The Know Orchestra is a quartet of musicians who each represent a section of the traditional orchestra. The members are Ima Jonsdottir (violin), Todd Brunel (clarinet), Dan Shaud (horn) and Gary Fieldman (percussion). The ensemble plays original music that blends classical, jazz, and free improvisation. All four members are experienced music educators and performers with a strong commitment to bringing the joy of music and creativity to young people.
Fieldman, Jonsdottir, and Shaud first played together as Know Trio over a decade ago. Their first performance was in 2001 at the original Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge. Since then they have performed in such venues as ImprovBoston, the Lilypad, Tillie’s Café in Brooklyn, and were featured artists at the prestigious Seminar on New Music for the Young at the Rivers School Conservatory. With the recent addition of Todd Brunel on clarinet the group has found its stride and has performed shows for adults and children in Natick, Newton, Berlin (MA), Boston, and Somerville. In the fall of 2012 they were invited to perform at the American Festival of Microtonal Music, in which they played an original suite. With the development of their show for children, the Know Orchestra is excited to reach new audiences and share their passion for creative music.
Clarinetist Todd Brunel comes from a musical family, and because his mother was an accomplished opera singer and his dad a jamming pianist, Todd is drawn to all kinds of music. In 2005, he started the Vortex Series for New and Improvised music, for which he has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Art Without Borders. Some of Todd's career highlights have included 2 guest appearances at Carnegie Hall, numerous radio appearances, recordings for PBS, principal clarinet of Opera Ebony of Harlem, lecture concerts at various colleges, to name a few. Todd is a founding member of the Circadian Rhythm Kings, the Armenian folk jazz ensemble Musaner and the contemporary classical music trio, Opal Ensemble.
Dan Shaud likes to bring his horn to unexpected places. He has an active interest in playing jazz horn, and has performed with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, the Mingus Orchestra, and at the International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. Also an organist and a church musician, he regularly accompanies liturgical chants with modal improvisation at First Church Cambridge’s Night Song services. During the week he can be found teaching horn, ensembles, and theory at the Rivers School in Weston.
Percussionist, composer, and music educator Gary Fieldman, began his musical career at an early age when his parents bought him a set of drums to replace the chairs he destroyed while playing to Beatles records. At home in jazz groups, symphony orchestras, rock bands and other musical situations, Gary can be found on numerous recordings, both as a side man and a leader. In addition to Know Orchestra, Gary plays drums with Armenian jazz ensemble Musaner, and leads his own band, Bagels The Dog, which he named after his childhood pet. (Bagels was a Beagle.
Violinist and fiddler Ima Jonsdottir has toured with fellow Icelander Bjork, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, bassist Mark Dresser, and Andromeda4 to name a few. These groups have brought her around the world to venues, shows, and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, The European MTV Awards, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Montreaux Jazz Festival, and the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. Ima is passionate about bringing the violin to various different styles of music, and enjoys teaching both classical and fiddle styles to students of all ages at her home in Newton, MA.