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Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Aug 15-19, 2022 9am-3pm 99 Westcliff Rd, Weston MA

The American Academy of World Music Summer Festival’s purpose is to help students find their musical talent. In this program students can study with world renown artist musicians from all around the world. Experiences are available for students just starting out along with those with a little more experience and those who are ready to step foot in the conservatory.

Programs Offered

World Music Explorers (Beginner Level)

This program offers a wide array of experiences, age appropriate for students 9+. Students that benefit the most from this level of the program are usually just starting out and trying something new for the first time. Curious about what makes music work? Do you want a chance to explore a culture’s music? This is a great starting point.

World Music Pioneers (Intermediate/Advanced)

This program is designed for students who have played an instrument for at least 2 years and take lessons on their instrument. The experiences in this program include chamber music ensembles and performances with fellow students and faculty, composition using electronic devices, and music production. At each point in the program students will have the opportunity to work with world renown artist music teachers on western and traditional folk instruments from around the world.

Sign up now:

American Academy of World Music


Explore what is possible with private lessons, master classes, and performances by expert artist music teachers in world music:

Yazhi Guo

Yazhi Guo is a well-known virtuoso of wind instruments and an inventor of musical instruments. He is a highly sought-after performer of various Chinese traditional and western wind instruments on the international stage. Guo is considered the world’s premier suona virtuoso. Guo graduated from the Folk Music Department of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1990 and stayed on to teach at the Conservatory. In 2000, Guo was appointed as the principal suona by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. In 2012, Guo furthered his pursuit of music in the United States. While in the US, he gave lectures and concerts at colleges such as Harvard University, The University of the Arts, and Berklee College of Music among others. During Guo’s illustrious career, he has won numerous awards: In 1993, Guo received the Second-Tier Scientific Progress Award from the Ministry of Culture of China for his invention of the flexible core, a movable reed for suona; in 1998, Guo was the Grand Prize winner of the New York Pro Musicis International Award; in 2013, Guo was the recipient of the annual Hong Kong Artist of the Year Award; and in 2015, upon completing his studies from the Berklee College of Music, Guo received an Artist Diploma. After graduating from Berklee, Guo led the Berklee Jazz band to China and Singapore to showcase the fusion style of suona and jazz performances. He has recorded dozens of solo albums, many of which were released worldwide. In addition to the flexible core for suona, he has modernized the traditional Hulusi into multi-pipe Hulusi, and traditional Guzhen into tonal transposable Guzhen, all of which has received much attention in the musical industry. In December 2021, Guo, along with his friends, co-founded the American Academy of World Music where he became its first President. Guo set a goal to nurture future generations of talented multi-ethnic, multi-cultural musicians. Guo is endeavoring towards his dream of promoting a peaceful world through the people and power of music.

Wes Wirth

Wes Wirth - Bass, Guitar & Voice

Wes is a prolifific composer of original music.  Writing for self and for many others. Wes

is also an accomplished performer, on the bass, guitar and voice. His unique style has

been described as, “visually expansive, a hyperbolic sound-scape, sonically erotic,

sensually inviting, and mysteriously tender.”  Wes' inspiration is primarily drawn from

observing, and participating with the elemental forces of nature, and the stunning

diversity and cultural beauty in the world. This “music” provides a template for

understanding our collective creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and the connective

elements of  synergistic phenomena. Wes studies and observes: design, poly-rhythm,

poly-tonality, harmonics, poetry, groove, culture, taste, light, plants, biology, patterns,

geometry, micro-climates, micro-tones, form, space, and sculpture, always mining the

world for inspiration, and pushing to synthesize the pieces, striving to embody, and

share his version of these precious relationships.   


Wes has a performance and composition degree from New England Conservatory, and

has recorded or toured with legends such as Chuck Mangione and King Sunny Ade and

George Russell, innovators like, Hal Crook, and Yazhi Guo, drum masters Rakalam Bob

Moses and Kenwood Dennard, and guitar giants Stanley Jordan, Vernon Reid, and

David Fiuczynski..


Utar Artun

Utar Artun was born in Ankara, Turkey. In 2006, he arranged musical pieces for the theater play “The 7 Women”. Artun arranged numerous movie soundtracks and oldies/jazz music for symphonic orchestras, and the Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony, Cukurova State Symphony, Presidential Symphony Orchestra and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra performed his arrangements and compositions in live concerts. In Turkey, Artun performed at the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival, 12th Side Culture Art Festival, the 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, 6th International Mersin Music Festival, and 25th International Ankara Music Festival. In 2008, Artun graduated from Percussion Department of Hacettepe Conservatory with 2nd Rank (runner-up) Degree of School Placement Award (Turkey).

After his graduation, he participated to European Scholarship Tours of Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2.5 years with summa cum laude degree. He was awarded for highly “Honorable Mention” from Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, Barnes&Noble award, 5 Dean’s List awards, Outstanding Pianist award, Arif Mardin Scholarship Award and Brian Oliver Memorial Award. He was among the finalist of ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composers Competition (2010) and Young Jazz Composers Competition (2011). In January 2010 and 2012, one of his compositions was selected to Jazz Revaluation Records CDs. He was a JRR artist of Berklee and Artun was a part of ‘Birds of Feather’, ‘Octave’ and ‘Ripple Effect’ albums. In 2011, he performed with Kevin Eubanks in the studio recording session of WGBH Studios - Boston, MA. In the US, He’s been in workshops, clinics, concert performances and album recordings with world renowned artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Dave Weckl, Jojo Mayer, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Dave Liebman, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Guiliana, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Dave Holland, Larry Finn, Eddie Gomez, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch, Kati Agocs, Hankus Netsky, Ken Schaphorst, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Erkan Ogur, Anat Cohen, Yazhi Guo, Luis Conte, Kenwood Dennard, Jason Linder, Ledisi, Omar Hakim, Chuck Rainey, Jack DeJonnethe and David Fiuczynski. He involved into the Rhythm of the Universe and Berklee Yo-Team Projects as an Arranger, Performer, Conductor and Orchestrator, and Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music.

Artun won the 18th HALICI MIDI Composition Contest and 2nd place in the Berklee Film Scoring Contest 7 in 2011. In February 2013, He won a runner-up award of the TRT 2013 Children Choir Contest. In 2013, Artun won the Highest Award of SCAMV 1st National Symphonic Composition Contest. In Turkey, he is one the highly awarded scholars of Foundation of Modern Education (CEV) and Ankara Jazz Society (ACD). In 2016, won the 3rd place award of 9th Eczacibasi National Composition Contest with his symphonic lied "Hiclik". Artun has done numerous international studio recordings, albums, festivals, concerts and performances such as Undead Jazz Festival, Burlington Jazz Festival, Europalia Arts festival in Belgium, Musicacoustica Festival in China, Abu Dhabi Festival, Boston Jazz Fest, Barcelona Guitar Festival, Vilnius Jazz Festival in Lithuania, Huayi Arts Festival in Singapore and Detroit Jazz Festival. Artun had performances, touring and clinics in Switzerland (HKB-Bern & AMR Geneva), France (Paris, Sunset and Nancy, Music Academy International), Austria (Innsbruck - Treibhaus), Germany (Berlin-Aufsturz), Netherlands (Amsterdam- Panama), China (Beijing Central Conservatory) and Italy (Gezmataz Jazz Festival, Genova). He did a tour with Jussi Reijonen in Finland along with 8 performances and 5 workshops. Also, he had plenty of interviews, TV broadcasts and newspaper-press cuttings in USA, Europe and Turkey. With Nazan Nihal, he released their band’s “neotolia” EP album – Rose Lace in 2014 and they won a Bronze Medal from Global Music Awards 2014. In 2017, they released their 2nd album “Neotolian Song” and finished their USA CD Release tour. In 2015, he won the Boston Microtonal Society Award and released his solo music video “Cajonversations”. Currently, he's writing new ballet music for the Ankara State Opera & Ballet's Modern Dance projects. In 2017, he composed the first Piano & Cajon Concertant in the world and he premiered it at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul with Istanbul Symphony Orchestra. He was the Honorary Chairman/Judge of Global Outstanding Chinese Artists Association’s 6th International Piano Competition. In 2018, he won ‘JCI - TOYP “10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World” Culture Award - in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2015, Artun got his M.M. degree from the historic New Englasnd Conservatory with ‘Academic Honors’. He has also composed and arranged over 120 pieces for symphony orchestra, as well as more than 160 pieces for brass bands and big bands. Featured on various studio albums as a piano player, arranger, and drummer. His compositions and arrangements are performed in USA, Switzerland, Turkey, Holland, China, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, Czech Republic and Russia. Artun is working as an Arranger for Ankara Kent Bigband and Musical Director for Classical Oasis Ensemble. Furthermore, He's a voting member at The Recording Academy for upcoming Grammy Awards. In addition to that, Utar Artun is a member of SCI, NACUSA, Cagdas Turk Bestecileri and BMI. Currently, Artun is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music.

Daniel Gil

“ . . . poignant . . . majestic music.” - The Boston Globe

“Beautiful . . . original tunes.” - The Jerusalem Post

“ . . . soulful melodies . . . “ - The Jewish Advocate

“A Jewish musical soul . . . “ - Chicago Jewish News

“ . . . [Daniel] sounds like Greg Lake Singing for Pete Townshend . . .“ - The Big Takeover

Daniel Gil is a composer, musicologist, folk musician, producer, arranger and performer living in

the Boston area. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and Vermont College of Fine Arts.

He has composed and performed in multiple genres. His classical compositions often

incorporate the majestic scenes and beautiful melodies of his Chassidic heritage. (The Mystical


Daniel's latest CD, "Hava Nagila, For Real," is a unique foray into Eastern Europe's pre-World War I Jewish communities. The CD is comprised of songs from the Kiselgof Archive, a collection of over 1,500 folk tunes originally recorded on Edison wax cylinders during a 1909 ethnographic expedition into Jewish Eastern Europe. The songs were then transcribed by members of the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music. Daniel’s new CD presents 12 of these songs, including the original, lost version of Hava Nagila. “Hava Nagila, For Real” is the fifirst modern recording that comes directly from these transcriptions, and represents a part of Jewish civilization that was lost in the Holocaust.

Daniel also leads the searing rock trioRaibard. Raibardis a trio that draws inspiration from thenatural and supernatural worlds. Raibard’s first studio album “The Queen of the Night,” wasreceived with great acclaim. Daniel and Raibard released their second studio album “Dark Realmof the Daylight — Bright Kingdom of the Night,” inlate 2021.

In addition to Daniel’s musical accomplishments,Danielis a noted Jewish scholar. He is wellversed in Talmudic logic, and has a deep understanding of Hasidic literature, culture, andpractice. He has lectured on behalf of the MERU foundation and their research for many years.




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