About

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Con Vivo Music is a collective of musicians including some of the NYC area’s finest soloists and rising stars. We bring the communal spirit of chamber music to the vibrant and unique setting of Jersey City, organizing and performing free concerts all over town.

Our mission is to provide world-class music for all audiences, regardless of class, location or income. All of our concerts are completely free.

Con Vivo Music was founded in 2007 by Amelia Hollander Ames after spending three years in Israel as violist of the Israel Contemporary String Quartet and Tel Aviv Soloists. Upon returning to her hometown of Jersey City, she dreamed of playing chamber music for the full range of Jersey City’s vibrant population at the same high level that she had in Israel and elsewhere around the world. Amelia partnered with the Jersey City Department of Cultural Affairs, which exclusively funded Con Vivo’s first two seasons of concerts. In 2009, Con Vivo Music became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and spread its wings, fed by the creativity and virtuosity of its core musicians and the enthusiasm of its audiences.

Artistic Director, Zach Herchen

Saxophonist Zach Herchen performs contemporary, jazz, and rock music. Zach loves new music and is constantly working with composers. He has premiered dozens of pieces ranging from jazz tone poems to Japanese noise rock to multimedia works. Zach self-released his first CD, “Emerging Voices”, featuring commissioned works for voice and sax with opera singer Elisabeth Halliday. He is the artistic director of Con Vivo Music and performs with New Thread Quartet, Rhymes With Opera, and Quiet City.

Zach has served on staff at NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice and was an artist-in-resident at Wildacres Retreat. He has performed at BU’s Spectral Summer Professional Performance Workshop, the SEAMUS National Conference, Third Practice Electroacoustic Festival, the 4th International Master-Class for Classical Saxophone, and the Look & Listen Festival. Zach has performed as a soloist in Italy, Sweden, and Germany, and at Duke University and New England Conservatory. He performed on Scott Alexander’s album “Scott Alexander Makes a Big Deal Out of It” and Man Down’s album “Somewhere Down In Florida”.

Zach holds a MM and BM in Saxophone Performance (and a BM in Recording Arts Engineering) from The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he was a recipient of the Richard Franko Goldman Prize for performance. Zach has studied with Gary Louie, Gary Thomas, Timothy McAllister, Arno Bornkamp, Vincent David, Jan Schulte-Bunert, and Ties Mellema.

Assistant Director, Kevin Cummines

Kevin Cummines is a composer, educator, organist/pianist and singer, with a diverse output ranging from electronic music to theatrical and film scores, commercial and experimental genres, for choral and instrumental platforms. Past residencies include EAMA (2014), Choral Chameleon Summer Institute (2013 & 2014), and Lynn Thomson’s “America-in-Play” (2007-2010). Recent commissions include “Three Works for James Adler” (Albany Records 2014, premiered 2015), Quiver (The Diatonix, 2016). Film score works include “Our Last Day” (JSL Entertainment, 2012), and promotional video packages for the Dance for Film project (Nora Chipaumire/Peak Performances, 2016).

Kevin is Organist and Music Director for Grace United Methodist Church (Wyckoff, NJ), former conductor of the Cali School New Music Ensemble (2014-2016), and accepts freelance accompaniment work when available. He is also the developer and curator of The Music Ed Advocate, and is developing an alternative comprehensive Western music history text utilizing the protocols of the ethnomusicological approach. He also has a number of larger theatrical and new music projects in development. Cummines is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (BM Music Composition, BSOF Voice and Ethnomusicology), Rutgers University – Camden (MA Liberal Studies), New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts (MFA Musical Theatre Writing), and Montclair State University Cali School of Music (MA Music Composition). He is currently focusing on developing repertoire for under-served solo instruments and small ensembles, and is constantly seeking new performers to collaborate in the development of new works across media platforms and artistic skill sets.