American Dreamer is a folk ensemble from Austin, TX. They play original folk music with rich string accompaniment. Their music is an original and lush sound they call ‘orchestral folk’.
American Dreamer is comprised of Sasha Klare-Ayvazian (vocals/guitar), Audrey Lee (violin), Courtney Castaneda (cello), Dana Wygmans (vocals, bass), and Rick Palese (drums).
“The Texas-based quintet cultivates a sense of warmth and wonder with their incredible blend of folk, orchestral, and popular stylings.” –Atwood Magazine
The seed for American Dreamer was born in 2006 while Sasha was attending Oberlin College. Sasha’s freshman roommate was cellist Danny McCormick. Sasha came from a rock background and Danny from a classical upbringing, but over the year the two played and performed together and worked to find the commonalities between the two styles for which they were each known. After Sasha graduated from Oberlin College, this folk-classical fusion concept lay dormant for several years until he moved to Austin to pursue his Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, Sasha connected with peers Audrey, Dana, Courtney, and Rick–all former or current UT graduate students–and together breathed new life into this sound. Expanding beyond just cello and guitar, American Dreamer is now a quintet with three classically trained musicians.
American Dreamer strives to create a sound, that while steeped in both folk and classical music, is not precisely either, with the hope of exploring the space in between. Their music is fundamentally simple, but unfolds into a multi-layered soundscape through their string arrangements. Their beautifully blended strings coupled with honest lyrics and rich vocal harmonies provide their listeners with a lot to sink their ears into.