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  • News Release
  • Date: March 9, 2005
    Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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    Indian Jazz Fusion Concert and Dance Coming to Montgomery College
    Internationally-Known Musicians and Dancer to Perform, March 30

    As part of its World Arts Festival, Montgomery College will host a concert of Indian jazz fusion music and dance on Wednesday, March 30, at 8 p.m., at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, MD.  Tickets for the concert are $25 for adults and $23 for students and alumni.


    The concert’s ensemble includes Steve Gorn, saxophonist and bansuri flutist; Mark Johnson, drummer; Nana Simopoulos, composer and instrumentalist; Caryn Heilman, dancer; and Dawn Avery, cellist, vocalist, and Montgomery College music professor.


    Gorn was recently featured on the soundtrack of the 2004 Academy Award-winning documentary film, “Born into Brothels.”  Known to audiences in India and the West, Gorn performs Indian classical music and new American music on the bansuri bamboo flute, soprano saxophone and clarinet.  He can be heard playing on Paul Simon’s Grammy-nominated CD, “You’re the One,” and has toured and recorded with Jack DeJohnette, Tony Levin, Glen Velez, and Alessandra Belloni.  His most recent recordings are “Colors of the Mind” and “Priyageeta.”


    Jazz and world music drummer Mark Johnson has toured extensively with jazz greats, such as Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson.  He studied tablas with Ustad Allah Raka and is currently working on a solo drumming album.


    Nana Simopoulos creates original music that draws on cultures from around the world.  She has performed extensively and has appeared with the New York City Opera and Tan Dun as a soloist on sitar.  Her recording, “Daughters of the Sun,” reached number one on new age and world radio stations nationwide.


    Caryn Heilman, a former dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, has started her own dance company called LiquidBody Dance.  LiquidBody has performed at Jacob’s Pillow, SUNY-Purchase, and more.  Her original choreographed works explore the fluid systems approach to movement.


    Dawn Avery has been working with Nana Simopoulos and Caryn Heilman for years.  She performs on the Grammy-nominated album, “Breath of Heaven,” with Grover Washington, Jr. and has performed for 10 years with the Soldier String Quartet, specializing in Delta Blues.  Currently, Avery is teaching music at Montgomery College and touring with her own world music ensemble, Okenti, and the Sussan Deyhim Band.


    Produced by Montgomery College Music Professor Dawn Avery, The World Arts Festival is a year-long celebration of music, dance, film, and culture from around the world. 


    For tickets or reservations, contact the box office at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at 301-279-5301.  For more information about the concert or the World Arts Festival, contact Dawn Avery, professor of music, at 301-279-5035 or



    PHOTO EDITORS - high-resolution images to accompany this story:
    Steve Gorn
    Nana Simopoulos
    Dawn Avery

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