JAZZ Re-EVOLUTION at The Ford Amphitheater

HOLLYWOOD | In-Person Only
22 July 2023

In partnership with the LA Philharmonic, WORDTheatre presents a night celebrating the history of Jazz in the words of the artists from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Enjoy a night under the stars with esteemed Actors & Musicians! We have reserved limited number of the best seats that include after-party with cast and musicians at a private home near the Ford which you can pick up using the link once you press MORE INFO!

JAZZ Re-EVOLUTION at The Ford Amphitheater

HOLLYWOOD | In-Person Only

22 July 2023 Saturday 8:00pm to 10:00pm (LA)


In partnership with the LA Philharmonic, JAZZ Re-EVOLUTION offers an electrifying fusion of stories, songs and jazz to convey the rich history and power of America’s greatest original art form. Acclaimed actors, singers and world-class musicians shine a spotlight on the seminal and contemporary artists who have become legends – from ​Buddy Bolden and Billie Holiday to Louis Armstrong​ and Wayne Shorter – using the words of the artists themselves and combining memoir, biography and interviews with poems, stories and music, music, music in a celebration of the rhythms, drive and passions of these icons. Selections from the writings of literary super-stars such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and John Edgar Wideman will be brought to life. Audiences of all ages will be transported from the birthplace of jazz in New Orleans to the Los Angeles clubs that thrived along Central Avenue in the Prohibition Era, to Europe and back, following the paths of trailblazing giants as they rise from poverty to super-stardom.

Get the *BEST SEATS* in the house plus an Invitation to the Exclusive Afterparty with the cast and musicians after the event at a private home just 10 minutes away from The Ford!
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KEITH DAVID (performer): Born and raised in New York by his parents Lester and Dolores, Keith David became interested in the arts at a very young age. He enrolled in New York’s High School of the Performing Arts and continued his studies at The Juilliard School. After graduation, he was hired by Joseph Papp as an understudy for the role of Tullus Aufidius in William Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus.” His work with Mr. Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival launched his incredible career. On the big screen, Keith co-starred with Chadwick Boseman in “21 Bridges”. Prior credits include “Night School” with Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish and the Academy award-winning films “Crash” and “Platoon.” He is widely recognized for appearing in “The Princess and the Frog”, “Requiem for a Dream”, “Men at Work”, “They Live”, “There’s Something About Mary”, and “The Thing.” TV credits include “Creepshow,” “NCIS: New Orleans”, “Blackish,” MacGyver”, and “Fresh Off the Boat”, “Community”, “Enlisted”, “ER”, and “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”. On Broadway, Keith starred in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” and “Jelly’s Last Jam” for which he garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. His work in narration has earned him three Emmys for Ken Burns’ “Jackie Robinson”, “The War”, and “Unforgivable Blackness – The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson”. Some of his other voice acting credits include “Adventure Time”, “Bojack Horseman,” “Rick & Morty”, and “Gargoyles”. Keith has lent his voice to many video games including “Spawn” in “Mortal Kombat”, the “Halo” series, the “Saint’s Row” series, and the “Mass Effect” series. In addition to his versatile acting and voiceover work, Keith is also a remarkable singer. He has been touring in two shows, “Too Marvelous for Words”, in which he portrays Nat King Cole, and “Here’s to Life”, about the incredible Blues singer Joe Williams.


GARY DOURDAN (performer): Born in Philadelphia, Dourdan was raised by his creative-minded mother, a fashion designer, and father, an agent who represented jazz musicians. As a child, he excelled in music, playing piano, guitar, and saxophone. Dourdan studied with legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, and by the end of the 1980s, began performing in off-Broadway plays. After meeting “A Different World” producer Debbie Allen in Paris, Dourdan was cast in the role of Shazza Zulu, a recurring gig he played for over two seasons. Dourdan was then plucked by pop star Janet Jackson to be the object of desire in the 1993 video for her single “Again.” In 1996, Dourdan landed the role of Yates in the Touchstone Pictures action drama “Playing God”. Then appeared in the blockbuster “Alien: Resurrection” and the independent drama “Thursday”. In 2000, he appeared in the ABC movie “Muhammad Ali: King of the World,” taking on the formidable role of the iconic Malcolm X. Dourdan headlined the independent drama thriller “Trois”, then appeared in Reggie Bythewood’s Hollywood drama “Dancing in September”. By April 2000, Dourdan had been recruited for the crime procedural, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” playing Warrick Brown, a smart, complex and moody investigator with a shaky past as a gambler. Dourdan and his “CSI” cast mates won the Screen Actors Guild Award in 2005. In 2003 and 2006, he won “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” at the NAACP Image Awards. He next played another real-life political figure, Black Panther George Jackson, in “Black August”. In 2006, Dourdan co-starred opposite Halle Berry as her on-again, off-again boyfriend in the thriller “Perfect Stranger”. Recently, Dourdan has been seen on the ABC series “Mistresses”, BET’s “Being Mary Jane”, Starz’s “Power”, and “Redemption Day”. Gary has kept busy with recording and performing live music.


DAVE FENNOY (narrator): Dave Fennoy has been a preeminent voice working in Los Angeles since 1990 and one of the most versatile voices in the industry. His promo clients over the years include Hulu, ABC, The WB, Fox, CBS, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, The Disney Channel and TV One. His campaign spokesvoice credits include Lexus, McDonald’s, Corona Beer, KFC, Toyota, Chrysler, and AT&T. Gamers enjoy his work on “StarCraft II,” “Metal Gear,” “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Delta Force,” “Star Wars,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” and many others. His various film voices include GHOST RIDER, HAPPY FEET, and KING’S RANSOM, and he has proved a cartoon favorite in such series as “The LeBrons,” “Kim Possible,” “Ben 10,” “Darkwing Duck,” “New Kids on the Block,” “Johnny Quest” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Fennoy has been the show voice for several TV and Award shows, among them The Billboard Music Awards, The Teen Choice Awards, and for the past 15 years The NAACP Image Awards. Fennoy is a sought-after VO instructor, and the subject of a chapter in the book Secrets of Voiceover Success by Joan Baker.


JASON GEORGE (performer): A graduate of the University of Virginia, versatile actor Jason George broke onto the screen in 1997 as a main cast member of the television soap “Sunset Beach.” He appeared in all 354 episodes until the show ended in 1999. He made his feature film debut in the 1998 Denzel Washington thriller FALLEN before appearing in the hit films BARBERSHOP, CLOCKSTOPPERS, and BEWITCHED. More recently, he starred opposite Academy Award-Winner Halle Berry in the 2017 film KIDNAP and opposite Gabrielle Union in the 2018 film BREAKING IN. He has worked constantly in television over the many years of his diverse career having appeared in such shows as “Friends,” “Without a Trace,” “Stargate SG-1,” “House, “ER,” “CSI: Miami,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Castle,” “The Closer,” and “Love, Death & Robots.” Since 2010, Jason has been playing Dr. Ben Warren on the hit ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy” and its spinoff “Station 19.”


BARRY SHABAKA HENLEY (performer): Veteran actor Barry Shabaka Henley has a rich history of acting in many high-profile films, television shows and theater productions. Most recently, he appeared in the Oscar-nominated film A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Perhaps the biggest testament to Henley’s talent is his professional collaboration with director-producer Michael Mann, who has cast him in multiple projects including his films Ali, Collateral, and Miami Vice, as well as the series Robbery Homicide Division and Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman. Henley’s other film work includes The Terminal, Rush Hour, Patch Adams, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Bulworth, and Carrie. Also, he starred in Jim Jarmusch’s film Paterson, which was in Official Competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. On television, he most recently starred in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. His other numerous television credits include NCIS: New Orleans, Better Call Saul, Grey’s Anatomy, Black-ish, Veep, Shameless, Barbershop, and Bosch. Henley got his start on the stage and has toured extensively with the theater production of Jitney and was a featured player in Richard II, Waiting for Godot, and As You Like It. He won an NAACP Award for his work in Rabbit Foot. Henley wrote and starred in Mingus Remixed, which premiered at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco. Also, he has appeared in productions of Satchmo at the Waldorf at the Court Theater in Chicago, Palm Beach Dramaworks, and Le Petit Theater in New Orleans. Born in New Orleans, Henley currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son. His birthday is Sept. 15.


JOSEPH MARCELL (performer): Joseph Marcell is a British movie actor whose work is commendable ad highly appreciated by the audience and the critics. He was born on 18 August 1948 at Saint Lucia and became a British actor. He is well known for his incredible work by playing the role of Geoffrey who was an English butler that comes on NBC sitcom show called The Fresh Prince of Bel and started airing from September in the year 1990 till May 1996. After being in Saint Lucia, he then went to the United Kingdom when he was nine years old. Then he moved to Peckham that is in South London and currently residing in Ealing located in West London. During his education, he learned theater and art of science at college, after that he took courses in dance and speech. He became the member of Royal Shakespeare and due to which he got into production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and Othello. Not only that, he received a chance to appear on some fantastic British Television series and feature motion pictures. He also served in the Globe theater in London; there he got an opportunity where he features on the production of Shakespeare’s show called Ado About Nothing. He first obtained his graduation degree from the University of Sheffield and then learned acting from the College of Central School of Acting and Speech. Mr. Joseph Marcell later got married to Joyce Marcell, and together they have two children named Ben Marcell and Jessica Marcell. He started appearing in feature films and television series from the year 1974 and his latest work was in a Television Show where he played the role of Alexander Jackson in Death in Paradise and came on the episode of The Man with the Golden Gun. He appeared on Antony and Cleopatra and did the role of Eros in the year 1974. He appeared in some of the great shows and motion pictures; some of them were The Professionals in the year 1980 in which he performed as Nero. He also appeared on The Doctor Who television series and played a role of John in the episode of Remembrance of the Daleks in the year 1988. From 2003 to 2004, he was a part of a TV series called The Bold and the Beautiful as Hudson. In the year 2008, he did A Touch of Frost as a character of Joshua Ray. He was also a part of some stage shows like Gem of the Ocean and King Lear.


IONA MORRIS (narrator): As a director, Iona directed an episode of black-ish titled “If A Black Man Cries In The Woods” and was nominated for a Hollywood Critics Award and for a NAACP Image and my short, “Celeste’s Dreams”, has screened in 14 short film festivals, winning an Award for Merit from the Canada Shorts Film Festival and as an actor Iona has recurred or guest starred on many television productions and appeared in theatres from coast to coast.


MIGUEL SANDOVAL (performer): Born November 16, 1951 in Washington, D.C, Sandoval came to acting in 1975 through the study of pantomime at a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While training with the group, he was asked to join a local theater company that performed in parks and schools. When the company closed in 1979, Sandoval launched his own theater troupe, which trained inmates at the New Mexico State Penitentiary. He was then cast in a science fiction Western called “Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann”. That film’s producer, former Monkee and audio-visual pioneer Michael Nesmith, recommended Sandoval to director Alex Cox, for his next production, “Repo Man”. Sandoval would appear in and collaborate with Cox on five subsequent projects, including “Sid and Nancy”, “Straight to Hell” and “Walker”. During this period, he forged another rewarding collaboration with director Spike Lee, who cast him as hot-tempered New York police officer Ponte in “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever”. Sandoval soon settled into regular work in character roles – federal agents and judges in “White Sands” and the Steven Bochco-produced “Civil Wars”, drug lords in “Clear and Present Danger” and “Murder One”, and an array of lawmen on episodic television. Sandoval also played an amber mine overseer in “Jurassic Park”, convinced Kramer to put his pet rooster in a cock fight on “Seinfeld”, and had frequent guest roles on “ER”, “The X-Files” and “The West Wing”. In 2005, Sandoval was cast as sympathetic district attorney Manuel Devalos, who employed Patricia Arquette’s psychic abilities to solve crime cases on “Medium.” In 2017, he was cast in the limited series “Sharp Objects” with Amy Adams, and “Station 19”, a drama about Seattle firefighters spun off from “Grey’s Anatomy” and produced by Shonda Rimes.


ANTONIQUE SMITH (vocals / performer): Hailing from East Orange, New Jersey, Antonique Charmaine Smith is a critically acclaimed Broadway, film and television actor, a grammy nominated artist and writer, and a passionate social, climate and environmental justice activist. Antonique first garnered attention in her buzzworthy leading role in “Rent” on Broadway as Mimi Marquez. She became and remains the international poster girl for the show. Antonique Smith then became famous for her starring role of Faith Evans in the movie NOTORIOUS where she received rave reviews. The LA Times called her “delicious in the role” and Rolling Stone magazine said she was “terrific”. She was also praised by critics, including Jeffrey Lyons who called her “one to watch”. Antonique then went on to star in ABDUCTION, in YELLING TO THE SKY, and in DEUCES. She has also guest starred and recurred on numerous hit TV shows including “Law & Order”, HBO’s “Bored to Death”, A&E’s “100 Centre Street”, Fox’s limited series “Shots Fired”, NBC’s “Chicago PD”, in season 2 of the hit Netflix series “Marvel’s Luke Cage”, and in season 2 of the Blumhouse TV anthology series “Sacred Lies”. She also starred in the 3rd season of the Emmy nominated anthology series “Genius”, titled “Genius: Aretha” as Aretha Franklin’s mother, Barbara Franklin.

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SUUVI (cello): As a performer, producer, creator, and educator, Cuban-Chinese musician and interdisciplinary artist Suuvi combines her background as a classically trained cellist with a passion for technology, innovation, and storytelling to create works and experiences for the contemporary culture. Her performances and work have been featured at Carnegie Hall, La Fondation Louis Vuitton, The Museum of Modern Art, The Fashion Institute of Technology, Lincoln Center, The Berliner Philharmonie, Le Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, The Tonhalle Zürich, Victoria Hall, Accor Arena, Le Poisson Rouge, The Midway, SubCulture, and others. She has toured as the solo cellist in Hans Zimmer’s “World of Hans Zimmer”, commissioned and debuted works by Paul Leonard-Morgan, Steve Hackman, Dan Tepfer, and Pedro Osuna, and collaborated and performed with artists including Teyana Taylor, SAYGRACE, Ambré, Baby Rose, and Time for Three. As a speaker, writer, and artist, she has performed and created content for Amazon Prime, Twitch, Radio France, IDAGIO, and others. She has been an artist ambassador for The Grammy Music Education Coalition, an artist in residence at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Technology and Applied Composition Department, and currently serves as a board member of LA’s contemporary dance company BODYTRAFFIC. Suuvi began studying cello and art at age two, following the influence of her father, a cellist and luthier, and grandmother, a painter. She was accepted to Juilliard at age ten, studying cello, piano, and composition. After finishing high school at age 15, she entered the undergraduate program at Le Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and completed her degree two years later. In 2019, she was awarded a Celia Ascher Fellowship to Juilliard’s Artist Diploma program, where she studied cello and acting, and Columbia University, where she studied film. She graduated in 2021 after being awarded the Leo B. Ruiz Prize and three career development grants.

WAYNE BERGERON (trumpet): Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1958, Wayne Bergeron came to California at age one. Bergeron credits his teachers, Ron Savitt and Bob Smith, for molding his talent in trumpet into practical working skills. Bergeron first came of note as the lead trumpet chair with Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1986. Bergeron can be heard on many of Maynard’s recordings.  As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of credits includes: Ray Charles, Green Day, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Michael Buble, Idina Menzel, Leslie Oden Jr., Jonas Brothers, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Seal, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Earth Wind & Fire, My Chemical Romance, Chicago, Rosemary Clooney, Barry Manilow, Quincy Jones, and Kenny G. Bergeron has worked on over 500 TV & film soundtracks including: Red Notice, Turning Red, Soul, Ford vs. Ferrari, Toy Story 3 & 4, Frozen 1 & 2, Crazy Rich Asians, Moana, Superman Returns, The Simpsons Movie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Spiderman 1 & 2, and South Park. Bergeron’s featured trumpet solos can be heard in the films: West Side Story (2021), La La Land, Incredibles 1 & 2, Rocky Balboa, Ted 2, Minions 1 & 2, Jersey Boys, The Green Hornet, Despicable Me 1, 2 & 3, The Princess & the Frog, Hey Arnold, Aladdin King of Thieves. TV credits include Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, American Idol, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Jeopardy, Will & Grace, Phineas & Ferb, King of the Hill, and Futurama. Bergeron’s debut solo effort, You Call This a Living? earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble, as well as rave reviews worldwide. Bergeron has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, the L.A. Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, Taiwan Symphony, and Tokyo Philharmonic. Bergeron is a National Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America and currently on faculty at California State University Northridge.

AMY KEYS (vocals): Originally from Washington DC, Amy Keys is a versatile and accomplished vocalist, writer, producer and actor. She started singing in college while earning a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. The Sony/Epic Label released Amy’s solo album “Lover’s Intuition”. The title track appeared on the soundtrack of the movie “Tap” starring Gregory Hines. Her first major tour was with Leonard Cohen and later that same year, she was offered the opportunity to perform with one of her idols, Phil Collins. Her work with Phil Collins includes creating vocal arrangements, performing duets, background, and lead vocals on his albums and tours. Amy has sung backgrounds for artists including: Sting, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, OneRepublic, Sam Smith, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Seal, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Al Green, Queen Latifah, NeYo, Heart, Vince Gill, Sarah McLachlan, Sara Bareilles, Tina Turner, Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, Toni Braxton, Wilson Phillips, Diana Ross, Christopher Cross, and others. She has performed television theme songs including: “City of Angels”, “Boomtown”, “Famous Families”, “Over There” and “K-Ville”. She has performed in numerous commercials and films including: “Budweiser”, “Anchorman 2”, “Rock Of Ages”, “Tarzan”, “Tarzan 2”, “Brother Bear”, “Another 48 Hours”, “Coca Cola”, “Coors”, “Taco Bell”, “Toy Story 2”,“Touched By An Angel”. She toured Europe with Herbie Hancock on his “Joni Letters Tour”. In 2008, she performed in Liverpool with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Ringo Starr! Amy’s recent projects include the films “Dolemite” starring Eddie Murphy and “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar” starring Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo and Jamie Dornan, where she performed a duet with Jamie. Amy served as a representative on the Governor’s Board of the National Recording Academy (Grammys) and is a member of its Advocacy Board.

TERRACE MARTIN (saxophone): A three-time GRAMMY-nominated artist/producer/multi-instrumentalist from the Crenshaw District, Terrace Martin is renowned as being one of the top jazz musicians in the world and has become a creative engine at the epicenter of LA’s progressive hip-hop scene. His noteworthy production has included major collaborations with Kendrick Lamar (good kid, M.A.A.D. city & the GRAMMY-winning To Pimp a Butterfly), Travis Scott, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, and many other influential artists. Among the most versatile musicians and producers of his generation, Terrace’s path is leading him in parallel with the greats including Quincy Jones and Dr. Dre, while also launching his vibrant, progressive, genre-crossing record label, Sounds of Crenshaw. 3 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS | 15 BILLION STREAMS |15 MILLION ALBUMS SOLD

REIGN MORTON (vocals): Reign Morton known as a vocalist, actor, activist and all around visionary in regards to arts. Born in Portsmouth Virginia he entered into the US Army where he served overseas for multiple tours. After exiting the army he then moved to Los Angeles and became inspired to study acting. He booked multiple national commercials which evidently lead to recurring roles on shows like “Clean House,” “Hilton Head Isle” and the role of Eddie Murphy on the movie “Whitney.” He was most notable for his role as Cassius Kibedeaux on ABCs “General Hospital” which aided in him achieving a Daytime Emmy award for Best Cast Performance his first year. Alongside acting he has received mentorship from Stevie Wonder while also traveling to countries such as France, Canada, and Osaka to aid in curating his own voice. He presently uses his voice as a tool to inspire people to have positive energy at protests which has shifted him into the light as a community leader.

STARR PARODI (Musical Director): Starr Parodi first entered the public eye playing keyboards as part of the house band on the hit late-night Arsenio Hall Show. Since then she has become a vibrant part of the Los Angeles composing community, scoring hundreds of episodes of TV & film as well as an innovative solo artist, pianist, and GRAMMY®  nominated producer. Her scoring credits include Michael B. Jordan’s gen:LOCK, Transformers: Rescue Bots, G.I. Joe Renegades, Conversations With Other Women, The Division, and hundreds of film trailers/promos (Rogue One James Bond, Mission: Impossible II, The Peanuts Movie, Harry Potter, Dreamgirls, Night at the Museum). Starr’s solo album COMMON PLACES won “Record of the Year” from Solo Piano Radio. Her neoclassical release, THE HEART OF FRIDA, celebrating the life and art of Frida Kahlo, won awards for Solo Piano Album of the Year from International Radio Broadcasters and solopiano.com. In 2017, for ”The Women in the World Summit”, the New York Times invited Starr to Lincoln Center to conduct “To All The Little Girls,” a music video and performance she produced and arranged with Oscar winning filmmaker Terry Sanders. In 2019 Starr was again featured at Lincoln Center with a world premiere of her concert work “The Joy of the Waters.” Starr has won the 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Contemporary Classical, the 2021 SHE ROCKS – VISION Award, the 2022 BMI IMPACT Award, and is a featured composer and artist on the iconic recording “Women Warriors: The Voices of Change”, which won the Grammy® in 2022. As a producer and featured artist, Starr won the 2023 Grammy® award in the Classical Compendium category on Kitt Wakeley’s “An Adoption Story.” Starr previously served as President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers and currently is a co-chair of the AWFC advisory board.

JONATHAN SACKS (musical arrangements): Composer Jonathan Sacks is a versatile and eclectic composer who writes for film, theater, and the concert hall. Originally from Boston, Sacks is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Sacks has worked as a composer and orchestrator on over 30 feature films. His musical blueprints can be found on: the Academy Award winning scores to Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 3, as well as Seabiscuit, the two X-Files movies, Meet the Parents, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Mr. Holland’s Opus, plus a half dozen video games. Jonathan recently scored the award winning documentary Look At Us Now, Mother directed by Gayle Kirschenbaum. This film has appeared in film festivals throughout the world including Woodstock, Toronto, and Atlanta film festivals. Alongside Randy Newman, Sacks has orchestrated and co-composed for several Disney Theme Park Rides including Monsters, Inc., Mike & Sulley to the Rescue, and Carsland for Disneyland, and Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue at Shanghai Disneyland. His music on these rides is heard by millions of people a year. Sacks has composed orchestral arrangements for Steve Martin, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Metallica, and Kiss. This work has been performed by over nine different major orchestras including the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the National Symphony at Kennedy Center. Sacks has written several dozen scores for productions of Shakespeare, Stoppard, A Christmas Carol, for such theaters as the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Antaeus Theatre, and Shakespeare Festival, LA. He is currently collaborating with WordTheatre. Sacks’ concert works for clarinet and large orchestra have been performed and recorded by Richard Stoltzman, and the Warsaw Philharmonic, conducted by Carl St. Clair, and Sagittarius Rising for large orchestra. He recently has composed a book of musical settings for a number of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

ANTONIQUE SMITH (vocals / performer): Hailing from East Orange, New Jersey, Antonique Charmaine Smith is a critically acclaimed Broadway, film and television actor, a grammy nominated artist and writer, and a passionate social, climate and environmental justice activist. Antonique first garnered attention in her buzzworthy leading role in “Rent” on Broadway as Mimi Marquez. She became and remains the international poster girl for the show. Antonique Smith then became famous for her starring role of Faith Evans in the movie NOTORIOUS where she received rave reviews. The LA Times called her “delicious in the role” and Rolling Stone magazine said she was “terrific”. She was also praised by critics, including Jeffrey Lyons who called her “one to watch”. Antonique then went on to star in ABDUCTION, in YELLING TO THE SKY, and in DEUCES. She has also guest starred and recurred on numerous hit TV shows including “Law & Order”, HBO’s “Bored to Death”, A&E’s “100 Centre Street”, Fox’s limited series “Shots Fired”, NBC’s “Chicago PD”, in season 2 of the hit Netflix series “Marvel’s Luke Cage”, and in season 2 of the Blumhouse TV anthology series “Sacred Lies”. She also starred in the 3rd season of the Emmy nominated anthology series “Genius”, titled “Genius: Aretha” as Aretha Franklin’s mother, Barbara Franklin.


NEDRA WHEELER (bass): Nedra is a recipient of the 2006 Jazz Legend of Los Angeles Awards from the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation and The City of Los Angeles, State of California. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts. She is a performer and teacher with the Jazz Mentorship Program at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs-Watts Towers Arts Center & Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center, Developer of the U.S./Japan Gospel Workshop and Inter-Cultural exchange for the CAT Music College of Osaka, Japan/Lighthouse Career Encouragement USA Corporation and Adjunct Assistant Professor in music the Los Angeles Community College School District. Wheeler’s artistic versatility (bass, composition, vocals, and experience with diverse musical genres) includes Jazz, Pop, R&B, World Music and interpretation of original compositions for modern dance. She has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Pat Benatar, Linda Hopkins, Kenny Kirkland, Jedd “Tain” Watts, Bob Dylan, Billy Higgins, The Harper Brothers, Branford Marsalis, Tracy Chapman, Kenny Barron, Al Tootie Heath, Cedar Walton, Elvin Jones, and Alice Coltrane. Her recordings include film soundtracks for “Malcom X” “Chickpeas” “Clockers”, “Menace II Society”, “King of California” as well as a self-produced debut CD entitled “Gifts: Live at Birdland West.” Locally, Wheeler has appeared at Disney Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Ford Amphitheater, Central Avenue Jazz Festival, Bones and Blues, Citadel, Catalina’s Bar and Grill, Lunaria, Spaghettini, Maggiano, Hollywood Park Casino, The Red Cat Theatre at Disney Hall and Jazz at Drew. A charismatic bassist, Wheeler is a favorite with the Al Williams Jazz Society and has appeared numerous times at the Long Beach Jazz Festival and the Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival. Her international appearances include festivals in South America, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and other European countries.

Performers Disclaimer

Due to the ever-shifting nature of performers’ schedules, and the fact that they donate their time and talents, participation is subject to change without notice.


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