Deena Rizkalla

Deena Rizkalla? is an enthusiastic educator and performer who looks to bridge cultural gaps and forge friendships by playing and exploring different styles of music. Growing up in a suburb of Washington, D.C., Deena began playing the violin in her elementary school music program. Participating in school orchestras from an early age inspired her to go on to become a music educator herself, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During college, Deena was introduced to playing other styles of music such as Old Time and jazz, and became fascinated by how different cultures interacted with music. After graduating, she stayed local and began teaching strings in Title I schools before joining the cast of Barrage 8, a show that combines singing and dancing with playing multi-genre music on string instruments.
After a year on tour, Deena completed her Suzuki training and maintained a private studio in Northern Virginia before moving to Nashville, TN. Since arriving she has built a career as a freelancer and session player, especially with the Nashville Music Scoring orchestra. Her latest project, “Winterbirds,” is a folk/Americana band consisting of violin, mandolin, banjo, bass, guitar, flute, and accordion. It originally grew out of a song set she commissioned from composer Nick Rich called “Turn/Reel,” which premiered in Nashville on Memorial Day 2018. Their first album is out now, and it also features Rich’s other song set, “Little Simple Song” with folk duo Stray Local.

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