started playing recorder as a child and went
on to study the oboe. She got a bachelor's degree in music performance from Yale University, where she played recorders
in the Yale Collegium Musicum, earning a Master of Music degree from the University of New York at Stonybrook.
While in graduate school, she became intrigued by the haunting sound of the Irish uillean pipes. This obsession
led her to learn to play the pipes as well as the Irish tinwhistle and the button accordion, thus launching
her life-long interest in ethnic music of various kinds. More recently she fell in love with klezmer music and
learned to play the clarinet. She is now thrilled to return to her classical "roots" as a member of Semplice!
She is also a member of Hal Aqua and The Lost Tribe
(nouveau klezmer), the Folkaltones
(eclectic folk music), and the Klez Dispensers (traditional klezmer). She has been a guest presenter for the
Denver chapter of the American Recorder Society on many occasions, and teaches recorder and tinwhistle at her
home studio in Denver. She is certified to teach Suzuki Recorder Book 1, and recently opened Denver's first Suzuki
recorder studio for children. Read more about it here.
photo: Amanda Tipton
Carla Sciaky grew up in Boulder, Colorado, playing piano, violin, and recorder. At the University of Colorado, she performed on recorder, viola da gamba, and an assortment of other early instruments with the Collegium Musicum, under the direction of the late Dr. Gordon Sandford. She received coaching on viola da gamba from Sarah Cunningham, Laura Jeppesen, and Judith Davidoff, and performed with the Dufay Consort (including a successful debut at Carnegie Recital Hall), the Platte River Consort, and Diverse Passions. After a hiatus to pursue a solo career in folk music, including being a member of the infamous Mother Folkers, she returned to early music in 2006 to join the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado during its first season, on baroque violin. She has studied with Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin Conservatory and with Tekla Cunningham, concertmaster of Pacific MusicWorks, and has played in masterclasses with Ms. McDonald, Marc Destrube, Ann Marie Morgan, and Emlyn Ngai. Carla also performs with the Denver Early Music Consort, as well as in the eclectic folk trio, the Folkaltones. She is certified in Books 1 through 4 of the Suzuki pedagogy on violin and maintains a small studio in her home, also teaching piano and recorder. carlasciaky.com
photo: Steve Zimmermann
Ben Cohen began playing lute for the Oberlin Conservatory Collegium Musicum in the mid 1980s, and served as the assistant director of that group upon graduating Oberlin College with a degree in mathematics. While at Oberlin he also studied baroque flute and recorder with Michael Lynn and keyboard continuo with Lisa Crawford.
Since moving to Denver in 1995, Ben has sung with the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, played lute continuo for local ensembles Seicento and Diverse Passions, and recorded a CD of Dowland lute songs with soprano Kristine Hurst, available at Centaur Records. Mel Bay published and keeps in print his transcriptions of J.S. Bach violin sonatas for electric bass. Ben also plays mandolin and banjo for Rocky Mountain Jewgrass; bass and tuba for Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe; and leads his own klezmer band The Klez Dispensers. He nonetheless keeps his day job as an appellate lawyer.
Elinor Saragoussi began playing the violin at age 5. Switching over to double bass at age 11, she studied at Denver School of the Arts for 7 years. Starting in Baroque con Brio in 2010 and the Metropolitan State University's Early Music Ensemble in 2012, Elinor added viola da gamba to her repertoire, and now studies under Ann-Marie Morgan. Besides Semplice, Elinor performs in many other ensembles, including a psychedelic rock band, various klezmer ensembles, and an indie-folk/pop quartet. She is about to graduate with an undergraduate degree in Biology, and practices a variety of art forms, including costume design, sculpture, and 2-D art.