Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger Anibal Cruz has been honing his craft from the young age of 8 years old. Originally a classical musician, Cruz began blending his Afrocuban jazz influences like Chuco Valdez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Tony Perez with jazz icons like Keith Jarret, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Kelly.
Dr.Jetro Da Silva
Music Theory, Harmony and Advanced Jazz Improvisation
GRAMMY music educator award nominee,
Born in Meier, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jetro Da Silva played his first gig at 12 years old at a local Baptist church after only a month of piano lessons. By 14, he knew he wanted to become a musician. With a full scholarship, he pursued classical studies at Rio's Escola Nacional de Musica. Da Silva considers his primary role to be that of a mentor to students and he often shares lessons learned during his career working with artists Whitney Houston, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, and many others.
Imani Deal was born and raised in the Greater Boston Area. Deal is a recent graduate of Montclair State University where she received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Dance and a minor in Business. During her training at MSU, she’s had the privilege of dancing in works by Camille A. Brown, Earl Mosley, and Charles Weidman. Deal maintained a position on the Dean’s List throughout college and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Farayi Malek is a jazz and contemporary vocalist, composer, arranger and educator currently residing in Eugene, Oregon. She received her bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory of Music in 2017 where she studied with vocalist and composer, Dominique Eade. Upon completion, she continued on to receive a master’s degree in Contemporary Performance at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in 2018, under the tutelage of world-renowned pianist and composer, Danilo Perez.
Ana Lisa Portillo
Born and raised on the Texas-Mexico border, Ana Lisa Portillo is an award-winning world music performer with classical violin training via the Columbia-Juilliard exchange program. She has performed with the Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, Ciudad Juárez Symphony (Mexico), Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, Ceiba (Latin American folk), Guaraché (salsa), Ben Bogart y Los Gatos Azules (tango), and La Tuza (Mexican roots). She’s been performing mariachi music since 1990.
Daniel “Sky” Szczepanski
Daniel “Sky” Szczepanski is a trumpet player based in Boston, born in Warsaw, Poland. Daniel has received an award from Downbeat Magazine for outstanding solo performance. He has performed at festivals including “La Folle Journe” in France, “Jazz Rally” in Germany, and “Crazy Days of Music” in Poland.
Upright Bass, Electric Bass
Alexander Toth is an award winning and internationally accomplished Musician, Producer and Educator from Toronto, Canada who currently resides in Boston, MA. Alexander has extensive experience performing at a wide variety of globally renowned venues and festivals as both a bandleader and sideman, while also appearing on national and international television. In addition, Alexander has multiple years of experience as a dedicated music educator - both privately and at various major institutions.
Patrice Williamson’s childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee was filled with song. Her late father, Webster Williamson, an avid amateur singer, choir director, and pillar of the St. Stephen’s Baptist Church music ministry, introduced his children to both sacred music and the secular styles of greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. With the encouragement of her mother, Lillie Rivers Williamson, Patrice followed in the footsteps of her elder sister, Denise, taking up the violin and making her debut at age four, playing a duet with her sister in front of the St. Stephen's congregation.