Breaking boundaries both musical and geographical, cellist, composer and multilingual vocalist Ian Maksin has created and developed his own unique genre by blending elements of different styles in a new way using his cello as the main unifying force. He sings in nearly 20 languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Yiddish, Ladino (language of the Sephardic Jews of Spain), Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Arabic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Macedonian. Ian is equally brilliant in every genre in its pure form, from classical to jazz and blues, and Latin to Balkan and Middle Eastern music. His passionate interpretations and soulful sound have generated a contagious universal and ever-growing appeal to diverse audiences across the world.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia into a multicultural family, Ian Maksin began playing cello at age six at the Special School for Gifted Children at the Leningrad Conservatory. He later continued his education at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he moved at age seventeen on his own. After many years working with several prestigious symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles in the classical realm, Ian chose a new musical path, exploring his own personal artistic voice by fusing styles from music of all sorts of genres that he listened to as a kid. Ian acquired blues and rock guitar skills along with learning the cello, which allowed him to expand the capabilities of cello in a completely new and unique direction.
According to Ian himself, “at some point I realized that music was much more than just a compilation of sounds for mere entertainment of both musician and listener, but something much bigger - a force capable of healing, inspiration, unity and reconciliation among people on a global scale. I believe cello can save the world.”
Listen to KWMR radio interview with Ian conducted by Raul Gallyot on his weekly program Airwaves
Ian Maksin on Spotify:
Percussionist, Composer, Improviser
Tim DeCillis was born and raised in Rochester, NY, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in music performance from the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he studied classical percussion, jazz drum set and vibraphone, mallet music of Central America, and West African drumming and gyil. From there he went on to earn a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he also worked as a part time instructor, teaching lecture courses and private lessons. After maintaining an active playing schedule for several years in Chicago, where he performed with artists including Frank Rosaly, Nu Directions Chamber Brass, the Jarvis Raymond Trio, Lionel O, and Project Film, Tim relocated to Oakland in 2014 and has since forged working relationships with many members of the vibrant Bay Area music scene, including Phillip Greenlief, Karl Evangelista, Jordan Glenn, Tom Weeks, William Winant, Andrew Jamieson, and Nathan Clevenger, and explores his compositions as a leader in his quintet Harbinger, as well as the chamber trio Vertebrate.