Celebrate the winter solstice and its warm traditions with a concert of original and traditional acoustic music drawn from the multi-platinum selling Winter Solstice series as well as their many solo releases. Windham Hill founder and Grammy-winning guitarist, Will Ackerman, Grammy-nominated singer, fiddler, pianist, songwriter Barbara Higbie, guitarist Todd Boston and cellist, Mia Pixley come together to lead joyous holiday concerts.

“…Will Ackerman’s … pieces have that timeless introspection that has made his music so enduring.”
—Billboard

“Barbara Higbie is one of the most exciting musicians I have heard, full of life and brilliant in her playing.”
—S.F. Chronicle

“ Todd Boston is a mature artist who has come of age. The world’s a better place for his gift.” 
—Will Ackerman

“You won’t easily find a sound like Pixley and her twist on experimental classical music with a unique Southern vibe.”
—Magnet Magazine

Will Ackerman

William Ackerman is a multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist, composer, record producer and the 2013 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ZMR Music Awards. His impact on instrumental music in the last 40 years is unparalleled. Carpentry and building were Ackerman’s first profession and the name Windham Hill (after an important place from his adolescence in Vermont) was borrowed from his building company so that originally his business card read “Windham Hill Builders and Records/Music (BMI).”

Will and his cousin Alex de Grassi toured Germany in 1979. While there, Ackerman began playing a cassette of piano music for those he met. This was the demo tape from a pianist named George Winston. Will continued as the sole producer for Windham Hill with George Winston’s Autumn, which was released in 1980 and immediately garnered a four-star review from Rolling Stone magazine. To this day, Ackerman continues to produce 10 recordings a year. His productions have enjoyed more number one positions on the NAR/ZONE radio charts than any producer in the history of the genre. In 2012, Ackerman released a CD entitled The Gathering: A New Generation of Musicians produced by Will Ackerman. The CD included the work of 22 musicians that he had produced and introduced the world to brilliant new music and musicians. The Gathering won Best Contemporary Instrumental Album and Album of the Year awards in 2012. Speaking from his recording studio in hills of Vermont, he remembered: “I grew up in Palo Alto, and became a student at Stanford. The birth of Windham Hill was arguably in an archway near the old student union, where I would play simply because of the reverberating sound. Friends who loved the music raised $300 in $5 bills for me to record my first album, In Search of the Turtle’s Navel, at Mantra Studios. I recorded it in two afternoons, heart pounding through my chest.

Barbara Higbie

Barbara Higbie is a Grammy-nominated, Bammy Award-winning pianist/composer/ singer-songwriter as well as a championship fiddler. The Los Angeles Times described her music as “a ray of bright sunlight,” and the San Francisco Chronicle calls her “full of life and brilliant in her playing, the most exciting musician we’ve heard.” In addition to being the first female instrumentalist on the Windham Hill label, Higbie has appeared with musicians as diverse as Santana, Bonnie Raitt, the Kronos Quartet, Milton Nascimento, and Spyro Gyra, recording on over 100 CDs. In 2011, Barbara was the first-ever artist-in-residence at the prestigious Jazz Club Yoshi’s. A graduate of Mills College (where she was a student of Terry Riley’s) and the recipient of a Watson Fellowship, she collected traditional music throughout West Africa. At 23, Higbie recorded her Windham Hill 1982 duo release Tideline with violinist Darol Anger, which garnered a four-star review in Downbeat magazine. In 1984, she co-led a group with Anger including Mike Marshall, Andy Narell, and Todd Phillips to record Live at Montreux. The group became the Montreux Band (with Anger, Marshall, and Michael Manring) and toured internationally for 12 years. Higbie’s composition “To Be” became a radio staple of the 1980s, a TV theme song in Italy, and a video with heavy rotation on VH1. Her early Windham Hill titles have recently been reissued on Adventure Music. Higbie’s solo work has made the top ten lists of the Washington Post and Performing Songwriter magazine. The most recent of her six solo releases, Scenes from Life, was recorded in 2014 at Lucas lm’s Skywalker Sound. Higbie recalls: “When I first met Will Ackerman in 1981, it felt like I’d encountered a human cyclone. Before we knew it, Will was leading the charge and it seemed the whole world was following. I recall truly breathtaking concerts at Davies Symphony Hall, the Montreux Jazz Festival, in a castle in Italy, and in a grand palace in Stockholm. It was a joyous time with a warm family feeling among the musicians.” 

Todd Boston

Todd Boston is a Composer, Producer and Billboard Top Ten Guitarist/Multi-Instrumentalist.  He has spent over 30 years studying and cultivating a deep relationship to sound and the power of music as a tool for personal transformation and growth. He is an international touring artist and has shared his music at festivals, performing arts theaters, yoga studios, and other venues around the world. 
 
His album ONE (Billboard Top Ten New Age, 2017 ZMR Awards Nominee) and Touched by the Sun (2012 ZMR Best Acoustic Album, Produced by Grammy Winner Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill Records) have been featured on radio and TV (Discovery, PBS) worldwide and received recognition and awards globally.  Todd’s unique sound blends percussive and melodic finger-style guitar with Indian ragas and world music influences.  In addition to guitar Todd performs on a mesmerizing custom handmade style of bamboo flute as well as various percussion and world instruments. 
ToddBoston.com

Mia Pixley

Cellist, singer- songwriter, and composer Mia Pixley is a recent graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Mia and her cello have collaborated in award winning New York City Off-Broadway theater productions, film, and performance art compositions. Last year, she recorded cello on Fantastic Negrito’s second GRAMMY award winning album, “Please Don’t be Dead”, which won Best Contemporary Blues. Most recently, she had the honor of playing cello on Barbara Higbie’s beautiful album, “Resonance”. In 2018, Mia released her positively reviewed debut EP, “Inside Under”, through her previous musical alias Baeilou. She is set to release a music and visual art collaboration titled, “Spar Suite”, which explores experiences of loss, mourning, and peace. 

Mia began playing the cello at the age of four at the University of Texas at Austin Youth String Project. She has studied classical cello with Joel Becktell, Wendy Sutter, (previous cellist of Bang On A Can), and Jennifer Culp (previous cellist of Kronos Quartet). Mia has also worked with Mark Summer (previous cellist of the Turtle Island Quartet) to learn extended cello techniques. 
Mia holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from CUNY Graduate Center and considers her musical endeavors an extension of her interests in psychology, community, and nature.


Wed. Dec 4- Wayne, NJ 8:00 pm

William Patterson University
TICKETS

Fri. Dec 6 –Plymouth, NH 7:00 pm
Hanaway Theatre, Plymouth State U.
TICKETS

Sun. Dec 8- Boston, MA 7:00 pm
Wilbur Theatre
TICKETS

Mon. Dec 9- Brattleboro, VT 7:30 pm
Latchis Theatre
TICKETS

Wed. Dec 11 – Maryville, TN 8:00 pm (Knoxville)
Clayton Center for the Performing Arts
TICKETS

Fri. Dec 13- Bloomington, IL 7:30 pm
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
TICKETS

Sat. Dec 14, Palos Hills, IL 7:30 pm (Chicago area)
Morraine Valley Community College
TICKETS

Sun. Dec 15, Spencer, WI 5:00 pm
Lucille Tack Center for the Arts
TICKETS

Tues. Dec 17, Oklahoma City, OK 7:30 pm
OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center
TICKETS

Thurs. Dec 19, Grass Valley, CA 7:30 pm
Grass Valley Center for the Arts
TICKETS

Fri. Dec 20, Berkeley, CA 8:00 pm
Freight and Salvage
TICKETS

Sat. Dec 21, Saratoga, CA 3:00 pm/ 7:00 pm
Montalvo Center for the Arts, Carriage House
TICKETS

Sun. Dec 22, Napa, CA 8:00 pm
Uptown Theatre
TICKETS

 

 

Wed. Dec 4- Wayne, NJ 8:00 pm
William Patterson University
TICKETS

Fri. Dec 6 –Plymouth, NH 7:00 pm
Hanaway Theatre, Plymouth State U.
TICKETS

Sun. Dec 8- Boston, MA 7:00 pm
Wilbur Theatre
TICKETS

Mon. Dec 9- Brattleboro, VT 7:30 pm
Latchis Theatre
TICKETS

Wed. Dec 11 – Maryville, TN 8:00 pm (Knoxville)
Clayton Center for the Performing Arts
TICKETS

Fri. Dec 13- Bloomington, IL 7:30 pm
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
TICKETS

Sat. Dec 14, Palos Hills, IL 7:30 pm (Chicago area)
Morraine Valley Community College
TICKETS

Sun. Dec 15, Spencer, WI 5:00 pm
Lucille Tack Center for the Arts
TICKETS

Tues. Dec 17, Oklahoma City, OK 7:30 pm
OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center
TICKETS

Thurs. Dec 19, Grass Valley, CA 7:30 pm
Grass Valley Center for the Arts
TICKETS

Fri. Dec 20, Berkeley, CA 8:00 pm
Freight and Salvage
TICKETS

Sat. Dec 21, Saratoga, CA 3:00 pm/ 7:00 pm
Montalvo Center for the Arts, Carriage House
TICKETS

Sun. Dec 22, Napa, CA 8:00 pm
Uptown Theatre
TICKETS

 

 

About Windham Hill

William Ackerman founded Windham Hill Records in Palo Alto in 1975. The label’s audiophile recordings were a run-away success with critics and audiences alike. Musicians including Michael Hedges, George Winston, Will Ackerman, Alex de Grassi, Barbara Higbie and Darol Anger and their group Montreux, Liz Story, Mark Isham, and Tuck and Patty quickly became internationally recognized. The name “Windham Hill” became synonymous with the best in acoustic music in the 1980s and 90s. Windham Hill’s 10 Winter Solstice compilation recordings, selling in the many millions, “changed people’s conceptions of seasonal music” (John Diliberto, Echoes radio show host). The Winter Solstice Concerts bring the music of Windham Hill full circle, 40 years after it was originally conceived on the Stanford campus.

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Booking Info and Contact:

AnneMarie Martins
amartins@sroartists.com

sroartists.com/winter-solstice