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Athens, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | SELF

Athens, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2002
Solo World Jazz




"Original & Totally Unique"

...Taia Chard, is an internationally known professional Dancer/Teacher and has performed for; the Carnivals in Rio de Janeiro, Saudi Royalty & the Persian Elite in both Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area ... Lavish Hawaiian Polynesian shows in Waikiki & Tahiti. In more mainstream venues she’s performed with; the Isley Brothers band, Fusion Extravaganzas with Baba Olatunji, and Columbia/Sony Record Industry Celebrations. Here’s what she has to say about performing with Hejira:

“…it is refreshing to hear and dance with the original music of Hejira. I like that Hejira is not trying to be some 3rd rate Arabic (cover) band. To me Hejira represents a special opportunity to explore other ways of expressing the beauty of the Arabic as well as, many other World Music rhythms. Just as in speaking another language...it brings out other qualities of dance expression...making me a stronger dancer. Let’s keep going in that unique direction...I love being part of this ORIGINAL AND TOTALLY UNIQUE band!!!! Hejira is one of a kind and moving forward beautifully into a uniquely expansive direction….Taia Chard
- Taia Chard

"A Little Night Music"

A Little Night Music

Exotic Seattle trio "Hejira" makes a summer night come alive at Plenty! Restaurant in Olympia, WA.

Hejira’s music is exotic, passionate, sonorous, even erotic, with touches of jazz extempore and even a hint of rock, which is saying quite a lot, because when most serious musicians try to incorporate rock into their styles, they end up sounding merely silly – only Miles Davis and composer John Adams were able to do that.

Usually “fusion” music like this ends up being a messy cacophonic stew. But these guys know what they’re doing.

Baragiano’s guitar was purposeful, never plodding; and Scott Wurtz’s percussive colors kept everything moving, even up until the moment when Ashraf Hakim swung into music from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” on his violin/cello, playing it with a brisk tremolo that reminded us of a Moslem preacher calling the faithful to prayer from some Byzantine mosque.

Published in the September issue of www.thesittingduck.net (also…infosittingduck@peoplepc.com) Olympia, WA - Sitting Duck Newspaper

"Joining the Global Change Network"


As conscious musicians with a desire to impact our world in a positive way and to truly “BE THE CHANGE” Hejira is proud to announce our membership in the
Musicians-That-Need-To-Be-Heard Network™



Global Change Music™ and the Musicians That Need To Be Heard Network™ challenge musicians worldwide to write lyrics and melodies that ascend the soul, raise planetary consciousness, and unite humanity in one Global Family Rhythm.

The main objective of Global Change Music and the Musicians-That-Need-To-Be-Heard Network is to help artists meet their destiny and use their God-given talents for the betterment of humankind.


"Spontaneous Musical Innovators"

Hi Don,

"Ashraf and you are so innovative...I noticed the body language between you as you played.

You were reading each other’s mind and were developing new musical ideas, instantaneously.

While entertaining the audience you two were having a musical conversation of the mind.

As a team, you are spontaneous music innovators.

I wish you great success!"

Dr. Rubina’ Mahsud
On staff @ Seattle University ….. - Dr. Rubina’ Mahsud - Seattle Univ

"What our Fans are saying"

Hi Don,

Great to read that fan mail.....and it's right on!
Same thing I said....it’s the two of you that make magic. You don't need anyone or anything else except exposure. You are both exceptional musicians. We look forward to the next time we are able to see you as friends, and to hear you as the masters that you are.

Bless your good efforts,
Jan Day from sunny California coast.

Hi Don,

I just moved off of Vashon and know the quality of music available on the island. I'm SURE you were a true delight, and I encourage you to believe the feedback. You're musically awesome!

It's time to let your freak flags fly with abandon and joy!

I'm also eager to hear you again soon, on this side of the water.

Best wishes for 2010,

Cherie Byrd

WOW, Don !!

...this is amazing and wonderful...and a huge "of course" !!!!!

This man who wrote your "review" speaks for all of us who are unflagging in our devotion to your music, art, Soul........your passionate expression of creativity through your music touches everyone...........sooner or later, everyone will know Hejira!!! :):):)

I'm honored I met both of you at the beginning of your journey as two musicians, coming together with the common ground of music as your language............and you playing our little art gallery seems like light years behind us.......may there be more venues on this island with more rice and tea to be shared. :):):):)


Maren :):):):)
Hugs to you both!!!!!

Right on, Don.

On to more and more in 2010!

- Stanislove

Great news, Don!

I love it when a good-natured group with reliable, quality performances gets ahead of the "odd gig" stage. I was pretty impressed early in the year when I saw your schedule, but am more so now.

Happy New Year!



Thank you for sharing ...
May the angels surround you and continue to guide you on your way. Much success!

Have you sent this to Lisa Allison yet?
She certainly could help in referrals for you.
I am a member of her church.

Have a wonderful, successful New Year.

Sandy in Sammamish


Heck yeah we still want you to play. Sorry you haven't heard from me in a bit, I've been out of town. I've attached a copy of the flyer and I'll be in touch about your sound check and all that in the near future.


Audra - via FanBridge

"Why I threw away my guitar amp"

Press Release…

Who: Don Baragiano, Guitarist/Composer
What: Using a brand new, hi-tech, stage set up
When/Where: Booking eastcoast dates now
Why: This new system replicates the sound of 6 musicians (bass guitar, drum kit, percussion, rhythm guitar, solo guitar & vocals)

The modern day music composer is under great pressure
to find, book and perform gigs.
• Fewer venues booking LIVE original music.
• The venues that do, pay very little money.
• High expenses (transportation, food & lodging)
• For all those reasons, can’t afford to tote along a 5-piece LIVE band.

Don Baragiano, plays Middle Eastern jazz fusion music. Don has traveled around the world and is founder, composer and bandleader for the Middle Eastern music project “Hejira” (breaking with the past)ْ. Don strives to impart a simple universal message, "We are all One,” in music and words.
Don studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He lived in Saudi Arabia for many years and, among other things, had a private audience/class with the court’s master musician, Hamzah Mohammed Al-Bashir.
Don combines ancient Middle Eastern scales and rhythms with contemporary rock, jazz and classical music.

In 2012 and 2013, Don was selected to compete in the Aaron Copland Foundation's "American Composer" series. - UU Newsletter


The prestigious Aaron Copland Foundation has accepted Don Baragiano for his original music compositions. Mr Baragiano is an American composer who has lived abroad and now brings his cross-cultural experiences back for Americans to experience.

As part of the selection process for this grant, he had to provide the committee with recommendations from people who had seen/heard his performance. Here are some:

Narayan & Janet Baltzo
Rockin', soulful, jazzy songs filled with positive vibes! Vocals, keyboards, trumpet and Hammond B-3
Greater Seattle Area
"Don is a world class composer. He also teaches as he performs.
The joy in his music bubbles out and directly effects the audience."

Dennis Zyvoloski
Music Coordinator at Salmon Bay Eagles
Greater Seattle Area
"I hired Don to deliver World Music for the enjoyment of my club and the music was unique and powerful. All who attended were greatly impressed. I would hire him again, but he moved to the other coast! Best wishes to him and his future endeavors."
Service Category: music director
Year first hired: 2012 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative

John Gorski
Greater Seattle Area
"Don is a brilliant guitarist and composer. I wrote a lyric for one of his original pieces of music - "Towers Are Burning" in 2008 from a concept he provided then. I enthusiastically endorse him as a composer, musician and guitar teacher who is always prepared and shows up on time."

Jon Scherrer 1st
Founder/Director, Seattle Teen Music
Seattle Teen Music is dedicated to supporting youth and young adult music. We believe that music and the arts are vital to growing a creative community and that starts first with our youth.
Greater Seattle Area
"Don is an old soul on a young man's journey to educate and bring the joy of music and culture to all. I had the fortunate opportunity to work with him on a few gigs and a longtime (32 year old) Seattle music festival and enjoyed every minute of it. Don is a great artist in that he incorporates his love and passion of music along with opportunities to teach. He is comfortable fitting the level of teaching to the audience. In some cases he would dive a bit deeper into some of the middle-eastern constructs of what he was playing to help our teen musicians understand the roots of what they were hearing, and in other cases he delivered an awesome concert where the focus was on the performance.

Don also is an open thinker and collaborator when it comes to problem solving and building ideas and programs that focus on making a difference. We collaborated on several projects that had a meaningful impact on Seattle's youth and music scene. He is an awesome addition to any program, project or festival and really wish he was still in Seattle -- our loss."

Chandra Naraine
Founder at FingerArts/FingerWorks, Inc
Greater Seattle Area
"Don is a talented and creative composer, arranger and musician with whom I enjoyed an enjoyable and rewarding tenure. Don's experience also as an Manager/Promoter was always professional, friendly and courteous, qualities which assured good relationship in all his endeavours."

Mark Vossler
Medical Director at Eastside Cardiology Associates
& Blues Guitarist
Greater Seattle Area
"Don is not only a top notch composer and performer but a great teacher as well. I took guitar lessons from him and learned a great deal. He has excellent knowledge of technique and theory and a very flexible manner."
Service Category: teacher
Year first hired: 2011
Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert

Danny Raynes
Composer, arranger, performer at Raynee Productions
Greater Seattle Area
"Don does odd meter brilliantly, which is really cool, and very rare. Also does amazingly creative scales. I hear microtonal in standard modes. I admire his work."

Su Nelson
Reemployment Specialist
& Belly Dance Instructor/Troupe Leader
Everett, Washington
"Don is that rare musical artist who is not only innovative and talented, but a delight to work with in every phase - from scheduling to negotiating to performing. He has performed for our non-profit organization at the biennial Arab Festival and it was my pleasure to hire him more than once."
Service Category: Music
Year first hired: 2007 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Good Value, High Integrity, Creative

A Gordon
Photoshop instructor at continuing education
Greater Seattle Area
"He is also personable, knowledgeable and on time with a stellar precision. If you are looking for original creative world music, well composed and energetically delivered, this is your man. I would recommend Don for a magical wonderful experience of 'take me away music' Into the flow of ear candy."
Service Category: Entertainment
Year first hired: 2010 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative

Cliff Bickford
Senior Recruiter at Self Employed
& Master Blues Slide P



H e j i r a - O r i g i n a l W o r l d M u s i c :

Global jazz w/ethnic threads & open chords !

Don Baragiano composes and performs a very unique brand of world music. This music is in Arab minor scale (Hijaz). He’s usually accompanied by a Middle Eastern percussionist on dumbek, a belly dancer & sometimes a vocalist.

Hejira has performed at many world music and international culture festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as in New York City, Sedona, Phoenix, Colorado City, Cincinnati, Bloomington, and more.

Mr. Baragiano is the Founder/Composer/Leader for the group. He studied music theory at Aiken High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music.

For three years Don lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia immersed in their culture where he was an audio engineer with the ministry of finance. Don's long-time love of world music was solidified when he was invited to a private audience/master class with HRM King Faud's master musician, Hamzah Mohammed Al-Bashir.

When Don returned to the States, he joined the New Europa Troubadours and toured with them for 5 years. In 2001 he moved to Seattle and formed Hejira. He’s recently moved to the Ithaca, NY area.