Airport Kicks Off Sixth Annual Holiday Music Program With a Talented Lineup of Local Musicians

Fresno Yosemite International Airport Kicks Off Sixth Annual Holiday Music Program With a Talented Lineup of Local Musicians

Fresno, CA (November 21, 2022)The sounds of the season resonate at Fresno Yosemite International Airport with the launch of the sixth annual Holiday Music Program with performances by a talented lineup of local pianists and musicians.

As part of the Airport’s Arts & Culture Program, pianists will entertain travelers in airline boarding areas with live musical compositions performed on a Grand Piano in partnership with Steinway Piano Gallery of Fresno and Valley Pianos of Fresno. Travelers and guests will enjoy additional live musical performances throughout the season by Mariachi Tenochtitlan, Miel de Agave, University High School, and Simba School of Music.

“Music brings a sense of calm to a busy environment such as an airport especially during the high holiday travel season,” said Director of Aviation Henry Thompson.  “Welcoming a talented musical artist lineup to entertain our travelers this season will create a memorable experience along their holiday journey and travels through Fresno Yosemite International Airport.”

This year’s lineup includes five pianists and local musicians with impressive musical backgrounds who enjoy sharing their passion for music with others.

• Since the beginning of his musical journey at the age of four, Dr. Beniamin Hakobyan, has performed in concerts across the country and around the world including Moscow, Munich, and Paris just to name a few. Dr. Hakobyan earned a PhD, Doctor of Music from Yerevan State Conservatory of Komitas in Yerevan City, Armenia. As a music educator, Dr. Hakobyan currently teaches piano, guitar, and the lute at the Yerevan State Conservatory and Yerevan State University. He also instructs master classes in several cities throughout California, Russia, France, and Germany.

Eliza Hakobyan comes from a family of talented musicians and started playing the piano and guitar at the age of five. Eliza has performed in her church orchestra and as a member of the Fresno State Youth Orchestra. She currently teaches music lessons in piano, violin, guitar and vocal as well as performs with bands at various musical venues.

Andrea Daw began playing the piano for her father’s Sunday church service at the age of seven. Andrea’s life has revolved around music. She has received several vocal awards with the highlight of her musical years performing as a guest soprano soloist for the Spokane Junior Symphony for two consecutive years. She was a 3rd place finalist with the Western Regional Meroela Division of the Metropolitan Opera. Most of her time nowadays is playing for local churches. Sharing her love for music with others, Andrea teaches piano to students of all ages.

Karey Nickel has performed as a musician and actor since he was a child. After obtaining a Master of Arts in classical piano, Karey formed his own family band and went on to tour and perform as a recording artist for 15 years in churches and venues across the country. He has played the lead in numerous Shakespeare plays and recorded CDs as part of a men’s quartet. His musical experience in Fresno includes being on worship staff of some local churches, and performing as Harold Hill in the musical production, ‘The Music Man’ at Roger Rocka’s Theater. Karey currently performs both regionally as a solo artist and with his band, Uptown. He also performs regionally with Stealing Nicks, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.

• A neo-soul and Jazz aficionado, Ike Tecson spent the early part of his post-graduate years from the University of Hawaii touring Japan and performing at popular music venues such as the Sapporo Jazz Festival, Birdland and the Yokohama Music Festival. In his hometown of Kaneohe, Hawaii, he opened for Bon Jovi and the Black Eyed Peas while backing up rock guitarist Mike Corrado. More recently, Ike performed with the Neil Berg Broadway series. Ike performs with the Ike Sessions Group and the Jazz Cru Quintet at various venues throughout the Central Valley.

Mariachi Tenochtitlan was founded in 1996, in Fresno, California, with musicians originally from Jalisco, Michoacán, and Zacatecas, residing in the San Joaquin Valley. Mariachi Tenochtitlan has performed across California, Arizona, and Nevada; including performances in Las Vegas and at the International Mariachi and Charreria Festival in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the birthplace of mariachi, in September 2004. Mariachi Tenochtitlan is a proud participant, since its foundation, of the ¡Viva Mariachi! Festival sponsored by Radio Bilingue, and workshops that take place at California State University, Fresno. Mariachi Tenochtitlan is committed to preserving their traditions through Mexican folkloric music.

• The Fresno native “primas” Miel De Agave have been singing with each other since infancy. They first started singing together in 2006, in Mariachi Galiciense. From there, they also participated in their local High School mariachi (Roosevelt High School) and Latin Jazz, participating in mariachi festivals, and performing throughout the valley. They are helping the next generation of young musicians by teaching within the community. Miel de Agave has a unique style with influences from the ladies’ extensive background in mariachi, Latin Jazz, classical, and world music. Each of its members add a style unique as their music and eager to share their talents, music, and original compositions.

Simba School of Music students educated by owner, director, and teacher Kamilah Simba-Torres have performed with National Honor Orchestras at Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House, San Francisco Conservatory of Music pre-collegiate programs, the NAfME all-national honor orchestra and are consistently placed in concertmaster and principle chairs in county and state honor orchestras. Together, Ms. Simba-Torres’ studio family performs throughout the Central Valley as well as in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and New York City.

University High School students share a passion for music with an interest in vocal and instrumental music. UHS students bring musical backgrounds in church choir, music lessons and school teachings. Their performances display a wonderful musical variety.

Live musical performances are scheduled during peak flight times to entertain a wide audience.  The schedule also includes performances during the busy late-night domestic and international departures.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport and Fresno Chandler Executive Airport are municipally owned entities operating as a self-supporting enterprise.

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