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Ensemble Biography


Photo by Ivan Indrautama

Chicago Balinese Gamelan creates transformational cultural experiences that build community and expand individual perspective.

In 2007, an organization called Indonesian Performing Arts Chicago (IPAC) was formed by members of the Indonesian community in Chicago, and the ensemble acquired a set of Balinese gong kebyar instruments. For many years the ensemble of musicians and dancers performed all over Chicago and Illinois until 2011.


In 2017, Chicago Balinese Gamelan (CBG) was formed by Claire Fassnacht, I Nyoman Mahartayasa with guidance from I Ketut Gede Asnawa. A new wave of musicians came together, including both American and Indonesian musicians, excited and eager to begin or continue their gamelan training, and so IPAC and CBG joined together as one organization. High Concept Labs chose the ensemble as one of their Fall 2017 Sponsored Artists to provide rehearsal space and administrative support as the new group was brought to life.  


Comprised of 18 musicians and anywhere between five to nine dancers on any given performance, CBG/IPAC is a community-centered ensemble that creates high-intensity, exciting, quality performances while introducing and engaging the public with Indonesian culture, music and dance through performances, lectures and interactive workshops. The organization's vision is to be a recognized international resource for learning and experiencing Balinese performing arts and culture. The ensemble rehearses year-round at its studio at MANA Contemporary in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

CBG accepts new musicians and dancers on an ongoing basis. If you are interested to attend a rehearsal or would like more information about becoming a member and our rehearsal schedule, contact Claire Fassnacht at No prior experience is required.  

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