Player Spotlight ~ Marissa Licata ~ Violinist

Opus 441 ~ 1713 "Rosenblith" Stradivarius, 2001

Marissa Licata “The violin does what I want. I have never been in a situation where it couldn’t express what I desired. I am now experimenting with percussive sounds and overtones, releasing the voice inside. I am bonded to this violin, my violin.”

Violinist Marissa Licata has a wide range of performance experience in diverse genres from Rock to Latin, Jewish Music (Klezmer), and Classical.  In 2008, touring and recording with Rock legends such as Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Licata has gained much recognition for her technical and musical versatility.  US tours with Jethro Tull in 2006 and 2007 have featured her as the first violinist of the Calliandra String Quartet, concertmistress for Ian Anderson’s “Orchestral Jethro Tull”, and taken Marissa to world-renowned venues throughout the North East and Midwest including New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis.

Mixing traditional Klezmer music with the new Latin beats of today, Ms. Licata has performed at several of Boston and New York’s well known Latin dance and Rock clubs including Club Lido, Sambuca Night Club, T.T. the Bear’s Place, and Makor.  With a background as a classical violinist, Ms. Licata has crossed the bridge into the world of improvisation.  In 2005, Marissa joined the Tami Machnai Ensemble (TME) based in Boston, improvising on arrangements of traditional folk songs from Israel, and originals by Ms. Machnai.  With the TME, Ms. Licata has performed regularly at Ryles Jazz Club and Karun in the Boston area, and had the opportunity to travel, giving concerts at San Francisco’s Museum of Art for the Israeli Consulate, and in New York at Satala for the group’s album release in 2006.

Photo ©John Hammond Photo ©John Hammond Photo ©John Hammond Photo ©John Hammond

At age 18, Marissa’s classical music experience landed her a date as guest soloist with the National Orchestra of Honduras in 2003.  She was an orchestral member of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at the New England Conservatory from 2001-2005, participating in four international tours with performances at Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall (Boston); in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center, in New York City at Lincoln Center, as well as world renowned venues throughout North, Central, and South America.

Marissa spent four years of undergraduate study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, graduating in May 2007 with a Bachelor Degree in violin performance. In 2009 she completed her Masters degree in Contemporary Improvisation at NEC, and is a busy gigging musician, playing everything everywhere. 

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