“The folk tradition is alive and well in these beautifully crafted, modern interpretations.”
Rob Reinhart – “Acoustic Cafe”
Nessa is a fun, upbeat World music group led by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, Kelly McDermott, known for her virtuosic flute technique and beautiful, soulful voice. She is joined by co-founder/multi-instrumentalist Rob Crozier to research, arrange and perform the music of Nessa. This hard-working team re-imagines the ballads and dances of the U.K. and Europe, uniquely blending elements of classical, folk, jazz, funk and world music to create rich, complex musical hybrids.
“Kelly is stunning, as is Nessa. Thank you for your deeply beautiful music. It is haunting.”
Sunny Wilkinson – WORLd renown jazz singer/recording artist/educator
The band moves audiences with funky reels, “barn burner” jigs, and deep, soulful renditions of the old ballads. Nessa has elements of global fusion a la Loreena McKennitt, the energy of bands like Solas and a depth and dimension similar to Brian Eno.
“These world class musicians bring the energy of world music, the thought provoking nature of folk music and the edge of rock to create something that is truly unique. You’ll leave the show captivated by Kelly’s beautiful voice and the stunning music of Nessa.”
Trinity House Theatre
Since Nessa’s eponymous CD in 2014 the group has performed for festivals, performance arts series, theaters, clubs, libraries, and listening rooms from Madison to Chicago to Detroit to South Bend to Cleveland and many towns in between.
As Nessa’s leader, it is Kelly McDermott’s passion for ancient Celtic lore and legends of the U.K that feeds the musical vision of the group. The eclectic blend of the musicians of Nessa and their various backgrounds create a unique sound that is truly “fusion”.
“McDermott, through her endearing demeanor as a singer and her captivating performance style, creates an avenue for the audience to engage with the music on a deeper level.”
“Nessa put on a fantastic show for The Music Village’s benefit concert series. The audience delighted in the band’s virtuosity, variety of music and friendly banter. The show was a feast for the eyes and ears: traditional and eclectic instruments, sounds and rhythms from Celtic to rock. ”
Josh Aerie – Director of the Music Village (South Bend, IN)
NESSA BAND INDIVIDUAL BIOS
Kelly McDermott has traveled the U.S., Canada and Europe as performer, teacher and student. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance and music therapy from Michigan State University. She also has a Master of Music and Professional Studies degree in flute performance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Ms. McDermott participated in the Aspen Festival in Colorado, Teton Festival in Wyoming, Sarasota Florida Chamber festival, AIMs orchestra in Graz, Austria and others. She studied with William Bennett in England and made frequent trips to Ontario for teacher training in the Suzuki Flute Method. After her training she remained in Philadelphia for many years working as a chamber and orchestral musician around the east coast. Her professional work included performing with the Harrisburg Symphony, Haddonfield Symphony and more. Since returning to her native Michigan a few years ago she has worked regularly with The Flint Symphony, Bijou Orchestra, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Her influential teaching style garnered her an opportunity to teach Suzuki Flute in Berlin, Germany (with workshops in Pfullingen). More recently her musical journey has taken a turn. She found her voice as a lead singer, and is now the leader of “Nessa,” where she sings and plays piano as well as flute. She also finds great joy in composing and researching and arranging old ballads from Europe and the U.K.
Rob Crozier is a multi-instrumentalist performing throughout South East Michigan. Rob holds a BFA for Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation in Double Bass from the University of Michigan. His teachers include Robert Hurst, Diana Gannett, David Friesen and Rufus Reid.
Mr. Crozier’s twenty year musical career has included sharing bills with rock groups like Blues Traveler and Credence Clearwater Revisted, and jazz greats like Perry Robinson and Tony Malaby.
Rob is the leader of “The Rob Crozier Ensemble” where he composes, plays jazz bass, didjeridoo and ethnic percussion. This ensemble tours the midwest as a featured artist in various festivals in support of his second CD, “Ocean Blue”.
In addition to upright bass, Rob is sought after in Michigan as an electric bassist and plays with ensembles with styles such as Americana, folk, rock, pop, cajun, African and Celtic.
He also performs regularly a “solo act” where he sings, plays guitarist, and harmonica. Mr. Crozier also actively performs and records with many exotic instruments such as didjeridoo, mbira, ethnic hand drums, For many years he was the curator of the live radio show, “Music is Freedom” on WCBN 88.3FM (U of Michigan radio) where his groups performed long, uninterrupted sets of improvised music.
Rob is a main component of Nessa, where he helps Kelly arrange the ballads of the U.K.
Daniel Palmer is an active guitarist, composer, and educator based in southern Michigan. He performs throughout the Midwest in a wide variety of settings, including, jazz, classical, improvised, Celtic, acoustic fingerstyle, folk, rock, and other various genres. Dan is currently performing throughout the Midwest with Celtic/world fusion group, “Nessa”, progressive jazz ensemble, “Talking Ear”, and the jazz/folk group “Estar Cohen Project”, in addition to numerous freelance gigs. He is endorsed by Godin Guitars and Cusack Music. Dan holds a B.A. in Music Performance from Albion College, as well as an M.M. from the University of Toledo. He has studied with Charles Tomlin, Jeff Haas, Larry Williams, Jay Rinsen Weik, Michael Gulezian, Gunnar Mossblad, Tad Weed, Bobby Streng, and Mike Pelham. Dan is currently a professor of music at Albion College and Hillsdale College, located in southern Michigan.
Mike List is a globalized percussionist based out of Metro Detroit playing both western and non-western instruments from around the globe. Mike has performed in a variety of musical settings including rock, jazz, classical, contemporary art music, and world music fusion ensembles. He currently works with the percussion group ‘Rela,’ Celtic fusion group ‘Nessa,’ world jazz group ‘Inscribe,’ and is a regular performer with Rick Robinson’s CutTime Simfonica and the Classical Revolution Detroit series. He has also worked with Mediterranean fusion ensemble ‘Wisaal’ and the marimba/world percussion duet, ‘To Hit.’ Mike holds a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from Central Michigan University and has also studied tabla, mbira, and Arabic percussion. Along with performing, Mike teaches privately, accompanies modern dance, and teaches courses on the ‘History of Rock and Roll’ and ‘World Music.’ He can also make you a mean cup of coffee.
Stefan Kukurugya “What can you say about a guy whose musical credentials are longer than his name! Stefan Kukurugya brings smiles to all who know him, play with him, or witness his performances. Stefan has the most diverse background a musician can have: from being the touring keyboardist for the late David Ruffin of the Temptations to providing sound effects for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; from conducting L.A. recording sessions at Capitol studios to making Las Vegas appearances; from Bandleader to solo and Dueling pianist.
Stefan learned how to play piano primarily from friends, learning music theory from Matt Michaels (the great pianist and arranger then later educator at Wayne State University) and Timothy Flaharty (jazz guitarist who studied jazz at Oakland University and now music store owner). Michael Bierylo was an early influence before he went on to run the Electronic Music program at Berklee. Howard Lucas and Maria Meirelles helped with technique. He was lucky enough to work with the best players of Detroit. In addition to performing, he provides custom keyboard sounds and sound effects for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Stefan is one of the great studio keyboardists in Detroit, where he also produces and engineers.
Being know as a versatile musician he has been asked to either play or produce music in many styles (and sing in a number of languages). Arabic, Yiddish, Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish, Albanian, Japanese and of course all popular musical styles.
His primary musical focus is interactivity among the players. He says: ” There’s nothing better!”