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What is Acoustic Nomads?

Acoustic Nomads is a band blending together musical styles from the Appalachians to the Andes, creating soaring original melodies, playful improvisations, and driving grooves that celebrate shared American musical heritage.  

Listening to Acoustic Nomads live performances and studio albums, you will hear elements of jazz, newgrass, candombe from Uruguay, chacarera from Argentina, samba and forró from Brazil, landó & festejo from Perú, huayno from the Andes, joropo & jota from Venezuela, and progressive acoustic music from all over, played at the highest level of musicianship. 

 

The musicians in Acoustic Nomads are also tremendous performers, and audiences will be swept away on a musical journey across the Americas.  

Meet the Band

Noah Harrington

Upright Bass

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Noah Harrington is a bassist, composer, bandleader, and educator from Lexington, Massachusetts.  Since graduating Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in 2019, Harrington has created and co-led the band Acoustic Nomads, blending music from North and South America to create soaring original melodies, playful improvisation, and driving grooves.  

 

Harrington frequently shares the stage with captivating Bluegrass band “The Ruta Beggars,” winners of the 2019 Thomas Point Beach Festival Band of the Year award.  Since 2017 Harrington has led the group “Husky Sound,” a group of virtuoso Jazz musicians specializing in playing material from the Great American Songbook, and available for private bookings throughout New England. Harrington has also performed on recordings (and onstage) with Alisa Amador of Tiny Desk Fame, G Rockwell, Zahili Zamora, Lindsay Foote, Hannah Siglin, Tema Siegel, Aaron Percy Davidoff, Isaiah Johnson, and many others.  


Harrington is also a two-time alumnus of the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival (2015 & 2018), where he shared the stage with such luminaries as Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, and Mike Block, as well as his amazing fellow Seminar-goers (among them Ethan Setiawan). 

Maurizio Fiore Salas

Guitar/Venezuelan Cuatro

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Maurizio Fiore Salas is a performer (guitar/Vzlan cuatro), arranger and composer whose career spans a wide array of Latin American musical traditions such as Venezuelan, Argentinian, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, among others. Fiore Salas is one of many musicians around the world that actively works towards combining elements of traditional music with elements of modern jazz improvisation, in an effort to create a new world where the past meets the present, and they both help each other in reaching for the future. Fiore Salas holds a bachelor's degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music, and a master's degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music from Longy School of Music.


He currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ethan Setiawan

Mandolin (and other mandos)

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Ethan Setiawan is a Boston-based mandolin player who’s won such accolades as the National Mandolin Championship and the RockyGrass Mandolin Championship. He’s a member of bands Corner House, Mudskippers, The Harmolodic String Band, and freelances with musicians including Darol Anger and Tony Trischka. In 2015, he attended the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival, a program where participants work with musicians like Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Casey Driessen, and Bryan Sutton. Later that year, he guested on A Prairie Home Companion (now known as Live From Here.) A move to Boston in August of 2015 to attend Berklee College of Music on a full ride scholarship brought about a new chapter in Ethan’s life.

 

He’s been a catalyst for several projects in the Boston area and elsewhere, including Mudskippers, a progressive string band, Corner House, which draws from Scottish, Appalachian string band, and bluegrass styles, and the Harmolodic String Band, which plays the music of Ornette Coleman on bluegrass instruments.  He has shared the stage with Julian Lage, Darrell Scott, Mike Marshall, Tony Trischka, Darol Anger, Bryan Sutton, Casey Driessen, and the Steel Wheels.

Clara Rose

Fiddle

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Clara Rose is a violinist and vocalist from the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people in Vancouver, BC. With her background in Celtic, Balkan, Swedish, blues, bluegrass and jazz folk traditions, Rose effortlessly melds these disparate styles into her own passionate and groovy fiddle voice. A master improviser across many genres and disciplines, Rose’s joyous expression and skillful artistry has a transformative effect on all of her collaborations.

 

Rose has studied with distinguished artists from across Canada and the United States, including Marc Destrubé, Oliver Schroer, Daniel Lapp, Moira Smiley, Mike Block, Jenny Scheinmann, and Bryan Sutton. In 2018 and 2019 Rose was selected as one of 16 young string players to participate in the Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, GA, directed by Mike Marshall. Rose is currently pursuing her degree in violin performance at Berklee College of Music. She performs with The Acoustic Nomads and leads the Clara Rose Trio.

Sofía Chiarandini

Fiddle

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Sofía Chiarandini is a musician based out of New England. She has been playing violin since age five, and at age fourteen decided to dive into the world of bluegrass. Sofía studied with Grammy award winning fiddle and dobro player and notable author Stacy Phillips, who was her mentor and main source of inspiration in the non-classical world. She has been playing double bass since she was nine, and throughout childhood studied with Domenick Fiore, who inspired Sofía to diversify and study jazz as well.

Sofía started playing music using the Suzuki method, and quickly fell in love with classical music. At thirteen, she was awarded 2nd place in the Danbury Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition for her performance of Ravel’s “Tzigane.” She later joined the Danbury Symphony Orchestra as a first violinist for the 2014-2015 season, simultaneously playing for the Community Orchestra, in which she played bass for six years. After moving away from classical study, she branched out to perform in bluegrass, jazz, and folk genres, playing the main stages of major bluegrass and music festivals in the northeast with various ensembles.

At age seventeen, Sofía was accepted to the Berklee College of Music on scholarship, and was also honored to receive the Fletcher Bright award in her freshman year. During her time at Berklee, she studied and performed as part of the American Roots Music Program, as well as had the opportunity to study with musical heavy-weights such as Howard Levy of The Flecktones, Noam Pikelny, Stuart Duncan, Bruce Molsky, Tony Trischka, Greg Liszt, and Matt Glaser among others. She was selected as one of the sixteen participants for the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival in 2020. 

Meet The Band: Reviews

Acoustic Origins

Noah & Maurizio, photo by Gaby Cotter in 2019

If you ever wanted to know, this is the story of how "Acoustic Nomads" came to be!  It's a story about musical friendship, and to unspool all the threads we have to go back in time to 2015 ... 

In 2015, bassist Noah Harrington met mandolinist Ethan Setiawan at the Acoustic Music Seminar (AMS) at Savannah Music Festival, a weeklong intensive gathering 16 talented string musicians from around the world to learn from each other and from world-class musicians performing at the festival, facilitated by virtuosos Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, and Casey Driessen.  

This was the first time Harrington had been exposed to "progressive acoustic music" as some call it, and he was hooked.  

Caleb Dostal's group performs "The Balvenie" @ Acoustic Music Seminar 2015

L to R: Ethan Setiawan (seated), Gabe Terracciano, Caleb Dostal, Noah Harrington, Jake Howard, Josh Turner

In the fall of 2015, Setiawan and Harrington both attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, There they formed the group OctoPladd with guitarist Sam Leslie and fiddle players Julian Pinelli and Avery Merritt. 

 

From 2015-17 OctoPladd, sometimes billed as "The Berklee Bluegrass All-Stars," performed at festivals and venues around the Northeast and beyond. Setiawan's incredible musicianship as an improviser, writer, and accompanist left a deep impression on Harrington.  

Berklee Bluegrass All-Stars @ IBMA 2017, Photo by Dave Hollender

L to R: Avery Merritt, Sam Leslie, Noah Harrington, Ethan Setiawan

In 2018, Harrington attended the Acoustic Music Seminar again, this time hosted by Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Mike Block, and Moira Smiley.  

There, Harrington worked with (and was inspired by) fiddler Clara Rose and cellist Parker Ousley, two bright young stars of the progressive acoustic music scene.  They reinvigorated Harrington's love of music, and got him thinking about the future ...

Footage courtesy of The Acoustic Music Seminar, Savannah Music Festival

L to R: Clara Rose, Mike Marshall, Noah Harrington, Jan Knutson, Parker Ousley

By 2018, Harrington had already started teaming up with guitarist Maurizio Fiore Salas, organizing concerts with traditional jazz ensembles to perform their original music.  Returning from AMS 2018, Harrington was eager to plan a joint concert with Fiore Salas using an all-acoustic band.  

Noah Harrington & Maurizio Fiore Salas band, 2018

L to R: Yoko Suzuki, Mateo Cutello, João Perrusi, Noah Harrington, Nick Groat, Maurizio Fiore Salas, Ethan Santos, Oscar Quilca Barcelli, Gabe Nekrutman, Jose Ignacio Santos

When Clara Rose told Harrington she would visit Boston in January 2019, the time seemed ripe for just such an all-acoustic concert!  

Harrington brought together mandolinist Ethan Setiawan, cellist Parker Ousley, and guitarist João Perrusi to join with him, Clara, and Fiore Salas for three shows in one weekend, and an impromptu recording session in the Allston living room of sound engineer Alex Leiva.  

This EP was later released as "Acoustic Travelogue," and is still up on Bandcamp!  

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Photographed during recording of Acoustic Travelogue EP, 2019

L to R: Noah Harrington, João Perrusi, Clara Rose, Ethan Setiawan, Parker Ousley, Maurizio Fiore Salas

After that initial week of music-making, Noah and Maurizio knew they were onto something with this all-acoustic group.  Clara had by then returned to Canada, so Sofia Chiarandini took over the fiddle chair. The band was born, and initially called "Noah y Maurizio!"

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"Noah y Maurizio" @ The Lily Pad, 2020

L to R: Sofia Chiarandini, Parker Ousley, Ethan Setiawan, Noah Harrington, João Perrusi, Maurizio Fiore Salas

In addition to several smaller shows in the summer of 2019, the band played at the Grey Fox Bluegrass festival, and the spring of 2020 at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, but the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic scattered the band to the winds.  

Grey Fox 2019!

L to R: Ethan Setiawan, Maurizio Fiore Salas, Noah Harrington, João Perrusi, Parker Ousley, Sofia Chiarandini

While the world took a pause for most musicians, the gears in Noah's head didn't stop spinning.  With a fire in his mind and grant support from Club Passim's Iguana Music Fund, he planned the tracking of an album to bring the band back together. This time everyone would bring in original material and arrangements that mattered to them, creating a panoply of the different musical personalities in the band.  

Right after vaccines rolled out in spring of 2021, the players convened at Great North Sound Society, a recording studio in Parsonsfield, ME.  In just six days of tracking, 18 tracks emerged!  

Rehearsing @ GNSS 2021, Photo by Louise Bichan

L to R: Parker Ousley, João Perrusi, Maurizio Fiore Salas, Noah Harrington, Ethan Setiawan, Sofia Chiarandini

The music recorded at GNSS would become "The Abominable Stringband," the group's debut recorded project, and a two volume double album to boot.  "Volume 1" was released in 2021, and "Volume 2" followed in 2022. You can hear both volumes of "The Abominable Stringband" here!  

Promotional Photo by Louise Bichan

L to R: Sofia Chiarandini, Maurizio Fiore Salas, João Perrusi, Noah Harrington, Ethan Setiawan, Parker Ousley

With the new music came a new name - "Noah y Maurizio" was ditched in favor of the name "Acoustic Nomads," to better represent the groups goal of taking "progressive acoustic music" on a journey around the world, and to make it clear that the project was a band, not a duo.  Acoustic Nomads would also no longer be a sextet - shortly after the recording session at GNSS, guitarist João Perrusi moved to Los Angeles, and cellist Parker Ousley moved on to other projects.  

Acoustic Nomads ASBv2 Release Show @ Arts at the Armory, Somerville

Photo by Joni Lohr

Now a sleek quartet, "Acoustic Nomads" moved forward out of the pandemic to more and bigger shows, pursuing their solidified vision of bringing together musical traditions from all over the Americas.  

Live @ WBUR Cityspace in 2023

Photo by Joni Lohr

Seeking to capture the look and sound of this new 4-piece, Acoustic Nomads set up a video recording session in historic Follen Church in Lexington, Massachusetts.  That session would turn into Acoustic Nomads' first-ever visual album, where all the material was recorded on camera as well as on microphone.  

"Quartet," that very project, was released in the Fall of 2023, and theres a whole page on this website devoted to it!  

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Photoshoot for Quartet: Visual Album

Photo by Louise Bichan

In 2023, shortly before the release of "Quartet," Sofia Chiarandini took a step back from her life as a touring musician to focus on teaching and raising a family.  

While no one could ever replace Sofia, Acoustic Nomads expanding tour schedule meant a fiddler had to be found.  

 

Luckily  west-coast fiddle wizard Clara Rose had recently moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. At the invitation of the band Clara returned to the fiddle chair in Acoustic Nomads, and the band has taken off since!  

Clara Rose & Ethan Setiawan with Acoustic Nomads @ Club Passim, 2023

Photo by Joni Lohr

As of this writing in 2024, Acoustic Nomads performs around New England and beyond, occasionally joined by cellist Karl Henry of the band High Horse. 

 

Acoustic Nomads is constantly deepening it's commitment to artistic excellence by creating and curating material drawn from the pan-American musical traditions that inspired its members to pursue music in the first place.  

Acoustic Nomads @ Acoustic Brew, 2024

If you've made it this far, WOW!  You really are a super fan.  

This is the end of the backstory for Acoustic Nomads, so the only next step is to go listen to our latest release on your platform of choice, see our latest video on YouTube, or better still go to a show!  We hope you're as excited for the next chapter as we are.  

See you out on the road!  

~ Acoustic Nomads

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