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Praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” Matthew Szemela is a violinist who crosses musical genres with ease. He has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in several renowned concert halls both domestically (Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully, Merkin Recital Hall, Library of Congress, Kennedy Center), and abroad (Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Italy). Matthew has collaborated, recorded, and performed with a myriad of artists including Jay-Z, Questlove of The Roots, Beyonce, Rihanna, Savion Glover, Sting, Lana Del Rey, Josh Groban, Garth Brooks, Placido Domingo, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Billy Childs, Lisa Fischer, Laurence Hobgood, Marcus Lovett, Mark O’Connor, Nolan Gasser, Brian Blade, Cassandra Wilson, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Susan Sarandon, Johnny Mathis, Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, and Olivia Newton John. In the fall of 2007 Matthew portrayed an Irish rock violinist in the Warner Brothers film August Rush, working with famed music producer Phil Ramone. TV appearances include Good Morning America (with Josh Groban), The View (with Rihanna), and American Idol (with Lana Del Rey). Upon moving to Berkeley, CA in the summer of 2011, Matthew began performing with the Berkeley Symphony. He joined the Opera San Jose Orchestra in 2017. An active member of the Bay Area music scene, he can be often be seen collaborating with such groups as Vadalma (Hungarian Folk), Incognito Express (Balkan), Musical Art Quintet (Nuevo Chamber), Tango del Cielo, and Classical Revolution.


As a member of The April Fishes, Matthew is grateful for the opportunity to use the universal language of music to bring much needed medicine to those in need of healing, while channeling the vibrations of justice and truth for all.

It is no mistake that the rise of fascism and nationalism around the world coincides with this moment of increased frequency of climate catastrophe. In the moment where we absolutely must collaborate across borders and identities, we see the impulse to become increasingly protective and insulated exists across humanity. And we also see the impulse for altruism and cooperation and coordinated response. I'm excited about our potential to disarm the world with radical acts of cooperation and beautiful collaboration across cultures and borders and identities, for the sake of human life continuing on planet earth with any possibility of peace. 

Beautiful plants with edible flower with mild cucumber flavor. Large plants bear hundreds of small edible flowers, mostly blue and some pink. Long harvest period. Borage flowers attract bees and butterflies. We sourced these seeds from both Siskiyou Seeds in Williams oregon and Johnny’s select seeds in Maine. 


Sow seeds direct seed  as soon as the soil has warmed in the spring. Plant 1/4- 1/2" deep, 3 seeds per foot in rows that are 24" apart. Thin to 12" spacing for individual plants. 

Starting borage for transplanting is possible, but not recommended, as it develops a taproot and is somewhat difficult to transplant.

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