WALID ZAIRI | Oud & composition
Born in 1979 in Tunis, Tunisia, Walid Zairi studied Arabic Music in the conservatory of Tunis, Tunisia and started playing the Oud at age 9. Walid had the privilege to also study for two years with Tunisian Oud Master Ali Sriti (Anouar Brahem's teacher/ECM records) in 1996. Later in his life, Walid got interested in Jazz and started learning bass then moved to Boston. Walid graduated in December 2007 from Berklee College Of Music with a degree in Music Business and Management.
Walid has participated in numerous tours across the US, playing oud and or bass in major venues in cities like Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit, Louisville, Wahington DC. Walid collaborated with Group Saloum, playing electric bass for the hottest Afro-Beat Mbalax band founded by world-renowned Senegalese griot percussionist Lamine Touré and went on a tour on the American east coast and played for crowds such as that of the prestigious Montréal Festival Les Nuits D’Afrique in Canada in July 2007.
In February 2008, Walid had the privilege of being part of the Arabesque Music Ensemble national tour playing oud in sold out venues in 6 major US cities, sharing the stage with exceptional musicians including the legendary singer Youssef Kassab and the legendary percussionist Michel Mehrej (Fairuz).
Walid had been honored since 2007 to play upright bass for great Master, violin and oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen performing in sold out Jazz Fusion and Classical Arabic music concerts in Seattle, New York, Vancouver Canada, Boston...
In March 2009, Walid had the privilege of being both the Road Manager and Bass Player for one of the most important Classical Arabic Music tours ever made in the US. The tour was created and directed by Simon Shaheen. Aswat "Celebrating the Golden Age of Arabic Music and Cinema" featured some of the best voices in the Arabic world: Sonia M'Barek form Tunisia, Rima Khcheich form Lebanon, Ibrahim Azzam from Palestine and Khalil Abou Nicolas form Palestine. There were 10 performances in 10 cities in the most prestigious venues in the US including Town Hall in NYC, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C
KEN HIATT | ACCORDION
Ken Hiatt was born in Boston in 1974. He began studying the accordion at age 8 and has been performing professionally on it for the past 15 years.
He has also studied the drums extensively. Ken has experience in a wide range of music, including Balkan, klezmer, Latin, zydeco, jazz, and rock. From 2007-2013 he led his own band, Gumbo Diablo, which fused various styles of folk and dance music. They recorded a critically-praised album of original songs and played hundreds of shows around the Northeastern U.S.
For the past 5 years Ken has been deeply immersed in Brazilian music, playing in several bands in the Boston area and traveling to Brazil in the summer of 2018 to study and perform. Past performance highlights include the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Lowell Folk Festival, the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, ForroFest USA (the first ever festival of Brazilian Forro music in the U.S.), and the Shalin Liu Performance Center.
FABIO PIROZZOLO | Percussion
Fabio Pirozzolo is a highly in-demand drummer, percussionist, and singer whose extensive performing experience has led him to drum for internationally recognized performers such as Herb Reed and The Platters, Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, Jon Butcher and Petroloukas Halkias among other well known performers.
He also collaborates with Berklee College world-class teachers Skip Hadden and Casey Scheuerell. He taught master classes at Berklee, Harvard and Tufts University and worked at Emerson College and Boston Conservatory as an accompanist for dance classes. He's the cofounder of many world music/modern jazz ensembles such as the Southern Italian group Newpoli, the global music ensemble Grand Fatilla, the indo-fusion group Sawaari, the modern Turkish music ensemble Çešni Trio and the eclectic piano percussion group Duo Coniferous.