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Special Guests

D.D. Jackson

D.D. Jackson is a two-time Emmy Award-winning composer and a Juno Award-winning jazz pianist and educator. As a composer, D.D. specializes in writing, arranging, and producing memorable, custom-made music for t.v., film & other media. D.D. considers himself an "artistic problem solver": he strives to get to the essential conceptual truth of what the client is looking for - and to express it in a creative and supportive way.

After receiving his B.Music with High Distinction in Classical Piano from Indiana University, and his Masters in Jazz from the Manhattan School of Music, the multi-Emmy-winning composer D.D. Jackson began his career as a jazz pianist/composer, and went on to record, perform, and tour around the world with some of the most acclaimed names in jazz and beyond, including drummer Jack Dejohnette, and saxophonists James Carter and David Murray (with whom he recently completed a week at New York's historic Village Vanguard). He also has collaborated frequently with Questlove and "The Roots”, most recently appearing with them on piano at the theater of Madison Square Garden for the John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert, at Radio City Music Hall (for which he also wrote 30-piece orchestral arrangements), and as an arranger/producer/pianist on their last 2 CD’s.

Jackson has also recorded 13 jazz CD's as leader or co-leader (including 2 for the major label BMG) featuring his original compositions, ranging from his Juno Award-winning solo piano CD “...so far”, to his larger-scale meditation on the events of 9/11 entitled “Suite for New York”; and two operas, including "Quebecite”[pronounced “KAY-beh-SEE-tay”] (based in part on his African-American father and Chinese mother), and “Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path” (about the father of Canada’s current leader, Justin Trudeau), both written with librettist George Elliott Clarke (the recently-appointed "Poet Laureate of Canada").

Jackson has also been successfully composing music for television, film and other media for the past several years, in 2019 receiving his second Emmy Award, for Outstanding Original Song (with lyricist Billy Aronson), preceded by his first Emmy in 2016 for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition, among his 5 total Emmy nominations (all for his writing on the PBS show “Peg + Cat” ). He has also written regularly for both "The Wonder Pets" (Nickelodeon) (which won 4 consecutive Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Direction and Composition), Esme & Roy (HBO/Sesame Workshop), and several other shows, and has done numerous commissions, most recently for The Ahn Trio and The Metropolis Ensemble. He is also doing increasing work for film, with the romantic comedy feature "You & Me" (for which Jackson wrote the score and collaborated on the songs with lyricist/director/co-writer Alexander Baack), recently winning the 2018 Cinequest Film Festival Audience Award for best comedy feature. As a writer, Jackson has also penned articles for such publications as the Village Voice and DownBeat magazine (for which he maintained a popular column on his experiences as a jazz musician entitled "Living Jazz”, for 5 years).

As an educator, Jackson is an award-winning professor and is currently on faculty at Brooklyn College where he teaches courses in their Global Jazz Masters program, and Media Scoring in their Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. He previously taught part-time at Hunter College for over 9 years, ultimately receiving the Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. Previously, Jackson was also Chair of Jazz and Contemporary Studies at the Harlem School of the Arts (where his past students included pianist Matthew Whitaker (who was recently featured as a child prodigy on 60 Minutes) and recent "The Voice" finalist We' McDonald).

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Special Guests

Raymond James Mason

Born and raised on New York’s Long Island, Raymond James Mason picked up the trombone at a young age and later moved to NYC to study both classical performance and jazz studies at NYU. After studying with luminaries such as Brian Lynch, Lenny Pickett, Alan Ferber, and Elliot Mason, Raymond found himself in high demand as an artist across a myriad of genres. He became a member of Brooklyn afrobeat heavyweight, Antibalas, which led him to become the in-house trombonist for Daptone and Dunham Records, lending his talents to recordings for the late Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, the late Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, Lee Fields & The Expressions, and many more. In addition to the aforementioned artists, Raymond has also performed and/or recorded with Alicia Keys, David Byrne, Randy Newman, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Arcade Fire, Meghan Trainor, Ed Sheeran, Janelle Monae, Lukas Graham, Nile Rodgers, Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), Maren Morris, Earth, Wind & Fire, Mark Ronson and many more. All the while, Raymond was learning from these masters and honing his own compositional and vocal skills, patiently waiting for his moment to step out in the spotlight.

A long-time friend and horn section partner of Dala Records’ founder Billy Aukstik, Raymond reached out to Billy one chilly October day in 2016 to set up a casual recording session. At the time, Billy was recording out of an old East Village brownstone basement, equipped only with a Tascam 388 8-track tape recorder and a few old ribbon microphones. Billy and Raymond assembled an all-star squad of musicians including Alex Chakour(Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones, Howard), Freddy DeBoe(Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones), Joe Harrison(Nick Hakim, Charles Bradley) and Morgan Price(Antibalas), and set out to record a couple of Mason’s new compositions. What came out of that session is the thunderous, emotional and raw debut of Raymond as a vocalist, songwriter and arranger.

On his debut single, Back When, Raymond utilizes the sounds of the Arp Omni bass synth, Farfisa organ, and fuzz guitar as his foundation and crafts a chilling song of lost opportunity and the world unknown. Drummer Freddy DeBoe’s steady yet crunchy feel on the drums merges the soul and hip-hop worlds and takes the song’s finale to a place reminiscent of Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala. On the flip side, No Clue, Raymond channels an even more intense feeling of lost love and speaks to the struggles of an unhealthy relationship. Guitarist Alex Chakour takes the spotlight here, using his fuzz tone to complement Raymond’s raw vocal performance and drive the song to an unhinged, almost garage-rock finish. Stay tuned for much more from this talented jack of all trades!

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Meet the Faculty

Maureen Kelly

Maureen Kelly (Cello) is a native of Wisconsin who carries her midwestern roots around her home country of the United States and beyond. She recently obtained her Master’s in cello performance from the University of Kentucky studying with Benjamin Karp, where she was a member of the fellowship graduate quartet, and taught extensively in the area as a private teacher, chamber coach, and at an El Sistema based program called MusicWorks. She completed her first degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under Uri Vardi, where she was a founding member of the scholarship Perlman Piano Trio. Maureen has performed and studied abroad, including time spent playing as a substitute cellist in the Costa Rica National Symphony, and studying privately at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel. She has attended a variety of summer music festivals, including the Luzerne Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Kent/Blossom, Jerusalem Summer Strings Institute, AIMS in Gratz, Austria, the Brevard Music Festival, Scotia Fest, and Music Mountain Chamber Music Masterclasses. As a chamber musician, she has performed alongside artists such as William Preucil and Scott St. John. Maureen was a 2015 Banff Winter Musician in Residence. She recently moved to New York and is happy to be beginning her time at River Arts.

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Meet the Faculty

Sayuri Lyons

Sayuri K. Lyons (Violin/Viola) has performed extensively throughout North America and Asia. A native of Osaka, Japan, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a graduate degree after completing undergraduate studies at Osaka College of Music.

She has performed with the El Paso Opera, Santa Barbara Symphony, Long Beach Symphony and numerous other Southern California Orchestras. She has played concertmaster with the Osaka Opera Club, Fresno Opera, Bronx Symphony, Nimbus Ensemble, Opera a la Carte, Guild Opera and the Lyric Opera of Los Angeles.

In addition, Sayuri has credits as an orchestrator and concertmaster for Hollywood film scores. She has appeared on the Tonight show with Enya and in numerous feature films, TV shows and Videos.

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Meet the Faculty

Meredith Moore

Meredith Moore (Horn) is an international musician with a diverse and prolific career as a horn player and musician.
Recently she held the Associate Principal Horn position with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and was first horn on the North American tour of Les Miserables. Her freelance work includes playing with the London Symphony Orchestra (and other major symphony orchestras in the UK), numerous Broadway shows in NYC, as well as session work for Marvel, Disney, Pixar, Sir Paul McCartney, Josh Groban, Mumford and Sons, and others. 

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Meet the Faculty

Ansy Francois

Ansy Francois (Saxophone/Woodwinds) is a multi-instrumentalist that specializes in saxophones, oboes, clarinets, and flutes. He has performed in genres spanning from classical to jazz to rock. An active performer and educator in the tri-state area, Ansy pursues the goal of "playing good music with good people.

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Meet the Faculty

Amy Garapic

Amy Garapic (Percussion) is an energetic soloist, chamber musician, educator and adventurous producer who continually seeks to explore the role of percussion in today’s music and culture. With a strong passion for the creation of new work, her performing is split between the Brooklyn-based powerhouse percussion trio, TIGUE, and the “focused and ferocious” new music chamber orchestra Contemporaneous.  

She has worked closely generating new sounds with composers Robert Honstein, Jason Treuting, and John Luther Adams; has performed alongside Ensemble Signal, So Percussion, NEXUS, Bang on Can’s Asphalt Orchestra and pop icon David Byrne; and has traveled to make music in Jordan, Mexico, Paris, and most recently India alongside Grammy award winner AR Rahman.  

Amy also finds great value in exploring the relationship between performer and audience through musical community events.  This year she united over 200 musicians from 24 cities and 7 countries in “A Worldwide Day of In C,” a 14-hour live-streamed celebration of 50 years of Terry Riley’s pioneering minimalist work.  This, following her 2012 production of “A Worldwide Day of Vexations”  joining over 100 percussionists in an 18-hour, live-streamed marathon of Satie's monumental work.  She has also produced multiple performances of John Luther Adams’ 100-percussionist Inuksuit, and was featured in both the New York Times and Rolling Stone after leading two successful seasons of hand drum lessons for inmates in Rhythm on Rikers.  

Amy serves as lecturer at both Dartmouth College and Keene State College while also teaching through the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music working with elementary school students.  Her summers are spent working as Operations Director and facultry at the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar.  She is a proud endorser of Vic Firth sticks and mallets. 

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Meet the Faculty Uncategorized

Gabriel Globus-Hoenich

Percussionist Gabriel Globus-Hoenich blends a multitude of musical influences together in his work as a performer and educator.  During his residency, audiences will explore rhythms, melodies, songs, and dances from around the world, ultimately discovering the inherent joy of music and culture.  A Montreal native, Gabriel is now based in New York City where his career continues to reflect a deep love for the worlds of jazz, classical music, and world music. Gabriel has performed on drumset and percussion with a wide variety of artists including Morgan James, Jim James, Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Omara Portuondo, Telmary Diaz, Roberto Fonseca, Tirso Duarte, Steve Hackman, Tessa Lark, the Philly Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, among others.  He collaborates frequently with Teddy Abrams and the Sixth Floor Trio, serving as principal percussionist and education director at the trio’s chamber music festival, GardenMusic, in South Miami.   An active composer and arranger, Gabriel has written for Achilles Liarmakopolous of the Canadian Brass, grammy nominated Tiempo Libre, and the Louisville Orchestra.  In 2018, Gabriel performed Julia Wolfe's percussion concerto riSE and fLY with Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra with the composer present.

In 2017 Gabriel founded People of Earth, a 15 person Latin fusion group filled with some of NYC's best musicians representing a myriad of countries.  People of Earth has performed at Brooklyn Bowl, Rockwood Music Hall and other top NYC venues.  For more information visit www.peopleofearthmusic.com

In addition to his work in the orchestral and jazz music worlds, Gabriel has completed extensive world percussion studies having studied Afro-Brazilian percussion in Salvador, Bahia with Gabi Guedes and Mario Pam, as well as Cuban percussion with Girardo Piloto, Rociel Riveron, and Adonis Panter.   

Gabriel continues to work as a teaching artist for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Philadelphia Orchestra, 92nd Street Y, and Marquis Studios.  He was formerly a teaching artist with Play On Philly! as well as musician-in-residence at The Please Touch Museum.  He is a co-founder of PlasticBand, a community drumming group based in Harlem, New York and received a Carnegie Hall NeON Arts Grant to build this program.   He is a 2008 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Don Liuzzi and Robert van Sice.