The Ruta Beggars - Band

The Ruta Beggars infuse traditional 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. The Ruta Beggars have been featured on the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Showcase, Steve Martin’s Unreal Bluegrass, Brian O'Donovan's A Celtic Sojourn, the main stages of Joe Val, Grey Fox, Thomas Point, Podunk and Ossipee Bluegrass Festivals, and as opening band for Lyle Lovett and Steve Miller.

Brought together by their passion for bluegrass, The Ruta Beggars are Micah Nicol (guitar), Sofia Chiarandini (fiddle), Ariel Wyner (mandolin), and Trevin Nelson (banjo), who met while studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the American Roots Program.

The Ruta Beggars - LINKS

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Sofia 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.

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

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.