Ten talented musicians play solos and in various combinations
Michael Allen Harrison, Founder
Ten Grands founder and creative director Michael Allen Harrison of Portland, Oregon, is acclaimed for his timeless classical contemporary style, versatility, passionate arrangements, and upbeat sound. This popular composer-arranger-producer-songwriter and recording artist (with more than 50 albums to his credit) offers a broad repertoire with a command of multiple genres ranging from movie scores to arrangements for piano, orchestra, musical theatre, and ballet. This Yamaha/Bösendorfer Signature Artist is also known for his love of teaching and his philanthropy, primarily through The Snowman Foundation, and his popular Christmas at the Old Church concert series, which marked its 28th anniversary last year.
Colleen Adent is a classically-trained, but improvisation-minded pianist. This versatile soloist, skilled arranger and accompanist has appeared as a guest soloist and in collaboration with internationally acclaimed artists, performing both sacred and secular music before audiences around the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. As one of the Pacific Northwest’s accomplished pianists and freelance musicians, she has published arrangements of choral, vocal and piano works. This sought-after arranger and teacher maintains a private studio in her hometown of Vancouver, Washington. Colleen’s talents include arranging the music for the popular “Eight Hands” piece at the Ten Grands concerts, which she performs with three young artists.
Russian native Yelena Balabanova, is one of only 14 Steinway Artists in our state. An acclaimed soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician, she is known for “magical” and “mesmerizing” performances, which are featured on 10 albums. Yelena has earned numerous awards and recognitions for her extensive repertoire, original interpretations, and imaginative programs. Among her credentials, she holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and was awarded a Recognition Certificate from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. This sought-after clinician is the founder of the International Conservatory Studios offering instruction, coaching, workshops, and master classes around the Seattle area. She also volunteers with several nonprofit cultural and music education organizations.
Kelsey Lee Cate, in her fourth year as a Ten Grands artist, appears at venues around the Pacific Northwest where she performs a varied repertoire, including romantic jazz standards, ballads, soft classical favorites, and contemporary music. This Seattle-based University of Washington graduate studied classical piano as a child and is now preparing to record and release her first original album of solo piano compositions. When she plays in public spaces like The Bellevue Collection and Canlis, Kelsey enjoys incorporating elements of different genres into her arrangements, as well as connecting with her listeners. As audience members at the 2018 show may recall, her now-husband, David Cate proposed to her on stage following her performance!
Jazz pianist, composer, bandleader and instructor Mack Grout is making his Ten Grands Seattle debut. This Seattle native and 2008 graduate of Cornish College of the Arts has performed professionally since 2007. In 2004 he won the National Louis Armstrong award along with scholarships to multiple schools. Grout has performed all around the U.S. with various bands, jazz and pop groups, as well as internationally as a soloist and bandleader. He lived in Asia for several years, working as a musical director for international jazz clubs. Since returning, he has focused on performing regionally (including with his new trio, International Groove Unit) while establishing Seattle Jazz Academy, a music school in Seattle for adults with a classical background who are interested in learning jazz and improvisation.
B.C.-based pianist/singer/songwriter/producer Michael Kaeshammer recently released his 12th album to the delight of loyal fans around the globe. His recording career spans 22 years, including his latest titled “Something New.” Commenting on his new album –which Michael created during a month-long tour of China – one reviewer wrote “Kaeshammer has unapologetically blurred the musical lines here between boogie-woogie, trad jazz, blues, straight ahead jazz, zydeco and more.” The album was nominated for a Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, his eighth such nomination. This engaging pianist-vocalist is the recipient of multiple awards and nominations, most recently winning as Western Canadian Music Association Best Jazz Artist (2017).
Since making her orchestral debut at age 9 with the Far Eastern Symphony Orchestra in Khabarovsk, Russia, Rosa Li has performed throughout the United States as a soloist and in collaborative recitals. This passionate advocate for music education has been honored for her civic contributions, academic accomplishments, and musical achievements. In addition to winning top prizes in the MTNA National Baldwin Piano Competition and MTNA National Yamaha Piano Competition, she was honored as the youngest Artist Fellow with Chamber Music Northwest. Rosa, who speaks Chinese, English and French, is an honors graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and a graduate diploma in collaborative piano from The Juilliard School.
William Chapman Nyaho
Known for his extraordinarily eclectic sense of music, insightful technique and charisma, William Chapman Nyaho is an acclaimed music scholar, clinician, and performer. In addition to compiling and editing the five-volume anthology Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, this Ghanaian American pianist his given lectures-recitals and enthralling performances on stages in, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America. The Seattle resident studied at Oxford University, in Switzerland, at the Eastman School of Music in New York and at the University of Texas at Austin. Nyaho has been a featured artist at universities, K-12 schools, conservatories, and piano teacher associations. Recordings by this winner of numerous international piano competitions include two discs of music (including world premieres) by composers of African descent.
Versatile Mac Potts began his professional career as an entertainer at age 11. Born totally blind, he started playing piano at 18 months old, initially studying classically until he discovered rock-n-roll, soul, gospel, and the blues. Now, he says he doesn’t specialize in any particular style but professes a “serious love of boogie-woogie music.” He jams with several jazz legends during his yearly treks to New Orleans, which inspired his album Crescent City Dreams. The multi-talented musician plays numerous instruments and is also a certified piano tuner/technician based in Vancouver, Washington where he lives with his wife (who has also performed at Ten Grands concerts) and infant daughter. Earlier this year, in their honor, he released his newest album, Three.
From Carnegie Hall to stages in Europe, Asia, Canada and throughout the U.S., Steinway Artist Mark Salman is perhaps best known for his expertise on Beethoven, having performed the complete cycle of that composer’s 32 piano sonatas on both coasts. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he is acclaimed for his wide-ranging repertoire, described as “powerful,” “wildly imaginative” and “touchingly lyrical.” Salman is a co-founder of the Delmarva Piano Festival, which ran for 17 seasons in Delaware. He teaches privately and at Seattle Conservatory. Salman’s recordings include his newest album, Schubert Late Sonatas and Volumes I and II Beethoven and his 32 Piano Sonatas – A Musical Universe, a projected series of 16 DVDs in collaboration with well-known author, pianist and broadcaster David Dubal.
Julianne R Johnson-Weiss
During her remarkable 30-plus years as a performer, Julianne Johnson-Weiss has entertained audiences on Broadway, cruise ships, the Demilitarized Zone in Korea, the French Riviera, and other international venues. This multi-faceted talent is an acclaimed singer, actress, director, and producer whose credits include leads in “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Hello Dolly,” and “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” Julianne has deep roots as an educator and artist-in-residence. A licensed minister, she is also certified with Montessori International. Julianne currently serves as associate artistic director of Stumptown Stages Musical Theatre Company and as co-chair of music at Portland Community College. This sought-after classically trained musician also teaches vocal lessons at PCC’s Sylvania Music Program.