Omar Faruk Tekbilek, who came to America in 1976, is a native of Turkey and considered one of the foremost Middle-Eastern musicians in the world. He has recordered several albums, including Suleyman the Magnificent and Firedance with Brian Keane on Harmonies, and has made concert appearances worldwide. With his band, The Sultans, he plays for many events in Middle-Eastern communities throughout the United States. Faruk makes his home in Rochester with his wife and children and works during the week as a presser at the Hickey-Freeman Company. Alfred St. John came tothe Uniteds States from Tobago in 1964 as a contestant in the Mr. Universe Contest. He stayed in the United States to complete his eduction, earning degrees from the RCA Institute and the University of Rochester. Employed by the Eastman Kodak Company as an electronics designer in the AMS Division, he is the leader of the Rochester-based Trinidad and Tobago Steel Drum Band. A player of the steel drums since his boyhood, he is well versed in the history and evolution of this 20th-century instrument. Alfred, his wife and 3 sons make their home in suburban Rochester. Mitzie Collins is a nationally-noted performer of traditional music and an active participant in the revival and growth of hammered-dulcimer playing. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, she is president of Sampler Records Ltd., a Rochester-based independent recording company that she runs with the help of her husband, Tom Bohrer and their 5 children. Her compact discs and cassettes for Sampler include 3 best-selling Christmas albums and recordings of Cletic airs, jigs and reels, traditional American dance tunes and hymns.
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