Compass Rose Quintet
The Compass Rose Quintet is an acoustic ensemble that features four stringed instrument players and one percussionist. The mandolin, violin and guitar play the leading roles, performing rich melodic world music inspired by a wide range of elements, including South American dances, Spanish jota and bolero, French Gypsy swing, Moroccan griha, jazz, classical music and much more.
The Chicago-based virtuoso musicians have varied backgrounds, David Effgen (guitar) and Larry Howe (mandolin) grew up playing rock ’n roll together in Boston, only to end up neighbors in Chicago. Gary Cleland soon joined their Sunday morning sessions on bass, providing his classical and jazz background. Two additional musicians were added to complete the quintet: percussionist Atiba Y. Jali and violinist Andy Stees, who helped develop a world music variation of new acoustic American music.