Meet The Artists

Margo Andrea 

Founder and Artistic Director,  Mezzo Soprano, Vielle, Percussion

Early Music America Magazine wrote “If one performer deserves special note, it is Margo Andrea, whose unique voice is perfect for these songs.” in it’s review of Ivory Consort’s recording  “Music in the Land of Three Faiths” and Chicago Classical Review noted her "effortlessly pure intonation". She is soloist on “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson for Sony Classics which she toured in opera houses around the world including BAM; Opera Bobigny, Paris; The Liceu, Barcelona;  Melbourne Opera House and the McCarter Theatre.  In addition to performances with The Alba Consort, she has performed with prominent early music ensembles and festivals such as New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, the New York Collegium, The Ivory Consort, at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Cloisters, Academy of Ancient Music, Bargemusic, The Greene Space, and Early Music Now.  Her recordings include “Music of Medieval Love” for EEM with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Jesus Blood Never Saved Me Yet” by Gavin Breyers with Tom Waits, and for the film score of Kundun.  She has performed live on WQXR.FM NY, WNPR, and has performed choral works at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  Under the direction of David Mamet, Ms. Andrea was a founding member of The Atlantic Theatre Company where she performed  “The Cider House Rules” directed by Tom Hulce.  An extensive theatre resume includes performances at the Goodman Theatre of Chicago, the Lincoln Center Theater and with the London Shakespeare Company. She is now Artistic Director of the Long Island Baroque Ensemble, celebrating a 53 year old concert series in New York State.

Rex Benincasa   

Frame drums, Darbouka, Riq, Hurdy-gurdy, Tenor

Rex has been a freelancing drummer and percussionist in New York since 1978. Along with his work with ALBA Consort, he has performed with the New Music Consort, Ensemble Caprice, Apollo's Fire, Seraphic Fire, Flamenco Latino, Carlota Santana Spanish Dance, Andrea Del Conte Danza España, Zorongo Flamenco Dance, Pilar Rioja, Amanecer Flamenco Progressivo, The Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Austin, The Washington Ballet and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Rex has recorded CDs and/or movie soundtracks for Marty Balin, Andrea Marcovicci, Philip Glass, Sesame Street, NFL Films, The Sons of Sefarad, The Ivory Consort, and the Gerard Edery Ensemble. His most recent Broadway appearances have been with Fosse, The Full Monty, Flower Drum Song, Man of La Mancha, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All Shook Up, Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Curtains, The Color Purple, Shrek, Billy Elliot, and Motown The Musical. Mr. Benincasa likes all kinds of music.

Carlo Valte

Arabic lute

Carlo Valte is an active performer and educator in New York and abroad. Some past performances include Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, L’Auditori de Barcelona, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series, Museo Tamayo (Mexico D.F.), and The United Nations.

He has given workshops, master classes and educational programs with Sendebar (, as Oudist, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queens College (CUNY), Northern Illinois University and many public and independent schools in NYC and the Tri-state area and Spain including Barcelona, Tarragona and Reus. He has coached ensembles since 2005 for the annual New York Guitar Seminar.

He performs as the Oudist for ALBA Consort, the group Sendebar, Adufera and performs with Hesperus on guitar, oud and percussion for the live music with silent film project The Golem.

Carlo is currently a faculty member of Mannes College of Music’s Prep department. His past recordings are with One Soul Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and N. Y. Collegium.

His own education started in classical guitar with conductor Michael Dadap. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees at the Mannes College of Music as a student of Frederic Hand. His interest in Medieval and Near Eastern Music led him to study the Oud with Simon Shaheen in New York and Nasser Houari in Rabat, Morocco.

Jason Priset

Lutes, Baroque Guitar

Based out of New York City, Jason Priset is a regular soloist and performer in the United States and internationally. Jason has appeared through the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Early Music New York, and the Riverside Symphony including performances in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine & Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in Manhattan and the L’Auditori & Museu de la Música de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. As an international artist Jason has appeared in concerts in Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Jason holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) from Stony Brook University and a post Doctorate degree from Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) in Barcelona, Spain and specializes in historical guitars and lute. He has studied with James Piorkowski (State University of New York at Fredonia), Jerry Willard (Stony Brook University), Xavier Diaz-Latorre (ESMUC) and Pat O’Brien. Dr. Priset is currently serving as Executive Director for the Lute Society of America (LSA) summer festival, faculty for Amherst Early Music (AEM), and faculty for Montclair State University in New Jersey.