Past & Upcoming Performers
Julia Kulakova and Bahar Dance Ensemble
Julia Kulakova is the Choreographer and Artistic Director of Bahar Dance Ensemble, which explores how authentic look and feel of traditional Central Asian, Caucasian, Persian and Indian classical dances relate to contemporary and global sensibilities. After studying theater and dance at Moscow’s Institute of Culture, Ms. Kulakova went on to choreograph and perform for the New York Persian Parade, Gypsy Fest and the United Nations’ Indian Club. The Observer wrote: “…with Ms. Kulakova swirling and simultaneously tugging at the emotions of the audience, the night was one to be remembered.” Ms.Kulakova’s choreography was featured by PBS, NBC, Summer Stage, Fashion Week, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. For Ms. Kulakova’s upcoming projects and more information visit www.NYGypsyDance.com
Award-winning violinist and composer Tengku Ryo, better known as Ryo, hails from the Royal family of the Sultanate of Serdang based in Medan, North Sumatra. A well-known musician in Indonesia and Malaysia, his sound and compositions are unique and engaging, and live performances astound audiences with his speed, dynamics and agility on the instrument. He has showcased contemporary music rooted in traditional Melayu style through the violin at prestigious international events including Java Jazz, Hitam Putih World Music, ASEAN Jazz Festival, Music-Art-and-Style International Festival (MASiF) in Malaysia, Langkawi-One Earth Music Festival, Festival Del Oriente Italia, and the Pan Pacific Fisherman Song Festival in Zhou zhan China, where he was named Best Performer with his ensemble. Tengku Ryo has participated in many other important music festivals, primarily in Malaysia and Singapore. His numerous accolades include being named Male International Artiste at The CHT International held at the Royal Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur in 2016, as well as the Tunak Award (Art Division) in Riau, Sumatra. Tengku Ryo released his first album, Kecik, in 2007. The album is a distinctive blend of classical Malay music on violin and was a resounding success. His hit single, Journey to the Deli, was featured in the popular music album compilation, Indonesian Beauty, produced by MS Productions of Indonesia with Viky Sianipar. In 2011 Ryo released the album Spirit, which included a track featuring Canadian singer Janelle Thomas. With Spirit, Ryo pushes beyond the boundaries of his traditional and ethnic realm into contemporary world music. He is a keen student of multiple music genres including Bluegrass, Ragtime, Blues, Cajun, and Celtic/Irish music, as well as Indian Gypsy, Mediterranean and Avant Garde. Ryo’s inspirations include Nicollo Paganini, Stephane Grapelli, Roby Lakatos, Pablo de Sarasate, Ravi Shankar, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Tan Sri P Ramli, Said Effendi and AR Rahman. He has performed with such luminaries as Siti Nurhaliza, Amy Search, Fariz RM, and Lewis Pragasam.
Jared Hanrahan is a singer-songwriter from Boston, Massachusetts. He began his career in New York City performing at benefit concerts for the Hurricane Sandy victims as well as ALS and Breast Cancer. He has performed with major artists from ELO, Jon Bon Jovi, The Young Rascals, Bad Company and the Jay Geils Band. He has been featured on NBC News in Boston and was the New Years Eve entertainment for the city of Boston’s “Boston Winter” celebration. Thanks to producer Andres Aquino, Jared can add to his resume performances during the Global Short Film Awards during the Cannes Film Festival in southern France, as well as on a mega yacht in Monte Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix.
Genre-bending Peter Forest is a young emerging singer, songwriter and music producer all in one. His tracks often incorporate classical instruments with heavily influenced pop-trap and future bass sounds. Born in London and partially raised in Slovakia, he developed a relationship towards various art forms in his early youth, including a talent for singing and the piano. Peter finished high school in Canada, where he excelled at music recitals, public school shows and busked around Vancouver with his friends. In 2015 Peter competed in the international Czechoslovak TV singing contest “The Idol” (Superstar), where he easily qualified for the finals. However, he decided to quit shortly before the finals to finish school not knowing that Berklee College of Music would offer him a premium scholarship 2 months later. Currently, Peter is working on his self-produced and self-written debut EP, scheduled for release in 2018 in the UK. Follow Peter on YouTube.
Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice by Classical Voice of North Carolina. Her upcoming engagements include the role of Rebecca Manchester in Prix Fixe by Kevin Wilt with Fresh Squeezed Opera Company, and covering Micaëla in Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Foundation. Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benson Young Artist, and will return to Opera Roanoke to sing Mimì in La bohème. Last season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” by Classical Voice of North Carolina. Of her performance of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 in the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music.
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft has been hailed by Opera News as “exquisite… glowing… charming… affecting, genuine.” Carnegie Hall recently presented her in a solo Spotlight Recital with renowned pianist Warren Jones for “The Song Continues” series and will be presenting her in recital again in spring 2018. For her recent performance as Dorabella in LoftOpera’s Così fan tutte, she was described as “luminous” with “fluid, robust singing” (Parterre). She has been a soloist at Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Caramoor Festival, and the Macau International Music Festival. A native of Brooklyn, Ms. Craft will perform at the Brooklyn Museum next year in selections from Joseph Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra.
Mezzo-soprano Kelsey Robertson has been praised by the New York Times for her “verisimilitude” and “legato.” She recently made her New York City Opera debut in the role of Fuego in the the U.S. premiere of Los Elementos. In the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Robertson completed her first season as an Apprentice Artist with Palm Beach Opera where she covered the roles of Giovanna and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto and performed the role of Kate in the family performance of Pirates of Penzance. In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Robertson will return to Palm Beach Opera where she will sing the Shepherd Boy in Tosca and Cherubino in the family performance of Le nozze di Figaro. In the summer of 2016, she returned for a second season as an Apprentice Artist with Bel Canto at Caramoor, frequently performing in recitals including “The Intimate Rossini.” Ms. Robertson received her B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory and her M.M. from Eastman School of Music. During her time at Eastman, she performed the roles of Mrs. Jones in Street Scene and the title role in Xerxes.
Puerto Rican soprano Samarie Alicea has been praised by The New York Times for her “bright-voiced and endearing soprano”. This season, Samarie made her New York City Opera role debut as Aire in Literes’ Spanish Baroque opera Los Elementos. Most recently, Samarie sang as Clorinda in La cenerentola with New York City Opera’s Park Series at Bryant Park. She has also been seen Off-Broadway in the role of Susana in Figaro 90210!, Vid Guerrerio’s updated version of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Samarie’s performance was praised by The Culture News citing “She has a sun shining in her voice and is a very strong actress delivering her entertaining comedy skills.” With NYCO, Samarie performed in their productions of Candide, Pagliacci & Aleko, and Florencia en el Amazonas. Samarie sang the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Long Island Opera. She was featured in the role of Servilia in New York’s dell´Arte Opera Ensemble’s production of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito. Samarie was the first prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Puerto Rico. More information: www.SamarieAlicea.com
Singer Katie Belle’s music style is best described as Country Crossover. Also a songwriter, model and actress, Katie looks to her life and those around her for inspiration. Her lyrics are poetic, insightful, empowering, fun and energetic. Katie’s newest single release is her original, American Wild which has over 100K streams on Spotify. In summer 2017 Katie was nominated in The Josie Country Blast Radio Awards and The International Music and Entertainment Awards (IMEA). She is the winner of the 2016 Female Country at Women In Charge and 2015 Country Female Artist Award at the IMEA Awards. Several of her original songs have placed as semi-finalist and finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and USA Songwriting Competitions. Her official cover song, Counting Stars, charted number 3 on the worldwide song charts of Beat100 and won the prestigious Akademia Music Video Award. She began songwriting while in Middle School, penning her first produced song, Born For This. Katie regularly travels to the Nashville area for songwriting sessions and she enjoys performing live every chance she gets. She has performed with the acclaimed ROYOL tour, traveling across the USA presenting to high school and middle school students positive suicide prevention and anti-bullying messages. She has also performed at New Orleans Fashion Week and has cameo appearances in several movies filmed in Atlanta scheduled for Fall 2017 release. As a model, Katie has walked the runways at Couture Fashion Week New York, Miami Beach Fashion Week and New Orleans Fashion Week. Visit Katie Belle’s YouTube channel or www.KatieBelleGA.com for more information.
Candace Woodson will tell you she is back on top. Back from breast cancer, a total mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. The woman who began singing inspirational songs at church when she was barely 5 years old, has a personal message to share with the world: “Don’t give up.” Ms. Woodson earned her music degree at Tennessee State University, and has worked as director of promotions for a record label and as a radio personality in Nashville. She launched her own singing career developing a distinctive sound that stretches from pop and R&B to country and jazz. For 5 years she was the headliner at the Omni Hotel in the resort area of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where she performed with her band, Candace Woodson and the Domino Theory Band. National Cancer Survivors Day was recognized on June 7, and Ms. Woodson’s message of survival is one she is determined to share. “I’m a breast cancer survivor,” she says. “God let me live, so I’ve let it go, and I’m living life to the fullest.” That includes doing what she loves most. Less than a month after her surgery, she was back at work. Not in an office or at a desk, but on stage performing at the wedding reception of Justice Mellencamp – John Cougar Mellencamp’s daughter – on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Ms. Woodson left the audience exhausted from dancing to the “old-school grooves”—classic hits by Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson. Ms. Woodson’s spunk and determination continue to drive her life and career. Candace Woodson’s spunk and determination continue to drive her life and career. In Summer 2017 her first single as an independent artist will be released worldwide through Sony SMG Distribution. The single, All It Takes, was recorded in Nashville with producer Kendall Duffie. Her recording The Answer is No charted on the UK Soul Chart at number one, and her current single, Where You Are, was released in May 2017 through the Diva’s Got Soul Project. Most recently, Ms. Woodson has been recording in different studios and working with top music industry producers on a new project scheduled for completion by late Fall 2017. See VIDEO of Candace Woodson’s recent performance at CFW. More information: www.CandaceWoodson.com
A laureate of the 2012 Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, mezzo soprano Benedetta Orsi is a graduate of the Regia Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna in the studio of tenor Sergio Bertocchi, and is also a graduate of Modena’s Istituto Musicale Pareggiato Orazio Vecchi. She has participated in master classes with Marilyn Horne, Luciana Serra, Fred Carama, Chuck Hudson and Teresa Berganza, who defined Ms. Orsi as “a perfect voice for bel canto.”
No stranger to the stages of Carnegie Hall, Benedetta Orsi is one of only a few contemporary mezzo sopranos to have performed all three of Donizetti’s Tudor Operas: Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena, Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda and Sara in Roberto Devereux with Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music Theatre. Recent performances also include the role of Maddalena in Rigoletto with Amore Opera, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Miami Lyric Opera, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. Other appearances include the title roles in L’Italiana in Algeri and Werther, Azucena in Il Trovatore and Teresa in La Sonnambula. Her latest Carmen in St. Louis was called “totally convincing as the most desirable woman in Seville. With a dark, sensuous voice and a lubricious stage presence, her Habanera exudes a smoky sensuality that dominates the stage”. Ms. Orsi’s latest album, Christmas Around the World, was awarded the Silver Medal at the Global Music Awards as Best Album and Best Female Vocalist. She is working on her new recording to be released in 2018. More information: www.BenedettaOrsi.com
DJ Koceila Chougar
DJ Koceila Chougar was born in north Algeria and developed a love of music at an early age. Since 2013 he has been wowing the French West Coast with his flawless turntable skills, innovative production and musical versatility. With his solo projects, collaborations and live shows, DJ Koceila has quickly become an internationally renowned artist in Europe and the USA (Spain, Italy, Sweden, Miami). In 2015, he founded St-Germain Paradise Concept with Etienne Gentet, a famous French sax musician who has worked with Carl Cox. In 2016, soul singer Sabrina Rahmani joined the journey. The concept offers high-end live shows in France and abroad (Champagne Les Barons de Rothschild, The Boxers of Bordeaux, Miss Prestige Aquitaine, Azahar Fashion show, Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux, and more). DJ Koceila is currently working with Bordeaux new artists and is completing an album project with Sabrina Rahmani to be released in the summer of 2017.
Engaging and entertaining, Alex Berezin is a multi-faceted vocalist performing in various genres. Throughout his career, Alex has performed all over, many times sharing the stage with world-renowned vocalists and DJs. He has been a resident singer of many international lounges in the Maryland, DC and New York areas. Alex has also been a participant and winner of many vocal competitions and music festivals. Alex performs music from around the world, singing in many different languages.
Jose Delgadillo and Helen Wang
Jose Delgadillo and Helen Wang are a young tango couple who address the dance from an intimate relationship with the Argentine tango essence. The dancers convey passion, intensity, sensuality and emotion in their performances — all the things that remind audiences why they love the tango. They are a couple with unique backgrounds and personalities that always bring surprises to the audience. They have performed in famous shows such as Rhythm and Passion and Dance Fever, among others. In 2013, they won top awards at the USA Tango Championship NYC “Stage” Tango. They were invited to perform and teach at the prestigious La Nacional milonga (a place where the tango is danced) in New York City, as well as at other renowned milongas in New Jersey (Milonga Viviana), and Long Island (Tango Lover), to name a few. In 2016 Jose and Helen performed at the iconic Lincoln Center in New York City with a one-of-a-kind fusion dance of tango, salsa and Chinese elements. Among the audience members were Senator Chuck Schumer and Chinese celebrity Jin Xing. Their show was featured by several major television stations including CCTV, TVB and Sinovision. In 2015 Jose and Helen were special guest performers at the USA Chinese American Beauty Pageant. In Argentina, they have studied independently and together with world tango maestros, including Eduardo Terrazas, Beatriz Herrera, Roberto Herrera, Ivan & Sara, Pablo Pugliese, Carlos De Chey, Julio Balmaceda, Corina de la Rosa, Pancho Martinez and Lorena Ermocida, Alejandra Gutty, and Guillermina Quiroga. They were also invited to showcase at milongas in Mendoza, Argentina, Jose’s hometown. Together, this rising couple brings their skills, passion and background in Ballet, Jazz, Salsa, Flamenco, and Folklore into the soulful Argentine Tango. They currently offer group and private tango lessons at major dance studios in Manhattan. More information: www.thetangodance.com
Williams Honor is the Jersey Shore’s first country duo featuring vocalist/songwriter Reagan Richards and producer/songwriter Gordon Brown. Their self-titled debut album was written and recorded in Nashville and New Jersey bringing together a unique influence for the genre. In 2016 they embarked on a national radio tour to promote their first single “Send It To Me” climbing all the way up to #55 on the chart. Their next single “No Umbrella” hits the airwaves in March 2017 and will be touring throughout the summer. Reagan has performed at Couture Fashion Week for many seasons and continues to tie together her very own sense of fashion and music for Williams Honor. Their debut album is available at williamshonor.com and anywhere digital music is sold including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play. Like them and stay up to date on Facebook/williamshonor, Instagram/williamshonor, and request “No Umbrella” on your favorite country radio stations!
Pesvebi Dance Ensemble
Pesvebi is a dynamic dance ensemble, based in Brooklyn, NY, dedicated to the showcasing and preservation of traditional Georgian dance, culture and tradition. Pesvebi was founded by Shorena Barbakadze and Vano Goderdzishvili who emigrated from the Republic of Georgia to New York in 1998. After their son was born, they soon realized that children who were born in the USA of other Georgian immigrants in the area had a limited understanding of their heritage and lacked a community base. They went on to establish the Georgian Cultural Center in the USA, including the creation of the Pesvebi dance ensemble. Pesvebi quickly became popular — driven by hard work, creativity, dedication and community support. Today Pesvebi has a large membership of talented dancers, and a busy performance schedule including tours in the USA, Georgia and Europe. It enjoys the support of prominent dance professionals including Gaga Natsvlishvili, Gogita Tatulishvili, Gia Melkadze, and Aleko Nadareishvili. The Georgian Cultural Center in the USA has also grown, and now includes classes in Georgian language and literature, folk singing and instruments, ballet, piano, drama, art and voice, as well as tutoring in math and English.
Michael Raven began his career designing jewelry with just $475, a desk and a catalog. Eventually, his designs would grace the biggest stars on every major red carpet in Hollywood. Modeling himself as a personal concierge, Michael re-defined the jewelry design experience by being personally available 24 hours per day for people on the go in varying time zones. Michael’s close attention to detail and his concern for his clients allows him to give them a unique, personal experience. Prepared to travel anywhere, at any time, to meet his clients, Michael has discreetly garnered business among celebrities and CEOs of many prominent companies worldwide. As one of the few Master Jewelers who owns his very own diamond and gemstone cutters, Michael has over 5,000 diagrams to choose from for custom cut stones. Blending a fun experience with each client’s artistic taste and Michael’s trend-setting style, every piece is uniquely beautiful and Recognizably Raven. Through his professional dedication, Michael has been able to nurture another side of his creativity and cultivate relationships with directors, producers and clients working in all aspects of the entertainment industry. With swift efficiency, Michael would, on behalf of his clients, attract talent or investors for their various projects and, effectively, became a producer. It was during this period, that he also wrote a song for a feature film which earned four Grammy nominations. More information: http://ravenjewelers.com/
Princess Long Long
Princess Long Long is a multi-talented international star. A singer, actress, TV host, model and designer, Long Long studied at the iconic Juilliard School in New York, the University of Sheffield, England and holds an MBA from Maastricht University in Holland. She has worked with the Manhattan Symphony, UNESCO, Italian National Folk Group “Belvedere”, the NYC Creative Stage Entertainment, JT Talents, Howard McCrary (Grammy nominee and Michael Jackson’s co-singer), Rodney Jones (music director for Lena Horne), KMC Ken Marlon Charles, Freedom Williams (C+C Music Factory), Valentino (Grammy-winning Latin American star ), Andrew Anderson, Earl Cooter and Lenny Mangiapane. She has performed at prestigious venues in the USA including the Paul Hall of the Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, New York City Hall, and the United Nations General Assembly Hall, and abroad in Lima, Peru, Hong Kong and China. Long Long is the recipient of many awards and accolades from organizations including the United Nations, World Artist League, Asia Artists Association of the USA and CCTV (number one Chinese network). As an actress, Long Long has appeared in numerous stage and TV productions including the off-Broadway cabaret comedy Whatever Happened to Beverly Daniels?, MTV’s Soul on Fire, and films such as The Right to Live, Good Friday, Be Frank, and the What Women Want Chronicles. Long Long co-developed Blue Cat, the most popular cartoon in China. Her masterpiece mythology epic melodrama Moon Goddess is now the subject of a Broadway musical and feature film under production.
Nadjah Nicole, from NBC’s Emmy Award-winning TV show The Voice, is a Delaware native. She was recently introduced to 10 million viewers during her 10 week run on the show. Nadjah is a talented singer and songwriter with an impressive resume. Her soothing, soulful and melodic vocal style matches well with her soulful-pop music repertoire. Nadjah’s is focused on making an impact on the music scene, and with her band, performs original music as well as everyone’s favorites. Performances are a standard serving of soul music with a pop twist. Nadjah and her band cite as their inspiration such artists as Erykah Badu, Esperanza Spalding, Corrine Bailey Rae, Jill Scott, Beyonce, and many more. Nadjah has performed at numerous important venues including The Voice in Los Angeles; World Café Live, Warmdaddys and Voltage Lounge in Philadelphia; World Café Live, Ladybug Festival and The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington; Takoma Station and The Hamilton in Washington DC; Apollo Theater and Village Underground in New York; Bethany Blues – Lewes and Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May. More information: www.NadjahNicole.com or visit Nadjah Nicole on Facebook.
Yoann FreeJay (Fréget) is a singer of extraordinary talent and musical diversity. Whether singing rhythm and blues, pop, or gospel, he can be counted upon to deliver heart-wrenching performances, drawn from his exposure to all types of musical genres. His musical journey began at age 15 when he became fascinated with African-American gospel music. Soon after, he joined Gospelize It Mass Choir, a professional French choir directed by Emmanuel Djob, a renowned Cameroonian gospel pioneer living in France. Mr. FreeJay went on to become the youngest soloist in Djob’s choir, touring with them for many concerts each year, and he also quickly became recognized as one of the most promising talents of the gospel scene in the south of France. In 2010, after a life-changing, five-month journey to India to learn the roots of Indian classical music, Mr. FreeJay was invited for a three-month tour of Canada and the USA. He performed in 50 concerts in various cities, from New York to Los Angeles. He inaugurated a personal performance style which featured concerts sung entirely a cappella, showcasing the beauty and tenderness of his singular voice. His performances were very well received, especially within the African-American community. In 2011 Mr. FreeJay won first place in France’s largest soul music competition, The Sankofa Soul Contest. The prize was to perform in Dallas, Texas, backed up by Erykah Badu’s musicians. Mr. FreeJay also performed in New Orleans with Craig Adams, a popular American gospel organist and singer. Mr. FreeJay has also performed as a background singer for outstanding artists such as Stevie Wonder, Liz McComb, Nicole Slack Jones, Helen Carter, and Marianne Aya Omac. In 2013 Mr. FreeJay won the world-famous TV show The Voice in France. With more than 7 million viewers each week – and 10 million during the final show – Mr. FreeJay won the hearts of millions of people, endearing him to huge audiences throughout Europe. In 2014, Mr. FreeJay released his first album Quelques Heures, with Universal Records. One of the songs on the album was chosen for the soundtrack of Beauty and The Beast, directed by Christophe Gans, the biggest movie of the year in France. Also in 2014, he recorded the duet On Se Retrouvera with international pop star Lara Fabian, reaching number one in France. Mr. FreeJay also opened for WILL. I. AM in Paris. Mr. FreeJay continues to strive to achieve the perfect mix of his soul and pop influences. He is currently working on his next highly-anticipated album. See VIDEO of Mr. FreeJay performing at CFW.
More information: www.yoannfreejay.com
David Gvinianidze is the founder and president of the Talents of the World Foundation. He is also an author of concert programs, adjudicator of many vocal contests and festivals, teacher and regular member at various musical TV programs and talk shows on Russian and American national cable networks. A native of the Republic of Georgia, Mr. Gvinianidze graduated with honors from Tbilisi Academy of Music of M. Paniashvili. He has won several prestigious vocal competitions, and has performed as a soloist with Batumi State Opera and Ballet Theater, New Opera Moscow Theatre, Moscow Music Theatre “Gelikon Opera”, and the Commonwealth Lyric Theater in Boston, among others. Mr. Gvinianidze has sung in many concerts and festivals throughout the world, including the White Lilac Festival (named for Sergei Rachmaninoff) and the Pushkin Festival in Russia, Musical Kharkiv (Ukraine), the Maria Bieshu Festival (Moldova), and others. As an active promoter of the arts, David Gvinianidze is a recipient of the United Nations medal “for promotion of arts and culture” and has been an honorary guest of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” in Rhodes, Greece, whose main goals are to unite the efforts of the global community for the protection of the spiritual and cultural values of humankind and to create a space for constructive dialogue among the major civilizations of the modern world. More information: www.david-gvinianidze.com
Singer David Vernon hails from the Midwest and has always followed his own direction. He has created and produced many of his own conceptual concerts and has received rave reviews for his performances in New York City at the Algonquin Hotel, Birdland, Don’t Tell Mama, the Laurie Beechman Theater and, most recently, at the Metropolitan Room. Whether performing art songs, show tunes, jazz or the great American songbook, Mr. Vernon embodies a genre of musical interpretation and casts his spell on a wide diversity of listeners. Called “other worldly” by his critics, Mr. Vernon has produced an extensive recording collection and he holds a keen sense of focus and deliberation in his work. More information: www.iamartiam.com
Amine J. Hachem is a Lebanese-American operatic and crossover tenor who has thrilled audiences across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Whether appearing on international television programs or performing for heads of state, such as the Lebanese President and The King and Queen of Jordan, Mr. Hachem pushes the boundaries of operatic music by integrating it with unconventional sounds from around the world. His performances take audiences on a journey from the shores of the Mediterranean and the steppes of Russia, across the pond to the jungles of Latin America and the streets of New York, with highlights of rock and roll, Broadway, and the American Songbook. While often compared to old guard titans like Tom Jones, Mario Lanza, and Luciano Pavarotti, Mr. Hachem’s fresh interpretations of old classics is captivating a new generation of audiences.
Amine J. Hachem has been a leading tenor in many operas and musicals, including La Traviata, Tosca, La Bohème, Carmen, Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Mr. Hachem has also lent his voice to various charitable causes worldwide, including SOS Children’s Villages, Caritas Internationalis, Red Cross, Rotary International, and Lion’s Club, and was a featured performer at the St. Jude Hope & Heritage Gala, the premier New York event celebrating the contributions and culture of the Middle Eastern community and the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 2014 Mr. Hachem appeared at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York, part of the summer series festival and in 2015, he debuted at 54 Below, New York’s Premier Broadway Club, in a special one night only performance called “From the Mediterranean to the Americas.” His performance garnered rave reviews from the New York Broadway and opera critics. Mr. Hachem has performed at the United Nations, at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit, and at the historical Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington DC, as well as making his New York City solo concert debut in December 2015 at The Elebash Recital Hall. In Fall 2016, Mr. Hachem will be part of a tribute to Metropolitan Opera legend Rosalind Elias, and will also return to Broadway’s 54 Below for an encore performance by popular demand. In Spring 2017, he will make his Carnegie Hall concert debut in New York. Mr. Hachem is also known for his voice-over work, including the Arabic version of Dr. T’s character from the popular game Boom Beach, and recently starred in the TV pilot Love & Opera on WE TV.
Mr. Hachem began his musical studies at age 5, and at age 8, he enrolled at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music and trained as a classical pianist until the age of 19. In 2009, he earned a vocal performance diploma from the Academy of Music and Theater in Munich, Musikakademie München. He is fluent in 4 languages: Italian, French, English and Arabic, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business Management from Notre Dame University. In 2011 he was awarded a trophy of recognition from the Lebanese Navy for his services to music. More information: www.aminejhachem.com
Raquel Suarez Groen was recently praised for her “fresh and clear,” and “poignant soaring soprano” sound. This season, Ms. Suarez Groen makes her debut with Opera San Antonio as Frasquita in Carmen, and will be a featured artist at New York City’s Couture Fashion Week. Her 2015-2016 season included her debut as Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opera Carolina as well as a featured soloist in their Art, Poetry and Music 2015 Gala, Frasquita in Carmen with Venture Opera, and Roxanne Conti (Contessa) in ¡Figaro!(90210) Off-Broadway in Times Square. She was recently presented in recital at the Den Oudsten Estate in Calgary, Canada, and appeared as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera on the James. Other recent engagements included her debut with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at the MISA Festival (Music in Summer Air) conducted by world-renowned conductor, Maestro Yü. Long. Ms. Suarez Groen was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, and was a 2015 grant recipient from the prestigious Giulio Gari Foundation in New York City.
As a member of the Resident Artist Program at Syracuse Opera, she was seen in excerpts as Marie in La fille du régiment, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare in Egitto, and the title role in Susannah. Other performances from recent seasons include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with DiCapo Opera; Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore with Opera in Williamsburg; Adele in Die Fledermaus, Musetta in La bohème, and the title role in Cendrillon with New York Lyric Opera; Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Opera Lyra Ottawa; Ilia in Idomeneo with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance festival; and Laurie Moss in The Tender Land at Opera NUOVA. A recent alumna of the Tyler Young Artist program at Opera on the James, Ms. Suarez Groen was featured as Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and in their production of Gianni Schicchi.
Ms. Suarez Groen is collecting accolades and critical acclaim for her international appearances on concert stages throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Highlights of these performances include: Soprano Soloist in Händel’s Messiah in Calgary, Canada; International Vocal Arts Institute gala at Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv; a gala concert broadcast on CCTV and Hunan TV in China; Soloist in the iSing Festival concert series at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China; featured soloist for the American Italian Cultural Roundtable at Steinway Hall in New York City; Mostly Mozart at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Gala concerts for Opera on the James in Lynchburg Virginia; Gala concerts for Syracuse Opera in Syracuse, New York; and a featured soloist with the New Triad Project in New York City.
Ms. Suarez Groen holds both a Master of Music degree and Certificate of Professional Studies in Opera Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Additionally, she has earned high honors in various vocal competitions including the Louise Peckham Todaro Award in the Florida Grand Opera/Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition 2015. Ms. Suarez Groen was also a recent Finalist in the New York Lyric Opera Competition at Carnegie Hall 2015, and is a full-scholarship recipient of the International Vocal Arts Festival (IVAI) and the iSing! International Young Artist Festival.
More information: www.raquelsuarez.com
Symbolically reminiscent of an American long-stemmed beauty rose with her elegance and youthful presence, soprano Victoria Miningham made her professional operatic debut in the role of Musetta in La Boheme with The New York Grand Opera in 2011 in Central Park, New York City. She has given concerts as far away as China, India, Italy, and Eastern Europe. She has performed the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Mimi in La Boheme and Gilda in Rigoletto . She is currently the in-house National Anthem singer for the International Greenwich Polo Club, in Greenwich, Connecticut. She has performed in Italy at the Palazzo Pio IX with the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome and at the Palazzo Brancaleoni in Piobbico, as well as at numerous events and charity functions in New York City, where she currently resides. She recently performed at the New York Bar Association, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue, and at the New York Yacht Club for the Navy League of Manhattan. Ms. Miningham took her degree in Music from Manhattanville College, New York, and studied opera at The Juilliard School, New York. More information: www.victoriaminingham.net
Romeo & Julia Saleno are known as “The First Pop Opera Couple in the World”. Their unique show concept, “Romeo & Julia,” brings to international audiences worldwide a combination of styles and rhythms of global inspiration, both modern and classical, in a completely new musical genre: operatic pop or pop opera. They have performed in numerous countries including Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Holland, and the USA. Romeo & Julia are singers, songwriters, voice teachers and record producers, as well as actors and presenters. Julia Saleno is also a pianist and poet. They both studied at music conservatories in Europe and attended Master classes with internationally acclaimed soprano Renatta Scotto, tenor David Bender and Charles Riecker, former artistic director of the New York Metropolitan Opera. Romeo and Julia Saleno have recorded three studio albums. Accolades include: named “The first Pop Opera Couple in the world” at The Celebrity Gala, Las Vegas (2011); special VIP Prize for promoting Operatic Pop in the world by VIP Magazine, Bucharest, Romania; named Peace Ambassadors and performing in Central Park New York City at the Vigil for International Peace (2011); Julia Saleno named successful woman of the years 2013 and 2014 at the Successful Woman Annual Gala; Romeo Saleno named winner of three First Prizes at International Voice Competitions and being the only Romanian tenor in Placido Domingo’s Operalia held at the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in Washington DC (2001); performances for Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, and His Majesty King Michael I of Romania, as well as for the President of Romania, Mr. Ion Iliescu, the Mayor of Miami, Florida, and many more. In addition to their busy music schedules, Romeo & Julia work to help people with disabilities through their elder care foundation and private hospital. They are promoting their special health program, based on healthy nutrition, alkaline water and motion. More information: www.romeo-julia-saleno.com
Singer, model and TV host Magdalena G (real name Olga Alexandrova) is a native of Ufa, Russian Federation. She began her singing career performing with a jazz band. After moving to Moscow, she was selected for MTV’s R&B Girls, a major Russian network TV program with an audience of over 80 million. She has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine and as a centerfold model in Russian Playboy. Magda went on to launch her own music project in Electronica, Ambient and House genres, and has collaborated with many producers, and has written several songs which were well received by the industry’s professionals and radio stations. She has performed with Russian pop mega star and celebrity Philipp Kirkorov, and has participated in Beyonce’s parties in Moscow, among other high profile appearances. In 2008 Magda was invited by Stan Williams, New York’s Studio 54 star and resident of Moscow’s Megapolis FM radio, to collaborate with Xuman Records on No Panic Featuring Diva Rhys Meyers. This was followed by extensive touring around the country and abroad, supported by a heavy rotation of her songs on the major radio station Megapolis FM 89.5, DFM Moscow. Magda’s most recent hit, Second, is still in the rotation. Her most recent collaborations include studio work with well-known DJ Dennis Lee (Germany). The resulting release of the single Rockit to Stars was followed by her performance at Privilege in Ibiza in 2013. Magda currently resides in New York, and is working on new music tracks with famous producer Iggy Kisil for his legendary NYC- based label Sweet Rains Records. Magdalena G’s upcoming album is scheduled for worldwide release in the spring/summer of 2016.
Veronica Iovan fell in love with the stage at the tender age of 6 after winning many youth singing contests in her native Romania. She quickly progressed through several music schools, mastered the piano, earned a diploma in Classical Ballet and proved to be a natural in acting classes, all this while improving her amazing voice. Singing in school and church choirs developed her natural talent so much that she got a job with The Oltenia State Philharmonic Chorus with soloist collaborations while only 15 years old. This relationship lasted many years and allowed Veronica to perform numerous recitals and concerts, for which she received outstanding critcal acclaim. In Bucharest she became a member in the professional Chorus of Romanian National Opera (ONB) while The National University of Music awarded Veronica a full scholarship and contracted her for major national and international performances, including an invitation to perform at the Presidential Palace of Romania. Veronica has performed in recitals and symphonic concerts across the globe, enchanting audiences in France, Norway, England, Spain, Iran, Italy, and the United States. After winning many vocal competitions and scholarships, she continued music studies in Verona and Strasbourg, obtaining a Masters in Modern Opera. Veronica continues to pursue her dreams, fueled by her passion for music and performance. Currently living in New York, she has performed with: Maestro Tramm and the New Jersey State Opera, The Queens Symphony Orchestra, the MidAtlantic Opera, Confederazione Siciliana del America, Les Couleurs, the Philippine and Romanian Embassies, Romanian Day Celebration on Broadway, Columbus Day Parade, and is a regular featured performer at Couture Fashion Week New York. There is a palpable magnetism and connection between Veronica and her audience — she delivers not just through her beautiful voice, but on a deeper level that can touch one’s soul.
A native of Bari, Italy, Elisabetta received a Bachelor’s degree in singing and a Master’s degree with highest honors in singing specializing in chamber music from the “S. Cecilia” Conservatory of Music in Rome. She attended master classes with Edda Moser, Renata Scotto, Renato Bruson and Alberto Zedda. A winner of many important contests, Elisabetta has performed in Italy and abroad and has collaborated with conductors and composers such as Eugene Kohn, Bruno Aprea, Luigi De Filippi, Marco Boemi, Gianna Fratta, Ennio Morricone, Andrea Morricone, and Nicola Piovani. Among the most important roles she has played are Norina in Don Pasquale by Donizetti, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte by Mozart, Tonina in Prima la musica poi le parole by Salieri, Gilda in Rigoletto by Verdi, and Nannetta in Falstaff (starring Renato Bruson) by Verdi. In 2011 she won “Best Female Vocal” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. She has recorded Brise de Mér, Leoncavallo’s arias for voice and orchestra on the Suoneria Mediterranea label, with the direction of Luigi De Filippi. In 2013 she opened for Andrea Bocelli at Paramount Studios, performing with David Foster and Eugene Kohn, and performed at the Ann and Moss Theatre in Santa Monica with Maestro Andrea Morricone and the Amor Symphonic Orchestra. In 2014, together with pianist Giulia Spinedi, she won first prize in the Chamber Music section of the XVII International Competition V. Scaramuzza. As winner of the Beverly Hills recital series in 2014/2015, she performed at prestigious venues in the City of Beverly Hills. Currently she is writing for the Italo-Americano newspaper as Opera reviewer. Recent performances include a concert in Toronto for the Italian National Day Celebration at Casa Loma Castle in May 2015. More information: www.elisabettarusso.com
Tenor David Paez made his operatic debut at the age of 7 singing various roles with the Compañía de Opereta y Zarzuela Doris Rodríguez Patiño. He has performed in a number of prestigious theaters in his native Mexico including Teatro de la Ciudad (Esperanza Iris), Jiménez Rueda, Julio Prieto, and Rafael Solana, among others, and has sung lead tenor roles in such works as Luisa Fernanda, Verbena de la Paloma, Soto del Parral, Antología de la Zarzuela, and many more. After earning his degree in Hotel Management from Intercontinental University, Mr. Paez studied voice with Maestro Rogelio Vargas and Maestra Luisa Besrrucova. He made his solo operatic debut in Galería Amarte in Cancún. Previous to that, he appeared with Rogelio Vargas (bass) and Yasmin Yris Sol (soprano) in a unique three-generation concert – grandfather, daughter and grandson – in a special event to engage today’s young audiences with the beautiful Bel Canto genre. Mr. Paez is the first tenor to sing at the fashion shows and beauty pageants produced by ViveLaModa TV, creating a new concept in the fashion and beauty sphere. David Paez is currently touring Mexico and Latin America proudly serving as an ambassador of contemporary as well as pre-Hispanic Mexican culture and identity. He is the first tenor to sing extensively in the indigenous language of Náhuatl, dressed in the costume of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, and performing the works of composer and poet Natalio Hernández. He is also currently working on his second album of Mexican songs. Visit David Paez on Facebook.
A native of Bogota, Colombia, Jay Santos moved with his family to Rome, Italy at age 11. Soon after, he started building his music career, learning to play piano, guitar and drums. Influenced by Italian music and his Latin roots, Jay Santos created an original and unique rhythm with his music. At age 17, Jay moved to Madrid, Spain, where he continued to pursue his music career, writing songs, playing instruments and recording at small studios. In 2012 Jay debuted his first single Noche de Estrellas featuring Jose De Rico and Henry Mendez, produced by Roster Music. The song immediately rose to the top of the Spain singles charts and won a “Golden Record.” It now has more than 20 million views on YouTube. In 2013 Jay released Caliente, his first solo single produced by the Blanco y Negro company. In less than a month Caliente became the most watched video on YouTube in Spain, the top selling song on iTunes Spain, and the “summer hit” in many countries such as France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Chile. To date, the song has over 60 million views on YouTube around the world. At the end of 2013, the artist founded his own record label Envimusic. By this time he had established himself as an entrepreneur, without leaving his music career behind. Jay Santos has performed at more than 200 concerts worldwide and is widely considered to be the #1 Latin/Dance artist in Europe.
In April 2015 Jay Santos released Dale Morena, another instant hit with a lot of rhythm that differs from other “Electro dance” songs. In November 2015 he released Ya te olvidé, his first Reggaeton song that impressed all of his fans with an explosion of rhythm combined with Latin sounds. In May 2016 Jay will release his brand new single Tu Y Yo. According to Stefano Pugnali, the artist’s manager, the new single features lots of rhythm, sensual lyrics, and a catchy vibrant melody in Reggaeton style. It will be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and is sure to soon be heard on dance floors everywhere.
More information: www.jaysantos.com or visit SP Management at www.spmanagementsrl.com
A native of Far Hills, New Jersey, Savannah Lynx discovered her passion for singing at age 8, and started participating in talent competitions and pageants, quickly gaining national recognition. At age 12, she sang the national anthem for the Detroit Tigers in front of 60,000 people, and at age 16 she won the prestigious title of Miss NJ Teen USA, and went on to place in the Top 15 and win Miss Congeniality at the 2011 Miss Teen USA pageant. As a high school senior, she was recognized by the Papermill Playhouse for her outstanding performance as a leading actress in the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Savannah later attended Fordham University in New York City before putting her college education on hold in order to seriously pursue her music career. Upon moving to California in 2015, Savannah became an avid fitness buff, helping her win the coveted titles of Miss Las Vegas International Model Search and Miss Swimsuit USA International. When she’s not writing and recording music in the studio, Savannah volunteers with her local Veterans Hospital, and is currently filming a reality show in NYC due to air in the Fall of 2016. More information: www.SavannahLynx.com
A native of Ghana, Abena Appiah is a multi-talented rising star who sings, models, acts and writes her own songs, as well as playing the guitar, recorder and clarinet. She was named Miss Talent Ghana 2012 and Top Model Ghana 2013. She also represented Ghana in the Top Model of the World Pageant held in Egypt. Abena has released 5 singles and is currently working on her first album. With the revenue from the album, Abena hopes to create opportunities for young Ghanaian women and girls through a talent management school she plans to open in Ghana. She is currently a student at Purchase College in New York.
Visit Abena on Instagram and YouTube.
Natalie Zenn is a young multitalented rising star in the music, acting and modeling industries in her native Indonesia. She is now quickly making her mark in the United States and other countries as well. She has appeared in such films as Sky Blue, as well as in a variety of television programs such as Blue, Best Friend Forever, The Minors, Somad, Stars in the Sky, Bastian Steel No Ordinary Guy, and others. As a model, Natalie has appeared in many prominent publications and was a 2014 finalist in the Cover Girl competition in Indonesia. Natalie is now poised to shake up the music industry nationally and internationally with her new single scheduled for a March 2016 release in Indonesia, China and the USA. Recent projects include headlining a musical event for the Indonesian Embassy in Perth, Australia and appearing on the popular show Indonesian Idol 2014. Visit Natalie Zenn on Facebook.
Award-winning singer-songwriter AJ Jansen is a talented, edgy, driven performer. She was named National American Country Music Association-International Female Horizon vocalist of the year, and Connecticut Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year. She was also a finalist in Jim Halsey’s Starmaker Competition at Coach’s Cabana and is a two-time nominee for Country Act of the Year from The New England Music Awards. AJ Jansen’s style and voice have been compared to Jewel, Shania Twain, and Stevie Nicks, to name a few. Music to AJ is about bringing together the classic influences of her Country and Rock roots and giving them new meaning with her own distinctive sound. She is a New England native who began singing in church recitals at age 6 and writing songs at age 10. She started performing in Nashville at age 18 before steadily growing audiences. AJ Jansen has released 4 CDs and is receiving rave reviews by national magazines. She has appeared on numerous TV programs, has been featured twice in Country Music Weekly and M Music Magazine, as well as in many newspapers and radio programs. She is a regular on college radio playlists including WWUH, and has been been a regular featured artist at various casinos in the Northeast. She has also opened for artists such as Phil Vasser, James Montgomery and others. AJ divides her time between Connecticut and Nashville, and is a member of the CMA, IEBA, ASCAP and Music Biz organizations. In addition, AJ has performed and directed her musical tribute show “Outlaw Women of Country” in many theaters up and down the East Coast. She hopes to someday perform at the iconic Grand Ole Opry. Music is her passion, and a dream come true every time she hits the stage. More information: www.ajjansenmusic.com
In 2009, singer Dominika Stara beat out thousands of hopefuls and landed a spot on Czechoslovakian Superstar, her country’s version of American Idol. Dominika took first place for the ladies, third overall and she never looked back. With over 79,000 Facebook fans, Dominika has won the hearts of countless people worldwide. She recently signed a production agreement with Poncini Entertainment, and has recorded and released her debut EP. Her runaway hit Thinking Of You earned her an award for Best R&B Female at the New England Urban Music Awards. Dominika parallels her style of music to an Ipod. “Nobody has just one style of music on their Ipod. I listen to all kinds of music, so my album reflects that,” says Dominika. Dominika has been very busy since she has been in the United States. She has been visiting schools in the New England area speaking to students on the importance of education, and positive influences in relation to pursuing their dreams. Her goal is to inspire the youth to accomplish their goals by instilling the value of staying focused and driven. Dominika’s newest single With Your Hands, released in 2014, features the Yale Symphony Orchestra String Quartet. More information: www.dominikastaraworld.com
Serena Bateman is a Canadian actress, vocalist and performer, and is classically trained as a Spinto soprano. She holds numerous awards and first place finishes in musical festivals and dramatic competitions and has also had the pleasure of performing in venues across Canada, the United States and London. Ms. Bateman recently graduated from AMDA (The American Music and Dramatic Academy) and is finishing her bachelor’s degree for fine arts in Musical Theatre at The New School in Manhattan. Ms. Bateman’s recent projects include her first credited movie role in the Ally Walker film Sex, Death and Bowling, as well as cabaret performances at prestigious artistic gatherings. Also, for the past year she has and is currently interning with one of Broadway’s leading producers, Pat Addis. Ms. Bateman is very excited to share her gift of music with Couture Fashion Week in New York.
Rising musical star Arami was born in Cannes, France and grew in a multi-cultural French/ Paraguayan/American environment. She is one of the most innovative and accomplished harpists, recognized as the “Prodigy of the Paraguayan Harp.” Arami is a Guarani word (native Indians from Paraguay) meaning, “little sky”, and as her name implies, her talent has taken her around the world. Arami began performing on this unique and angelical instrument at age 5, and at age 10 she won the Youth Talent Contest during Sabado Gigante, the blockbuster TV variety show broadcast to over 30 Spanish speaking countries, hosted by entertainment icon Don Francisco. She participated in the Spanish Youth Artist Talent program Veo Veo in Alicante, Spain, broadcast live on TVE and its international channels to more than 80 million viewers. Arami was the youngest harpist in the USA professionally contracted by a philharmonic orchestra (Naples, Florida) for a series of 7 concerts broadcast nationally on PBS, and has performed throughout the Americas and Europe. Arami was one of the few international harpists invited twice to participate in the World Harp Festival in Asuncion, Paraguay, sponsored by UNESCO. At the age of seventeen she released her third CD, Around the World, for which she was honored with the Horizon Artist Award by the Just Plain Folks music organization based in Memphis, Tennessee, host to the world’s largest independent music awards. Now based in New York City, Arami graduated from NYCDA (New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts) School of Film, TV, and Theater in 2012. Her acting experience includes festivals, commercials, music videos, and theater productions, as well as short and feature films. She attended the Short Film Corner at Le Festival de Cannes 2015 for her leading role in the short film Stray Boys. Visit Arami on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/harparami
Vicky Shu is a well-known celebrity in her native Indonesia, noted for her golden voice as well as her proficiency on the guitar and piano. She was a finalist for Miss Indonesia 2007, and is also an accomplished actress, currently finishing filming a movie in Turkey. She is a former backup singer for the popular Indonesian band Yovie and Nuno. As a soloist, she released an album entitled Drink Me, and recently released her new album which includes six of her own original compositions. In 2015 she will perform at Couture Fashion Week in New York City. In addition to her musical and acting endeavors, Vicky Shu is also a footwear entrepreneur, designing her own line of beautiful and elegant shoes under the label Shu Shu. Her shoe designs are now hitting the international market, being exported to Italy and Amsterdam in Europe as well as Japan and Malaysia in Asia. The exquisite designs along with impeccable customer service are attracting much international acclaim, and are favored by celebrities including Lenka and Kelly Osbourne. Vicky Shu’s charitable efforts include joining with other prominent celebrities for a concert benefiting natural disaster victims, hosted by the Rumah Pandai charity and Indonesian business mogul and world-renowned guitarist Setiawan Djodi.
Visit Vicky Shu on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mademoiselle.vickyshu
Half American half Swiss, Shana Pearson (known before as Shana P) is a pop singer and songwriter based in Switzerland. She has released two albums: Regarde‐Moi in 2009, which received a Gold Disk in February 2010 reaching 10,000 albums sold, and Love Inferno released in 2013, exclusively on digital platforms. 2011 was a turning point in her career as it was marked by her collaboration with famous DJ and party rocker Big Ali. He invited Shana to perform on his smash hit Electro‐Dance single Distress, which was influenced by the iconic song Message in a Bottle by The Police. Shortly after, Sting gave his approval to use the song, and Shana and Big Ali flew to Miami to shoot the music video. They went on to tour for more than 20 dates all around France and Switzerland in front of thousands of people, including an audience of 30,000 in Corsica. In the summer of 2011, Distress rose to second position on the charts for several weeks. In 2013, Shana performed for Justin Bieber’s support act along with Big Ali in Strasbourg, France. Shana Pearson is now working on a third album as an indie artist. Having already done numerous concerts outside of Switzerland (France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Thailand, and Algeria), Shana hopes to expand her music beyond.
More information: www.pearsonshana.com and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ShanaPTV
Kaja Pecnik is a soprano and actress from Slovenia, based in London. Her performances are described as powerfully emotive and a definite stand-out. Her voice is truly inspiring, with a tenderness that touches the soul. Her technique and natural vocal range allow her to experiment in different music genres. Although her heart lies in opera and musical theatre, she successfully writes and performs her own pop and folk songs . Kaja is not just a singer, she is a performer who takes her audience on a journey with every note she sings. Kaja graduated from Cygnet Theatre, UK as an actress in 2015 and also has an MA in French and Sociology. She has worked with major opera singers in her native country, including Rajko Koritnik and Amanda Stojovic, and participated in workshops led by Mrs. Mary King. In 2014 she performed her first solo concert, In Love With Love, which premiered in Exeter, UK and Ljubljana, Slovenia to rave reviews. An extremely versatile artist, Kaja’s acting repertoire covers such plays as Playhouse Creatures (Mrs. Betterton), Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Nine (1), The Last Nickel (Jamie) and, most recently, Triumph of Love, where she played the leading role of Phosion. She has been praised by critics as an actress with “a witty charisma quickly winning the audience over and as she charms and improvises her way through the play, she is unquestionably the one who steals the show.” (Lucy Corley). Kaja has also appeared in short movies and music videos. Among a number of projects currently underway is her upcoming starring role with major acting industry names in The Composer, a feature film produced by talented Hollywood composer William Camilleri (Braveheart, Silence of the Lambs, etc.). More information: http://www.imdb.me/kajapecnik
Tenor Luciano Lamonarca was born in Italy and studied voice with such teachers as Gino Lorusso Toma, Franco Corelli, Carmen Sensaud, Salvatore Fisichella, Roberto Scandiuzzi and Daniele Barioni. He has performed solo concerts at prestigious venues worldwide including Lincoln Center, the New York Theater for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, Palais Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna, Austria, Great Hall of the Palace National Philharmonic Orchestra, in Minsk, Belarus, La Vallisa auditorium in Bari and the Teatro Politeama in Palermo. Tenor Lamonarca has performed under the patronage of the highest national and international institutions: the United Nations, UNESCO, the European Union, the Presidency of the Italian Republic, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Youth, the Regions of Puglia and Sicily. He was the special performing guest at the Commemoration in Westchester County (New York) of the attack of the Twin Towers, broadcast by NEWS 12. In 2011 he spearheaded the project “United Academia” with the U.N. Academic Impact. On multiple occasions he was invited to perform as a special guest at the prestigious Couture Fashion Week held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Other artistic projects include concert tributes to the great tenor Mario Lanza in Milwaukee and an online music project Ricordando Mario Del Monaco, a tribute to legendary tenor Mario Del Monaco with the collaboration of famous stage director Giancarlo Del Monaco. Luciano Lamonarca performed in Passau, Germany at the Europaishes Jugend Musik Festival in a concert dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi. In 2007 he became the youngest opera singer to perform at the United Nations in New York when he sang in the “United We Are Peace” concert as the sole representative of Italy at the invitation of the Zaraspe Foundation. He returned to perform at the U.N General Assembly in a concert held in the presence of ambassadors and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. In 2008 he performed at the world premiere of the film Carnera – The Walking Mountain at Madison Square Garden in New York City where the guests of honor were American actor Burt Young and Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham. In 2013 Tenor Lamonarca received Proclamations for artistic merit from New York’s Westchester County Executive Hon. Robert Astorino, and from the New York State Comptroller, Hon. Thomas DiNapoli.
In 2009 he released his first album entitled Mamma, dedicated to his mother and benefiting the missionary project “City of Hope” in Zambia. In 2012 he released his second album The Impossible Dream, an outstanding compilation of Italian operatic arias and American pop-operatic hits, made in partnership with The New York Choral Society and benefiting the Mini Maestros Program. Luciano Lamonarca has appeared on Rai Uno, Rai Tre, Rai International, Tele Norba and TGS Sicily, as well as in the New York Daily News, New York Post, The Italian Times, The Italian Tribune, The Italia Magazine (in Russian), La Repubblica, America Oggi, Il Quotidiano.Net, Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno and Il Giornale di Sicilia.
More information: www.lucianolamonarca.com
Playing at top Vancouver and international venues, Karla Sax is one of those rare female saxophone players. Karla Sax provides the right vibe, be it innovative jazz and contemporary saxophone sounds over electronic house, deep house, top 40, lounge, chill out or world music. Her exquisite sound captures the subtleties of a voice and creates beautiful dulcet tones. Currently, Karla is taking the music world by storm by jazzing up new restaurants, clubs, galas, and events with her sax/trax act, and playing alongside world renowned DJ’s. Karla has performed at Richard Branson’s Kensington Roof Gardens in London (UK), five-star hotels throughout Mallorca (Spain), the Cayman Island Winter Music Festival, Nikki Beach in Cabo San Lucas, as well as at many five star hotels and venues in Vancouver (Canada) such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Robson Square Ice Rink, the Vancouver Convention Center, and Holt Renfrew. More information: www.KarlaSax.com
Stella Matteoni is a singer-songwriter born in the South of France. She has been going to recording studios and backstage at concerts in France her whole life. Her father, Guy Matteoni, is a legendary writer-arranger whose career goes back to the 1970s. Stella aims to follow in his footsteps, as she completes her studies in philosophy. She plays guitar and piano and composes songs in French, English and Italian. She has opened for such renowned performers as Umberto Tozzi and Dave, who asked Stella to perform five songs in support of his Olympia concerts in May 2014. In June 2014, Stella Matteoni was named one of five winners of the international “Be a Rockstar” contest by Black XS Paco Rabanne. She has recorded two songs mixed by Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Outkast…) at the legendary ICP Studio in Brussels. Find Stella Matteoni on Facebook.
Leah Danielle is a verissimo soprano and actress, born and raised in New York. Specializing in melodic Italian operas, she is known not only for a voice remarkable for its extensive range and purity of tone but also for her realistic portrayal of characters. Her vocal agility and acting skills have enabled her to perform a large repertoire in both the Opera and Broadway worlds. The richness, power and distinctiveness of her voice, coupled with her ability to evoke passion and depth in her characters, produces an irresistible and lingering response from her audience.
Ms. Danielle studied at Cleveland Institute of Music, Mannes School of Music, and Purchase Conservatory. At age seventeen she debuted in her first solo concert at Carnegie Hall. She has trained with the world’s greatest opera singers, such as Franco Corelli and Blanch Thebom. She began to make her mark while working with such notables as Grammy-winning writer and producer David Foster, performing on behalf of his foundation alongside legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli. Some of her roles include: Musetta in La Boheme, Liu inTurandot, Contessa in Le Nozze Di Figaro, and Drusilla in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, to name just a few. Ms. Danielle sang in her first movie soundtrack for the Universal Studios movie, Prime. She was recently featured in Couture Fashion Week coverage by the Fox Business Channel.
Whether singing or acting, Ms. Danielle creates a unique bond with her audience so that the musical and emotional experience remains with them long after the show has ended. More information: www.Leah-Danielle.com
Teen pop star Meredith O’Connor rose to fame when her first song Celebrity went viral on YouTube, garnering over two million views within the first two months of its release. It became a radio favorite, bringing her a fan base which became a cult-like following once she established her anti-bullying platform. Her song The Game, released shortly after, has touched the lives of thousands of her fans throughout the world, landing her a ten city tour as a headlining act for venues and schools to sing her songs and speak on the subject of bullying, as well as a movie deal playing the leading role in the feature film Red Head Randy. Her next hit song, Just The Thing, was recently released on VEVO and Teen Nick, gaining popularity on 17 different radio stations in New York and over 400,000 views on VEVO. Meredith O’Connor will be wrapping up her world tour while fans await the release of her full album, produced by Grammy winner Kenny Ortiz. Ms. O’Connor is the Star Champion Celebrity Spokesperson for Champions Against Bullying.
For more information visit www.MeredithOconnorMusic.com
Tenor Antonio Abate holds two degrees from The Juilliard School. He has appeared in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, California, Illinois and Florida in performances ranging from sacred concerts to Broadway reviews to fully staged operas. He has a passion for Italian music and newly composed works.
A native of Latvia, pianist and composer Laura Korpa settled in New York City about 4 years ago. Her original music demonstrates her versatility and unique style, and she has performed at numerous events and venues including Couture Fashion Week at the Waldorf-Astoria as well as charity events supporting autism awareness and research. Laura has been in the music industry for 20 years, and her career successes continue. Composing is what she enjoys most, and she loves to communicate with society through the passion of music. Laura’s music can be viewed on her YouTube channel.
More information: www.laurakorpa.com
Panic! The Musical
PANIC! The Musical is a rough-edged new musical based on the songs of the American rock band Panic! At The Disco. The production currently has its sights set on Broadway. PANIC! The Musical tells the story of Andi Witko, a naive teenager on the verge of rebellion after meeting bad boy Oliver Murphy. It explores the journey of two young souls whose worlds collide, and the formation of an unconventional bond that proves to be a mixed blessing. The musical features songs from all four studio albums, including hits such as I Write Sins, Not Tragedies, Lying is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off, Ready to Go, and This Is Gospel.
PANIC! The Musical is conceived and directed by Alexis Acar, with book by Christina Rose Sabia, music direction by Craig Petrocelli, and choreography by Chloe Cappo. Follow PANIC! The Musical on Facebook.
Hot new pop artist Brielle released her debut single, “Avalanche” in July 2014, produced by Grammy producer “Femdouble”. The hit song is currently climbing the charts at satellite, internet, and radio in the USA and around the globe. The highly-anticipated video, a mash up of Brielle’s art of design, dance, and music, described as “Project X” meets Miley Cyrus’ Tour “Bangerz”, drops September 1, 2014. Brielle, a NYC fashion student, who also writes for the trade publication, Fashion United, is being hailed as the “Next Princess of Pop”, hence her trademark “crown”. The video for her unreleased song, “Catch A Star For You”, has already passed a half million unsolicited YouTube views, and her debut full-length LP, “Ready For War,” will be released in early 2015.
Jania Santana was born in Natal, Brazil and raised in Bahia. Her ongoing dance passions have always been Axe and Samba. In 1995 Jania joined a Folklorico Group specializing in Xaxado, Frevo, Carimbo, Lambada and Maculele (Afro-Brazilian and indigenous dance), and performing at events throughout the city of Natal, Brazil. Jania went on to study Belly Dance with one of the most renowned Belly Dancers in Brazil, Najua. She also studied Cenicas Arts, Body Expressions, and Dramaturgy at the Arts Experimental School of RN in Brazil. Jania has performed in many countries including China, Japan, Spain and Portugal, sharing her art and unique Brazilian dance styles. Jania was part of the musical group Turma do Forró, performing throughout Portugal. Now based in New York, Jania continues to perform and spread a message of happiness of living through dance.
“Dance is not only made of rhythms and steps, but mainly of the passion in the soul of the one who dances,” says Jania Santana.
Teenager Maryann Connolly is a multi-award-winning performer who has garnered numerous top titles including Top Talent Winner at SWFL Talent & Beauty Competition, Finalist at American Idol/Hollywood Studios Florida, and First Place Coco Idol winner at the premiere Cape Coral Coconut Festival. She also earned “Best In Show” at Lee County School District Learning For Life event, Southwest Florida Lee County Fair First Place Vocals/Drama and is a featured National Anthem Singer for Florida Miracle Baseball. Maryann has performed and studied musical styles from pop to rock, country to opera. She began performing at age seven, with the song We are Family. A very family-oriented teen, she has also recently written a song celebrating individuality titled Zany. She also currently studies under award-winning vocal coach Dorothy Yorty and award-winning model and talent scout, Claribel Levinson. A talented singer, musician, song writer, and model, Maryann aspires to model professionally and appear on Broadway.
More information: www.MaryannConnolly.com
A native of the Republic of Georgia, Nini DeRossi studied classical vocals and classical piano for over a decade. She has participated and placed in numerous competitions throughout Europe. Recent accolades include being named winner of the TV competitions 10 + 10 (Armenia) and X Factor (Greece), as well as being a finalist in Georgia’s Georgian Idol. Her solo album First Step was released in Georgia in 2007. Since her recent move to New York, Nini has appeared in a Broadway Cabaret Show, done a charity concert for M.M.A.C. and performed at Couture Fashion Week at the Waldorf-Astoria. Her poignant rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You at CFW thrilled the audience. More information: www.niniderossi.com
ALMA NYC is a theatrically driven company comprised of dancers, singers, musicians, and visual artists in New York City. In a stereotypically challenging and competitive industry, ALMA strives to foster a sense of community and support for performers. In addition to local and international outreach projects, ALMA has had the privilege of performing at Symphony Space, Paul Taylor Theater, Manhattan Movement Arts Center, The Actors Home, and in the heart of Times Square, to name a few. ALMA’s work has been called ‘extraordinary’ and ‘magnificent’ by the Actors Fund Weekly. More information: www.almanyc.org
Battle for Your Life presents In Da Clutch and Hood Lockers
In Da Clutch Entertainment is a group of high-energy dancers from the South Jersey/Philadelphia area that influences and inspires others to be successful in life by providing education and entertainment through hip hop dance. The dance company appeals to a wide range of audiences, and their show options include lecture demonstrations on the history of hip-hop dance, workshops, and theater pieces, as well as entertainment for corporate events, parties, fashion shows, weddings, opening-acts, and other social events. We offer a fresh and unique way of educating students on life’s obstacles through the hip-hop culture to get their attention, because it is what they are surrounded by in today’s society. The message that we are illustrating is that when you deliver your best possible performance, especially in “clutch time”, you will succeed. Our shows create a warm, involved, fun atmosphere for everyone.
In Da CLUTCH stands for Inspirational Dancers Creatively Linking Upon The Culture of Hip-Hop. Kennith Thomas, founding director of In Da Clutch Entertainment, has over 10 years of experience in almost every style of street dance, and currently teaches at five different dance studios. He has worked with studio owners, instructors, and students in northern and southern New Jersey, and is heavily involved with dancers from MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.
A native of Puerto Rico, singer Vanessa Cruz is an accomplished performer of many music styles, from romantic ballads to lively and rich merengue. Vanessa began singing professionally at age 9 with the group Las Hijas de Borinquen. She performed throughout Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic singing in different festivals such as the Festival De La Voz y La Cancion, where she won several awards together with Las Hijas de Borinquen. Vanessa has also appeared on radio and television programs throughout her career. In 1991 Vanessa went solo, sharing the stage with such famous artists as Celia Cruz, Luis Enrique, Willy Chirino, Milly Quesada, Grupo Mania, and Manny Manuel among others.
Vanessa Cruz has performed at many important events in Florida, Puerto Rico, New York and El Salvador. Recent performances include the 20th Anniversary of JJ Production, Donating Smiles, Premios Estrellas, October Fest in Puerto Rico, Exponica International Fair of the Americas, The Annual White Party Sunset T-Dance, Fiesta De Pueblo, A Night Of Stars With Roberto Levermann, Red Carpet by Charlie Lapson “Rumba”, New York Couture Fashion Week, and Calle Ocho in Miami, to name a few. Vanessa was nominated for seven Golden Mic Latin Music Awards 2013 for her new single, Me Gusta, winning “Artista Femenino Tropical del Año”.
More information: www.vanessacruz.net
Serge Khrichenko is one of the most accomplished and innovative guitarists performing today. A graduate of the prestigious Rimsky Korsakov Music College in St. Petersburg, Russia, Mr. Khrichenko started his career as a guitarist and then worked as a professional composer and performer with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic for more than 10 years. He is now continuing his experiments in classical, jazz and rock music in the USA. Mr. Khrichenko has performed with numerous musicians in addition to his solo appearances in Russia, Europe, and the USA (NY, Philadelphia, and Washington DC). His performances include concerts at the Russian Embassy, French Embassy, the Strathmore Mansion, Kennedy Center and Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, as well as local and international jazz fests. In 2004 Mr. Khrichenko won the most popular guitar competition in America , “GuitarMageddon” (Maryland area). In 2009 and 2010 Serge Khrichenko performed his own compositions with the State Philharmonic in Russia to widespread acclaim, and in May 2012 he was awarded the Grand Prize for the Best Performance at the International Guitar World Festival in Moscow. Mr. Khrichenko has extensive experience composing for chamber orchestras, jazz-rock bands and fashion shows. His compositions Tango Mephisto and Raising Buddha were finalists in the instrumental category of the U.K. International Songwriting Contest 2007 and his composition Dangerous Journey was listed in the “Top 10 on Earth” for 2007 in the jazz-fusion category. Mr. Khrichenko also teaches at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD.
Gianni Russo has appeared in more than 45 motion pictures, but is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the infamous son-in-law, Carlo Rizzi in the iconic film The Godfather. He has also appeared in such motion picture hits as The Freshman, Rush Hour, Any Given Sunday, Sea Biscuit, and the recently released Send No Flowers, as well as in numerous television roles in Kojak, The Rockford Files, Prison Break, and more.
Along with his film career, he has sung at top show venues in New York City and throughout the world: the Copacabana, Rainbow Room, Carlyle Hotel, 5 years at Michael Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel, and for the past 3 years, appearing monthly at the famous Le Cirque. His musical skills have been compared to legends such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Sammy Davis, Jr. and more, and his debut CD, Reflections, paid homage to some of these iconic signers. His follow up CD was released in 2010, and his self-titled wine label, Gianni Russo Wines, launched nationally in 2009.
A native of New York City, Mr. Russo donates his time and professionalism to many charities and non-profit organizations. He has been recognized as Man of the Year by Boys Town of Italy, UNICO National, the American Cancer Society, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and St. Jude’s, to name a few.
More information: www.GianniRusso.com
The February 2014 CFW runway was again honored with stellar performances by top Broadway stars. Appearing in support of Broadway Sings for Pride were Adam Shapiro, Alexis Acar, Andres Pratts, Ashley Tobias, Brian Craft, Bryan Austermann, Christian Dante White, Chondra Profit, Diego Rios, Elissa Goldstein, Haley Selmon, Jennifer Fouche, Kyle Motsinger, Matthew Corr, Megan Dorn, Michael Fernandes, MJ Rodriguez, Noreen Crayton, Onyie, Rachele Rommes, Rachel Lorin, Rachel Sophia, Romelda Teron Benjamin, and Rori Nogee.
Broadway Sings For Pride is a non-for-profit organization which brings together Broadway talent and celebrities to promote LGBT equality through song. Launched in June 2011, the organization has received support from Carol Channing, Channing Tatum, Nathan Lane, Joy Behar, Wendy Williams and many others. Broadway Sings for Pride is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization.
Ray Blizzy creates his infectious musical blend with a mix of crowd favorites and unexpected hits. He hooks audiences by linking current music with favorites from decades past, what he calls “musical time travel” and is known for keeping party-goers on their feet all night long. Ray’s digital MP3 library includes a collection of over 10,000 hits from the 40’s to the current Top 40. A great DJ for any group, he is a high-energy, multi-talented DJ who will get your guests up and dancing. More information: www.blizzybeatz.com
A native of Colombia, Lorena Ayub began her dance training at age 4. She participated as the child Queen of the Carnival of Barranquilla, the world’s second largest carnival event (after Rio de Janeiro). Ms. Ayub has performed on multiple occasions with the Zholuska Ballet Corps at Bogota’s renowned Colon Theater, as well as during Bogota’s annual Ballet Festival in the Park. She represented Colombia at the International Dance Festival of Panama, has performed with the Jorge Arnedo Ballet Company at the International Golden Gate Ballet Festival in Colombia, and with the Afro-Caribbean company in the Barranquilla Carnival parades, winning the Congo Gold Award for best choreography and artistic presentation. She danced in EstrellaTV’s talent competition Tengo Talento Mucho Talento in Los Angeles, advancing to the top 10 finalists. She has studied with acclaimed dance instructors Nadejda Podtchikova (ballet) and Raquia Hassan (classic Egyptian), as well as with the Ballet Hispanico in New York and with the Camaguey Ballet in Cuba. She has appeared in several music videos and has also taught dance. Ms. Ayub is currently studying at the Peridance Capezio Dance Center in New York, and also dances with the Pajarillo Pintao Colombian folkloric dance troop.
Visit Lorena Ayub on Facebook.
Ryan Raffloer & Shelby Joy Cole
Art Development Center “My Way”
Ryan Raffloer is a young dancer, actor and model. He has been in the entertainment business for more than 10 years, acting in many movies, TV, and Off-Broadway shows, as well as modeling in several runway shows. Mr. Raffloer is a very talented and hard working ballroom dancer. His big dream is to catch a rise to a high level of dancing in Latin and European programs, and hopes to become a World Champion one day. Ryan’s life quote is: “Never Say Never!”
Shelby Joy Cole did competitive gymnastics for 8 solid years, and then went on to pursue ballet. She achieved her goal and was accepted into the Professional Performing Arts School, and continued to dance ballet at Manhattan Youth Ballet. There she met her future dance partner who helped her begin international ballroom, having previously trained at American Ballroom Theater. She is currently training at Alvin Ailey, and in her spare time practices International Ballroom and Latin with her partner, Ryan Raffloer.
Reagan Richards is a singer/songrwriter who has been in the industry since she was 4 years old. The daughter of a former big band singer and fashion executive, she began her career as a child model in New York City and soon after began singing and performing. Reagan’s musical career has had her singing on the Steve Allen Radio Show at 10 years old and moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where she lived and performed for 7 years. She has sung backup for major artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Lisa Loeb, Michael Des Barres and Darlene Love. One of the biggest highlights of her career was singing with the legendary Les Paul for 4 years, where she was part of two major concerts for the icon at Los Angeles’ Gibson Ampitheatre and New York’s’ Roseland Ballroom. She has appeared on the hit show Gossip Girl with Lisa Loeb.
Reagan created her “ROCK & ROLL ODDITY”, which is a theatrical show with her band of her original music and glam rock and roll songs. As a huge fan of fashion and everything avant garde, Reagan leaves no stone unturned in her always visually stimulating performances. In addition to writing her own material, she writes and produces her music videos. Reagan is a model for various companies, including a rock and roll apparel store, FETISH, in famed music town, Asbury Park.
September 2013 marks Reagan’s fourth season appearance at Couture Fashion Week.
Whether it’s a gymnastics art performance, choreographing the top new dance steps, manipulating different apparatuses in her hands, flying with an aerial hammock, eating fire or modeling in front of the camera, Silviya Taseva is an amazing, multi-talented performer. She is a unique combination of Cirque du Soleil, a Broadway production and a Gymnastics event and more, all in one.
A native of Bulgaria, Silviya began rhythmic gymnastics training and a competitive career at age 4 working with a world-famous gymnastics coach. She joined the Bulgarian National Gymnastics Team at age 12, and her achievements include: Gold Medalist of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Team Cup, Bronze Medalist European Championship, 5-time Bulgarian National Champion, as well as being a medalist in numerous International Grand Prix and World Qualification Tournaments.
Silviya is pursuing a successful career as a gymnastics and dance choreographer, stage performer and model, and has appeared in many commercials, popular television and fashion shows, music videos, beauty contests, and toured with top recording artists. She served as a choreographer for the USA National Gymnastics Team and has been the leading choreographer of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Junior Group Team — the current two-time National Champions of the USA. Silviya is currently choreographer for the upcoming Broadway show, The Last Days of Pompeii. She is also the 2nd runner up of the of Miss Bulgaria in USA competition, among other accolades. More information: www.silviyataseva.com
Soprano ESTÉREdiva is an international concert vocalist who performs in concerts throughout the USA and Europe, at private, corporate and social events, fundraisers, and fashion shows. ESTÉRE captivates her audience with her unique style and effortless high notes, and her range has been called “unfathomable.” A native of Israel, ESTÉRE was influenced from an early age by the career of her father, a noted opera singer. She served in the Israeli Army, and sang as part of the military entertainment for soldiers on the Israeli borders. She has performed in musicals and various European productions, TV shows and movies. ESTÉRE represented Israel in the esteemed European Song Festival “The Eurovision” and with the “Alpha-Betha” Group won first place in Paris. ESTÉRE began her musical career as a pop and jazz singer, and went on to develop a love for the classics, embarking on extensive opera training and coaching. Today her repertoire includes music by Puccini, Verdi, Catalani, Bellini and Lehar. Her successful debut at Carnegie Hall in 2009 led to a second concert there in 2010 with the male operatic group “Dolcissimo”, as well as a TV appearance on channel 56MNN which aired in NY, CT, CA and Boston. Recent concerts include the Westchester Broadway Theater; Le Frak Concert Hall in Queens College; Triad Theater NYC; Italian Festival, Syracuse NY; Italian Festival, Long Island NY; Hod Hasharon Israel and Valetta, Malta. She currently studies with Soprano Hallie Neill. More information: www.esterediva.com
Spiros Exaras is a graduate of the Athens Conservatory of Music in classical guitar and composition. In Greece he has performed with the Greek National Radio Television Orchestra (ERT) for several years, as well as with the Orchestra of Colors. He has also performed and recorded with pre-eminent composers and singers such as Evanthia Reboutsika, Elias Andriopoulos, Alkistis Protopsalti, Mario Frangoulis, Ellie Paspalla, Yannis Markopoulos and Kostas Hatzis, to name just a few. In the USA, Spiros has collaborated with Shirley Bassey, Randy Brecker, Ray Vega, Jon Benitez, Matt Garrison, Philip Hamilton, members of the jazz-fusion group Spyro Gyra, Grammy award winners Dave Valentin, Arturo O’ Farrill and Hernan Romero and the legendary jazz singer Mark Murphy, among others. He also performed on Mariah Carey’s smash hit My All (Sony 1998). Spiros has composed music for the feature film Everything For A Reason, the short film Niko’s Restaurant, and the theatrical play Gallathea as well as numerous commercials. He released his first personal CD in 1992 (MBI Greece), playing the music of legendary Greek performer Kostas Hatzis, while his recent work entitled Phrygianics featuring his own compositions, has been released internationally to wide critical acclaim, by Blue Note Records (EMI 2003). His new collaboration CD with Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca, entitled Old Waters, New River is scheduled to be released in late 2013. More information: www.spirosexaras.com
A native of Greece, award-winning theater and film actor Stratos Tzortzoglou has received accolades from numerous industry legends including director Ingmar Bergman (nine-time Academy Award nominee) director Elia Kazan (three-time Oscar winner), Chairman of 20th Century Fox Jim Giannopoulos, and Oscar winning actress Olympia Dukakis, among many others. He has played leading roles in such theater productions as A Streetcar Named Desire, Orpheus Descending, The Milktrain Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, Death of a Salesman, Mourning Becomes Electra, Our Town, Salome, The Idiot, Dangerous Liaisons, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, to name but a few. Stratos has worked with top directors including Theo Angelopoulos in Landscape in the Mist, Michael Cacoyannis in Up, Down and Sideways, Eva Bergman in One Love and The Other, Andreas Voutsinas, and many more. Acclaimed actresses with whom Stratos has worked include Irene Pappas, Catherine Deneuve, Lena Endre, and Sarah Douglas. Stratos recently moved to New York City.
More information: www.tzortzoglou.gr
Ileana Exaras started her acting and singing career at the age of 10, while she was living in her native Greece. She participated in several theater productions and TV commercials, while her anti-drug song was chosen and performed by ACS school choir, to wide critical acclaim. Currently Ileana is a drama studio senior student at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York and has played leading roles in several theatrical productions such as Twelve Angry Men and Measure for Measure, as well as supporting roles in Footloose, Carousel and The Lion King, among others. She was chosen by the award-winning director Alan Metzger to play an antagonist role in the film The Corruption of Antoinette, which is an ongoing production. Ileana wrote the Greek lyrics and sang the Greek version of the award-winning song by Jim Papoulis for Haiti Relief, which was recorded in 35 languages. She has written several songs and is working on her first script. She also has her own weekly show on Radio Kosmos, 91.5 FM.
Brooke Lacey Humphrey
Model, singer and actress Brooke Lacey Humphrey is a native of Houston, Texas, now proud to call NYC home. She is delighted to return to the Couture Fashion Week stage in 2013, this time singing as well as walking the runway. Brooke’s numerous theatrical appearances include roles in regional productions with Theatre Under The Stars – Mainstage: Urban Cowboy, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, The Sound of Music , The Who’s Tommy and Pinocchio. In regional premieres, she has appeared in Vote: A New Musical, and 13- The Musical. Her favorite roles: Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Velma (Hairspray), Meg (The Little Women-The Musical) and Polly (Crazy for You). Brooke is also featured on the original cast recording/CD of Vote: A New Musical. Brooke has performed in events and cabarets in both Houston and New York City. She has extensive vocal, dance, and acting training and is currently represented by MSA Models NYC. Modeling credits include the cover of the Random House I So Don’t Do book series, as well as Milton Bradley’s international game board The Game of Life: Twists and Turns. Brooke has also been seen as a print model in The New York Post, Men’s Health magazine, and the Museum of Natural Science’s National Butterfly Exhibit, as well as in catalogs, look-books, and fashion presentations. Notable runway work includes Couture Fashion Week New York, NYC Lingerie Fashion Week and The Bridal Extravaganza. Brooke has also appeared on television in Mirror Mirror (The Live Well Network), Luby’s, Academy, and Great Day Houston.
Exotic. Tribal. Iconic. These are words that many have used to describe one of New Zealand’s most alluring live exports, Mika, as he arrives for a whirlwind tour of New York City in September 2013. Mika will be adorned in clothes created by NZ designer Lela Jacobs – as New Zealand is no longer viewed as a small series of islands in the South Pacific, but as a globally recognized brand and culture.
While a New Zealander performing live as part of the city’s fashion celebrations isn’t a common occurrence, this isn’t Mika’s first dalliance with the Empire State. His decadent nature insists he must return. Past career highlights include opening for Grace Jones, shocking audiences in the Oscar-winning film The Piano, penning the world’s first gay “haka” (Maori war dance), and performing for HRH Prince Charles at the Palace of Hollyroodhouse.
Looking to launch his brand internationally, Mika is passionate as he beckons the world to witness his cutting edge, indigenous art. “This is a fabulous chance for New York to get a flash of Maori culture that they might never have seen before,” he states. “I can’t wait to unleash the Mika experience on the fashion queens of New York City – as I’m sure they will unleash some of their own upon me.” An iconoclast to convention and an innovator across the ever-changing faces of media both new and old , Mika’s striking, eye popping originality is a rare commodity; one that is set to erupt on a global level.
Mika’s artistic achievements – from the seven albums recorded in English and Te Reo Maori, numerous works behind the scenes and on stage, television and film, and touring critically acclaimed live shows, to an astonishing seven Edinburgh Festivals – are matched only by his philanthropic efforts. His eclectic and rewarding career has inspired equally rewarding efforts to give back by educating and inspiring new generations of Maori and Pacific artists and performers. The multi-talented Mika Haka Foundation tribe includes actors, dancers, singers and musicians, visual artists and fashion designers.
More information: www.mika.co.nz
Hailed as “a voice to remember” for his performance at The Rockwall Music Festival, LaMarcus Miller has sung numerous leading and supporting operatic roles including Palemon in Thais, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Les Comtes Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Dancaire in Carmen, and Simone & Marco in Gianni Schicchi. He made his musical theatre debut as The Beast in Beauty and the Beast in 2011.
Mr. Miller has also performed a wide array of oratorio and sacred works including Kodaly’s Te Deum, Malcom Archer’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai, and Mozart’s Requiem. He has been a soloist with the Rockwall Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Baptist University Chorale, Texas A & M Chorale, and has performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in Karl Jenkin’s “The Armed Man” Mass of Peace in 2013.
Mr. Miller’s accolades include First Place in the Vocal Division at the 2009 Delta Symphony Concerto Competition, Second Place at the 2011 African American Business and Professional Women’s Vocal Artist Competition in Houston, TX, and First Place in the 2012 Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition at Carnegie Hall. Recently, he was awarded an Encouragement Award for 2012 from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition (Eastern Region).
Upcoming for Mr. Miller will be singing and covering various roles with Utah Festival Opera (summer 2013) and scheduled auditions on the west coast. He is currently a candidate for a Master of Music Degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and studies with Mark Oswald and Bruce Stasyna.
More information: www.lamarcusmiller.com
Fast rising solo artist/songwriter Dan Reardon currently juggles four non-exclusive publishing deals. When music biz legend Neil Gillis (Warner/Chappell Music) signed the Long Island, NY-based singer to a publishing deal, he had one transformative suggestion: “Don’t try to sound like what you think others want to hear.” When Reardon applied his stellar songwriting chops to the emotions within, he created his definitive music. The blend of poignantly personal lyrics and soaring choruses on the upcoming EP Can You Hear Me Now? (Right Me Up Records) is both distinctly Dan Reardon and universally resonant. The five-song mini-album follows a revelatory love, loss, and, ultimately, personal triumph narrative. Reardon wrote every song, played every instrument (except drums and cello), and co-produced Can You Hear Me Now? “This album is me wearing many different hats,” he says. “I feel really proud of this record. It’s a true reflection of my style, my experiences, and my emotions.”
Counting the storied Dave Matthews Band among his strongest musical influences, Dan Reardon’s own first successful band was Soundside, focusing on modern pop-rock. Soundside did 5 records, one in Spanish, and played over 400 shows, opening for such diverse and esteemed artists as Berlin, Days Of The New, The Tubes, and the New York Dolls. The band also played charity gig at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome before 20,000 people, and worked with producer Adam Lawson (Panic at the Disco, Paramore) and video director Scott Culver (Hellogoodbye, Yellowcard), among other highlights. Dan is currently writing his full-length debut to follow up his EP Can You Hear Me Now?. More information: www.danreardonmusic.com
N’Kenge has been hailed by Variety as “a sensational powerhouse singer packed in a lithe body” and is taking the music world by storm with her versatility and show stopping stage presence. N’Kenge made her Broadway debut in Sondheim on Sondheim, her West End debut in The Genius of Ray Charles, and her New York City Opera debut in The Mother of Us All. She appeared in 3 Mo Divas (Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Actress), Aida by Elton John and Tim Rice (Arizona Theater Award for Best Lead Actress), and in the world tour of the Michael Jackson Tribute Show. N’Kenge was honored to give a solo performance at the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball hosted by President Barak Obama, and she recently sang God Bless America for the LA Dodgers’ Opening Game. Both events were televised through the US and Canada. N’Kenge has also sung at the White House for President Bill Clinton, was part of a worldwide broadcast by NPR from the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and has done solo engagements at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and starred in her own one-woman show entitled DivaLicious, to name but a few.
A native of the Bronx in New York City, N’Kenge studied at the renowned High School of Performing Arts, Manhattan School of Music and The Julliard School. She won accolades for her voice as well as her beauty when she won the title of Miss Manhattan in the Miss America Pageant. From opera to rap, N’Kenge’s performances are consistent in their technical excellence. Her musical repertoire covers 11 languages with an uncanny power and control. Stephen Holden of The New York Times called N’Kenge “a classically trained diva who can stretch from Broadway pop-soul to opera.” N’Kenge is currently appearing in Motown: The Musical on Broadway. More information: www.nkengemusic.com
Dancer Lindsey Sagrera began ballet at age 8 and has spent summers training with Ballet Austin, Ballet Chicago, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. Now, at age 18, she dances in the company of Lafayette Ballet Theatre. Her most noteworthy roles include Folly variation in Coppelia, Midnight Fairy variation and Ballet Master’s Assistant in Cinderella, as well as Doll, Spanish, and Arabian variations in The Nutcracker. Lindsey plans to continue expanding her repertoire and has intentions of exploring other genres of dance performance that further stretch her imagination and body. Explains Lindsey: “Connecting with an audience, with individual people, through this art form in which I find such value gives me a happiness that I can’t imagine discovering in any other place but the stage. To offer a kindred moment is something I continually strive for as an artist and hope that I only strengthen the bond I seek to create in my performances.”
Angeles Dominguez was born on Grand Canary Island, Spain. She has been an accomplished songwriter for more than a decade composing music and lyrics for many well-known artists in her native country. Her compositions cover a wide array of musical styles, and she has also composed songs for commercials and other events. In 2009 Ms. Dominguez launched her own singing career with the release of “Dejame” which quickly reached the top of the music charts. See her latest video: on YouTube.com
More information: www.AngelesDominguez.com
The CFW runway was recently graced by dazzling performances by a number of top Broadway performers. The performers appeared in support of Broadway Sings for Pride, and included singers Adam Chandler, Adam Shapiro, Andres Pratts, Ashley Arcement, Benjamin Torres, Bruce Wilson, Bryan Austermann, Ceasar Munoz, Chondra Profit, Christopher Sidoli, Connor Antico, Dan Domenech, Elissa Goldstein, Ethan Paulini, Hansel Tan, Jennifer Fouche, Kyle Motsinger, Lauren Zakrin, MJ Rodriguez, Noreen Crayton, Rachel Filsoof, Rachele Rommes, Romelda Teron Benjamin, Shawna Menifee, Trista Dollison, and Wendy Watson, as well as dancers Alexandra Frohlinger, Sasha Iman, Sarah Kay Marchetti, Lauren Strigari, Jessica Wu, Ellen Zolezzi and choreographer Sidney Erik Wright.
Broadway Sings For Pride is a non-for-profit organization which brings together Broadway talent and celebrities to promote LGBT equality through song. Launched in June 2011, the organization has received support from Carol Channing, Channing Tatum, Nathan Lane, Joy Behar, Wendy Williams and many others. Broadway Sings for Pride is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization.
Yakiv Myronyuk is a professional dancer, instructor, choreographer (Ballroom, Latin, Ballet, Jazz) and actor. He has danced for 20 years, and has experience as coach and choreographer for 11 years. Mr. Myronyuk teaches all kinds of students – children and adults, social and competitive — and all his students demonstrate great improvement. In July 2012 Mr. Myronyuk fulfilled his dream. He opened his first dance school “Olympic Ballroom”.
Ryan Raffloer is a young dancer, actor and model. He has been in the entertainment business for more than 10 years, acting in many movies, TV, and Off-Broadway shows, as well as modeling in several runway shows. Mr. Raffloer is a very talented and hard working ballroom dancer. His big dream is to catch a rise to a high level of dancing in Latin and European programs, and hopes to become a World Champion one day. Ryan’s life quote is: “Never Say Never!”
Shelby Joy Cole did competitive gymnastics for 8 solid years, and then went on to pursue ballet. She achieved her goal and was accepted into the Professional Performing Arts School, and continued to dance ballet at Manhattan Youth Ballet. There she met her future dance partner who helped her begin international ballroom, having previously trained at American Ballroom Theater. She is currently training at Alvin Ailey, and in her spare time practices International Ballroom and Latin with her partner, Ryan Raffloer.
Amanda Maria Herrschaft started competitive gymnastics and ballet at the age of 6. She also has studied at American Ballet Theater’s summer intensive in New York City. At age 15 she started training in Ballroom Dancing and fell quickly in love with it. She hopes to have a bright future one day in Ballroom.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/OlympicBallroom
Blake Carrington is a gifted R&B/Soul singer, songwriter, arranger, recording artist, actor and driven entrepreneur. His stunning five-octave tenor voice has thrilled audiences across the nation and around the globe. Mr. Carrington’s major musical influences include Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, Musiq Soulchild, Maxwell and Donny Hathaway. He has shared the stage with Eric Roberson, Jagged Edge, Ne-Yo, Keyshia Cole, Akon, Tank, Ludacris, and Ciara, among many others. His take on classic urban Soul and R&B is delivered with a substantive message, expansive vocal prowess, in soul-fused performances. Mr. Carrington’s recent album, Be a Man, is reminiscent of great singers of the past who combined uncanny talent with class, a rare commodity these days. The album is an introspective view of his personal values, ethics, and contributions.
Also an accomplished actor, Blake Carrington has appeared in numerous commercials, TV shows and films, including Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Orange is the New Black, Royal Pain, Adjustment Bureau, The Other Guys, Salt, Fighting, American Gangster, Sex in the City 2, The Big C, Law and Order (SVU, Criminal Intent and L&O), CSI New York, Blue Bloods, and many more.
Mr. Carrington is also the Founder and CEO of Bigger Than Life Music (B.T.L. Music) LLC, an independent music company with special interest in singers, songwriters, and entertainment performers, striving to create music that promotes lyrical content while embodying depth and insight.
More information: www.BlakeCarrington.net
Sinem Saniye (pronounced SEE-nem SAH-nee-yeh), is an award-winning songwriter, singer, guitar player and music lover. Sinem is an ancient Turkish word meaning deep from within my heart. As her name implies, Sinem writes and delivers her music in this very manner. Every song and lyric in her debut album, When I Don’t Sleep.. comes from the most honest and passionate place in her heart. Sinem has been featured in magazines like TimeOUT NY, Global Rhythm Magazine, The VillageVoice, and The Los Angeles Times. She has also been featured in television programs across the US including Indi Music TV, Music Mix USA, Swept Away TV, The Rhythms of NY, The Directors Chair, Metro Unplugged in Los Angeles, and many more. Sinem’s music can be heard on Delta Airlines’ flights, Whole Foods, Williams Sonoma, Fairview Hotels, and retailers and restaurants across the world. Sinem’s music videos are in high rotation on MTV in Europe. More information: www.sinem.net
Lizzie Sider is a devoted and passionate country-pop singer/songwriter. She writes music that touches people, and perhaps, takes them back to their own similar experiences. Her debut single, “Butterfly”, has surprised listeners with her mature vocals and youthful lyrics. “Butterfly” climbed into the top 60 on the well-respected Music Row Country Music charts, and the in-studio music video is playing on GACtv.com, CMT.com and TCN – The Country Network’s television station.
Lizzie sees herself as having a calling to perform on the big stage and to become a role model and inspiration to others. People in the industry love working with Lizzie. She is clean cut, a breath of fresh air, a little old fashioned in some ways, and fun loving – a genuine sweetheart. Currently a high school student in South Florida, Lizzie takes creative inspiration from such artists as Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, and others.
Lizzie recently opened for Jamie O’Neal and Aaron Tippin, and has been the featured performer at the Ocala and Inverness, FL Rodeos. She has played at writer’s nights in Nashville venues including both Hotel Indigos, The Listening Room, The Red Rooster, and Rooster’s BBQ, and has been a featured artist at the Commodore Lounge. She is slated to perform at Teddy Gentry’s (Alabama) 2013 birthday party in Nashville and at the Bluebird Café in Nashville in early 2013. She recently performed in the Grand Ballroom at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel at Couture Fashion Week in NYC. She has been the host of Breaking Out, on TCN (The Country Network), a showcase for up and coming country artists. Lizzie has performed at the Southern Women’s shows in Birmingham, AL, Jacksonville, FL and Orlando, FL. She has toured St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, and performed at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, FL and at the Ronald McDonald House in Nashville.
Lizzie Sider is currently working on her first full length studio album for release in 2013.
More information: www.LizzieSider.com
Award-winning singer Cristina Fontanelli has become a well-known personality through her recordings, appearances on TV, radio, in concert, nightclubs, and opera, and through her acting debut on network television. Her most recent accomplishment is as PBS Host for Andrea Bocelli’s historic free concert in Central Park also starring Celine Dion, David Foster and Tony Bennett, for the Vienna Boys Choir special and she will once again join PBS as host for the 2012 Il Volo special. She is the “voice of Domino’s Pizza” on their current national radio commercial, the voice of “Nonna” on the beloved PBS TV Chef Lidia Bastianich’s 2010 Christmas special (over 300 PBS outlets across the U.S.), and has appeared on CBS Weekend in interview/performance/co-hosting roles for the past 2 years.
Her beautiful soprano voice has taken her to the White House as part of President Clinton’s holiday celebration and in 2005 she was invited to open the ceremonies at the Stars & Stripes Inaugural Ball for President George W. Bush. Recent appearances included the Hilton in Atlantic City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC, a 9/11 memorial concert at Rockefeller Center with the NYPD Concert Band (televised on CNN, Fox National and NY Channels 5, 7 and 9), the Columbus Day Parade on 5th Avenue NYC, the prestigious Hamptons Classic Horse Show, singing the National Anthem on Capital Hill in Washington D.C. for the testimony by fashion-icon Giorgio Gucci, the Jimmy Kimmel TV program, singing Happy Birthday to Mickey Rooney for his 90th birthday celebration at Feinsteins (Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, Tony Bennett, et al in attendance), a gala at the Pierre Hotel in NY City for Gucci, and her annual Christmas in Italy concert at Lincoln Center. Ms. Fontanelli i has been named one of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts 100 most notable alumni (along with Robert Redford, Danny DeVito, Edward G. Robinson, etc.). She has appeared with numerous opera companies and prestigious orchestras worldwide, and appears annually at the world-famous Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel in NYC. She was signed by a platinum-record winning producer to record Cristina Fontanelli Sings Great Italian Favorites. She is the recipient of numerous awards. Ms. Fontanelli sings and entertains in 8 languages.
Sweet Lew is a musician who utilizes the saxophone’s healing tones to uplift, inspire, promote peace and harmony and contribute to the general wellness of Planet Earth. Music is a known power to restore balance, bring about positive change and stimulate deep ruminations in the mind. Sweet Lew is dedicated to this mission.
Thomas Cook is the consummate entertainer, singer, songwriter, recording artist and performer. His career has been distinguished by performing for many chartable causes and he has been honored for his concerns by President Ronald Regan, Members of Congress, and The American Heart Association, as well as receiving numerous awards from such prestigious organizations as Outstanding Young Men of America. Most recently Mr. Cook was honored with the President George W. Bush’s Presidential Service Award – the highest volunteer award in the country. The award recognizes Mr. Cook’s life long commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
Thomas Cook has produced, directed and performed at national fundraising concerts for the Salvation Army, Cystic Fibrosis, The American Red Cross, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Race Against Drugs Campaign. He has traveled the world with the cast of “Up With People” , and composed original music for Olympic figure skating medalists Peter and Kitty Caruthers. Mr. Cook has performed in Mexico and the United States with legendary singing star Englebert Humperdink, co-hosted “Avenue of the Stars” with Vanna White, and performed original compositions before His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, former U.S. Presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter, Larry King Live, The Ambassador’s Ball at the Breaker’s Hotel Palm Beach, “The Kennedy Center” 2007 Chairman of the Awesomely Bad Ball featuring Thomas Cook with a command performance, H.E. John Cardinal O’Connor in New York, and the Miami City Ballet, to mention just a few.
A descendant of one of the worlds greatest authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Cook is also President of Thomas Cook and Associates based in Washington D.C., specializing in public relations, corporate partnerships, sponsorships, marketing, development, strategic alliances and celebrity recruitment. More information: www.thomascookdc.com
Prince Igor and Angel Rose
Prince Igor (Igor Yahilevich), founder of Prince Enterprises, Inc., is a classically trained pianist, keyboard player, composer and arranger. Mr. Yahilevich has over 20 years experience composing music scores for TV, movies and variety shows. He has recorded several albums/CD’s of original compositions. Prince Igor has participated in many US and European jazz festivals and has performed in concert halls around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Sheraton Hilton, Water Club, Ambassador Grill and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Angel Rose was honored to be the featured vocalist for Stevie Wonder and Dizzy Gillespie’s collaboration, the Grammy nominated recording, Closer to the Source. Quincy Jones, George Duke, and Glenn Ballard are among the notable producers who have selected her to record with a diverse roster of artists, truly the elite of the industry, including Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Kahn, Vanessa Williams, and Celine Dion.
Cynthia Basinet is an American-born actress, critically acclaimed singer and humanitarian. Cynthia is best known for her iconic version of Santa Baby, which is mistakenly attributed to Marilyn Monroe and can be found in the soundtrack, Party Monster. Always interested in social and environmental issues, the former model was nominated for a shared Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Recently she recorded The Christmas Song with Lee Musiker (Tony Bennett’s pianist) as a followup to their It’s Only a Paper Moon collaboration , which can be found on iTunes and Amazon. Cynthia has also appeared in over 100+ TV, film and commercials including the upcoming documentary, American Gold with Isaac Mizrahi, Judy Collins and YoYo Ma, narrated by Edward Burns. More information: www.cynthiabasinet.com
A native of Stuttgart, Germany, Christine Reber is an accomplished singer who received her classical training in Freiburg, Germany, as well as in New York City. In addition to opera productions, sacred music, recitals and music/art festivals in the USA as well as in her home country, the soprano has performed in Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Italy and Canada, where she has received widespread praise and as a fresh, exciting presence on the international vocal scene. Ms. Reber was awarded the 2005 Achievement Award for Artistic Excellence from the New York German Forum, and participated in the 2006 memorial service for the victims of 9/11 at St. Paul’s Church Manhattan that was broadcast on German, Swiss and Austrian national television. For 2011/ 2012 she is preparing appearances in the United Arab Emirates and China. She is also working on a CD featuring the songs of Bruno Droste, a popular East German composer and conductor, much of whose music was destroyed by the DDR after his defection to the West. More information: www.ChristineReber.com
Russian born soprano Olga Orlovskaya inherited her talent from her great grandfather, the famous Russian bass Fedor Shalyapin. Ms. Orlovskaya graduated with honors from the Russian Academy of Music and in 2008 was a prize winner in the Operetta Land international competition held in Moscow for the best performance of Kalman. Her career highlights include singing the role of Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Shostakovich with the Novosibirsk State Opera Theater, for which she won a Golden Mask nomination. Ms. Orlovskaya has also had a great success with her solo concerts in many European cities and capitals (Paris, Rome, Geneva, Luxemburg, Dresden, Barcelona, Brussels). She made her U.S. debut in 2006 with the Helicon Opera Theater singing the role of Adele in Die Fleidermaus by Strauss., and during 2010-2011 she appeared as a season opener for the for National Museum of Women in the Arts concert series in Washington DC. She made her debut with Teatro Lirco D’Europa during its fall 2010-winter 2011 USA tours as Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor to outstanding critical acclaim. In 2012, with great success, she performed the roles of Mimi in La Boheme and Violetta in La Traviata with the Baltimore Opera Theater. Ms. Orlovskaya is the founder and artistic director of the “The Russian Sopranos” quartet.
Tyler Merell began her career in Boston, Massachusetts acting and singing while attending Tufts University. She won the coveted Goddard Acting Award at Tufts, two years in a row, and earned her BA in Theatre. Next, winning the prestigious “Lotta M. Crabtree Grant for Actors” Ms. Merell went on, her training fully funded, to New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned her MFA in Acting, studying under well-known faculty such as Olympia Dukakis. Ms. Merell went on to work exclusively with amazing singing coach, Twil Leipzig, in New York City. Throughout her career Ms. Merell has maintained ties to her classical training in theatre and music as she has developed a vast range, playing roles dramatic to comic, on stage and on camera. She has been delighted to perform the most gorgeous music and a variety of characters, utilizing her unique singing range of more than five and a half octaves and acting skills – from Musical Theatre to the American Songbook, Opera to Popular. (From Rodgers & Hammerstein to Lloyd Webber to Gershwin to The Bell Song, Pace mio Dio, Queen of the Night, Strauss Waltzes to Adam Lambert!) Most recently, she sang a solo concert in Mexico City and starred in You’re So Vain music video (lead acting role) with Carly Simon. More information: www.tylermerell.com
Pianist Christopher Wilson studied for a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Ithaca College under the direction of Charis Dimaras and Reed Gainsford, a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Nina Svetlanova and at the Keski Suomen Opisto summer music festival in Suolahti Finland with Lawrie Vienma. As a fond advocate of new music, Mr. Wilson has served as the Music Director/Pianist for several Metropolis Opera Project productions, including Crossing the Straits by Christopher Sahar, One Hot Kitchen by Kristin Hevner Wyatt and Stig Jonas Pettersson’s A Dream Play. He has also recently premiered works by Douglas DaSilva and Nolan Stoltz as part of the Composer’s Voice concert series. Most recently, Mr. Wilson served as the Assistant Music director for the York Theater production of a new Sheldon Harnick musical entitled A Doctor in Spite of Himself. In addition to new music endeavors, Mr. Wilson has performed works from an eclectic array of genres extensively throughout New York City and the northeast. He fondly enjoys coaching and accompanying singers, and playing chamber music with his piano trio, The Helix Trio.
A native of Albania, award-winning cellist Gjilberta Lucaj studied at the Padova Conservatorio di Musica (Italy), the Music Conservatory at SUNY Purchase, Mannes College of Music (NY) and holds a Masters in Music Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at NYU. She has performed around the world with numerous orchestras and at Avery Fischer Hall, at Carnegie Hall as a member of the Passionata Trio, and has toured extensively in South Korea. Most recently Ms. Lucaj served as artistic director featured performer for Grandes Poemas De Amor, a book and CD compiling the greatest love poems of the last 100 years by poets from Latin America and Spain.
South Korea native Min Kyung Lee began her musical path as a young pianist, later turning to the cello. She has studied at Kyung-Sung University, SUNY Purchase, and holds a Masters of Arts from Montclair State University. Ms. Lee has performed with numerous orchestras including the Pusan Chamber Orchestra, Bloomfield Symphony, Montclair Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Livingston Symphony, Plainfield Symphony, and the New Jersey Philharmonic. She has also participated in the Chautauqua Music Festival.
A recipient of numerous prestigious music awards, Suji Kim is currently a member of the Montclair String Quartet, the Alacorde Piano Trio, and the Montclair Piano Trio in addition to the Monticelli Trio. She is a principal cellist of The Little Opera Company of NJ, North Jersey Concert Opera, The Baroque Orchestra of North Jersey, Plainfield Symphony and New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Kim holds degrees from Kei-Myung University (Korea) and Temple University, and studied at Montclair State University and the University of Missouri Kansas City. Ms. Kim is an adjunct professor at College of St. Elizabeth and on the faculty of the Judith G. Wharton Music School and Montclair Kimberly Academy.
More information: www.monticellitrio.com
New York Children’s Dance Theater – Nika Ballet Studio
New York Children’s Dance Theater, established by the founders of Nika Ballet Studio in 2010, is a one-of-kind dance company comprised of non-professional young dancers who are passionately devoted to the art of dance. NYCDT has presented numerous performances throughout the New York City area, exhilarating diverse audiences with a wide range of classical, neoclassical and contemporary works, under the artistic direction of its talented founder, teacher and choreographer trained in the best traditions of the Russian School of Ballet, Ms. Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva.
Nika Ballet Studio is an innovative dance studio, founded upon a passionate belief that a dance center should not just be a comfortable place for exercise where children can aspire to become dancers, but a liberating and inspiring space for connection of the body, mind and soul. Nika Ballet Studio offers a uniquely exciting environment for anyone willing to embrace the magic of the wonderful world of music and dance.
More information: www.nikaballetstudio.com
Carole J. Bufford
Carole J. Bufford, a bluesy singer with a penchant for any song that tells a great story, has been breathing new life into the Great American Songbook all across the country. She has been seen in numerous productions at New York’s famed Town Hall as well as Jazz@ Lincoln Center where she received specific praise from Stephen Holden in The New York Times. She recently ended an unprecedented nine-month run at Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency with Eleven O’clock Numbers at Eleven O’clock. Her recent solo cabarets, intro at The Metropolitan Room and Carole J. Bufford sings Randy Newman at Don’t Tell Mama, received rave reviews, and she is the recent recipient of the 2011 Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist.
More information: www.carolejbufford.com
A native of Albania, Gjilberta Lucaj began cello studies at age six. At age thirteen she won the National Young Artist Competition and became the youngest student ever to be chosen to tour in Italy with the Shkoder Symphony Orchestra. Tour highlights included playing for Pope John Paul II and receiving a full scholarship from the Padova Conservatorio di Musica. Gjilberta went on to attend the Music Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College where she studied with Peter Wiley of the Guarnieri Quartet and graduated with a BFA in Music Performance. Soon after, she was accepted into the Mannes College of music in Manhattan and most recently, she received a Masters in Music Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at NYU. Gjilberta performed at Carnegie Hall as a member of the “Passionata Trio” in 2002 and 2003 and has since given numerous solo, chamber music and orchestral performances throughout USA. In 2006, she became a member of the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra, has performed frequently at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall, and has toured extensively in South Korea. She has given lecture recitals for Hudson Valley Piano club for two years in a row and has participated and performed in many master classes including with Yo-Yo Ma. She has performed with many orchestras such as Westchester Chamber Orchestra, Glens Falls Orchestra, Gateway Classical Society Opera, Bronx Orchestra, and more. Gjilberta is a member of the Monticelli Trio (an all-girl cello trio). In 2009 she was the only classical musician chosen to tour as part of a group of distinguished actors, supermodels, Olympic hockey players, producers and singers to benfit the Mauricio Amuy Foundation in Mexico and to raise awareness of child abuse and poverty in that country. Gjilberta has been feautured in many major Albanian publications as well as in Couture & Luxury Magazine, Scarsdale Inquirer (NY), Village Voice (CT), and more. Most recently Gjilberta served as artistic director and was the featured performer for Grandes Poemas De Amor, a book and CD compiling the greatest love poems from the last 100 years by Latin American and Spanish poets.
At twenty-five years of age, pianist Julie Coucheron has established an international career, winning prizes in Italy, Germany and in the U.S. She has worked with many prominent musicians includingLazar Berman, Claude Frank, Emanuel Ax, Vladimir Feltsman, John O’ Connor and Chistopher O’Riley and has toured Europe, North and South America and Asia, playing in such prestigious venues as Verizon Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Born in Oslo, Norway, Ms. Coucheron started playing piano at age four. She earned her Bachelors and Master’s Degree with honors from the Royal Academy of Music in London studying with Christopher Elton and Michael Dussek while also gaining her LRAM teaching diploma at the same institution. Ms. Coucheron has performed at festivals such as the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Bergen International Music Festival and the La Jolla Summer Fest. In 2002 she released her first recording, Debut, on the Naxos label, together with her brother David, featuring lyrical and virtuoso music from the classical repertoire. The response was excellent and it sold more than 40.000 copies in Norway alone. Ms. Coucheron and her brother released their second recording, David and Julie, on the Mudi/Naxos label in 2008, with sonatas by Grieg and Brahms. It received brilliant reviews worldwide. In 2009 she won first prize at the Pinerelo International Chamber Music Competition in Italy together with her brother. Ms. Coucheron, her brother – who is also Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony – and that orchestra’s principal cellist, Chris Rex, have formed a trio that performs regularly in various concert halls around the world. Ms. Coucheron is also a frequent guest artist with the Georgian Chamber Players and recently performed the Brahms piano quartet with the ensemble in Spivey Hall in Atlanta. Ms. Coucheron performs in a wide variety of styles in a repertoire ranging from her highly trained classical background to more contemporary and popular music. Recent collaborations include performances with artists such as the Steve Miller Band and Elton John.
More information: www.coucheron.com
Sarah Elizabeth Charles
Audiences are moved by Sarah Charles’s range of talents, whether she is singing the Ave Maria a capella or barreling out Muddy Water accompanied by a jazz band. She has performed at numerous jazz festivals, at the Majestic Theater in New York and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. as well as singing the national anthem at major sporting events for teams including the Boston Celtics and New England Patriots. At Couture Fashion Week in September 2009, Ms. Charles performed her composition of Ballerina with lyrics by producer and fashion designer Andres Aquino.
Dalal is a dynamic Austrian singer and actress now building her career in the USA. Her recent single, Taste the Night, reached #5 on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, and the video of the song garnered over 1 million views on YouTube in its first two days after its premiere on AOL Music. Prior to her big break with Taste The Night, Dalal starred in various television shows and movies in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Korea, and was a visual effects artist for the Disney series Sonny With a Chance and the hit show 90210. Dalal has appeared on the cover of Inspired Women magazine, and recently performed at The Fender Music Lounge and NY Loves Film parties at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. She was featured as Artist of the Month on eatsleepbreathemusic.com. Upcoming projects including a lead role in the upcoming movie “Into The Darkness” alongside Kiowa Gordon from The Twilight Saga (New Moon and Eclipse), and Mischa Barton, as well as a role in the forthcoming horror flick OLD 37 with Brandi Cyrus. Dalal will be seen walking the runway at New Jersey Fashion Week, Fall 2011.
The Broadway Dolls
Girl Group meets Broadway in the most exciting act to burst out of New York City in years! The Broadway Dolls are the undisputed official girl group of Broadway, and they have gotten their act together, and are taking it on the road! A girl group with four full-length production shows and counting, The Dolls pull from a roster of the most fiercely talented women in the business. A cast of five performs the greatest music ever written, as you’ve never heard before, in non-stop song and dance concerts.
The Broadway Dolls hail directly from the Broadway companies of Mamma Mia, Chicago, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Rock of Ages, Memphis, Jersey Boys, Million Dollar Quartet, Rent, Hairspray, Annie Get Your Gun, Legally Blonde, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grease, The Wedding Singer, A Chorus Line, Good Vibrations, Jekyll & Hyde, Spamalot, Wonderland and more.
No other entertainment company in the theatrical community boasts such an accomplished and diverse team of working actresses. The Broadway Dolls have performed in New York City at such venues as the Marriott Marquis, Cipriani Wallstreet, Cipriani 42nd street, the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, the Triad Theatre, The Pierre Hotel 5th Avenue, Midtown Theatre, B.B. Kings, and Dixon Place, among many other venues. Nationally, the Dolls have toured numerous performing arts centers to sold out crowds. The Broadway Dolls made their first international appearance at the Atlantis Resort in Dubai, headlining the World Travel Awards. Recent TV appearances include opening for the World Champion Boxing Match in Quebec (HBO), and headlining the National Vocal Championship Finals (ABC).
The Broadway Dolls are currently in preparation for the opening of their latest production, Tour de Fierce!, which premieres at the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival this fall. Combining elements of Broadway, Rock, Cabaret, and Performance art, this production is the most ambitious event by The Broadway Dolls to date.
More information: www.TheBroadwayDolls.com
Kiana & Melia Mariano
The youngest dancers to perform on the Couture Fashion Week runway, Kiana and Melia were born in Orange County, CA and are 12 and 10 years old respectively. They’ve devoted most of their lives to dancing jazz, lyrical, tap, ballet and hip hop since they were 2 years old. They began competing at the age of 4. Kiana and Melia have been recognized by the dance community through numerous awards and 1st place honors at national dance competitions in their individual age groups.
Although Kiana dances various styles, she loves contemporary. She has appeared in numerous commercials including a primary role for MetLife Insurance and KOHL’s. She has also performed on TV shows, most recently with a special group of dancers on FOX’s hit show Mobbed, and she was also a backup dancer at a Taylor Dane concert in Las Vegas.
Melia enjoys dancing lyrical, but jazz funk is her strong suit. Melia also appeared on FOX’s Mobbed, and will soon be seen in the popular video game Just Dance Kids 2 to be released in December 2011. Melia also had a primary role in a national commercial called “Brighthouse”. But her most memorable dance experience was dancing behind Patti LaBelle and Taylor Dane during their Las Vegas show.
Kiana and Melia have trained with Dance Precisions and Mather Dance Company. They wish to thank their teachers, mentors, and choreographers Danielle Kenfield, Leslie Kenfield, Shannon Mather and a very special thank you to Molly Long.
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org
British born violinist Jane Hunt, also known as the “Violin Venus”, is quickly becoming one of the most talked about violinists in both the UK and USA. Making her debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007 and having appeared as a soloist at Radio City Music Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Cannes Film Festival and Sir Elton John’s Lifeball Concert, the Violin Venus captivates audiences wherever she performs. Combining the beauty and refinement of classical music with the energy of folk and jazz, Ms. Hunt is an eclectic high-energy performer. She recently appeared at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament and at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall along with such notables as Nicole Kidman and Michele Obama. She also appears regularly with the 3 Irish Sopranos and famed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan.
More information: www.ViolinVenus.com
Madeline Plucinska & Ryan Raffloer
Two of the youngest performers at Couture Fashion Week at only 14 and 16 years of age, Madeline and Ryan are a talented, world-traveled, recently paired dance couple. They dance in amateur youth 10 dance and represent the USA at nationals and international competitions. They devote their time and passion to dance with their lives revolving around practicing with their world renowned coaches, competing and performing. They also excel academically and are honor roll students. In 2012 they will compete on the world stage in Blackpool, England.
Born in the USA of Polish parents, Madeline started dancing ballet at age 6 at the Rock School in Philadelphia, PA and has performed numerous times at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. At age 9 her mother introduced her to ballroom dancing and since then she has been enchanted with this style of dance. Madeline has also done fashion modeling.
Also born in the USA of Ukrainian and Irish-American parents, Ryan began dancing at age 7. In addition to ballroom, he continues to dance ballet at the Manhattan Youth Ballet School, where he earned a full scholarship. He has also appeared at the New York City Center Dance as well as having done theater and film.
More information: email@example.com
Whether intimately losing herself in playing guitar or singing under the lights before an audience, Dani Tersini’s performance exudes emotional passion, raw intensity and sexuality. Ms. Tersini left behind the relatively sheltered life of a Yorkshire village in England to make the gigantic and courageous leap to New York which she now considers ‘home’ and where she continues to develop and hone her craft and unique style. Drawing inspiration from varied musical influences and experiences that she has encountered along her personal journey of discovery, Ms. Tersini expresses an eclectic blend of sounds reflecting the many facets of emotion stirring within. Through musical theatre, talent contests and many gigs, she continues to grow musically and professionally, expressing her own individuality through her music and performance.
More information: http://www.myspace.com/dani_tersini
A native of London, England, Wlliam Camilleri has been called a “music phenomenon. He showed exceptional talent for the piano, drums, violin and recorder starting at age 3. In his teens, Mr. Camilleri moved to Toronto, Canada where he studied with world-famous American drummer Peter Magadini. Upon moving back to London he went on to play with a number of world-renowned artists including Tina Turner on her hit single Let’s Stay Together.
Finding that his style did not fit with traditional music groups, Mr. Camilleri started his own Revival Studios where he composed his own special brand of music. Soon after he was discovered by Prof. Pirkilbauer from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria where he was commissioned to compose and record his first CD. A year later Mr. Camilleri was signed to Sony Classical in New York by Grammy-award winning producer Prof. Dr. Steven Paul, Head of A&R at the record label, who has described Mr. Camilleri’s compositions as “monumental.” Soon after, he signed as a composer with Marsh, Best & Associates in Hollywood. He has composed music for many top films.
Mr. Camilleri has composed over forty CDs of music. He is highly gifted composing all his music with ease and without any changes, a method he calls “direct composition.” He has performed at Lincoln Center and at the event “Cover Girls for Change” in New York City .” He was recently approached by two major record labels and is working on a five-CD release for early 2011. Most recently, Mr. Camilleri was appointed Head of Music for First Impressions Films Ltd., London.
More information: www.filmworks-online.com
Multi-talented Ukrainian-born Era Chorna is undoubtedly one of Toronto’s best. She has traveled all over the world, and her music shows it. She is an award-winning singer, ballet dancer, and choreographer, as well as a model. Ms. Chorna’s deep, rich, yet soothing voice reflects clear jazz and operatic influences, yet rises beyond her operatic background. Ms. Chorna trained extensively in ballet at some of Europe’s most prestigious ballet studios, including the Ukrainian Ballet Academy and the Vienna Ballet Conservatory. She has performed and competed before many international audiences in such countries as France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, the USA, and Canada, as well as he native Ukraine.
More information: www.musicandera.com
An accomplished singer/songwriter who has been performing most of her life, Kaya’s astonishing vocal range and heartfelt emotional impact have made her a rising star, whether she is performing pop or classical music.
Kaya studied classical voice, theory and piano at the Victoria, Royal and Trinity Schools of Music in London. In 2000, she won third place in the Malta Song for Europe, one of the most competitive song contests in the world. She went on to perform across Europe in countries such as Lithuania, Romania, Italy, Poland, Germany, and Spain among others.
Kaya founded an international singing school in her native Malta with a current enrollment of 87 students. The choir which she directs is much in demand. In television, Kaya appeared on a popular musical program in Malta for 2 years and served as producer for Kidz TV, featuring her students.
She was recently selected by top Hollywood film composer William Camilleri (Braveheart, Silence of the Lambs, more) to perform on his latest album Timeless, soon to be released worldwide on Dux Records.
Singer Lara Janine is also an accomplished songwriter, pianist and violinist. Her second album, It’s My Time, was recently released as a follow up to her self-titled debut album. She was a regular performer of the national anthem for the Stanley Cup champions The Anaheim Ducks, was named Top Female Vocalist by the California Thespian Festival, has been a Featured Artist along with Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child on Trollz.com, and was nominated three years in a row by the Orange County Music Awards, including Best Alternative Artist and Best Female Artist. Lara was awarded Top Female Vocalist in Pop & Overall by Garageband.com. Her songs have been featured in TV, films, and compilations, including Access Hollywood, Degrassi, and How Do I Look?
Ms. Janine has done numerous national Applebees commercials, films, voiceover work for Yu-Gi-Oh! cartoons, singing commercials for Mattel as well as the singing voice of the Princess Anneliese Barbie Doll and singing voice of Melody in the film Barbie and the Diamond Castle. No stranger to performing, Lara’s stage credits include Vices: A Love Story (world premiere), Happy Embalmer (NYMF), Rock of Ages (Off-Broadway), Wicked-Japan (Elphaba), Aladdin (Jasmine), and Dvorak in America (Otilie). She is also an American Belle, having performed in Guam and the Ellis Island Medals of Honor Gala.
More information: www.LaraJanine.com
With a uniqueness, sound and performance ability that is unmatched, Black Liner is set to explode onto the top 40 mainstream scene. Black Liner consists of California native Lara Janine (violin), New Yorker Jeana Grillo (keyboards) and Tennessee-born Angel Picard-Ami (electric guitar). Each of these talented singer/songwriter/musicians brings their own style and personal experience to every song, but nevertheless Black Liner is a cohesive group. Their eclectic sound is born when you bring together Lara’s pop/dance/r&b background along with Jeana’s pop and alternative rock influences and Angel’s Heavy Metal roots. Black Liner is the definition of a triple threat.
Ashley C. Williams
Ashley C. Williams, is best known for her starring role in the controversial cult horror film The Human Centipede. The award-winning film is distributed by IFC and Bounty Films.
Ms. Williams has an extensive background in dramatic and musical theater and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City where she received the Charles Jehlinger Award for Best Actress (the Academy’s highest honor). She has toured the New York and New England areas for the last five years with theater companies including La Mama E.T.C., the Theater Engagement & Action Project, the Nitestar Program and the United Nations Y-Peer Project. In 2008 Ms. Williams served as guest director and political theater trainer for the Bulgaria U.N. Y-Peer International Theater in Education Trainings.
Ms. Williams is co-founder and vice-president of Mind The Art Entertainment, a NYC-based arts and entertainment company where she has produced and starred in new works of varying art forms in such venues as The New York International Fringe Festival and the Cherry Lane Theaters. She recently played Juliet in a new revolutionary version of Romeo and Juliet at La MaMa E.T.C. under the direction of the renowned Dario D’Ambrosi, and she teamed up with him and the La MaMa theater once more in October 2010 to star in his new musical Bong Bong Bong against the Wall, Ting Ting Ting in our Heads. The show has been picked up to go to Rome and Milan in June 2011.
More information: www.ashleycwilliams.org
Cecilia Marta Dance Company
After many years of traveling the globe, Cecilia Marta returned to New York City with a vision she had many years ago. To bring together a diverse and extraordinary group of dancers that would create the Cecilia Marta Dance Company. The objective was to speak through the language of dance, about the ritualistic rhythms and magical experiences she encountered through out her life, and as a child growing up in Panama.
CMDC is a multicultural dance company, committed to celebrating diversity and unity by creating works that inspire collaborations with other artists and art forms. Ms. Marta is the Founder and Artistic Director/ Choreographer of the Cecilia Marta Dance Company, a Casting Partner to Cirque du Soleil, and an esteemed dance educator. She has worked with top name performers around the globe, and dancers she has trained have appeared in major motion pictures and on Broadway stages.
Possessing a distinctive breadth, CMDC’s repertory incorporates elements which are reflective of Ms. Marta’s life and heritage, as well as her intimate and lengthy acquaintance with many forms and styles of dance.
More information: www.ceciliamartadance.org
Cecilia Herrera Frioni
Early in her performing career, Cecilia moved to Los Angeles to study dance with Alex Magno, one of the choreography gurus of that era. She went on to study voice with the lyrical singer and teacher Vivian Hernandez, who has had played an important role in her life. Cecilia has sung important roles in various theatrical productions with such performers as as Massimo Ranieri and Patroni Griffi. In 1994, Cecilia signed a record deal with BMG Records, and her CD single “BLA BLA”, from the album “Alta Tensione” reached the top of the Italian music charts. She has opened for one of the biggest stars in the music industry, Mr. Barry White. In 2005 Cecilia participated in the Latin American Music Festival in Mexico City where she was named “Best Italian Artist” outside Italy. She has played leading roles in “Complexo”, “Brazil 5000” and “Soy Asì”, but her real soul and inspirations are expressed through her latest album “Papillon”, a soft Latin/ Bossa/ Jazz project, which showcases her inner artistic journey, directed by Alfredo Paixao and Gianni Herrera.
Davis & Ting Ting
Award-winning ballroom dancers David and Ting Ting met during their studies at Yale University. They have danced together for five years in competition and performances while training with world champions Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova. They believe that all people possess an inherent capacity for the beautiful, and dance is just one medium through which to explore and share the limits and non-limits of that capacity.
Davis was born in Beijing, China, and arrived in the United States at the age of three. His mother was fascinated by dance but never had the privilege to pursue it in her youth. She enrolled him in his first ballet class when he was four. Discomforted at being the only boy in class and wishing to play baseball instead, he resisted at first. His teachers encouraged him to continue, and over time his passion for dance grew. Davis is now a nationally ranked competitor in International Style Latin Dancesport.
Ting Ting first encountered ballroom dance when she stepped into a show by chance. She had focused on academics throughout her early life and was intrigued by this novel world. Ballroom is specifically designed to display the artistry and sensuality only created between a man and woman dancing together. This attracted Ting Ting most. Her seven year pursuit of Latin Dancesport has led her to the highest ranks of the U.S. Northeast competitive leagues and brought into her life a sense of profound liberation.
Donna Weng Friedman
Pianist Donna Weng Friedman has performed as a soloist with many world-class symphony orchestras throughout China, South America, Europe and the United States. Her performing credits include recitals at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Caramoor Music Festival, Symphony Hall in Shanghai, the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida, Le Jeu de Paume in Fontainebleau, France and Tillett Gardens in St. Thomas, USVI. An American of Chinese heritage, Ms. Weng Friedman has performed as guest artist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble at Caramoor, Bargemusic, Weill Recital Hall, and Merkin Concert Hall, and has collaborated with clarinetist David Shifrin, violinist Mark Peskanov, violist Paul Neubauer, and cellist Carter Brey. She has conducted master classes at the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories and has been on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division since 1989. A winner of numerous prestigious piano competitions and awards, Ms. Weng Friedman is the music supervisor and pianist for the award-winning film documentaries Frames of Life, Living Liberty and Morris Engel: The Independent. She will perform in and preside as the Artistic Director for the Music, Art and Technology festival to take place in Shanghai, China during the Shanghai Expo 2010. She was recently named Artistic Director of the Full Moon Art Center Concert Series in the Hamptons, New York.
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Skaya began studying dance at age 9 while attending the elite Vaganova Ballet Academy and went on to perform in many theatrical productions, win numerous beauty pageants and competitions and make the talk show circuit. She opened the Venice Ball in Moscow where she met her soon-to-be husband, and at age 18 was crowned Mrs. World 2006. Soon after, Ms. Skaya moved to the United States and began to pursue a film career. She has appeared in Edgar Allan Poe’s Ligeia directed by Michael Staininger and Shadows in Paradise with Armand Assante and Tom Sizemore.
A native of Chihauhua, Mexico, tenor Eduardo Herrera earned his bachelors degree in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and his bachelors of business administration from ITESM, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He has developed a successful career mainly as concert soloist performing a diverse repertoire of opera, musical theater and Mexican music. Recently he has worked in a blend of classical and pop (“ClassPop”) releasing two CDs: This is the Moment (2004) and Son of the Planet (2008). For more than 12 years he has sung in fundraising events to support the Center of Study for the Blind in Chihuahua, as well as other institutions. Mr. Herrera has performed in numerous operas in New York City, Mexico City, Cambridge, Massachusetts and other cities, including Dido and Aeneas, Seven Deadly Sins, La Traviata, Il Pagliacci and more. In 2000 he participated in the recording of the CD Songs of Life to promote values for young people. In 2004 he was tenor soloist in a gala concert at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico to celebrate UNICEF’s 50th anniversary. In 2005 he sang at the first International Music Festival in Chihuahua, and in 2006 he was part of the cast of the musical play The Art of the Seducer at the International Theatre Festival in Ecuador. In 2007 and 2008 he collaborated with soprano Leticia Zepeda in a duet project performing throughout Mexico. He recently appeared as Javier in the zarzuela Luisa Fernandez with the Chihuahua Philharmonic and in the flamenco show Hear Me With Your Eyes in New York City.
The sultry teenage pop-rock princess, whose sound has been described as a blend of Rihanna and Lady Gaga, is being hailed as the more conservative version of the latter talent with all the glitz and the glamour, but a sound unmistakably all her own. Hailing from Philadelphia, the talented singer, songwriter, and pianist is making waves in the entertainment world with the likes of 50 Cent publicly singing her praises, and a fanbase of entertainment elite. No one has had this much cross-over appeal since the rapper Eminem. Material Girl is currently working on her first album release.
…is a singer whose “voice and artistry harken back to a time gone by.” (New York Times) The sheer beauty of his voice, his virtuoso technique, stratospheric range and unique command of a variety of musical styles from operatic classics to American musical theater, as well as popular and Irish favorites have brought him international engagements as an operatic, theatrical and concert soloist. He has performed in some of the great venues of the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Benedum Center, Heinz Hall, Il Teatro Bellini and La Basilica San Marco in countries such as Brazil, Norway, England, France, Italy and Israel as well as regionally throughout the United States. His performances pay homage to the tenors of the “golden age” including Tito Schipa, John McCormack, Alfredo Kraus, Kenny Baker and Dennis Day with a modern sensibility akin to Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli resulting in wide range audience appeal.
With her four-octave range and visionary approach to art, Kimera has intrigued and fascinated many. Millions have embraced her unique opera-pop fusion embodied in various albums starting with “The Lost Opera”, which sold over 10 million copies, followed by “Opera Express” and seven additional albums.
A native of Korea, Kimera has loved singing ever since she can remember. From the age of twelve, she began singing classical music in church choirs, as well as in the Korean National Metropolitan Choir. After earning a B.A. in French Literature from Sung Sin University in Seoul, she went on to pursue post-graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, and began to train in opera at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. After years of arduous vocal studies, she received a Superior Diploma in Lyrical Art with a unanimous vote, and with congratulations from the jury.
In 1984 Kimera released the controversial classic-pop fusion recording, “The Lost Opera”, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Representing a divergence from her previous classical opera path, the album promptly climbed the British music charts and went on to gather momentum in France, South Africa, South America, Korea, and many more countries across the globe. Kimera, the blazing rebel of opera, blended two genres from opposite ends of the musical spectrum to create a new style of music utilizing traditional operatic arias and a modern rhythmic pop beat. She called it “Popera” or “Opera Rock.” While it was well received by the public, she endured a great amount of criticism from classical purists who believed she had vulgarized opera. As one critic put it, “Mozart would turn over in his grave if he heard this.” Criticism, however, did little to slow her down. She was happy to popularize opera and make it more accessible to kids, teens, and adults alike. Kimera’s latest album is entitled “Opera Found.”
Alexander Markov has been hailed as one of the most captivating musicians in the world today. Lord Yehudi Menuhin has written, “He is without doubt one of the most brilliant and musical of violinists: Alexander Markov will certainly leave his mark on the music-lovers of the world and in the annals of the violin virtuosi of our day.”
The Gold Medal winner at the Paganini International Violin Competition, Mr. Markov has appeared with some of the world’s greatest orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre de Paris, the Montreal Symphony, the BBC and Detroit Symphonies as well as the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Concerto highlights include performances with such celebrated conductors as Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, John Nelson, Neeme Jarvi, Sir Neville Marriner, Ivan Fischer and Franz Welser-Most.
Alexander Markov has established a reputation second-to-none in the 19th-century virtuoso repertoire. His recent Warner DVD release of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin caused a sensation, and he remains one of the very few violinists who program the entire set in a single recital.
Alexander Markov was born in Moscow and studied violin with his father, concert violinist Albert Markov. By the time he was eight years old he was already appearing as a soloist with orchestras and performing double concertos with his father. Markov emigrated to the U.S. with his parents and now resides in New York City.
More information: www.AlexanderMarkov.com
Winner of the popular West African program MTN Project Fame 2008, Iyanya recently released his first album entitled “Desire” which features his hit song “Love Truly.” Iyanya is a young rising star in his native Nigeria as well as throughout Africa and beyond.
Aerialduo / Mantryx
These skilled aerialists and acrobats have performed in over 70 countries; for millions live, and millions more through their appearances on most major television networks. In addition to their traditional stage performances, they have shared laughter, silliness, and the spectacle of circus arts at hospitals, orphanages, and veteran’s homes. Since their debut, they have become New York City’s signature aerialists, having performed in Times Square, South Street Seaport, and the Jacob Javits Center. The performers have created shows for MACY’s, MAXIM, BUD-LIGHT, HX, NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES and notable charities such as the USO, the HRC, the CHILDREN’S VILLAGE, and CHAI LIFE, and they have appeared with such performers as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg and Patti Labelle.
Xianzi Ai, New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) Artist
Chinese-born guzhen (Chinese zither) performer Xianzi Ai, also known as the “Fairy” is a graduate of the famous performing arts school in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province. Ms. Ai has received a number of awards including the gold award in the July 2007 China Folk Instrument Solo Competition and third place in the 2005 Chinese Eastern Zither Competition. The guzhen is a traditional Chinese musical instrument and parent instrument to the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum, and the Vietnamese đàn tranh.
New Tang Dynasty TV Lion Dance Group
The Lion Dance (pronounced Wu-Shi) is an important tradition in China. During the dance, often accompanied by gongs, drums and firecrackers, performers mimic a lion’s movements from inside an elaborate and colorful costume. Often part of festivities like Chinese New Year, restaurant openings, and weddings, the lion dance is believed to bring luck and happiness if well-performed. It is has been featured in major Chinese motion pictures including the Once Upon a Time in China series and the Shaolin Temple movies starring Jet Li.
Although they are not native to China, lions arrived there via the famous Silk Road. Rulers in present day Iran and Afghanistan sent lions to Chinese emperors as gifts in order to secure trade rights with Silk Road merchants. The lion dance dates back to the Han Dynasty (205 B.C. to 220 A.D) and reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty (716-907 A.D.) when it was especially performed during religious festivals. Variations on the lion dance can also be found in Korea and Taiwan.
April Zhu, New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) Artist
April Zhu is a gifted and accomplished player of the pipa. The pipa is a plucked Chinese string instrument. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body. It has been played for nearly two thousand years in China, and belongs to the plucked category of instruments. Several related instruments in East and Southeast Asia are derived from the pipa; these include the Japanese biwa, the Vietnamese đàn tỳ bà, and the Korean bipa.
Congolese Dance Troupe
Prisca Ouya, Alexis Doster-Pennerman, Coreen Robledo, Aida Issaka
Choreographer and lead dancer Prisca Ouya trained in traditional Congolese dances with her late uncle Malonga Casquelourd. She is a member of Ellen Stewart’s Great Jones Company, the resident theater company at LaMaMa Theater. These dynamic and powerful dances originated in the Kongo Empire, what is today Angola, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Carolina Catalan Carabia
An accomplished dancer, Carolina Catalan Carabia is a native of Spain and a flamenco devotee. The distinctive Spanish art form comes to life in her riveting performances.
Sabor Masacote Dance Company
The performances by the six talented dancers of the Boston-based Sabor Masacote Dance Company are predominantly salsa. Most of the dancers have training in diverse disciplines, such as ballet, modern, and jazz. The music, dance and multimedia ensemble performs frequently throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia.
A native of Liverpool, England, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Kenny Cunningham is an accomplished performer who has been delighting audiences for over 25 years. His musical influences and inspirations include Simon & Garfunkel and his fellow Liverpudlians, The Beatles. Says Kenny: “I have always been amazed with the process of song writing. It is something that I’ve never had to work at. Over the years thoughts/music just came out… I take no responsibility for what you may hear, blame some cosmic miscreant somewhere.”