Hailed for its spirited performances and fascinating fusion of Venezuelan folk music with adventurous jazz explorations,The VNote Ensemble gives voice to the hidden treasure of Venezuelan music. Original compositions, keen arrangements and great musicianship blend together to deliver a unique musical sound.

 

MEMBERS

 

JACKIE

 

Cuatro, Bandola, Vocals, Percussion Jackeline is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer and educator who specializes in Venezuelan folk music as well as music from other Latin American and Caribbean countries. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and began playing Venezuelan music at the age of four. Before coming to the United States, she spent years studying the Folk-Venezuelan “Cuatro” (the national string instrument of Venezuela) and classical mandolin at the Caracas Philarmonic Orchestra Conservatory. Her Afro-Venezuelan percussion studies took place in Venezuela with master percussionist Alexander Livinalli and Hector Pacheco from the Fundacion Bigott (Venezuela’s Folkloric Institute). Jackeline graduated with a B.A. from the Music & Arts Institute of San Francisco, CA, majoring in classical mandolin. Jackeline Rago  has toured extensively within the United States and internationally for over 20 years showcasing the music of Latin America with an emphasis in Venezuelan Folk Music.

 

DONNA

 

Flute and Alto Sax Donna is an experienced performer, composer and educator having worked in numerous schools, educational programs and grant-sponsored touring ensembles. She has performed, recorded and toured with groups such as The Blazing Redheads, Venezuelan Music Project, Altazor, Wild Mango, the KTO project, Chelle and Friends, Chilean singer/songwriter Lichi Fuentes and international Storyteller Diane Ferlatte. A talented composer, Donna has written music for several award-winning documentaries and educational CD Roms. She has traveled to Venezuela to further her musical studies and while there, she performed and recorded with several renowned musicians, including percussionist Alexander Livinalli and members of the Fundacion Bigott (Venezuela’s Folkloric Institute). Additionally, she has recorded with Venezuelan musicians such as Aquiles Baez, Gonzalo Grau, Marco Granados, and Leo Blanco.

 

DAN-BIO

 

Bass Dan Feiszli is a bassist and recording engineer/producer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Experienced on both upright and electric basses, Dan is a versatile performer in styles of music ranging from jazz and latin to pop and rock. He has performed in concert with such notable artists as James Moody, Raul Midon, and Mickey Hart, and toured nationally and internationally with artists including Julio Iglesias, Nicole Yarling and Raul DiBlasio. In addition to his career as a performer, Dan is featured on hundreds of recordings as both a bassist and recording engineer and has recorded and mixed albums reaching the highest positions on the US Top 40 Jazz Radio Charts. In between performances and recording sessions, Dan can be found working as a freelance recording engineer and producer at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley and at his own studio in El Cerrito, California.

 

MICHAELLE

 

Percussion Michaelle is a versatile percussionist specializing in Brazilian and other Latin and Caribbean music styles. In 2007 she was named a rising star under the percussion category in Downbeat magazine. She has played, recorded and toured with a variety of artists including Mark Levine, Soul Sauce, the Pickpocket Ensemble, Rhiannon, Wayne Wallace, Val Pettiford,  Jami Sieber,  Barbara Higbie, Samba Rio and Maria Volonte. Michaelle was a founding member of the Bay Area musical ensembles Wild Mango and The Blazing Redheads.

 

 

“…This is Latin Jazz with an original perspective that is, qualitatively, one of the best things happening in the SF Bay Area’s world music scene…”

Jesse “Chuy” Varela (Latin Beat Magazine)