The KAIA String Quartet is an all female, Chicago-based ensemble that travels the world promoting the rich and colorful music of Latin America. Celebrated for their ability to “beautifully blur the lines between jazz, classical, Latin, and world music,” KAIA’s album collaboration with Fareed Haque was chosen by the Chicago Tribune as one of the top ten classical music recordings of 2018. Their latest album, Sureño, explores the music and relationship of composers Astor Piazzolla and José Bragato. They were the Ensemble-in-Residence at WFMT and are regular performers at Chicago’s Latino Music Festival.
Verano Porteno (Summer in Buenos Aires) by Astor Piazzolla. The video was recorded in October 2018 and runs for 4:22 total playing time. Our ensemble specializes in works from and inspired by Latin America. This particular arrangement for string quartet was written for us by our 1st violinist's father.
This is one of our KAIA Kids world music education videos, Brazil. Total playing time is 7:18. We recorded these in 2017 during our residency with Chicago's classical radio station WFMT 98.7. The videos were produced in collaboration with WTTW. We've also made videos for Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The last video is Popular, the first movement of Jose Bragato's string quartet- Three Pieces. Total playing time is 4:56. Bragato was Piazzolla's cellist and right hand man, also Argentinian. We made this recording in October 2018.
Two of the submitted samples are works by Argentinian composers Astor Piazzolla and Jose Bragato. These are examples of the type of music and the composers we hope to promote and represent in the arts community and abroad.
We are also dedicated music educators. The KAIA Kids, Brazil video is an example of the type of music presentations we offer to schools of all ages. We've found that our presentations are fun and engaging to audiences of all backgrounds and we can offer them in English and Spanish.
These videos exemplify our mission as passionate performers and educators to nurture audiences young and old with the fantastic yet lesser known music of Latin America. This music is naturally inviting and approachable. We know that our work in promoting this music will create music lovers, supporters of the arts and our future concert goers.
KAIA has been in existence for 12 years. Throughout that time we've given multiple concert tours across South, Central and North America. Notable venues include Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the Green Mill in Chicago and Ravinia in Highland Park.
We've held residencies with the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina (2013-2020) as well as the Ukrainian Institute in Chicago. In 2017, KAIA was the first string quartet in residence at Chicago's classical radio station WFMT through which we were broadcast daily and created our children's education series KAIA Kids. The quartet presents, leads sectionals and performs in local Chicago schools and is currently in residence at DePaul University's Community Music Division.
We are proud to have released 4 recorded albums and to have been a part of several recording projects with collaborating artists and a crossover of styles.
We are an ensemble devoted to exposing audiences to the rich and colorful music of Latin America. During our residency with WFMT, Chicago's classical radio station, we performed, curated, and exposed audiences to new ways of thinking about Latin American music.
Our mission is to bring awareness of underrepresented Latin American music and composers and to present this music with the utmost performance quality and respect it deserves.
Programs for Specific Audience(s) Expertise
We have various music education presentations designed for different age groups and audiences. Example titles of these presentations are "Trip Around the World with KAIA SQ", "Introduction to the String Quartet" and "Learning Our Ups & Downs Through Music".
We've given numerous concert presentations for K-12 through Ravinia's Reach*Teach*Play program and the International Music Foundation.
The quartet has given lecture performances to adult audiences with programs such as "Beyond the Score: Piazzolla and Nuevo Tango" and "Tango: From the Dance to the Music to the Stage".
Individually, we each have teaching experience of over 20 years. As an ensemble we've been teaching together since we started the quartet 12 years ago. We find that education and performance work hand in hand for us and both are equally important.
Traditional Folk/Ethnic Artform Statement
We do not consider ourselves a traditional folk or ethnic ensemble, however we incorporate a lot of folk inspired music in our repertoire. The tangos and South/Central American classical music we play are heavily influenced by and deeply rooted in traditional folk.
Our first violinist is Uruguayan. For her, being able to share and teach the music from her heritage is very powerful and meaningful. As an ensemble we've adopted this meaning and through our bilingual presentations and performances, we've been able to connect with our Chicago minority communities.
KAIA String Quartet
4814 N. Damen Ave. #309
Chicago, IL 60625