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Season Soloists

The Season Soloists

Season Premiere: Saturday, October 7, 2017 | 7:30pm
and Sunday, October 8, 2017 | 2:00pm

Anastasia Dedik, piano

Anastasia has performed on some of the most important stages in the world, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Paganini Conservatory in Genoa, the Palazzo Farnese in Piacenza, Teatro Communale, San Remo and appeared on RAI (the largest Italian television Network) in Italy. She has also performed at The Great Philharmonic Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow.

Anastasia is a first-prize winner of the 2001 “Ennio Porrino” International Piano Competition, Italy, 2005 Russian International Piano Competition, the 2006 Lee Biennial Piano Competition, the 2006 Rovero d’Oro International Piano Competition, Italy, the 2007 Buono and Bradshaw International Piano Competition, New York, Cliburn Institute/Piano Texas Concerto Competition, 2007, Asti International Piano Competition, 2007 Italy, the Pietro Argento International Piano Competition, Italy, 2009, New York Concert Artists & Associates International Piano Competition, 2010, and Bosendorfer International Piano Competition, 2011, Tempe, Arizona.

Holiday Concert: Saturday, December 2, 2017 | 7:30pm
and Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 2:00pm

Michael Wansley

With humble beginnings performing soulful renditions of “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” on the school playground, Michael Wansley developed an affinity for music at an early age, performing wherever he could for anyone who would listen. As he worked towards his degree in music education, the newly nicknamed “Wanz” joined his first band, Central Connection in 1979. As a part of CWU's Jazz Choir 1, Wanz was soon sharing the stage with artists like Joe Williams, Bobby McFerrin, and Dizzy Gillespie, eventually moving to Seattle in 1986 where he continued pursuing his dreams of fame and success performing music.

In the spring of 2012, rising hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recruited Wanz for a hook on their song about shopping for second-hand clothes, a humble and forward-thinking track against the traditionally flashy hip-hop status quo. Partly thanks to Wanz’s unforgettable hook, “Thrift Shop” quickly climbed the Billboard charts before landing at number one. The track has been certified diamond (ten-times platinum) in the United States and has over 1 billion views on YouTube.

Currently, Wanz is writing and recording while sprinkling in a few live performances and appearances. Drawing inspiration from Rap, EDM and many other pop/R&B artists past and present, Wanz blends pensive lyrics with tight grooves, producing a fresh sound that will capture your ears, make your head bob and stimulate your mind.

Big Band: Saturday, March 3, 2018 | 7:30pm

Matt Lemmler, piano

Matt Lemmler continues in the legacy of great New Orleans pianists from Storyville era, Jelly Roll Morton, to his Ninth-Ward neighbor and Rhythm and Blues Legend Antoine "Fats" Domino, to the New Orleans Stride pianists such as James Booker & Dr.John, to jazz patriarch and modern jazz master Ellis Marsalis to his child-hood piano rival and great entertainer pianist Harry Connick. He is a New Orleans Jazz Piano Professor, Steinway Artist and musical director for The New Orleans Jazz Revival Band.

After earning a Bachelor’s in Music from Loyola University and a Master’s from Manhattan School of Music in NYC, Matt toured four years with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera." He has released acclaimed CDs with his @NOLAJazzRevival Band "Portraits of Wonder," a tribute to the music of Stevie Wonder, "The Music of New Orleans," a tribute to his hometown, and "UBUNTU," a collection of "Lemmler-ized" visions of church hymns, American spirituals, & classic 70's pop songs such as the theme from The Jeffersons (Movin' On Up)--all offered for an inspirational healing of mind, body & spirit experience.

Season Finale: Saturday, April 7, 2018 | 7:30pm
and Sunday, April 8, 2018 | 2:00pm

Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi, violin

Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi is Federal Way Symphony's Concertmaster, and produces the Symphony's chamber events. Marjorie's profile can be found here.