the hurricanes. In November 2019, the trio completed its first residency in Puerto Rico. photo: Peter Yankowsky

Joel Gordon

Born in Iowa, grown in Missouri, and sprouting through the Midwest, Joel Gordon is a cultivating saxophonist and music educator. As a musician and teacher, Gordon strives to balance life on “both sides of the fence,” playing in concert classical and jazz contemporary circles. Gordon regularly performs and records with {Trés}, a group diligent in bringing baroque and classical works into contemporary saxophone repertoire. The ensemble performed at the 40th Annual International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C. and the inaugural American Single Reed Summit. Gordon can also be seen leading his jazz group, Joel Gordon’s Happy Habitat throughout the Midwest. The group has featured some of the top young saxophonists in the country including Stephen Martin and Adam Larson.


As an educator, Gordon helped establish educational programs including the Northland Student Jam Session and Kansas City Area Youth Jazz. As a private studio teacher, Gordon’s saxophone students have earned accolades both in the Missouri All-State Concert Band and the Missouri All-State Jazz Band. His private students have also been accepted into and attended nationally-distinguished opportunities including the NAfME All-National Honor Concert Band, Interlochen Saxophone Institute, Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, and NYU’s Broadway Winds Summer Program. Gordon served for three years as the Director of Bands at Platte City Middle School and an assisting teacher with marching bands, concert ensembles, and jazz groups at Platte County High School. photo: Jessica Siletzky

Casey Rafn is active as a freelance pianist in the United States and abroad. As a collaborative pianist, he has performed at venues in Canada, Latin America, New York, and across the United States. He can often be found in concert with members of the Minnesota Orchestra or the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a solo pianist he has taken top prizes at the International Liszt-Garrison competition in Baltimore, as well as state competitions in Minnesota and Iowa. He is a member of the saxophone-piano trio {Trés}, and enjoys playing for multiple arts organizations in his home of Minneapolis MN. photo: Peter Yankowsky

Ryan Smith

Multiple woodwind specialist Ryan Smith is drawn to music from many different genres, regularly performing in Iowa and throughout the Midwest with symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz combos, musical theater pit orchestras, and rock bands. Internationally, he has toured in São Paulo, Rome, and Milan with the Américo Project and performed in Hong Kong and China with the Iowa Saxophone Ensemble. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa and teaches saxophone at St. Ambrose University and Cornell College. photo: David Van Allen





Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

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