A Hymn to the Peoples: An Afro-Classical Concert

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February 24 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Join dynamic duo, CernaBella, and Seattle Symphony cellist Joy Payton-Stevens as they explore the journey of Afro-Classical music from the Middle Passage to being in the middle of it all in this exciting concert experience! Includes the West Coast premiere of “Three Pieces for Violin and Cello” by acclaimed African American composer, Jessie Montgomery.



Joy Payton-Stevens began playing the cello in her hometown of Cleveland when she was just four years old. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy for high school, and then continued her studies at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Ronald Leonard. She has been a member of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, and the Charlotte Symphony in North Carolina, and joins the Seattle Symphony in the fall of 2014. In addition to performing music, Joy is passionate about teaching music to kids and has participated in several programs to bring music education to underserved communities. Outside of music, her other interests include cooking, reading and most sports.




Amber Archibald-Sešek has been praised for her bold and vivacious playing that matches her personality.  This past year was her busiest to date including solo engagements locally and in New York City, several chamber music concerts around the U.S., touring with the Seattle Symphony, and working as the youth viola coach with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Take a Stand Festival.  As part of her commitment to education, Amber, along with her violinist husband Ervin Luka Sešek, maintains the Sešek String Studio, an award winning private violin and viola studio just north of Seattle.  Additionally in 2018, Amber and her husband launched CernaBella, a chamber music experience that delivers engaging, fresh, and dynamic classical concerts that merge classical tradition with diversity and pieces of cultural relevance.



Ervin Luka Sešek, is known for his rich and vibrant tone both as a violinist and violist, brings passion, energy and a great sense of communication to his audience. Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, and raised in Slovenia, Sešek has won several top prizes in international competitions. Sešek had his American debut in January of 2019, soloing with the Seattle’s own Philharmonia Northwest. He previously soloed with several orchestras in Eastern Europe, including the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint George String Orchestra in Serbia. A sought after chamber musician, Sešek has collaborated with former members of the Tokyo and Ehnes string quartets including Martin Beaver, Clive Greensmith and Robert deMaine. He has also played in concert alongside world renowned artists such as Gary Hoffman, Paul Coletti, Konstantin and Eugene LifschitzEdin Karamazov and others. Along with his violist wife Amber Archibald-Sešek, he can be seen performing as part of the chamber music duo, CernaBella, recently established in 2018.


February 24
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm