In 1987, keyboardist Van Taylor founded this jazz-oriented band, composed of an array of world-class musicians, Taylor Made Jazz (TMJ). In order to foster new jazz lovers and encourage new performers, Taylor Made Jazz (TMJ) has given hundreds of school performances, where their entertaining and dynamic approach has inspired a new generation of young fans and performers.
Melissa Kate Miller is an international recording artist, songwriter, stage and voice actress, writer and poet. As US Managing Director for Artfully AWARE, founder of the Benched Players and leader of the cabaret blues act, The Melissa Kate Project, she draws from a varied background for her students.
Miriam Minkoff is a dancer and percussionist in the ensemble No Words Spoken, a music group comprising individuals with autism and staff from Autistic Services, Inc. Her drum circles provide a sense of togetherness and focused attention that is both stimulating and relaxing.
Mohamed Diably began playing the jembe at age seven, under the supervision of his elder brother Moustapha. By fifteen, he was asked to join a group sponsored by the wife of Guinea’s famous President Sekou Toure. Mohamed travels throughout the US, Canada, and Europe teaching drum and dance and promoting the music and culture of Guinea.
Wooden Cities is both an ensemble and a collective of performers and composers seeking to help increase the performance and awareness of contemporary classical music in Western New York through unique, educational presentations.
Dave Ruch is extensively involved in the arts-in-education field, using music to teach core curriculum and inspire young learners.
Ancient Voices is a World Music percussion & wind duo formed by drummer Ringo Brill & saxophonist Steve Baczkowski. Their unique program utilizes and demonstrates a multitude of ancient indigenous musical instruments from around the world.
Le Ballet Touba is a dance and music duo led by Robin Hibbert, a professional dancer and teacher. For her work with Le Ballet Touba, Robin is joined by Alassanne Sarr on the drums. A Griot, Sarr is a master of the oral, drum, poetry and music traditions of Senegal. Their interactive workshops are engaging and teach valuable social and historical knowledge.
This cabaret blues act is led by Melissa Kate Miller, an international recording artist, songwriter, stage and voice actress, writer, and poet. Students join in performance with musicians who have traveled across the world and emphasize the communicative power of music. American jazz, pop and rhythm and blues are the vehicle through which students learn and practice how to improvise, keep a beat, and express themselves through song.
Sol Y Sombra (formerly the Latin Jazz Project) was founded by the late Anibal Hernandez in 1999, and continues his mission today. Hernandez’ s intentions were to present Latin music to the Hispanic community, to help popularize the music in general, to make Latino culture available for educational purposes, and to provide guidance for the next generation of artists and performers.