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Band Bio & Photo
Appealing to traditional and progressive acoustic music fans alike, The Ruta Beggars combine bluegrass and early swing to create a timeless act filled with intricate vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun. They have been praised for their creative yet tasteful arrangements and charming performances, winning Thomas Point’s band competition in 2019. Since 2018 they have brought the joy of their live show to audiences across the US and Canada from festival stages to storied folk listening rooms and as support for legacy acts Lyle Lovett and Ricky Skaggs.
Best-of-friends since their inception, The Ruta Beggars are Micah Nicol (guitar), Sofia Chiarandini (fiddle), Ariel Wyner (mandolin), Trevin Nelson (banjo), and Noah Harrington (bass) who met while studying in Berklee College of Music's American Roots Program.
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Sofía Chiarandini | Fiddle
Sofía Chiarandini is a musician based out of New England. She has been playing violin since age five, and at age fourteen decided to dive into the world of bluegrass. Sofía began studying with Grammy award winning fiddle and dobro player and notable author Stacy Phillips, who was her mentor and main source of inspiration in the non classical world. Since her departure from classical music she has branched out to perform in bluegrass, jazz, folk, and rock genres with Too Blue, The Bluegrass Characters, other ensembles, and solo. In these acts she has played violin and bass as well as mandolin, piano, flute, and sung. She has performed on the main stages at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Podunk Bluegrass Festival, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Freshgrass Bluegrass Festival, and has showcased with various groups at Ossipee Music Festival, International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Ramble, and Winter Village Music Festival. At age 17 Sofía was accepted to the Berklee College of Music on scholarship, and has performed as part of the American Roots Music Program, as well as had the opportunity to study with musical heavyweights such as Howard Levy of The Flecktones, Noam Pikelny, Stuart Duncan, Bruce Molsky, Tony Trischka, Greg Liszt, and Matt Glaser among others. Sofía was also honored to receive the Fletcher Bright award in her freshman year at Berklee. Here, she co founded her own bluegrass band The Ruta Beggars, who performed with Tony Trischka at Grey Fox in 2018, and have released a 2 song EP called “Classroom Sessions.” They have been featured on the WGBH program “Celtic Sojourn” with Brian O’Donovan and Steve Martin’s Unreal Bluegrass Show.
Micah Nicol | Guitar
Micah Nicol grew up with a mandolin in one hand and a banjo in the other playing bluegrass and classic country music with his father in the most popular (and only) group in the West-Central-Ohio Nursing-Home circuit: Harps n’ Strings. He now studies Music Production and Engineering as a piano player at Berklee College of Music and spends most of his musical life as a guitarist and singer for The Ruta Beggars, a traditional bluegrass and swing group based in Boston. Micah has a deep love for musical theater and content creation and lives parallel lives as a magician, uni-cyclist, and clown.
Trevin Nelson | Banjo
Trevin Nelson is from Omaha Nebraska and started playing banjo at the age of 14. He now studies American Roots Music and Performance at Berklee College of Music. Trevin has grown up with very diverse musical taste that has greatly influenced his creativity and the spirit of his banjo playing. Everything from Classic Rock and Heavy Metal to Country Blues and R&B can be found in his playing. When he came to Berklee in the Fall of 2017, Trevin began to dive deeper into the roots of the banjo studying Old Time Clawhammer style and Country Blues with Bruce Molsky, Woody Mann, and Paul Rishel & Annie Raines. He also studied traditional bluegrass banjo with Dave Hollender and Tony Trischka through the American Roots music program. Trevin is the banjo player for The Ruta Beggars, a band consisting of five very close friends who love each other and playing great music together.
Ariel Wyner | Mandolin
Ariel Wyner is a singer, producer, arranger, composer, and mandolinist. New to roots music upon starting Berklee last Fall, he has taken a keen interest in the traditional style picking of Bill Monroe. Having a strong foundation in classical violin and classical voice, where he studied Vocal Performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, he brings a highly unique perspective to bluegrass and contemporary string music. At Berklee, Ariel has had the privilege of studying with Joe Walsh, Tony Trischka, Jason Anick, Matt Glaser, Dave Hollender, and Bruce Molsky, where he has diversified his playing styles from classical music to old time, swing, jazz, contemporary string music, and bluegrass. He is a founding member and mandolinist/vocalist of The Ruta Beggars, a traditional bluegrass band that has performed at major bluegrass festivals in the Northeast including Grey Fox, Ossipee, and Joe Val. As an arranger, he has worked on numerous projects, including cowriting and producing music for the film, “Traitor”, an independent Revolutionary War film. He has arranged for Berklee’s mandolin quartet and mandolin orchestra, and for the Contemporary Writing and Production Arranger’s Showcase concert. He has released numerous original tracks on streaming services, and continues to make music in various contrasting styles.
Noah Harrington | Upright Bass
Noah Harrington is an upright and electric bassist from Lexington, Massachusetts, with a strong background in Jazz. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Performance from Berklee College of Music, where he studied with such figures as Bruce Molsky, Simon Shaheen, Ayn Inserto, John Lockwood, Terence Blanchard, Ralph Peterson, Joe K Walsh, and others. He is a two-time alumnus of the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival (2015 & 2018), where he shared the stage with such luminaries as Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, and Mike Block, as well as his amazing fellow Seminar-goers. In 2016 he was awarded the Charles Mingus Award for Achievement from the Jazz Composition Department at Berklee College of Music. Every year from 2013-2015 he attended the Charles Mingus High School Jazz Competition, and the Essentially Ellington Highschool Jazz Competition. At the Charles Mingus Competition he won two different awards for outstanding soloing. At Essentially Ellington 2015 he received two awards singularly unique in the history of the festival: Outstanding Acoustic Bass Player and being part of the Overall Most Outstanding Rhythm Section. In 2019 he travelled to Peru with Grammy-winning bassist Oscar Stagnaro and the amazing Claudia Medina to foster cultural interchange between the United States and Peru. Noah has shared the stage with such acts as Tower of Power, Lyle Lovett, Darol Anger, Kenny Werner, Alisa Amador, Jacques Schwartz-Bart, Marcus Printup, Ralph Peterson, Terence Blanchard, and many of tomorrow's greats. He has performed everywhere from NEC's Jordan Hall and The Rose Hall in Lincoln Center to Club Passim and The Regattabar, to the Joe Val Bluegrass festival and IBMA's Annual Bluegrass Festival.
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