A leading performer on the Chinese dulcimer, board member of the Beijing Association of China Traditional Music, leader of the "Always Folk" ensemble, and a member of the prestigious Artist in Residence program at Strathmore Music Center, Chao Tian has established a career as a soloist, educator, advocate, and composer in both traditional Chinese music and other genres. As a lecturer at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) and a former member of the world renowned Twelve Girls Band, she worked for many years in the discipline of musical and cultural exchange.
Her musical journey began at the age of 5, and at age 12, she gained entrance to the Affiliated Middle School of the China Conservatory with a major in dulcimer. Later, she was recommended for immediate admission to the China Conservatory, where she obtained the Master's Degree of Arts in Musical Performance in 2010. As an ambassador of art and culture, she has performed in over 30 different countries and regions across the globe, and she has collaborated with numerous acclaimed musicians in many unprecedented projects that explore connections between the musical worlds of China and the others. She has contributed to the local Chinese community’s cultural awareness, and she was named an honorable member of the Chinese Music Society of Greater Washington for her dedication and contribution to cultural exchange. She was also appointed an international program officer of BLCU Arts College to better build cooperation abroad.
Meanwhile, she is intrigued by various cultures and music from other parts of the world, which have given her more challenges and ideas. Her music reflects her role as a leader of younger Chinese musicians and her understanding of traditional and contemporary music from the east to the west. She wishes to let the world hear the sound from the East in her unique way.
Tom Teasley, described in the Washington Post as “a multi-instrumental genius,” maintains a unique career as a solo percussionist, composer and collaborator. He is the 2016 Drummie Awardwinner for “World Percussionist of the Year by Drum! Magazine. Tom is a 2010, 2011 and 2017 Helen Hayes Theatre Award recipient for outstanding sound design (nominations in 2012, 2014, 2015).
Tom tours frequently throughout the world performing and presenting clinics for the instrument companies he endorses including Yamaha, Vic Firth, Sabian, Remo, Gon Bops and others. His educational book /DVD, An American Approach to World Percussion is published by Alfred Publishing. Tom is the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 WAMA (Washington Area Music Award) World Music Instrumentalist of the year. A six-time recipient of a Fulbright-Hayes grant for performances in the Middle East, Tom collaborated with indigenous musicians and gave historic performances by invitation of U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Samoa, Oman and Jerusalem.
Tom has been an artist-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has collaborated with the National Symphony as both a soloist and composer. As an international collaborator he has performed by invitation in Europe, South America, New Zealand, Samoa and Korea. Tom earned the Artist-of-the-year award from Young Audiences of Virginia for his creative and educational presentations. His eight CDs have been greeted with international airplay and acclaim. He has been the subject of numerous feature articles in both Modern Drummer Downbeat and Drum!magazines.