Gary Washington performs as TheUrbanCellist in NOMA’s Musicians from Home concert series

NOMA presents a series of virtual concerts featuring a range of music’s best and brightest performing from their homes. Assembled by internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist and composer Mahmoud Chouki, enjoy these relaxed and informal music experiences with acclaimed musicians from New Orleans and beyond.

About Gary Washington, TheUrbanCellist

Between being a bassist and banjo player combined with being classically trained on the cello, Gary Washington, aka TheUrbanCellist, has created his own unique sound. From beatboxing and playing the cello at the same time to singing and playing the cello, TheUrbanCellist stands out.

Live performance is TheUrbanCellist’s specialty. He is a one man band who beat boxes and uses the cello as a percussion instrument playing the bass line lead melody and rhythms all at the same time on one cello. His live performances are high energy/earthy soulful trap/disco/funk/hiphop/soul that will keep you on your feet while also feeding souls with soulful ballads. TheUrbanCellist developed his style of playing cello in New Orleans. Playing different instruments and styles through the years influences TheUrbanCellist’s cello playing. Being exposed to such a vast and diverse repertoire enables him to push the music forward while being rooted in tradition.

Follow @theurbancellist_thefitnessgod on Instagram to learn more.



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About Carmella Rappazzo and Mark Carroll

Mark Carroll and Carmela Rappazzo are both musicians and have been married for 30 years. Except for a few gigs in Newport, California, when they first met, and Mark’s gig playing the World Cup Parties when it was in Los Angeles, and a few soundtracks for independent movies, they have pursued separate paths in music. Much better to stay married. After living in New York, then L.A., then New Mexico, then back to New York, they chose to make their home in New Orleans. They were still successfully avoiding playing music together until their friend Paul Sanchez started having them up at his gigs as a duo. They now perform regularly together, covering Americana music, their own original compositions, and even a few standard jazz tunes—much to their amazement, while still married.

Carmela was raised in upstate New York with a love of the Great American Songbooks. Her father and five of his brothers were big band swing musicians. Music was always a part of family gatherings. She has lived and performed in New York, Los Angeles, and internationally. She has recorded and released three standard jazz cover albums and two original composition albums receiving critical praise for all. She was nominated for a New Mexico Music Award for best jazz original composition, has appeared in several feature films and been a part of the Musicians Assistance Program, a division of Music Cares.

Her album release Myths and Legends is a collection of original songs written by Carmela about difficult women, love gone wrong, and the dreams and spirits within us all. The recording also includes two covers from Duke Ellington and Al Anderson. The newest release, Howlin’ At The Moon, was recorded at The Ellis Marsalis Center For Music in New Orleans and is heavily influenced by the people, culture and sounds of the city. It features the great local musicians that reside in the Crescent City.

Mark Carroll is originally from New England. His love of music developed at an early age playing the guitar and several other instruments. He has played in many rock and Americana bands and led a large piece band while living in Los Angeles where he also scored independent films and documentaries including the critically acclaimed Ten Tiny Love Stories directed by Rodriego Garcia. He has appeared in theatrical performance pieces and has done studio work on various artist’s recordings. After living in New York, Los Angeles, New Mexico, and back to New York, he now resides in New Orleans and plays regularly around town and can be heard with Gwenn And Mad City, Patrick Cooper, and Carmela Rappazzo.

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Haruka Kikuchi was born in Japan and always had a knack and a love for music, listening to as much of it as she could at a young age as well as picking up instruments like piano and violin. It wasn’t until she heard an old recording of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band that she decided to pick up a trombone, a decision that would predicate her later move to New Orleans.
Since she arrived in the city, she has been playing with Shotgun Jazz Band, Shake’Em Up Jazz Band, Preservation Hall All Stars, Kermit Ruffins, and many others both within and beyond the US at festivals like the North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, and the Edinburgh Jazz Festival. Kikuchi was a nominated member for 61st Grammy Awards, Best Regional Roots Music Album on Cha Wa’s album SpyBoy. In April 2020, a new compilation album from her Japan: New Orleans Collection Series debuted and is now available on online and at the Louisiana Music Factory.

Yoshitaka “Z2” Tsuji was born in Osaka, Japan. He started playing the piano at the age of 5, but his passion for jazz piano really grew when he was 18. From 2000 to 2010, he performed in Japan, Korea, and Spain, among other nations. He moved to New Orleans in May 2010. He currently has his own band and has been a member of Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers since 2012. Each year he performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Fest, and other music festivals in New Orleans. He has performed on the albums All About Everything by John Boutte (2012), #imsoneworleans by Kermit Ruffins (2015), Funk’n’nfeathers by Cha Wa (2016), and Basin Street Records Celebrates 20 Years (2018). In 2016, he appeared on a documentary TV program Asian Dreamer broadcasted by NHK World in New York. He released his first album, Homie, in 2016, and released a digital album on the twentieth anniversary of his musical life, From The Beginning, in 2020.

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New Orleans-based vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cindy Scott and guitarist Brian Seeger have been cultivating their magical musical connection for over a decade now. The pair have wowed audiences around the world, including concerts in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Morocco and across the US and Europe. Although they both have serious jazz credentials, their performances and songwriting embrace a multitude of sounds including the music of New Orleans and Americana.

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About Lilli Lewis

Trained as opera singer and classical pianist, genre-busting Americana Soul Diva Lilli Lewis has been a composer, producer and performing artist for over 20 years. Her last two critically acclaimed albums were the solo The Henderson Sessions, and The Lilli Lewis Project’s We Belong. She performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s last show before statewide Covid-19 shutdown: “Chanteuse: Celebrating New Orleans Women in Music.”




Catherine Bent is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, and has a studio for individual lessons (remote and in person) and courses in Cello Flow and Brazilian grooves for cello. She has performed with Cirque du Soleil, Joe Jackson, Enya, Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Anthony Braxton, Donna Summer, and Kanye West, and has credits as a side musician and arranger on dozens of pop, jazz, and world music recordings. In Brazil she has played on Rádio Nacional multiple times with legendary choro band Época de Ouro. Current projects include Trio de Janeiro, Macayú Trio, Quebra Tudo! and (as percussionist) folkloric dance band Forró Zabumbeca. With vocalist/guitarist Elis Roseira she is producing a new album soon to be released.

Catherine’s 2018 album Ideal,an original tribute to Brazilian traditional music, has been hailed as “One of the best Brazilian recordings you’ll hear this year” (Vancouver Sun). Roots World states that “Bent’s compositions…have an instantly classic sound that’ll get you swinging and swaying with delight.” Ideal is available at the bandcamp website.

Learn more:
Instagram: @CatherineBentMusic

Specializing in Brazilian guitar (violão brasileiro), Stephen Paul Guerra performs at music clubs, cultural centers, and universities around the US as a soloist and accompanist and has shared the stage with Rogério Souza, Duo Violão, Ami Molinelli, Tiago do Bandolim, Regional de NY, Catherine Bent, and Q Morrow, among others. In March 2020, his classical guitar duo project Duo Guerra/Morrow released its debut album Choro in the Time of Bossa Nova, supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council. He is a published author writing about questions of rhythm and meter in African-diasporic music of the Americas and has a PhD in music theory from Yale University.

Learn more:
Instagram: @stephenpaulguerra


NOMA is committed to uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts — now more than ever. Your gift will make a direct and immediate impact as NOMA welcomes our community back to the museum and sculpture garden, plans new exhibitions, and develops virtual and at-home arts education resources for school partners.