live concert: paint the windows with early gray

saturday march 17 :: 7-8:30pm


Early Gray covers territory rarely explored by musicians of their background and instrumental study. Drake Duffer (guitar, mandolin) and Owen Dodds (piano) are both natives of North Carolina, and have drawn influence from being surrounded by the state's various musical spheres of Folk, Classical, Jazz, and Pop. Drake and Owen met at the University of  North Carolina School of the Arts, where they both studied classical performance. Each have considerable experience as solo performers, chamber musicians, and composers. Early Gray’s music ranges from improvisation to classical arrangements and original compositions. Their goal as a duo is to create music that blends accessible and intellectual musical ideas to create a consistently captivating sound.

Drake Duffer took up the guitar at the age of 4 when his fingers finally outgrew his miniature violin. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Music degree, and is now continuing his studies at the Yale School of Music in pursuit of his Master of Music degree. As well as being an active solo performer, Drake has been chosen to participate in many collaborative recitals, and to play several world premieres, most notably Javier Farias’ Recinto de la Piedra. He has used such new music experiences to fuel his own compositions and arrangements, one of which earned him the Seconda Prattica Pujol Award for arranging. Drake is also a founding member of Early Gray, a modern music duo consisting of himself and Owen Dodds, pianist.

Owen Dodds, age 22, is a senior in college at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he studies piano with Dmitri Shteinberg. Born in Rochester, New York, Dodds has lived in various locations in the United States and Europe, arriving in the present day as a student in Winston-Salem, NC. In 2009, Dodds began studying at the UNC School of the Arts, as an eighth grader in the high school program, with Clifton Matthews and later Dmitri Shteinberg.

Since this time, Dodds has attended and performed at music festivals in Switzerland, Germany, Florida, New York, and Ukraine. He has been featured as a soloist with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra and the National Honoured Academic Orchestra of Ukraine. Dodds is also a composer and founding member of the new music duo - Early Gray - who has just released their premier album of original music. As a result of winning the Baltimore International Piano Festival Competition, Dodds will be making his debut performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in March of 2018.

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kirtan with rick franz & friends

saturday april 14 :: 7-9pm


Rick Franz shares a wonderful evening of soul-stirring kirtan (chanting) with the local Durham community at Global Breath Studio. The melodious repetition of mantra can encourage meditation, and can open the heart to a deep joy and peace. While this particular tradition originated with the yogis of India, the practice of call and response chanting is nearly universal and can be found in spiritual traditions throughout the world. It’s fun, deep, and enlivening. The mantras evoke powerful archetypes within, to heal and nurture us.

The evening will start with a simple cacao ceremony. The cacao (organic fair trade from Tanzania) is cultivated and processed for ceremonial purposes by a culture that believes in it’s spiritual properties. It is chocolate in its purest form, from which we make a delicious beverage and all drink together to open the kirtan. Gratitude is the focus of this ritual; gratitude for connection to all that is, community, the earth, the air and everything that nurtures life thriving. The effect is palpable as it facilitates our hearts opening into group mantra practice.

Rick returns to Global Breath after a year of touring. He has played and toured over the last 18 years with Dave Stringer, David Newman, Girish, Donna DeLory, Sat Kartar, Saul David Raye, and many other kirtan artists. A regular at Bhakti Festivals, he’s also been leading his own kirtans in Denver, Florida and around the country for a few years. This is his fourth tour season doing his original mantra music. 

Rick brings a fabulous band to Global Breath to facilitate deep journeys within: Steve Prince on cajón and percussion, Courtney Long on bass & Lindsey DePeri on harmonium and vocals.

Check out Rick's music at his website,

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