2021 Crossroads Artists

Maeve Gilchrist

Celtic Harp

Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting. She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including a duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, a more electronics-based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish network commissioned ‘Edges of Light’ quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the fiddler Tola Custy. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries asEsperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Solas and Darol Anger. Maeve has released five albums to date, including her most recent recording Vignette, on Adventure Records, with Nashville legend Viktor Krauss while on her own label hersolo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument.

Sandeep Das


A Guggenheim Fellow and Grammy-winning musician, Sandeep Das is one of the leading Tabla virtuosos in the world today. Since his debut concert at the age of 17 with legendary Sitarist Pt. Ravi Shankar, Das has established himself as one of India’s top Tabla maestros, building a prolific international reputation spanning over three decades. He is one of the unique Indian Classical musicians to have expanded his artistry beyond its traditional Indian roots, and is also an active composer and educator. 


Das has collaborated with musicians and ensembles from across the world, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Paquito D’Rivera, the New York Philharmonic, and renowned Indian Classical musicians such as Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ust. Amjad Ali Khan. Das is an active recording artist and has recorded over 30 albums for major labels such as Sony, Virgin Records, and T-Series for genres including Indian Classical Music, World Music, and more. To learn more about him, please visit www.sandeepdas.com.

Suhail Yusuf Khan


Suhail is a multifaceted artiste who is also a music composer; singer & song writer. His versatility extends to varied genres of music from Indian Classical Music to contemporary Rock Fusion; Jazz Fusion ; World Music; Folk Music Fusion. The British Council, New Delhi has Suhail as a Cultural Ambassador from India to the UK. He also has the honour of being a graded musician with All India Radio, the Indian public radio broadcaster.

Suhail, has been hailed as a child prodigy in the world of Indian Classical music. Continuing in the family tradition, Suhail draws from a rich musical heritage and is an eighth generation Sarangi player. A descendant of the Moradabad-Rampur and Senia Gharana of MIYAAN TANSEN, he is the grandson of renowned Sarangi legend, Padmabhushan and Padmashree recipient, USTAD SABRI KHAN, and nephew of the Sarangi genius, USTAD KAMAL SABRI.

At the age of seven Suhail started learning to play the Sarangi under the tutelage of his Uncle and Grandfather, in the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’ which is the Traditional Indian Schooling method of imparting of knowledge from the Guru “teacher” to the Shishya “student’ .  Since then he has performed extensively in India & abroad covering France, Belgium, Italy, all of Scandinavia, Switzerland, South Africa, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malayasia, Sri Lanka; the Middle East and has toured the UK extensively.



Samina Hooda


Samina Hooda is a visual artist, a community leader and an entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas. Her art is inspired by her enlightened encounters with life itself- by the beauty within people, magnificence of nature, richness of cultures, and by our history as it unfolds around us.

Samina’s undergraduates in Architecture deepened her appreciation of art and architecture as expressions of humanity’s values and imagination. She enjoys pencil sketching and creating vibrant acrylic paintings to bring joy and meaning to the viewers.

Her painting titled Light upon Light was a finalist at the juried National Jubilee Arts Festival organized by the Aga Khan Council for USA in Los Angeles, CA.

At the invitation from the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Samina specially created the painting Leap of Faith to express the narrative of refugee communities and it was profiled at their annual concert and art auction event.

Her painting This is Love, inspired by Rumi’s poem, was curated and selected by Amy Lewis Hofland, the director of Crow Museum of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas, for the Thanks-giving Foundation’s panel discussion on the theme of ‘art & compassion.’

At the Lincoln Crossroads Festival, Samina will be showcasing her paintings in a unique animated format titled The Peacock at the Crossroads. Audience will see her paintings dance and pulsate to express a narrative of a people who leave their motherlands to find pathways to hope & renewal. Samina’s work can be explored at www.saminahoodaartgallery.com.

Nimo Patel

Hip Hop Artist

Nimesh Patel aka Nimo, was born and brought up in Los Angeles, California, and then went on to live in Philadelphia, New York City and Pune, before settling where he is now, in Ahmedabad, India. After passing through various phases in his life (Academic, Corporate, Artistic, Social, Entrepreneurial, Service), he has finally began to understand what it means to align our head, hands and heart. Through his music and desire to serve the world in small ways, Nimo has embarked on an inspiring and fulfilling journey inwards. He currently resides in the Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad, India, where Mahatma Gandhi spent 13 years of his life spreading the messages of truth, love and non-violence. Here he works with underprivileged Children using his heart and the arts, to plant seeds of love, creativity and confidence in their lives. Empty Hands Music’s mission: is to spread seeds of goodness in the world through selfless service, music, and love. All of Empty Hands Music’s offerings are gifts to the world. Empty Hands is a 501c3 US-based Non-Profit, 100% Gift offering with an intention to spread seeds of goodness through its music, events & sharings all across the world, as well as through its grassroots, artsbased service work from the Gandhi Ashram, for underprivileged children in the slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

Olga Smola

Violin and DJ

A versatile violinist, Olga Smola plays solo and ensemble performances in many different styles of including classical, jazz, rock, country and electronic music as a violin DJ. Music has taken Smola around the world. Her solo touring credits include concerts in Monaco, Spain, Belgium, Croatia, France, England, Azerbaijan, the United States, and throughout the Russian Federation. Olga Smola was born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia and took her first violin lessons at the age of six. She graduated with honor from the Moscow State Conservatory in 2004, where she studied with professors Alexandr Melnikov and Maya Glezarova. Smola also finished her D.M.A. at the Moscow Conservatory in 2013. Smola was co-founder and member of “Alliance Trio” in 2004-2015. The trio won the Gold Medal and the Prize for Best Performance of a Contemporary Work at the 2nd Taneev’s International Chamber music competition (2005). In addition, Smola was awarded the first place at the 5th International Muse World Competition (2011). Smola was a member of ARYO (American-Russian Youth Orchestra) and the AMIRUS chamber ensemble.

Aisslinn Nosky


A unique and dynamic violinist, Aisslinn Nosky has captivated audiences around the world with her innovative interpretations and impeccable technique. Her fierce passion for early music and skill as a soloist, director, and conductor has generated robust appreciation by press and audiences alike. Hailed as “superb” by The New York Times and “a fearsomely powerful musician” by The Toronto Star, widespread demand for Aisslinn continues to grow. In addition to her role as Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, Aisslinn has also collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Holland Baroque, and the Charlotte Symphony. She was a dedicated member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra from 2005 to 2016 and served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Niagara Symphony from 2016 to 2019. Aisslinn is a founding member of the Eybler Quartet, who explore repertoire from the early quartet literature on period instruments. Their most recent recording features Beethoven’s Op. 18 string quartets and was released in 2018 (CORO). Gramophone Magazine mused, “they make no bones about treating Beethoven as a radical. …This set might delight you or it might infuriate you: either way, I suspect, Beethoven would have been more than happy.” With the Eybler Quartet, Aisslinn serves on the faculty of EQ: Evolution of the String Quartet at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. EQ is an intensive summer course for emerging artists which celebrates the lineage of the string quartet, both as a historical genre and as a freshly invigorated practice in the 21st century.

Edem Soul Music

Edem Soul Music originally Edem K. Garro was both born and raised on the east coast and raised in the Midwest. Edem sings in her native tongue, called ‘Ga’ originating from the Ga Tribe of Ghana, West Africa. Growing up her parents made sure that she always remembered to understand where she came from! They not only taught her the language but the culture as well. One thing Edem’s mother taught her, was that under no circumstance… Was she ever to forget who she was, or where she came from. After completing her 2017 UCA residency and winning the 2018 Omaha Entertainment Arts Award for Best Soul, Edem Soul Music continues to shape her sound with the very instruments she was raised by. Edem Soul Music’s sound ranges from Classical to Hip-Hop. Soul to Folk. SingerSongwriter to Electronic; all while utilizing stringed instruments like the Ukulele and the Harp, percussive instruments like the Djembe and many more.

Oscar Rios Pohirieth


Oscar Rios Pohirieth brings alive the music and cultures of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile as he guides the listener through an acoustic musical journey on the panpipes, Quena, and Charango. Participants will experience traditional and contemporary Andean folk music and learn its different rhythms by trying out percussion instruments such as goat-skin Bombo deum of the Chajchas, llama toe-nails sown to a handwoven band of cloth. Through storytelling and songs sung in spanish and Quichua, Oscar will engage the audience and transport them to the land of the Inca people where the celebration of life begins with love and respect for natural world.

Sarah Darling

Violin and viola

Sarah Darling, violist and baroque violinist, enjoys a varied musical career that spans many centuries and styles. Sarah studied at Harvard, Juilliard, Amsterdam, and Freiburg (as a recipient of the Beebe, Paine, and DAAD grants), and is currently finishing a doctorate at New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian. She holds a variety of leading roles with A Far Cry, Boston Baroque, Musicians of the Old Post Road, the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Les Bostonades, Gut Reaction, Musical Offering, and the Arcturus Ensemble. She also works with the Carmel Bach Festival, the BEMF orchestra, Tafelmusik, Emmanuel Music, and the Bach Ensemble, and has recorded for Naxos, Linn, Paladino, Azica, MSR, and Centaur Records. Sarah has performed in the Ravinia, Lucerne, Norfolk, Sarasota, and Yellow Barn festivals, and has collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Takacs, Borromeo, Ying, Orion, and Cleveland quartets. Active as a teacher and coach, she has a special interest in body mechanics and musical rhetoric. Sarah has been praised for her “absolute concentration and astonishing precision” (Badischer Zeitung), “sympathy and spirit” (Hub Review) “excellent solos” (Boston Globe), and “agility in coaxing a variety of grunts, groans, and creaks from the viola.” (Boston Musical Intelligencer.)

Wes Garlington

Singer- Songwriter

Wes Garlington is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter,  composer and drag artist. 

Hear a sample from Garlington’s informal session recording of “Scarecrow” below:


Anna Steinhoff


Described by critics as “soulful,” and “the rhythmic heart of the ensemble.” Based in Chicago, Anna specializes in the baroque cello and viola da gamba. She is a member of Third Coast Baroque, the Haymarket Opera Company, and Second City Musick, and was recently appointed to be principal cellist with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. Anna has performed with early music ensembles across the Midwest such as Bella Voce Sinfonia, Newberry Consort, the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, Music of the Baroque, and the Madison Bach Musicians. During the summers, Anna has the pleasure of being a part of the Staunton Music Festival and the Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra. Anna is a founding member of Wayward Sisters, with whom she won first prize in the 2011 Early Music America competition. Wayward Sisters released their debut album of music by Matthew Locke on the Naxos label and their second recording, a Restless Heart, was released in 2017. In addition to classical music, Anna has performed and recorded with indie rock bands Saturday Looks Good To Me, Mysteries of Life, Frisbie, and children’s artist Justin Roberts. Anna received degrees in cello performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern University where her principal teachers were Peter Rejto and Hans Jensen. She studied baroque cello in the Netherlands with Jaap ter Linden.

Zeyad Sheikh


April Sun

Boston-based pianist April Sun enjoys a multi-faceted musical life as a performer, educator, and arts organizer, who values curiosity, sincerity, and fun in her work/play. As an avid collaborator, she frequently performs with small ensembles such as the Meadowlark Piano TrioPhoenix and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestraand has spent summers at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Caroga Lake Music Festival, Garth Newel Music Festival, and the Orford Center for the Arts.

April commits to helping diverse communities forge meaningful relationships with music, which she considers a social good. As a cultural organizer, she co-directs Music for Food, a nonprofit that uses music to generate funds for food pantries. April also works with Asian Musical Voices of America to build community among self-identified AAPI musicians. From 2016-2018, April was an Artist-in-Residence at Judson Park where she played monthly concerts for seniors as part of an internationally recognized intergenerational living initiative.

April teaches piano and chamber music at the Brookline Music School and serves as a collaborative pianist at New England Conservatory and Boston University. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in collaborative piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, which also granted her an M.M. in piano performance, a certificate in pedagogy, and the Bennett Levine Chamber Music Award. She completed her B.A. in music, with minors in English and Art History, at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Her many wonderful mentors have included Daniel Shapiro, Anita Pontremoli, Paul Barnes, Kim Kashkashian, Peter Salaff, Hyeyung Yoon, Francesca Brittan, and Susan McClary.


Jessica Dussault


Jessica Dussault is a cellist from Lincoln, NE. She began her studies with Tracy Sands, during which time Jessica was a Nebraska All-State principal chair, Nebraska Young Artist Award winner, and Senior Soloist with the Lincoln Youth Symphony. Jessica studied with Karen Becker at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) was awarded a BA in Music and History. Jessica performs with many regional groups including the Nebraska Chamber Players, Abendmusik, and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, a group she first began playing with at the age of 18. She has had the pleasure of working with a number of composers like Jen-Kuang Chang, David von Kampen, Jim DeMars, Kurt Knecht, and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. She has accompanied touring artists, notably Michael Bublé, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Disturbed, 2Cellos, Midori, and Joshua Bell. Jessica has had the privilege of playing in master classes and coachings with Bonnie Hampton, the Chiara Quartet, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Golden Studio

Golden Studio is a Lincoln-based band made up of Yazidi musicians led by Hasan Khalil. The Golden Studio are fluent in many styles, including Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian and traditional Syrian music. They are a constant feature at Yazidi weddings and other social events in Lincoln and have an active YouTube and Facebook presence.


Lead Daniel Martinez formed Jarana in 2009 for versatility and added creative energy. Pronounced JaRaNa (HAH-RAH-nah), it is a noun and verb meaning an event when all ages come together socially in a public place to enjoy and celebrate with food, games, music and dancing. It’s used much like the English “party,” but with richer meaning and more energy. All shows are family-friendly.

Jarana is a band built on energetic, danceable music blending South American music styles, Mexican folk music and Latin dance styles. Jarana’s music blends South American, African and Mediterranean beats such as Flamenco, Rumba and Salsa, accompanied with authentic, traditional instruments. Band members are natives of Peru, Mexico and the US.

Less Talk More Polka

Less Talk More Polka is an acoustic polka band based out of Lincoln Nebraska. They play traditional Czech and German polkas along with newer adaptations of classic tunes.

Coro di Flauti

Cori di Flauti is a Lincoln-based flute ensemble directed by Dick Marolf, performing on a variety of flutes including alto flute, bass flute and contra bass flute!

Brian Seifferlein

Brian Seifferlein has been working in video and media for over 20 years.  He has worked making documentaries and media about Nebraska and the world.  In 2019, Brian produced a podcast for Nebraska Public Media that was largely centered around the same themes of The Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival.   “The Sound of Home,” is a podcast for Nebraska Public Media’s series, “The Plainstory Podcast,” and is hosted by Genevieve Randall.  It follows her while she explores the music of Lincoln and the diversity of the place she lives.  In 2020, Brian began working for Lincoln Public Schools where his mission is to tell the many stories of the schools’ students, teachers and families.  “We Will Not Be Silent,” is the first documentary produced by and for LPS and serves as an example of the types of work Brian hopes to bring to the district.

Peter Ferguson

Peter Ferguson is a natural engagement specialist and a community stakeholder. Ferguson’s real-world education is backed by 25 years of professional leadership experience, including coordination of adult and youth leadership development, inclusion, diversity, equity work, athletic enrichment, relationship building, and individual, group and personal growth. His personal and professional purpose aligns with his values to empower and educate while building on the investment and contributions of those who have taken steps before him toward equity, justice, kindness, and civility.

He provides consultation, keynotes, engagement, and program support, implementation, and development. He has served on numerous boards, provided support for school districts, colleges, universities, non and for-profits, state and federal organizations, including but not limited to; the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Fremont Public Schools, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Doane University, Kansas Children’s Service League, Greenbush – The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, and Nebraska Society of Association Executives.

Rita Paskowitz


In her search for identity, Rita Paskowitz has been an actress, writer, improvisationalist, and stand-up comedian, working from New York City to Los Angeles. At long last, she found herself as a storyteller simply trying to live up to her hair.


Rita has entertained and edified the state for the Nebraska Arts Council and Arts Are Basic/Aesthetic Education for Children, while also teaching STORYTELLING AND EDUCATION at the University of Nebraska/Omaha and HOLOCAUST TO HOMELAND at Temple Israel.

Rita is Co-founder and Director of Creative Healing (a program for bereavement specialists) and is the Storyteller-in-Residence at Ted E. Bear Hollow, a center for grieving children and teens. She is on the staff of UNO’s Certified Public Managers Institute and UNMC’s Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute.

In addition, Rita works nationally in the fields of healthcare, interfaith relations, art and business, and speaks on depression to both children and adults. Oh yes – and she also maintains an active performance schedule, proving that no day has only twenty-four hours.

Plus – she’s fun to be with and hardly ever gets whiny.

Lacey Studnicka

Immigrant and refugee advocate

Lacey has been welcoming refugees for seventeen years, and in her talk she points out that you don’t choose to flee your country, your home, and undertake highly perilous journeys unless you are forced to do so. However, some people do have a choice, and that is us, and our choice is how we welcome our new neighbors. Lacey really challenges all of us to reframe how they see individuals from other communities, and to take the first step; go and talk to and meet a refugee, and be transformed.

For the past 15 years, Lacey Studnicka has dedicated her life to fostering an inclusive and welcoming community for refugees in the United States. She oversees programs that span the state including volunteer management, faith community sponsorships, career mentoring, refugee arts programming, and creating a refugee speakers’ bureau, to name a few. Under Lacey’s leadership, LFS-NE’s refugee co-sponsorship program and volunteer program has gained national recognition as the best practice for church and community engagement and serves as a model for the nation. Lacey’s impassioned advocacy for refugees has led to her being profiled for local, national, and international media, most recently by PBS and NBC and she will be featured in an upcoming documentary. Lacey is recognizable for her genuine and relentless optimism for the future of the most vulnerable in our community.

High Street Irish

High Street Irish play traditional Irish tunes that you might hear in an Irish pub. Featuring Marcia Claesson (autoharp, mountain dulcimer, melodica), Candy Popek (hammered dulcimer), Ashley Heckman (Irish stepdance), Chris Hodges (mandolin), Ethan Jensen (bouzouki), and Kurt Oates (penny whistle, mountain dulcimer)