Mick and I are thrilled to join CubanaSong's Lisset & Judith Rodés and David Marcus for the opening of a beautiful and powerful art show by Cuban artist Maricel Ruiz Chávez at the First E this Saturday.

It's free - come ready to dance!

Maricel Ruiz Chávez & CubanaSong

Cuban Music enlivens Cuban Art


6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

@ First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

470 Candler Park Dr., Atlanta 30307

Free and Open to the Public

Presented by the Art Guild of First E

Maricel Ruiz Chávez was born on Oct. 23, 1968 in the town of Zorrilla in the province of Matanzas, Cuba. Mari worked for 15 years at Ediciones Vigia, a very unique and famous publishing house for handmade art books in Matanzas. She says, “Before I started working there, I had no background in art. My job was to bind the handcrafted books. That place woke up my creativity!”

She began creating art out of the hardships of her life. Her husband was an alcoholic and Mari in her despair saw all the bottles lined up on the floor, and began to cover them with string and paint. Thus was born her passion for transforming the elements of her life into powerful art.

As a single mom, she raised two sons. Her older son is now an artist in Cuba. In 2018 Mari came to live in Atlanta with her younger son Jose, and re-connected with friends from Matanzas, who connected her with a community of artists and musicians. Mari uses whatever she sees around her to create her paintings. It is not unusual to find textures made of egg shells, ashes, cardboard, flower petals, and string in her paintings. In addition to traditional paints, Mari also spreads her canvases with coffee, wine, and glue.

Mari says, “I follow my instincts and my intuition when creating my art. I never know where the elements are going to take me. A piece of string with some glue might lead me to a faceless wandering woman.”

“I can’t explain why I paint. I paint to feel free. I do my best painting when I feel anguish or despair. I get carried away by a force that I cannot put into words. Sometimes when I’m happy I want to find this same inspiration, but it doesn’t come. I have no control over my creativity. It is a force of nature that comes and goes in me.”

In Cuba, Maricel has exhibited at La Galeria de Arte José Gonzalez de Colón, “the Guerrera del Monte Alto”, and the ACAA (Associacion Cubana de Artesanos Artistas de Matanzas). This is her first exhibit in the US. Cuban art critic Derbys Dominguez said about Maricel,’s paintings “If every object could talk, it would find a language of a rebellious and defiant woman, restless with a need of expressing herself through art.”


Pssst.... Coming soon...

ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook

58 original songs

with lyrics, chords, sheet music, pictures, and stories

Stay tuned!!


Elise's Upcoming Schedule

April 13 ~ Atlanta GA

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Art Opening for Maricel Ruiz Chavez w/CubanaSong @ First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

April 15 - May 20 ~ Atlanta GA

7:30 - 8:45 p.m. Singing for Fun for Everyone ~ 6-week series @ Neighborhood Church

April 19 ~ Atlanta GA

Sunset: Space is the new Place w/Global Village Chorus @ Drew High School

April 23 ~ Avondale Estates GA

Recording with Tena Clark and the Global Village Chorus for the theme song for the film "Clarkston" (the most diverse square mile in the US) @ Itchy Brain Studio

April 27 ~ Pine Lake GA

1:00 - 6:00 p.m. Pollination Celebration @ the Lake

April 28 ~ Atlanta GA

6:00 p.m. A Tribute to Education: Fundraiser for the Global Village Project @ The Temple

May 18 ~ Clarkston GA

10:00 a.m. Graduation & Women's Wisdom @ Global Village Project, location TBA

June 6 ~ Perugia ITALY

Guest for Rhiannon's All the Way In @ Agriturismo Corniolo

June 8-9 ~ Verbania ITALY

Uno Spontaneo e Favoloso Coro™ workshop & concert @ locations TBA

June 15 ~ Cessole (Asti) ITALY

Uno Spontaneo e Favoloso Coro™ workshop @ Agriturismo Zabaldano

June 23-29 ~ Brasstown NC

An Impromptu Glorious Chorus™/ Harmony Singing for All - A week-long singing workshop in the beautiful NC mountains @ John C. Campbell Folk School

July 7 ~ Atlanta GA

11:00 a.m. Music for services @ Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta

July 27 ~ Decatur GA

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. An Impromptu Glorious Chorus™ vocal workshop /community sing @ Shambhala Cente

Aug. 6 - 11 ~ Arden NC

Alternate ROOTS Week @ Lutheridge

Aug. 9 - 11 ~ Swannanoa NC

Get Off the Grid Fest w/NATURAL RHYTHMS (Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite & Becky Reardon w/special guest Rachel Schlafer Parton), plus Rising Appalachia, Sol y Canto, Rosin Sisters, & lots more @ Warren Wilson College

Sept. 6-15 ~ New England Tour

NATURAL RHYTHMS ~ Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon more details coming

Sept. 7-8 ~ Lexington MA

NATURAL RHYTHMS ~ Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon @ First Parish of Lexington

Sept. 8 ~ Somerville MA

NATURAL RHYTHMS ~ Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon @ Third Life Studio (TBC)

Sept. 14 ~ Goshen MA

NATURAL RHYTHMS ~ Workshop & Concert w/Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon @ Institute of Musical Arts

Sept. 15 ~ Brattleboro VT

NATURAL RHYTHMS ~ Workshop & Concert w/Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon @ Location TBA

Oct. 18 ~ Atlanta GA

Rhiannon Workshop for advanced improvisational singers @ Pine Lake

Nov. 15-17 ~ Pt. Richmond, San Francisco, Point Reyes CA

NATURAL RHYTHMS ~ Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon @ Locations TBA

Dec. 15 ~ Pine Lake GA

Pine Lake Lounge w/Mick Kinney and special guests @ Pine Lake Beach House


Feb. 9 ~ Brasstown NC

2:00 p.m. Brasstown Concert Series w/Mezzanine @ John C. Campbell Folk School

Feb. 29 - Mar. 8 ~ Hakalau HI

ATWI Summit and birthday celebration for Rhiannon @ Leo Nani Farms

March ~ Atlanta GA

Residency with Atlanta Young Singers, Details TBA

Aug. 4-9 ~ Arden NC

Alternate ROOTS Week @ Lutheridge