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Bash the Trash Environmental Arts, LLC

11 Wilson Place

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706



For immediate release.


For more information, email:




Hastings-on-Hudson, NY (December 10, 2018) – Bash the Trash Environmental Arts is pleased to announce that co-director John Bertles and Bash the Trash have been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for their work on the Broadway hit Once on This Island. This nomination comes just 6 months after Bash the Trash and Bertles were nominated for the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations, and the production won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.


John Bertles is the co-director of Bash the Trash and designer of the unique instruments used onstage. He composes for combinations of traditional and world instruments along with his invented instrument creations, and is a four-time recipient of the ASCAP Plus Award for Songwriting for Children. Once on This Island is set on a Caribbean island recovering from a vast storm, so the challenge was to build musical instruments using only the kinds of ocean-borne debris that one would find on the beach in the aftermath of a natural disaster.


For decades, Bash the Trash has been a voice in the wilderness raising the alarm for what is now the greatest challenge of the coming generations. With over 91% of plastic waste going un-recycled every year*, Bash the Trash’s message of science, sound and sustainability is more timely than ever.


According to Carina Piaggio, co-founder of Bash the Trash, “After IPCC’s Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius Report came out, the the echoing silence after its release was most astonishing. One would think that a clarion call warning of impending momentous changes would galvanize the world to address the issues in the report. John’s effort with the Broadway show is just one example of how we hope to inspire audiences to be part of the solution and think differently about trash. When people are forced to use their imagination due to their circumstances, wonderful things can happen.”  


The migration from the gutter to a Grammy nomination has been a 30-year journey for Bash the Trash. Their ensemble of 30+ musicians build, perform and educate with musical instruments made from trash and can be found at schools across the Northeast, cultural institutions such as Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, and festivals all over the country. Their hope is to inspire children to discover creative uses for trash to help build a more sustainable future across the globe.


*2017 Global Study by Science Advances Journal: Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made -


About Bash the Trash Environmental Arts

For almost three decades, Bash the Trash has been building, performing and educating with musical instruments made from reused and repurposed materials. The organization features a national roster of over 30 musicians and teaching artists, weaving together science, music and environmental awareness. Bash the Trash offers a full range of services to schools, performing arts centers, museums, festivals and many other venues across the US and the world. For more information, visit


About Professional Development by John Bertles

John Bertles is an educator, composer and instrument-builder. He has worked in arts education since 1988 as a teaching artist, administrator, professional developer and consultant. A workshop leader with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Touring Workshops for Teachers, he is also the founder of Bash the Trash Environmental Arts LLC. For more information, visit

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