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.
Christy Zucarelli, an artist working mainly in the field of painting, is a Buffalo native. She earned degrees in fine art from both UB and Daemen College. In addition, Zucarelli completed the art education certification program at Buffalo State College, and earned an MA in Art Education at The City College of New York.
Defiant Monkey Improv is a two-person improvisational group that creates on-the-spot theatre, based on audience suggestions and participation. Performers Karen L. Eichler and Andrew M. Spragge are experienced improvisers, actors, corporate trainers, and teachers who love to have as much fun as possible.
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.
Developed by Young Audiences of Western New York, this residency explores the Erie Canal’s history through a variety of art forms, inviting students to take a personal journey down the Canal by speaking through the voices of the era.
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.
Sarah Haykel has been a professional dance instructor since 2003. She specializes in salsa dancing and Latin music and dance, focusing not only on timing, technique, rhythm, footwork, and styling, but on the historical and cultural aspects of Latin music and dance. She believes that dance inspires students to connect more fully with themselves, other people, cultural tradition, and the world in a fun, safe way.