Cholla Chamber Ensemble

The Cholla Chamber Ensemble is a new group of top New York performers who also reside in Scottsdale, Arizona. They combine their diverse musical experiences to produce unusual programs and music-making of the highest quality. The name is taken from the popular Cholla (pronounced Choy-a) cactus indigenous to the southwestern U.S. that is famous for its ability to “jump” and attach itself to those who are nearby. This group attempts to do the same with their music. The unique instrumentation of the Cholla Chamber Ensemble allows it to explore a wide range of music that reflects their many years performing in New York and around the world with some of the world’s greatest ensembles and artists.

Cameron Grant is in his 33rd year as solo pianist at New York City Ballet. He has performed a vast repertoire for solo piano as well as works for solo piano and orchestra including the Bach Goldberg Variations, Pictures at an Exhibition, Rhapsody in Blue, Dances at a Gathering, etc. The numerous concerti he has presented include works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Hindemith, Dohnanyi, Prokofiev, Bartok, MacMillan and Ravel. He has toured with the company across the globe in theaters in St Petersburg Russia, Athens, Rome, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Taipei, Seoul and London and has appeared in festivals at Vail, Grand Teton, and Nantucket. A renowned collaborative pianist, Cameron has worked and/or recorded with Joel Krosnick, Ronald Thomas, Hiroko Yakima, The Leonardo Trio with Erica Kiesewetter and Jonathan Spitz, and Zina Schiff, among others. He spent five years touring with James Winn as half of the Grant-Winn piano duo, a group that took top honors at the Munich Competition. Cameron was also a member of the New York New Music Ensemble. In 2004, he won an Emmy Award as a soloist in the Live From Lincoln Center broadcast, “Balanchine at 100,” and was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center Honors with three other members of the New York City Ballet for President Bush. 

Versatile woodwind artist Ed Joffe has been a vital part of the New York music scene for 45 years. He has performed as a multiple woodwind artist on saxophone, clarinet & flute in every type of musical situation including orchestral & ballet work, Broadway shows, jazz bands, recording sessions, chamber music ensembles, solo recitals and concerto performances. He has frequently performed with renowned ensembles such as The New York Philharmonic, The New York City Ballet Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New York Pops, The Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble, The New York Chamber Symphony; with solo artists including Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Barry Manilow, Ray Charles, Audra McDonald; and as a principal woodwind on fifteen Broadway shows including Fosse, Oklahoma, Gypsy, and Pippin. He is currently performing in the new Broadway musical, Anastasia. Ed holds a DMA from The Graduate Center of the City College of New York and was a professor of woodwind and jazz studies at New Jersey City University for 23 years. He has authored two acclaimed books on woodwind studies—”Woodwind Doubling for Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute” and “Beyond The Notes–Musical Thoughts and Analyses of Thomas Nyfenger. His latest solo recording, “Contrasts,” is a multi-dimensional exploration of classical, commercial & jazz styles that was hailed by Marc Myers of the Wall Street Journal as “an album of extraordinary playing, arranging and swinging not to mention taste.”

Jeanne Wilson, solo piccoloist and flutist with the Hartford Symphony, has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, New York Pops, New Haven Symphony, Bronx Arts Ensemble and the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. She has played in many productions on Broadway including An American in Paris, She Loves Me, On the Town, Cinderella, Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, Aida and Jesus Christ Superstar. Jeanne toured with Philip Glass in the European production of his opera La Belle et la Bête, and toured nationally several times with Andrea Bocelli and the World Festival Orchestra. Jeanne has been the solo piccoloist with the Westchester Symphony, the Connecticut Orchestra, and the Goldman Memorial Band and principal flute of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. She was also the flutist in the award-winning Satori Wind Quintet and has been on the rosters of Young Audiences of New York and New Jersey. She has appeared at the Waterloo, Norfolk, Grand Teton, and Sarasota Music Festivals. Jeanne has coached chamber music at The Juilliard School, teaches flute at the Horace Mann School, and has been a long-standing board member and officer of the New York Flute Club.

Guest Artists

Cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth has talents that span a wide musical spectrum. As a chamber musician, Sarah has traveled throughout Europe and the United States as a member of Philharmonia Virtuosi. She has also toured both nationally and internationally with The New York Chamber Soloists. Sarah is currently a member of the New York Pops Orchestra and is a regular performer at Carnegie Hall as Assistant Principal Cellist of the New York City Chamber Orchestra. A frequent Broadway collaborator, Sarah has held chairs for ten Broadway shows. Most recently, she performed in Finding Neverland, and currently plays the new Broadway musical, Anastasia. Sarah has appeared on The Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and most recently, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She has performed in ‘Live from Lincoln Center’ broadcasts and appears on albums with Tony Bennett, K.D. Lang, Antony and the Johnsons, and with jazz legend, Ruby Braff. A cellist on two Grammy award-winning albums, she is comfortable in many different genres having performed in concert with artists from Joshua Bell to Beyoncé to Joni Mitchell.

Violinist Michael Roth is currently associate concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and has appeared in chamber music and as a soloist with the company. In addition, he is a member of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Westchester Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra and the New York Pops. He has served as concertmaster of the Princeton Symphony, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and was concertmaster of the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra. Michael has also appeared at the Caramoor and Bard Music Festivals and toured internationally with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Soloists. As a chamber musician, Michael has collaborated with artists such as Eugene Drucker, Menahem Pressler, James Buswell, Steven Doane, Hamao Fujiwara and members of the Brentano, Manhattan and Ying Quartets. He regularly participates in the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, the Windham Chamber Music Festival, and plays frequently with the Sherman Chamber Ensemble and the Saratoga Chamber Players. He has recorded for the Sony, Angel, Telarc, Decca, BMG, Point Music, Essay and Arbors Music labels.

Video Excerpts

  1. Fantasy Trio—Robert Muczynski
  2. Spindrift—Ken Benshoof
  3. Hungarian Folk Melodies—Béla Bartók
  4. Cookbook—Kenji Bunch
  5. Kokopelli—Katherine Hoover
  6. Médailles antiques—Philippe Gaubert
  7. Buku—Jacob Ter Veldhuis
  8. Oblivion—Astor Piazolla