Kuwento Mizik

Crossover classical duo baritone Jean Bernard Cerin and pianist Veena K. Kulkarni-Rankin fuse classical and world music with storytelling into transformative concert experiences.  With Indian-Filipino-American and Haitian backgrounds, Veena and Jean Bernard synthesize their broad cultural heritage with western classical training.  Kuwento (KWEN-toh), Filipino for “story” and Mizik (mi-ZEEK), Haitian Creole for “music” capture exactly what they do:  art songs, popular songs, stories and folksongs from around the world, contemporary classical music, and Kuwento Mizik’s own original work all have a spotlight.  With colorful and inclusive programs, Kuwento Mizik fosters intercultural appreciation.  Themes ranging from nature, magic and love to history bring evocative and memorable music to audiences of all backgrounds.

Pivoting for the pandemic, Kuwento Mizik put on a virtual recital as part of the Live from the Stone Chalet series in March 2021. That same month, the duo won Best Performance of a Folk Song in the 2021 Canto Latino Virtual Song Competition. They regularly collaborate with percussionist John Churchville and will release their first album, Lua Nova (New Moon), also with Churchville, in 2022. 

Formerly known as a Duo 1717, Kuwento Mizik has performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  Based in Michigan and Pennsylvania, Kuwento Mizik has performed throughout the Philadelphia area, including Andrea Clearfield’s Salon, David Hartt’s Live Activation Series at historic Beth Sholom Synagogue and Lincoln University.  Other northeast concerts include the Sparks & Wiry Cries series in Brooklyn, the Haddonfield Center & School for the Performing Arts, and the Foulkeways retirement community.  Kuwento Mizik’s Midwest performances include the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the LOFT Recital Series in Minneapolis, and the Stroede Center for the Arts (Defiance, OH). Their many performances in Ann Arbor, MI include the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Kerrytown Concert House, and the Faculty Women’s Club of the University of Michigan.  Community outreach includes concerts at the Hands-On Museum, Community Action Network, and All Seasons in Ann Arbor.  Kuwento Mizik is proud to be on the roster of Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates.