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Dissonant Grace

Dissonant Grace - two classically trained musicians with a background in a cappella and vocal jazz sounding out a mixture of original music from classical and jazz to folk and funk, their music has been described as “tunes and tones from balladesque acoustic jazz to grooving chamber music.” When you come to a Dissonant Grace show, you only see two musicians on stage, but you will hear piano, Rhodes, guitar, cello, bass, vocal percussion (beatboxing) and other sounds, as well as a cappella vocals and live-looping (live recorded loops). [No computers here]. In existence since the fall of 2006, DG has appeared in the US as well as Germany and Sweden and has received airplay on independent radio. DG has performed with Kim Nazarian, of the Grammy-winning New York Voices, opened for award-winning groups like Ellery, and shared the stage with such accomplished musicians as Ray Porello (Sammy Davis Jr.’s drummer), Bob Esterle and Kevin DiSimone (Barry Manilow, Bob James …) formerly of the Accidentals. DG is carried by the voice of Morgen, who plays electric piano and is the principal songwriter for the group. Morgen takes much of her inspiration from musical greats of all genres. Her Euro/Native American heritage and interest in humanity and society as well as her experience directing the a cappella and vocal jazz groups color her work. She is an accomplished accompanist for various ensembles including the multi-ethnic Balkan Youth Link Chorus that performed at the United Nations in New York. Morgen studies jazz voice with Kim Nazarian of the New York Voices but started as a classically trained pianist at the age of 5. She believes that writing songs means opening up your soul for others to venture inside. Morgen is currently working on her Masters in Ethnomusicology at BGSU, where she is also involved with the Vocal Jazz Program. The foundations and musical colorations of DG are provided by Theo, a native of East Germany, who plays the stringed instruments (guitar, cello, bass) and sends vocal drums and bass as well as live loops to the speakers. As a member of various ensembles Theo has performed in Europe, Taiwan, Central America and South Africa, in venues including the Birdland in Hamburg, United Nations Headquarters in Geneva and the Presidential Residence of Taiwan. He has also recently had the honor to jam with up and coming drum&percussion phenom Ian Ashby. Theo was born in East Germany and grew up listening to gospel and Bach. He arranges much of the material that Dissonant Grace performs. He further presents clinics and workshops on music technology and vocal percussion and works as a sound engineer. He has had the honor to man the console for the New York Voices, Simon & Garfunkel percussionist Jamey Haddad, and Sunny Wilkinson among others. With past bands, a cappella groups, projects, and vocal ensebles; including the award-winning a cappella group Up in the Air, both Morgen Stiegler and Theo Stiegler have toured throughout the US and Europe, and have appeared with New York Voices, M-pact, Naturally 7, Sean Altman (formerly of Rockapella) and the late great Robert Lockwood Jr. Dissonant Grace is simply a new project in the course of a much older journey for Morgen and Theo.

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