Guest Artists

Guest Artists

Music con Brio Guest Artist Bios

Partner artists and venues in our Community Concert Series, Summer Workshop Series, and Sugar Maple Music Festival performances. Websites and bios are listed for partner artists only at their initial appearance with Music con Brio; venue websites are listed only for Music con Brio’s initial performance at that venue.

March 2020 Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society at Goodman Center Brassworks 

Since 1992, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society has been inviting world-class musicians to join in a three-week summer festival that puts the element of “play” back into chamber music, showing that chamber music concerts, often serious to the point of stuffiness, can be both serious and fun at the same time. Their artistic goal is to break down traditional barriers between audience and performers without compromising artistic standards of the highest order. 

November 2019 Five Points Jazz Collective at the Barrymore Theatre 

Groove based modern jazz with funk, fusion, latin, modal and post-bop elements.

We are explorers of tonality and rhythm, seeking to push new boundaries in modern jazz, while respecting the entirety of the jazz tradition. 

August 2019 The Barnes, Gordy, Walsh Trio at the Goodman Community Center

In the world of bluegrass and folk, where the collaborative possibilities are endless, what draws some musicians together in formal collaborations is hard to pinpoint.  For Joe K. Walsh, Grant Gordy, and Danny Barnes, a newly formed bi-coastal trio, curiosity is the rule, and tunes are just a starting point.   The trio is anchored by banjo player and singer/songwriter Danny Barnes.  Barnes is best known as the frontman of the Bad Livers, for his collaborations with Dave Matthews and Bill Frisell, and as the 2015 winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.

June 2019 Westbound Situation at the Goodman Community Center

Westbound Situation blends the precision of classical chamber music, the rhythmic drive of bluegrass, and the colorful expression of jazz into a new style of chamber music—chambergrass. The quartet—comprised of Grant Flick on violin, Matt Davis on banjo, Zach Brown on cello, and Jacob Warren on bass—mixes composition and improvisation seamlessly into their entirely memorized arrangements.

April 2019 Caravan Gypsy Swing at the Majestic Theater 

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is a world traveling instrumental acoustic jazz group based in Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Roma Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. The ensemble also pulls influences from American jazz, European Folk Music, traditional Latin, Parisian waltz, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the “Hot Swing” repertoire, originals, and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.

November 2018 Intemperance Collective at the Goodman Center Brassworks 

The Intemperance Collective is an acoustic Balkan band, featuring smoking vocals, an exciting and varied repertoire, and … [gasp!] … an instrumentalist who jumped ship to play the tupan.

August 2018 The Awful Purdies at the Sugar Maple Music Festival

2016 Marks the 10th anniversary of Awful Purdies, an eclectic quintet of female multi-instrumentalists who take turns stepping up as songwriter and lead singer. The ensemble “purdifies” each song they meet, filling in sweet harmonies as they let the song lead the way. Ten great years, three albums, numerous compilations, a major grant from the Iowa Arts Council, and many film and television placements later Awful Purdies hope to continue to share the music they make together for a lifetime.

July 2018 Circus No. 9 at the Goodman Community Center

Circus No. 9 is East Tennessee’s own Progressive Bluegrass outfit, blurring the lines between Bluegrass, Jazz, and Rock. Described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane,” the group has appeared alongside artists including David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel, among others. Comprised of musicians Matthew Davis, Thomas Cassell, Vince Ilagan, and Ben Garnett, Circus No. 9 is one of the most exciting new bands on the acoustic music scene today. 

April 2018 Pecatonica String Quartet at the Majestic Theater 

The Pecatonica String Quartet prides ourselves on being able to delight audiences with our wide range of style and repertoire. From elegant classical compositions of Bach, Handel and Mozart to rockin’ Led Zepplin, Queen and Journey; you name it, we’ve got it. We play light jazz standards, classic oldies and many fun party hits of today. Do you love the Beatles, Coldplay, Sigur Ros, U2, Jason Mraz, Rihanna, Metallica, Edward Sharpe or John Legend? We can play it all. 

November 2017 Gadjo Players at the Brink Lounge 

The Gadjo Players are an eclectic jazz band from Madison, WI. We play many styles including Standards, Gypsy Swing, Blues, Bebop, Latin, Fusion, mostly originals and some covers. Our debut CD, ‘Between Two Waters,’ gets regular airplay on local and internet radio. We have performed in front of standing room only crowds at places such as The Brink Lounge, The Restaurant Magnus, Tyranena Brewery, High Noon Saloon, The Overture Center, and many festivals and events.

July 2017 The CoverGirls Violin Show at the Goodman Community Center

The CoverGirls Violin Show is a colorful, high-energy musical revue of the greatest pop and rock hits from Led Zeppelin to Lady Gaga, all performed on the CoverGirls’ signature purple electric violins.  

It’s our love of fun, music and fashion that draws us together to share our unique brand of entertainment. The CoverGirls are some of the Chicago area’s most versatile and accomplished pop and rock professional string artists.

April 2017 Sortin’ the Mail at High Noon Saloon 

Sortin’ the Mail is a five-piece Madison, WI bluegrass band that is made up of members from different generations, backgrounds, and all walks of life. When these pickers get together, the energy is unstoppable and the shows are electrifying. They play mostly original tunes that deal with everything from not going to jail and kissing your cousin to losing the woman you love and hanging on. Their music is raw, honest, and at times slightly risque, but their shows provide a great time for all. 

July 2018 Madison Bach Musicians at the Goodman Community Center

November 2016 Madison Bach Musicians at First Unitarian Society 

Madison Bach Musician’s mission is to foster a love of music and to provide education about great music from the Baroque, Renaissance, and Classical periods through performances, lectures, and workshops.

April 2016 Ben Ferris Octet at Madison Public Library – Central Library

The Ben Ferris Octet is an 8-piece band based out of Madison WI, playing music from 1920-Now with the sound of a big band and the clarity of a trio.

November 2015 The Cash Box Kings at High Noon Saloon

The Cash Box Kings are bona fide blues royalty. Co-led by real-deal Chicago blues vocalist and songwriter Oscar Wilson and Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter, harmonica giant and singer Joe Nosek, the band plays masterfully raw and unvarnished houserocking blues. Wilson’s huge, gritty vocals and Nosek’s powerhouse harmonica fuel their razor-sharp original songs. With their top shelf musicianship and trademark good humor, The Cash Box Kings are a one-of-a-kind blues band. In the words of MOJO magazine, the band is “flawless.” 

April 2015 Clocks in Motion at Music Hall 

Hailed as “nothing short of remarkable” ( and “the most exciting addition to Madison’s classical music scene” (The Isthmus), Clocks in Motion is a percussion quartet that performs new music, builds many of its own instruments, and breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program.

November 2014 Charanga Agoza at High Noon Saloon 

A 9-member band that plays charanga music, a dance oriented musical genre that originated in Cuba at the turn of the twentieth century and peaked in the 1950s. 

May 2014 The Handphibians at Emerson Elementary 

The Handphibians are a group of percussionists from the Madison, Wisconsin area who study and perform various styles of Brazilian music. 

November 2013 Yid Vicious at High Noon Saloon 

Yid Vicious has been engaging and delighting audiences throughout the Midwest since 1995. The group has released four CDs and has received numerous Madison Area Music Awards for its unique blend of traditional and contemporary klezmer. In 2009, Yid Vicious became the first performing arts ensemble in Wisconsin to receive a USArtists International grant, to perform at Argentina’s KlezFiesta, an international klezmer festival spanning three cities and including bands from ten countries. 

May 2013 Quinteto Ysafa at Oakwood East 

A tango quintet in Madison, WI featuring collaborations with local tango dancers. 

February 2013 The Big Payback at MMoCA 

The Big Payback is an award winning jazz-rock band featuring the “strong and sultry pipes” of vocalist Leah Isabel Tirado and a smoking horn section (Isthmus, 11/17/16). Mixing “ambitious original tunes that challenge even the most talented instrumentalists” (La Crosse Tribune) with classic covers, the band’s live show never fails to get the crowd moving. 

September 2012 The Kat Trio at Emerson Elementary

This unique classical ensemble known as the Ekaterinburg Classical Trio, aka the Kat Trio, was born in the summer of 1998 in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Vasil Galiulin, Victoria Gorbich, and Vladislav Gorbich, all graduates of the Ural State Conservatory, decided to take their love of music and their violin-clarinet-piano arrangements to festivals and concert venues throughout the Urals. Today “The Kat Trio” is Victoria Gorbich, Vladislav Gorbich and pianist Joseph Ross. They are on the road presenting the trio’s unique Russian arrangements and transcriptions of timeless melodies. The Trio’s concerts feature classical works, well-known inspirational songs, and even American pop standards, including Scott Joplin’s rags.