Duo 1717 fuses art, folk, world and religious idioms to celebrate individual communities while also creating spaces for intercultural dialogue. The two share their music and stories throughout the United States each year at venues including the Detroit Institute of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, among many others. This season, they make their Wisconsin and Minnesota debuts and return to Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Jean Bernard Cerin is a baritone, storyteller, educator and researcher. Praised for his “burnished tones and focused phrasing,” he has charmed audiences throughout the United States, France, Austria, and his native Haiti. A gifted recitalist, Jean Bernard won the Gerard Souzay Prize for best performance of a French Melodie in the 2018 Joy in Singing International Song Competition. With his Duo 1717 partner, pianist Veena Kulkarni-Rankin, he gives recitals throughout the country redefining the limits of a traditional song recital. On the concert stage Jean Bernard has appeared with American Bach Soloists in San Francisco, Philadelphia Chamber Society’s Gamut Bach Ensemble, Piffaro Renaissance Wind Ensemble, Louisville’s Bourbon Baroque, Philadelphia Choral Arts and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Jean Bernard serves on faculty at Lincoln University in southern Pennsylvania. He has a doctorate in music from the University of Michigan.
Veena Kulkarni-Rankin is a solo & collaborative performer and composer. She enjoys all types of musical improvisation, the spirit of play and discovery in children, and combining music and social justice. In the 2011 Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition, Veena won Best Liszt Interpretation, and gave the East Coast Premieres both of Frank Felice’s Echolocator and Jennifer Blaire Furr’s Of Iron and Silicon. Veena completed her doctorate in Piano Performance and Pedagogy under Logan Skelton and John Ellis at the University of Michigan. She is the Lead Instructor at the Faber Piano Institute in Ann Arbor, MI and has also taught at Madonna U. and University of Windsor.