Zac Bigbee


As Soloist with Chicago's cocodaco dance, Ballet Taos,  Denver Ballet Theatre and David Taylor's Zikr Dance Company, Zac has performed on stages world wide. 

He wowed us in 2018 with his solo performance of Runes by Choreographer David Taylor.

We are thrilled to have him on staff at Tarab Retreat 2019 as instructor as well.   

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Clara Byom


Clara Byom is an Albuquerque-based multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and accordion), musicologist, and educator.  ​She performs contemporary classical music and a variety of folk dance music, including Jewish klezmer, contra, English Country, Balkan, Scottish, and Irish.  Clara is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Edith Boulevard, The Parson Sisters, Odd Butterflies, and co-founder/co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble.  Additionally, she performs regularly with Dust City Opera and serves on the board of the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society.  As of Fall 2018, she serves as the first Development Director of the newly founded nonprofit organization, The Klezmer Institute.  A graduate of the University of New Mexico (Master of Music in Clarinet Performance and Musicology), Clara has researched mid-century American klezmer music for her master’s thesis entitled “Mixing in Too Much Jewish: American Klezmorim in New York City from 1950-1970.” Since the Summer of 2014, she has done archival work for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York City, primarily digitizing and cataloging the field recordings of 2015 National Heritage Fellow Michael Alpert, a leading figure in the klezmer revitalization.  In 2012, Clara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, IA.

Bijay Shrestha


Joining us from Boulder, Nepalese Hindustani classical musician Bijay Shrestha is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. 

 Bijay was born to Tabla Maestro Rabin Lal Shrestha and Sitar player Bina Shrestha. Coming from a musical family, Mr. Bijay lal Shrestha started learning Tabla at the tender age of four under the guidance of his father Mr. Rabin Lal Shrestha and by the time he was 18, he completed masters degree in Tabla. Currently, he is majoring in sitar (Master degree) at Lalitkala campus under the guidance of Sitar Maestra Uma Thapa being the only young artiste in Nepal to have achieved degree in both tabla and sitar. Mr. Shrestha has shared stage with the world-renowned flautist Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia and has following creative albums: • Maestro Duets on Sarod (2012 AD) • Moods of Meed (2013 AD) • Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia Live in Nepal (2014AD) • Abiding (2014 AD) As result of his numerous years of training in both tabla and sitar, Mr. Shrestha’s profound understanding of diverse gharana styles and mastery of technical skill gradually began to resonate through the magical touch of his swift, agile fingers. Today he is hailed as one of the serious, young exponents of classical music, who constantly endeavors to infuse interest and respect for this traditional art in the hearts and minds of the younger generation. He has performed in different European countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Austria and Italy) with his band “Prana Mundi). Currently, He is residing in Colorado, performing and offering sitar lessons.  

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Nabin Shrestha


Joining us from Boulder, Nepalese Hindustani classical musician Nabin Shrestha is a multi-instrumentalist on Indian Tabla. 

Since Nabin’s early childhood, music has always been an essential part of his life and “Tabla” is the medium by which he was introduced to the world of music and rhythm. In combination with the guidance of his Guru Shree Rabin Lal Shrestha and truly inspired by Brother Rajendra Shrestha, Nabin began learning tabla at the age of (9) nine years old. To this day, he still views himself as a continuing student in an ever expanding exploration of the beauty in musically interpreting dynamic rhythmic sounds while performing the Tabla.
While pursuing his academic studies in music, Nabin received a scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relationship to pursue music at Aakhil Bharatiya Gandharva Music University of Delhi. During his stay in India he got the rare opportunity to further develop his knowledge with some of the greatest musical masters/gurus such as, Ustaad Shri Faiyaaz Khan and Shri Tansen Shrivastav. Upon completion of a Master’s Degree from Ghandharva Nabin received an exceptional opportunity to further his musical studies under the guidance of the greatest tabla maestro of all time ”Taalmani Pandit Sureshji Talwalkar”.

After completion of his master’s degree in music, Nabin has been busy with various recordings, performances and music lesson offerings at the University in Nepal. Nabin has recorded various albums Raaganubhuti A Classical Vocal Album, Redrums Fusion with traditional drums from Nepal and Murchchhanaa Jazz fusion album.

At present, he is in the US performing with wonderful artists of various genre , recording, composing music and a offering Tabla lessons.

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Sina Goharjou & Zara Sadeghi


Persian Daf

Born and raised in Iran, husband and wife Sina Goharjou & Zara Sadeghi now live in Colorado. They have a passion to play and share Persian Daf --the ancient frame drum with zangeer, or rings -- and are delighted to teach classes and tell us more about Daf's cultural significance. They have studied with Front Range musician Kaivon Tolooee as well as traveled to Iran, the birthplace of this mesmerizing and spiritual instrument.  The Daf is traditionally a ladies' instrument, however all are welcome.   Classes will be hands on and we will have some Daf for sale and as loaners. 

You may also bring frame drums if you do not have a Daf yet.  

Georgia Michelle


Muwashahat: Join us on a journey into Andalusian style dance!  Muwashahat is genre of music that originated during Muslims rule of Spain from 711-1492.  It is a romantic style that combines poetry in classical Arabic, Hebrew, and Spanish with music.  It provides a rolling rhythm that brings a graceful and free flowing style to the dancer.  In this workshop we cover movement with dance combinations, and we’ll also discuss costuming and musicality.  Wear yoga style pants and comfortable top.  Bring a hip scarf or we have some to purchase and/ or borrow.  Bare feet or dance shoes. 


Rhythms: How to Dance to Live Music- In this workshop we’ll listen to a variety of music, discover how to move to any rhythm and learn how to create dance combinations for any occasion including live music.  Wear yoga style pants and comfortable top.  Bring a hip scarf and finger cymbals, or we have some to purchase and/ or borrow.  Bare feet or dance shoes. 

Georgia Michelle is a multi award winning performer, instructor, and choreographer currently living in Boulder, CO. She is classically trained in several genres of dance with a lifetime of dance education and experience allowing her to create an array of authentic and evolutionary styles of dance. Having played 3 instruments, Georgia has a solid comprehension of music, providing her with precision and clarity in her teaching and choreography skills. Her childhood years were filled with rehearsals, performances and competitions nationwide. She has won many awards and scholarships in dance and has accepted many invitations to study and perform worldwide with several dance companies and schools.

Visit her at  


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Donovan Warnick


Donovan Warnick joins us from Wellington, Colorado.  A world traveler, activist, and community leader, is a fixture in the Front Range and national level Society for Creative Anachronisms.  Donovan has lead ensembles and accompanied live dance events for three decades.  He is a favorite teacher and performer at Elevation Belly Dance in Golden, CO, Estrella War and Pensic War, as well as hosts events for live music and dance in Fort Collins.    

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James Messerich


Ensemble percussion player, James Messerich joins us from Arvada, Colorado.

 Originally from a small Dutch town in upstate New York, has lived in Tucson Grants, Albuquerque, and Denver. He's been playing hand drums for over 30 years. His main instrument is the darbuka, along with the Riqq, frame drum and Bodhran. He plays Turkish, Arabic, Balkan, North African, and Israeli music, as well as American and Celtic folk. He has played with many Denver-area bands, including the Rhythm Slaves, Abbey Rogues, Sherefe & the Habibis, Dunya Divani, Saltanah, Skean Dubh, and Zuruna.   

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Pete Jacobs


Pete is House Bassist and will lead some Sufi Turkish Ilahi Sing-a-longs, 

our Opening and Closing Circles.

A kind and generous man, his presence is warm and nurturing.

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Catrene Malshey


Catrene is a sought after vocalist, author, composer and activist in the Front Range of Colorado.  She is featured on concerts at the Mercury Cafe, Dazzle Jazz, CU Boulder, Colorado College, CU Denver, Aurora Global Fest, the St. Ravka Lebanese festival, among many other cultural outreach events promoting world peace.  She often collaborates with Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe.  

Her Middle Eastern ensemble Zuruna fosters the sensuous rhythms and sounds of music from North Africa, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Israel and Palestine. As an Arab Israeli from Haifa, Ms. Malshey is dedicated to promoting songs of peace, love, and healing.

The ensemble includes Annie Aqua (violin), Pete Jacobs (oud), James Messerich (percussion), and Theo Anbacher-Hunt (percussion). Band info:

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Annya Ishtara


Rajasthani Kalbelia Dance

The Kalbelia people are the Gypsies of Rajasthan, India, known for snake charming. Their dance is upbeat and celebratory, with rhythmic stomps, hip work, spinning, and ever-changing hand movements. We will dance as individuals, as well as with partners and as a group. Please wear a long, full skirt if you have one.

Julia Moon


Julia Moon began her bellydance career in 1990 after many years of theatrical training.  She performed with the award winning Ananka Dance Company at Renaissance Faires, for historical reenactment groups and stage shows performing traditional cabaret and folkloric styles.  After college, she traveled around several states working and dancing.  She was a member of Dancers Supporting Dancers in Albuquerque, NM, then joined a band and moved to the Denver area.  Julia spent a few years dancing at night clubs & restaurants in Colorado with the fondest memories of the former Mataam Fez in Boulder, CO.  She moved to Las Vegas, NV and was the feature dancer at Habib's Persian Cuisine for several years. 

   In 2006 she returned to Colorado with a strong desire to learn ATS (American Tribal Style).  She started her tribal training with Elizabeth Ashner, then joined Tribe Nawaar under the direction of Jennifer Secrist Goran and developed a deep appreciation for the sisterhood of tribal bellydance.  Just after 2012 she lovingly departed from the tribe to refresh some of her traditional cabaret roots, but has continued to study and enjoys fusing the styles. Julia Moon Embry is the owner of Unicorn Belly Dance Supplies which can be seen at local events and found online at  Julia teaches ongoing classes at the Buchanan Recreation Center in Evergreen, CO and leads her student troupe, Moonjulz Bellydance.  For more information visit and

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Deborah Newberg


Deborah Newberg is the founder, director and lead choreographer of Saltanah Studios, a center for teaching Middle Eastern Dance in Santa Fe, NM, since 2005. She has been on the faculty of the Dance department of Santa Fe Community College since 2008. Her dance company, the Saltanah Dancers, has presented over 500 performances in New Mexico, at venues including the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand, Lensic Theatre, Cleopatra's Cafe,Taos Inn, and the Scottish Rite Temple. Her apprentice and student troupes also perform regularly with the Saltanah Dancers.  

She has been on staff at Mendocino Music and Dance Camp for many years leading Yoga for Dancers.  We welcome Deborah to our Tarab Retreat Staff. 

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Mirinisa Stewart-Tengco


Albuquerque, NM, native Mirinisa Stewart-Tengco plays violin/fiddle in this band, and percussion (and some other things) in other contexts including with Rusty Tap, an Albuquerque band specializing in contra and English Country dance. Coming from a musical background of twelve years in the Suzuki Method of classical violin and seven in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program.  She has delved into West African drumming, and is a avid dancer herself.   

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Diana Odem



Diana is an award-winning freelance photographer in Denver, Colorado. She has experience in multiple genres, but her specialties are in performing arts photography, photojournalism, and other candid subjects. She also has an interest in documentary and social issues photography. Diana describes her photographic vision as, 

“Photography opens a window to moments that otherwise may never be seen for the first time.”  

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Meg York


  Meg brings together musicians, dancers and enthusiasts for interactive classes and performances. She is Tarab Retreat Registrar.    

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