Guest Artists Profile

Xiaopei He Gelb
Xiaopei is the principal dancer with the China Central Song and Dance Company of Nationality, one of the top song and dance companies in China. She started to dance at 11 years old, and has a strong background in ballet, Chinese classic, Chinese ethnic minorities, folk, and modern dance. She has given innumerable performances as a principal and solo dancer, both within China and world-wide. Her international tour shows include France, Germany, USA, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Columbia. Her solo dances are highly anticipated and warmly received by critics and live and television audiences. Many of her other works have been shown on television in China, including "The Impression of Li Qing Zhao,” “The Tang Dynasty Dance,” "The Petal,” and "Dream of Flying.” In addition, she has been interviewed hundreds of times on TV and by the press media, both in China and in the U.S.

Diana Stork
Diana Stork has been well known in the international harp world for nearly two decades for her eclectic style which incorporates ethnic, classical and contemporary harp traditions. She's performed for such diverse groups as the Line's Contemporary Ballet, the Maihar Orchestra of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, and in the trio "Geist" with Teed Rockwell. She can be heard on dozens of albums, including "Harpestry" on Universal Records, and "Sacred Light" on the At Peace Music label. She is Founder and Director of the "Festival of Harps" concert series, the "World Festival of Harps" national touring show, and the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble.

Wang Wei
Wang Wei's musical career started at the age of 4 with the yangqin, or hammered dulcimer. He began to explore other percussion instruments, including the xylophone, marimba, and snare drum, when he attended high school at the China Music Conservatory. After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1993, he joined the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble as their only percussion soloist. Wei, as part of the trio Omen, won first place at Berlin's prestigious World Music Competition in October of 1996. In 1998 after completion of the DAAD exchange scholarship, Wei attended the Berlin Conservatory of Music, becoming the school's first student ever to pursue a double major program in both jazz drums and hand drums/world percussion. Since his graduation, he has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and many other notable musicians and festivals. In 2004, he established the North America Chinese Percussion Society to promote the understanding and performance of Chinese percussion music here in the U.S.

Teed Rockwell
Teed Rockwell plays an instrument most widely known as the Chapman stick®, which is played by tapping strings with the fingertips on a guitar-like fret board. He now plays another brand of the same instrument called the Warr Guitar®. Teed plays with Diana Stork in the original world music group Geist, and is the only person to play Hindustani classical ragas on his instrument. Tonight he will be performing with Weishan Liu on the song “Bring It on Home to Me,” written by American Soul singer Sam Cooke, which she learned from pianist George Winston. Teed¹s experience playing country music and Indian ragas enables him to use pentatonic scales and microtones in ways that blend well with the traditional Chinese sound of the guzheng, creating what might be called “Country and Eastern Music.”

Gary Schwantes
Gary has performed with Gary Schwantes Xtet, Hip Bones, ACT, Pam Tillis, Lou Harrison, Allen Ginsberg, John Cipollina, Hank Ballard, Animal Vegetable Television and China Spirit among others, and has played on many CDs, soundtracks, and commercials, including releases by the Discovery Channel, Warner Bros., Nature Company, Broderbund, Disney Channel, Mattel, Hip Bones and Jason Becker. He has composed music and done sound design on many projects including work for Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, Fisher-Price, Mattel, Broderbund, Fujitsu, Mickey Hart, Craig Baldwin, Dimensions Dance Theater, ACT, KRON, S.F. Legion of Honor Museum and Leap Frog. He recently returned from an East Coast tour with Hip Bones, following the release of their newest CD which features 5 of Gary's compositions.

Thomas Lee
Thomas Lee was born into a musical family. Under the tutelage of his father, he started his gaohu training at the age of nine. By the time he was twelve he was a seasoned veteran of the Cantonese Operas. In 1979, he held the honor of head gaohu chair in both the Kowloon Youth Orchestra and the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra. In 1981, Thomas immigrated to the United States and continued to perform and broadcast on television and radio to preserve the traditional music of China. He regularly takes part in the annual concerts of the San Francisco Guzheng Music Society. In 2003, he established the Chinese Arts & Music Center with Ms. Gangqin Zhao.

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