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Randy Armstrong – Ensemble Musicians

Randy Armstrong

See Randy Armstrong's Biography. Randy is a pioneer in cross-cultural world music, Randy holds a degree in composition and world music studies with over 30 album and film credits including the score and double CD box-set for the 4-part PBS series, Dinner on the Diner on the Ellipsis Arts/Ryko label. Randy Armstrong has been hailed as "a sure-fingered guitar virtuoso" by the Boston Globe and a "virtuoso of versatility" by New Hampshire Magazine.

volker nahrmann


Volker Nahrmann

Volker Nahrmann is featured in Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders, the Randy Armstrong Trio, and the Armstrong • Narhmann Group.

Volker is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with additional studies in Graz, Austria and Frankfurt, Germany in jazz and classical performance. He is the co-founder of UNU MONDO and is the principal bassist for the Nashua Symphony Orchestra. Volker and Randy collaborated on the 1994 CD release, Hand In Hand on the Global Pacific Records label featuring many of his original compositions and his skilled bass performances.

The Boston Pheonix stated "Nahrmann's hypnotic solo nearly stopped the show". Performing together for over twenty five years Volker Nahrmann and Randy Armstrong have earned critical acclaim and ever-widening audience enthusiasm. "One of the hottest world music bands in the country" (The Patriot News). "Ridiculously talented…" (Metroland). Volker also runs the highly successful Narhmann Bass Shop in Billerica, Massachusetts. The Nahrmann Bass Shop Website:



Jose Duque

Jose Duque is featured in Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders, the Randy Armstrong Trio, and the Armstrong • Narhmann Group.

A native of Venezuela, percussionist/drummer Jose Duque is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and has studied at the Escuela de Musica Ars Nova with Cuban master Ruben "Tuti" Jimenez. He has performed with Amaya: Flamenco Sin Limites, Venezuelan pop artist Felix Roman, Juan Francisco, Roldan Pena's Jazz 3, Flamenco y Duende, and Sara es Rara. Jose has recorded and produced the CD for the Latin jazz group CORASON. He is the leader of Jose Duque's ZumbaTres, an experimental jazz band. Also Jose is the founder of Roman(us) and electronica/ambient band that span two continents, America and Europe. Florida music critic Manny Hernandez describes Jose's music from his ablums Gathering in Blue and Far Away “as music that not only breaks style boundaries but also brings Venezuelan Jose Duque to the front of the jazz territory". Jose Duque Website:



Theophilus Nii Martey

Theophilus Nii Martey is featured in Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders.

Theo Martey is a talented artist who was born and raised in Accra Ghana, West Africa. He has taught and performed African drumming and dancing in Ghana and internationally, England, Ireland, Mexico, Canada and the United States. At the age of 6, Theo began performing with the African Personality youth Ensemble in 1986 and he then joined the Shidaa Cultural Troup in 1989. At age 17 he joined the Dance Factory Company at the National Theater of Ghana in 1997, one of the most sought-after performance ensembles in Ghana. When in London in 2000, he performed with the Brekete Drum and Dance Ensemble.

While touring with the Brekete Ensemble, drummer, dancer, and choreographer Theo Martey, formulated the idea to create the Akwaaba Ensemble in 2002. The Akwaaba Ensemble's energetic and engaging performances are a reflection of their name, which means 'welcome' in the Twi language of the Ashanti tribe of Ghana. At each performance the Ensemble brings West African drumming and dance to vivid life, holding sway with the rich and subtle rhythmic patterns and styles specific to different tribal groups of West Africa.

Whether he is onstage performing or leading a workshop, Theo's goal is to share the art and play of African percussive music and dance. Theo and the Akwaaba Ensemble recorded their first Album, Akwaaba Welcome Home in 2008. Theo Martey Website:




Shamou is featured in Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders.

Shamou began his drumming career at an early age in his native Iran where he also studied and performed with the Iranian National Ballet as a dancer. He began his formal music training in Tehran, studied with teachers from the Royal College of Music in London and completed his training at Berklee College of Music in Boston. A well-known figure in the Boston music scene in the mid-90's, Shamou was the lead singer and percussionist with several award-winning world music ensembles. Shamou is also known for his collaborative work with dancers including the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Co., Mark Morris Dance Company, ODC /San Francisco, San Francisco Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Boston Dance Collective and Prometheus Dance Company among others.

Since 1990 Shamou has taught hand drumming, percussion and music for dance in a wide variety of settings including Harvard and Boston Universities, and Wellesley College: the Boston area public schools (K-12); ODC /San Francisco and Alonso King's Lines studio; the Bates Dance Festival; and across New England and the Bay Area. From 1998 to 2001 he performed extensively at major venues in San Francisco, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. As a composer he has created original scores for new works by Sacramento Ballet, ODC Dance Jam, The Lab Project, Prometheus Dance Company, and for choreographers Stephan Koplowitz, Robert Moses, Judith Smith/AXIS and Jose Antonio Hevia during residencies at the Bates Dance Festival

In 2004 he performed with his urban percussion ensemble, Loopin’ at festivals and venues across Maine while also maintaining an active teaching schedule. He conducted residencies at Bates College, University of Southern Florida and Dr. Phillips High School where he created body music pieces on the students. Also in 2004 Shamou was cast in the History Channel movie productions, The Witch-hunt, aired in October, and The Conquest of America, Southeast, aired in March 2005. In 2005 he created music and performed in “Yemaya’s Belly,” a world premiere production at the Portland Stage Company. He was a guest performer with the Musica de Filia choir for a Seeds of Peace benefit. Shamou gave a presentation on Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Persian Book of Kings) for the Arts Alliance of New Hampshire. As a New England artist representative he participated in a cultural exchange program with Veracruz, Mexico co-sponsored by the New England Foundation for the Arts and the government of Mexico.

Shamou is a member of the Maine Arts Commission’s Artist Access Program and is a regular teacher and accompanist for the Bates College Dance Program. He continues to teach in diverse settings and to collaborate with dancers. Shamou has contributed music to several CD compilations and has released his own solo CD entitled Spirits Dance and Shodjah with his former band by the same name. Shamou Website:

Special Guest Performers

Ken Gable

Ken Gable is a guest performer for Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders. Originally from Andover, Massachusetts, Ken Gable began his professional career in Boston. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Ken has performed with such notables as Wynton Marsalis, David Sanchez, Herb Pomeroy and Alan Dawson. While living in New York, Ken performed with the Michael Mossman and New York Latin Jazz Orchestra sharing the stage with Eddie Palmieri and Paquito D' Rivera. Most recently, Ken was a member of The MVPs who played all over California and Las Vegas backing such artists as Kelly Clarkson, The GoGo's, Tom Jones and Santana.

Marty Quinn

Marty Quinn is a guest performer for Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders. Marty has performed, recorded and/or toured with Pat Martino (Starbright-WB), Darius Brubeck, Randy Armstrong and Do’a World Music Ensemble (Global Pacific/Columbia), Visant Rai (Vanguard), The Funky Divas of Gospel and Rock My Soul Gospel Choirs, various Broadway Show tours, and original music, drama, and dance productions The Magic Bird and The Seven Valleys with his wife, Dr. Wendy Quinn (see ). He is the founder of Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab that specializes in transforming data into music and has collaborated with scientists at the Venice Marine Institute, the Climate Change Research Center and Space Plasma Group of the University of New Hampshire, and the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona. Marty has studied with Jim Chapin on drums, and Jeannie Deva (Voice Studio Boston) for voice and has developed innovative teaching methods including the experiential Drumming Extravaganza for group drum set instruction and the Inspiration Code Vocal Training workshops.

Charlie Jennison

Charlie Jennisen is is a guest performer for Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders. New Hampshire-based multi-instrumentalist Charlie Jennison began his jazz career in 1961 playing at rotary clubs and at other local functions while still in junior high school. Moving to New Hampshire from Florida, he formed a jazz combo at the University of New Hampshire from which he graduated in 1969 with a degree in Music Education. Jennison has studied with such major jazz figures as Jerry Bergonzi and Charlie Mariano. The defining moment in Jennison's career came early in his career when he met pianist Tom Gallant, a teacher at the Berklee School of Music and an alumnus of Woody Herman's band. Jennison played with Gallant for more than 30 years. He has also shared the stage or has been in the recording studio with such notable jazz musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Alan Dawson, and Marshal Royal. He recalls Gillespie confirming that it was really Jonah Jones, not him, who threw the infamous spitball at Cab Calloway, which led to Gillespie's tumultuous dismissal from Calloway's band.

Jennison has also been on several albums including backing vocalists Kathleen Kolman and Leila Percy, as well as with the World Music group Do'a and trumpet player Clark Terry. In 1999, Jennison released his first album for Maine's Invisible Music label titled Iridescence, which features Jennison's tenor and soprano saxophone skills. In a quartet format, the album's play list is comprised of ten Jennison originals, which run the tempo gamut from ballads to faster paced material. In addition to recording projects and performing in local venues, Jennison currently holds the position of instructor of saxophone at New Hampshire's Phillip Exeter Academy. Charlie Jennison performed and recorded with Do’a World Music Ensemble on the albums, Companions and World Dance and on the UNU MONDO compact release, Hand In Hand.

Dana Oakes

Dana Oakes is a guest performer for Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borderse and the Armstrong • Narhmann Group.. One of the leading classical trumpet players in the Boston area, Dana received his Bachelor of Music in Performance with Distinction from the New England Conservatory of Music. As an active Boston musician, Mr. Dana Oakes is a member of the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and a former member of the contemporary music ensemble Boston Musica Viva. He has appeared frequently with the New England Ragtime Ensemble in the 1990’s and still appears with the Boston Classical Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic & in the Monadnock Music Festival.

Mr. Oakes can be heard on numerous recordings as soloist and as a core ensemble musician for PBS, as well as on London Records with Trinity Brass. Mr. Oakes teaches trumpet at MIT and the University of Massachusetts Lowell and was a featured soloist on the original soundtrack bycomposer Randy Armstrong for the PBS series, Dinner on the Diner.

Steve Ferraris

Steve Farraris is a guest performer for Randy Armstrong • Volker Nahrmann & Beyond Borders and the Armstrong • Narhmann Group. Percussionist Steve Ferraris has performed with such jazz artists as Charlie Haden, Sun Ra, George Garzone, Michael Ray and James Spaulding. He has toured in the US and Europe and performed with his group, Rootsystem Percussion Trio at the Urbino Jazz Festival and the Jazz on '98 Festival in Italy. Steve has conducted percussion clinics at Dartmouth College and the University of Vermont as well as artist-in-residence programs throughout New England.