24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference Schedule

Robin Bell-Stevens
A talented administrator, marketing executive, fundraiser and producer of concerts and special
events, Robin Bell-Stevens is currently Director of Jazzmobile, Inc., the oldest not-for-profit arts
organization created, solely: to present, preserve and promote America’s Classical music, Jazz –
through education and performance programs. The organization was founded in Harlem in 1964
by Dr. Billy Taylor, Daphne Arnstein, and with Jimmy Heath, who together with Billy, created
Jazzmobile’s pioneering programs. Since the beginning, Jazzmobile has earned a reputation for
presenting quality free arts education programs throughout the community in New York City
schools and free summer mobile jazz concerts throughout the five boroughs and the Metropolitan
area. Over the years, these performance programs have been brought to cities throughout the
United States; in Hong Kong, Japan, and Europe. Today Jazzmobile still presents New York City’s
longest continuous jazz concert series: SUMMERFEST.
Bell-Stevens has an impressive career in Jazz. Prior to joining Jazzmobile, Ms. Bell-Stevens served as
Director of Marketing and Creative Services, Jazz at Lincoln Center— the largest not-for-profit arts
organization committed to promoting appreciation and understanding of jazz. She also served, for 20
years, as the Executive Producer of the “An Afternoon of Jazz” festival, presenting Jazz legends and
emerging artists alike. In addition to establishing the Festival as the premier out-doors one day jazz
festival; she created and produced a nine day Jazz festival in Dakar, Senegal, bringing hundreds of
tourists into this historic city in West Africa. She also was the founder and chief executive of an events
marketing firm: RVB Consultants (New York & Boston). Her clients included elected officials, not-for
profit organizations and corporations. Bell-Stevens began her career as a fashion coordinator and
buyer for Macy*s Herald Square.
A daughter of the late De Lores Bell (a Jazz advocate) and the late Dr. Aaron Bell – jazz bassist,
educator, composer, arranger and band leader (best known for his years as a Duke Ellington bassist),
she grew up in a family that encouraged the importance of education, music, arts and in giving back to
her community.
As a volunteer she currently serves on the following Governing and Advisory Boards: The Louis
Armstrong Educational Foundation (Vice President), Jazz Studies at Columbia University, PJS Jazz
Society, The Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, The Carter Burden Center or the
Aging, and she is a former president of The New York Coalition of 100 Black Women—the flagship
chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and she is involved with several other
community organizations. Previously she also served as a volunteer docent at Gracie Mansion.
A distinguished professional, she has served as a presenter at various jazz, marketing, and
fundraising, conferences and seminars; and has been celebrated for her achievements in arts &
business administration and community service. Awards she has received include the “Jazz Hero”
Jazz Journalists Association; Pioneering Spirit Award, National Black Theater; “Amazing Woman
In Jazz Award” International Women in Jazz; The New York Coalition of 100 Black Women
Colloquy Award; “Achievers in Community Service” featured in a WNBC-TV public service commercial
(aired for 30 days); Pioneer in Black History Award, Anheuser-Busch Companies; 25 Most
Influential Black Women in Business Award, The Network Journal; the Martin Luther King, Jr.
Community Service Award, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; the “Roy Wilkins Award for the
Arts” from The Mid-Manhattan Branch NAACP, and a Citation for Community Service from
Congressman Charles B. Rangel.
She holds a master’s in education (with a concentration in management) from Cambridge College.
Carmen de Lavallade
Carmen de Lavallade
Carmen de Lavallade has had an unparalleled career in dance, theater, film and television beginning in her hometown of Los Angeles performing with the Lester Horton Dance Theater. While in Los Angeles, Lena Horne introduced the then 17 year old de Lavallade to the filmmakers at 20th Century Fox where she appeared in four movies, including Carmen Jones (1954) with Dorothy Dandridge and Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) with Harry Belafonte. During the filming of Carmen Jones, she met Herbert Ross, who asked her to appear as a dancer in the Broadway production of House of Flowers. Her dance career includes having ballets created for her by Lester Horton, Geoffrey Holder, Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley, John Butler and Agnes de Mille. She succeeded her cousin Janet Collins as the principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera becoming the second black dancer to perform on that stage and was a guest artist with the American Ballet Theater. She has choreographed for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the productions of Porgy and Bess and Die Meistersinger at the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. de Lavallade also has had an extensive acting career as a member of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard, performing in numerous off-Broadway productions, and as an instructor at the Yale School of Drama where she taught many up and coming “super stars,” including Meryl Streep and Henry Winkler. Her television and film credits include The Cosby Show, Sherri with Sherri Shepherd, John Sayles’ Lone Star and Big Daddy with Adam Sandler. She and her husband, Geoffrey Holder, were the subjects of the film Carmen & Geoffrey (2005), which chronicled their sixty year partnership and artistic legacy. Her most recent theatrical work includes Step-Mother by Ruby Dee (2009), Post Black by Regina Taylor (2011), and the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012). She is also a founding member of the dance company Paradigm. Ms. de Lavallade is currently touring an original dance/theater work about her life entitled As I Remember It, which premiered in June 2014 at Jacob’s Pillow. Lauded by numerous institutions, Ms. de Lavallade received the Dance Magazine Award in 1964, an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from the Juilliard School in 2007, the Duke Ellington Fellowship Award, and the Dance USA Award in 2010. In 1999, she was named by the Dance Heritage Coalition as one of America’s 100 Irreplaceable Dance Treasures. From Broadway to the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. de Lavallade has performed on the world’s greatest stages and with such legendary artists as Josephine Baker and Duke Ellington. Carmen de Lavallade has been an incomparable dance and theater treasure for more than six decades. In her eighties and still performing with a supreme level of grace and elegance, she is an icon in the truest sense of the word – inspiring generations of artists and audiences.

Will Friedwald
WILL FRIEDWALD (Presenter) is an American author and music critic. He has written for such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Newsday, The New York Observer, and The New York Sun, and for such magazines as Entertainment Weekly, Oxford American, New York, Mojo, BBC Music Magazine, Stereo Review and Fi(Delity). His books include Jazz Singing: America’s Great Voices from Bessie Smith to Bebop and Beyond; Sinatra!; The Song is You: A Singer’s Art; Stardust Melodies: the Biography of Twelve of America’s Most Popular Songs; Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: An Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons, and A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers. His Sinatra bio was awarded the 1996 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Criticism.
Phil Schaap
PHIL SCHAAP (Presenter) has broadcast jazz on the radio for over 45 years and has won GRAMMY® Awards for Historical Writing (3), Producing (3), and Audio Engineering (2). Since 1970, Mr. Schaap has been heard on WKCR (89.9FM/wkcr.org) and is best known for his weekday morning program, Bird Flight, on Charlie Parker. Jazz historian Schaap became Curator of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in 2001. After 14 years of teaching jazz at Princeton University, Mr. Schaap began teaching Jazz in the Masters’ Program at Juilliard. At JALC, Phil serves as the academic head of Swing University (SWING U), the expanded education series offered by JALC. His knowledge of the history of the art of jazz enriches the organization across all departments. Mr. Schaap is Editor of Jazz at Lincoln Center Library Editions and as such has added learned essays to its publications “This Is Ragtime” and “Charlie Parker and Jazz Club Memorabilia”. He is on the advisory board of The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA).

Bobby Sanabria
BOBBY SANABRIA (Panelist) is a seven-time Grammy nominated (as a leader) American drummer who is also a percussionist, composer, arranger producer, documentary film producer, educator and writer specializing in Latin jazz and Jazz. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1983 and was a featured performer on the Mambo Kings film soundtrack. Sanabria often performs in New York public schools as part of the Arts Exposure Program. He has written articles for Modern Drummer magazine and currently teaches an Afro-Cuban Big Band ensemble at the Manhattan School of Music and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He has performed with Mario Bauza, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Chico Freeman, Paquito D’Rivera, Candido, Ray Barretto, Chico O’Farrill, Francisco Aguabella, Henry Threadgill, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Daniel Ponce, Michael Gibbs, Charles McPherson, Phil Wilson, and Marco Rizo. He is a DECFA Board Member.
Ray Carman
Opening Night Host
RAY CARMAN (Welcome) is a longtime member and president of The Duke Ellington Society, Inc. (TDES), which is hosting the first evening of the 24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference at St. Peter’s Church.

Olle Edstrom
OLLE EDSTROM (Presenter) is Distinguished Professor of Musicology in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. His tenth musicological book, Duke Ellington – och jazz i Sverige (Duke Ellington – and jazz in Sweden) came out last summer. Professor Edstrom’s fields of interest include music history, aesthetics, ethnomusicology and popular music studies.
Marcello Piras
MARCELLO PIRAS (Presenter) is Italy’s foremost authority on Black music history. He has taught at Columbia College Chicago, the University of Michigan, and in many Italian conservatories and music schools. He is currently teaching at the Academia de Arte de Florencia, Mexico City. He has also lectured in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the USA on topics ranging from the African elements in ancient Greek notated music to such contemporary composers as Roscoe Mitchell and Leo Brouwer. His huge bibliography includes an essay in The Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington (Cambridge UP 2015).

Michele Corcella
MICHELE CORCELLA (Presenter) is an award-winning composer from Italy. He arranged music played by David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrell, John Taylor, Norma Winstone, and the WDR Big Band, among others. He was one of the speakers at the 2014 Duke Ellington International Study Group in Amsterdam. He lectures on jazz composition at the Conservatory of Udine and the Conservatory of Bologna (Italy).
Nate Sloan
NATE SLOAN (Presenter) is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Stanford University and a Geballe Dissertation Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. He also has an A.B. in music from Brown University. His research interests include jazz, Tin Pan Alley, and urban geography. He is an instructor at the California Jazz Conservatory, and has written music and lyrics for two musicals and scored several films, including the award-winning short documentary Slomo. He is co-host of the music theory podcast Switched on Pop and writes on music for academic and popular journals. His dissertation topic is Jazz in the Harlem Moment: Performing Race and Place at the Cotton Club.

Matthias Heyman
MATTHIAS HEYMAN (Panelist) is a doctoral candidate working on a Ph.D. in the Arts at the University of Antwerp (Media, Policy & Culture Group) in affiliation with the AP University College (Royal Antwerp Conservatoire). His research topic is a contextualization of the bass playing of jazz musician and Ellingtonian Jimmie Blanton (1918-1942). While most references describe Blanton as the ‘revolutionary bassist’ who modernized jazz bass playing, very little in-depth research, both academic and artistic, has been done to support this statement. Matthias is a sessional lecturer of Jazz History and Research Methodology at LUCA School of Arts (Music and Drama Department) in Leuven,a teacher at the Jazzstudio in Antwerp and a freelance bassist.
Krin Grabbard
KRIN GABBARD (Presenter) retired after thirty-three years of teaching at SUNY Stony Brook. He now teaches in the jazz study program at Columbia University. His new book, Better Git It In Your Soul, is about bassist Charles Mingus. A biographer, musician, film scholar, and literary critic, Gabbard has long been an active participant in the jazz community.

Ken Steiner
KEN STEINER (Presenter) is an historian specializing in the music of Duke Ellington. He has been researching Ellington’s work from the years 1923-1941 through contemporary newspapers, radio logs, court records, and other contemporary sources. Ken has made numerous contributions to the Duke Ellington Music Society Bulletin and other journals, written liner notes for five CDs for Storyville Records, and made presentations at Ellington Conferences in Stockholm (2004), London (2012), Amsterdam (2014), and Portland (2015). Ken lives in Seattle.
Gregory Marion
Gregory Marion (Presenter) is Head of the Music Department and a Faculty Member in Music at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests include the music of Claude Debussy, music of la belle epoque, Franz Schubert, chamber music and Lieder, Beethoven, late quartets, and Duke Ellington.

Eli Yamin
Musical Director
ELI YAMIN (Musical Director) is a jazz and blues pianist, composer, singer, producer and educator. Raised in the bands of jazz masters Walter Perkins, Illinois Jacquet and Barry Harris, his joyful and imaginative piano playing have taken him around the world with his own groups as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and led him to perform and teach at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and President Obama’s White House. Yamin co-founded The Jazz Drama Program, which uplifts students, teachers and their communities through interactive experiences in the jazz arts—storytelling, music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Yamin’s compositions like “A Healing Song,” about the healing power of the blues, and “Rwandan Child” about the wisdom of children awaken audiences shared sense of humanity, love and joy. Eli’s jazz musicals for children are performed around the world and licensed by Theatrical Rights Worldwide. His CD’s are heard on Sirius XM and Jazz 88, WBGO in Newark. Ely is on the board of directors of The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA).
Antoinette Montague
ANTOINETTE MONTAGUE (Musician) was born in Newark, NJ, where she grew up. After graduating from Seton Hall University with a degree in English, she came under the tutelage of blues singer Carrie Smith in jazz and blues. She has performed extensively with jazz groups in the New York metropolitan area, including such venues as Cassandra’s, the Metropolitan Room, Jazz Vespers at St. Peter’s, and Dorthaan’s Place, to name a few. Her CD Pretty Blues was released by Consolidated Artists Productions. Antoinette is currently the vice president of International Women in Jazz (IWJ) and serves as a board member of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA).

David Hajdu
DAVID HAJDU (Moderator) is an American columnist, author and professor at Columbia University School of Journalism. He was the music critic for The New Republic for 12 years and is music editor at The Nation. He started writing for The Village Voice and Rolling Stone in 1979, and was the founding editor of Video Review Magazine. He was an editor at Entertainment Weekly for nine years. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Syracuse University, and Columbia University, where he is an associate professor of journalism. His biographical work includes Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn, and Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina. His nonfiction work includes The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, and Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics and Culture.
Daryl Waters
DARYL WATERS (Panelist) is currently represented on Broadway by Shuffle Along, overseeing the music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations. Daryl conducted After Midnight, the Broadway production of City Center Encores’ Cotton Club Parade, which celebrated Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians. In 2010 Daryl won the Tony Award for Orchestration with Bryan Davis for Memphis: A New Musical. Other Broadway credits include Holler If Ya Hear Me (musical supervisor), The Color Purple (dance music arranger), Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (composer, orchestrator, music supervisor), Street Corner Symphony (associate conductor), and Drowning Crow. Mr. Waters was Eartha Kitt’s longtime music director, and is a graduate of Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Carl Woideck
CARL WOIDECK (Presenter) is an instructor of jazz, rock, and blues music histories at the University of Oregon, where he began teaching in 1982. Woideck is also a professional saxophonist and longtime jazz radio broadcaster. He is author of Charlie Parker: His Music and Life (University of Michigan Press); the book has been translated into Japanese under the title Charlie Parker: The Man Who Created Modern Jazz. Woideck is also author and editor of The John Coltrane Companion and The Charlie Parker Companion (both Schirmer Books). He has also written compact disc liner notes extensively for the Verve, Blue Note, Mosaic, and Prestige labels. Woideck’s research awards include grants from the University of Oregon, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Jazz Studies. He has presented research papers at national meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Society of American Music.
Steven Lasker
STEVEN LASKER (Presenter) has amassed, over 40 years, a near-complete collection of Ellington records on their original issues. Over the last 30 years he has extensively researched Ellington history and discography and freely shared the data, much of it through the late, much-missed DEMS Bulleting, most recently by helping David Palmquist’s website “The Duke – Where and When.” He has made many significant discoveries and produced/remastered /annotated several Ellington reissue sets. He has attended 16 Ellington study group conferences, and has been a frequent presenter.

Bill Saxonis
BILL SAXONIS (Presenter) has a passion for music, devoting over 35 years to studying the life, times and music of Duke Ellington. He has contributed to jazz publications and prestigious forums in both Europe and the United States. Speaking appearances include the Institute for Jazz Studies (Rutgers University, Newark), the Butler School of Music (University of Texas, Austin), “Ellington 2008” (London), “Ellington 2012 (Woking, UK) and “Ellington 2014” (Amsterdam). For the past 16 years, Bill has presented to a worldwide audience a highly acclaimed annual four-hour radio show celebrating the birthday of Duke Ellington (WCDB-90.9 FM). A regular feature of the program is Bill’s sharing of recorded interviews he has conducted with leading figures in the world of jazz and jazz-related literature. In addition to Bill’s passion for music, he is a nationally recognized and published expert on issues related to the regulation of the electric utility industry and assessing programs designed to reduce energy consumption and pollution.
Frank Owens
Musical Director
FRANK OWENS (Musical Director) was conductor and pianist for the Broadway production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Maurice Hines’s Uptown It’s Hot as well as the Broadway, Moscow and Kennedy Center productions of Sophisticated Ladies. Other theatrical credits include Black Broadway, Melvin van Peebles’ Don’t Play Us Cheap, Hartford Theatreworks’ Paul Robeson, Tan Manhattan, Hotcha Razz-Ma-Tazz as well as his own Shades of Harlem. As a studio recording artist, Frank received a gold record for his rhythm concept of Tony Orlando and Dawn’s Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree. He has won the National Academy of Recording Artists sponsored MVP award for acoustic piano and the Virtuoso Award. Presently he is the musical director for the Tap Dance Extravaganza in Queens and New York City.

Adrian Bailey
ADRIAN BAILEY (Panelist) has been in show business professionally for 40 years. He has performed in 14 Broadway productions and numerous tours, television, and film projects. Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies was Adrian’s second Broadway show and touched his life more than all the others. The music gets into your soul and will never be forgotten. Thank you, Mr. Ellington.
Valarie Pettiford
VALARIE PETTIFORD (Panelist) was a Tony nominee for Fosse and can be currently seen recurring on two hit TV series, The Blacklist on NBC and the comedy Born Again Virgin on TV-One. Career highlights include four seasons as Big Dee Dee on the TV series Half and Half and as Aunt Geneva in the hit movie Jumping The Broom. Other television credits include True Blood, Treme, Criminal Minds, and CSI, just to name a few. She will be making a guest star appearance on ABC’s Blackish airing soon. Aside from 3 NAACP Image nominations, Valarie won the Best Actress NAACP Image Award for her portrayal of Queenie in Michael John La Chuisa’s The Wild Party. Her sold-out woman show has toured around the country and 2 CD’s are available on ITunes. Valarie was a swing dancer and understudied Phyllis Hyman in the Broadway production of Sophisticated Ladies.

Hinton Battle
HINTON BATTLE (Panelist) made his Broadway debut starring as the Scarecrow in The Wiz. Other Broadway starring roles include Dancin’, Dreamgirls, Sophisticated Ladies for which he won his first Tony Award, Chicago (Billy Flynn) and Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker, Jr.), which garnered rave reviews from the Chicago press and earned him an Ira Aldridge Award. His role in The Tap Dance Kid also earned Hinton a second Tony Award, the NAACP Award and the Fred Astaire Award. He won his third Tony Award for Miss Saigon.
Philippe Baudoin
Philippe Baudoin (Presenter) is vice president of the Paris Association “La Maison du Duke” for which he organized the exhibition “Duke Ellington Panorama.” Philippe has played and recorded with some, including Cat Anderson and Sam Woodyard. He is co-leader of the Anachronic Jazz Band, and a member of the French “Academie du jazz.” He is the author of several historical or technical books about jazz, and he teaches at La Sorbonne University.

John Edward Hasse
John Edward Hasse (Presenter) is the creator of Jazz Appreciation Month, the founder of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, a Grammy-nominated writer on music, and an accomplished musician himself. A global voice for American jazz music, he has been sent by the U.S. State Department to 15 countries to highlight American jazz and culture. A curator and expert on American music who has been interviewed on CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC, and others, Dr. Hasse has been described by The Washington Post as “Ellington’s best biographer.”
Candido Camero
CANDIDO CAMERO (Panelist) is a Cuban-born percussionist (mainly conga and bongo) and the most recorded conga drummer in the history of jazz. He also plays the tres (Cuban mandolin), drumset and acoustic bass. Candid is the first play to develop the technique to play multiple conga drums, coordinated independence and the use of multiple percussion. In 2948 he made his first U.S. recording with Machito and his Afro-Cubans as well as working with Dizzy Gillespie. During 1953-54, he was in the Billy Taylor Trio and in 1954 he performed and recorded with Stan Kenton. During the 1970s he performed with the Babatunde Olatunji-penned track “Jingo” from his Dancin’ and Prancin’ album, and precursor to house music. Camero was honored with the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2008. Candido is featured in the Ellington television special A Drum is a Woman.

Bruce Heath
BRUCE HEATH (Panelist) served as the associate choreographer for the Broadway production of Sophisticated Ladies, and directed the 1991-1992 European tour. He was associate director of The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club, and has staged such acts as The Gap Band, Smokey Robinson, and Natalie Cole, among others. Mr. Heath received the 1991 Drama-Logue Award for Choreography. His television credits include General Hospital, ABC’s Life Goes On, and PBS’ Watch Me Move.
MATTHIAS HEYMAN (Panelist) is a doctoral candidate working on a Ph.D. in the Arts at the University of Antwerp (Media, Policy & Culture Group) in affiliation with the AP University College (Royal Antwerp Conservatoire). His research topic is a contextualization of the bass playing of jazz musician and Ellingtonian Jimmie Blanton (1918-1942). While most references describe Blanton as the ‘revolutionary bassist’ who modernized jazz bass playing, very little in-depth research, both academic and artistic, has been done to support this statement. Matthias is a sessional lecturer of Jazz History and Research Methodology at LUCA School of Arts (Music and Drama Department) in Leuven,a teacher at the Jazzstudio in Antwerp and a freelance bassist.
David Gibson
DAVID GIBSON (Musician) is a drummer, percussionist, and composer who has toured extensively and recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Frank Foster. David has also performed with a host of artists and ensembles, including Joe Williams, Clark Terry, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the Diane Schuur Trio, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. Music critic, Chip Deffa (the New York Post) says that “Gibson’s drumming is strong and fluid and as satisfying as any drummer I heard in years.” Music critic, Jerry Carrier (the Philadelphia Daily News) says,”Gibson may be the ultimate band drummer.” He is also featured on recordings that include Diane Schuur’s Music is My Life and Harry Sweets Edison’s Live at the Iridium and The Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir’s Saxophone Shop. He is an adjunct faculty member at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Temple University.

Bob Stewart
BOB STEWART (Musician) has established himself as both an innovative tuba player and equally creative jazz educator. In addition to embracing the tuba’s historical position as the original bass instrument in jazz, Mr. Stewart’s focus on reintroducing the Tuba into a contemporary band setting has encouraged many tuba players and band leaders to explore this approach. As a band leader, recording artist, and featured soloist Mr. Stewart’s has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Charlie Haden, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Carla Bley, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Moran, Lester Bowie, Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, Arthur Blythe, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, David Murray, Chaka Khan, Dap Kings, Aretha Franklin to name a few. Mr. Stewart now also works with Jazz at Lincoln Center as an educational consultant, advisor to the Rhythm Road project, and has helped to create the curriculum for the Middle School Jazz Academy. Another highlight from Mr. Stewart’s distinguished educational career includes winning the nationally-renowned Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition while directing The LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts & Music and Art Jazz Ensemble. While concertizing and touring both in the United States and internationally, Bob Stewart maintains a faculty position as professor of Jazz History at The Juilliard School. In 2012, he established The Annual Bob Stewart Tuba Competition to inspire tuba players to lead their own ensembles helping to establish new tuba repertoire. He is a board member of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA).
Ethan Fein
ETHAN FEIN (Musician) has played guitar in concerts with Kristen Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Marvin Hamlisch, Cy Coleman and Carole King to name a few; in the Broadway shows Forty Second Street, West Side Story, The Full Monty, and Cats for its entire run. Ethan has performed on and produced numerous recordings. He is co-writing a musical with Robby Merkin. Ethan is the accompanist and musical director for Ellen Kaye. He is a member of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA) Board of Directors.

Marcus Gross
MARCUS GROSS (Musician) is a dedicated and accomplished jazz saxophonist with a solid academic background in music. Mark credits his prolific sound to the rich appreciation for Gospel music that resounded through his parents’ home in Baltimore, MD. Gross has toured the world for over 25 years with world jazz music leaders including Buster Williams, Delfeayo Marsalis, Dave Holland, Mulgrew Miller, Nicholas Payton, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, John Lee, Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Tom Harrell Big Band, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Frank Foster and the Loud Minority, Charles Mingus Big Band, Freddie Hubbard, Donald Harrison, Mark Whitfield, Joe Dukes, Captain Jack McDuff, Joe Chambers, Neal Smith, Cyrus Chestnut, Regina Carter, Lionel Hampton, Stephon Harris, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb, Don Braden, Vincent Gardner, and the Mark Gross Quartet. Gross has recorded on over a hundred jazz recordings, including two that won Grammy Awards with the Dave Holland Big Band. Gross also recorded three CDs under his own name: ‘Preach Daddy’ on King Records, 1997, ‘Riddle of the Sphinx’ on J Curve Records, 2001 and ‘Blackside’ on Jazz Legacy Productions Records 2012. He has extensive experience as an educator and has held positions at Princeton University, Prins Claus Conservatoire, William Patterson University and Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Currently he is a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and Director of Jazz Instruction at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Gross holds a B.M. in Music Performance from Berklee College of Music.
Art Baron
ART BARON (Musician) is a trombonist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. His defining work was with Duke Ellington, with whom he toured and recorded from 1973-1974. He also continued performing with Mercer Ellington. Art was a member of the hit Ellington Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies. He has also performed and recorded with Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, B.B. King, Cab Calloway, and Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions Band. Art was featured nightly as a solo presence in the Broadway hit After Midnight, bringing his Ellington expertise to the production. He continues to lead The Duke’s Men, a small ensemble featuring the music of Duke Ellington.

Frank Basile
FRANK BASILE (Musician) was born in 1978 and earned his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. Since moving to New York in 2001, Basile has established himself as one of New York’s most in-demand baritone saxophonists. Dubbed a “prized sideman” by The New Yorker, Basile has performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, the Bob Mintzer Big Band, the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, the Joe Lovano Nonet, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Christian McBride Big Band, the Dave Holland Big Band, and Michael Bublé, among others. Basile has released three recordings as a leader: Thursday The 12th (2007), Pepper Adams Complete Compositions Vol. 4 (2010), and Modern Inventions (2012). In addition to his activities as a sideman, Basile leads his own quintet and sextet, which perform regularly throughout the city.
Kwami Coleman
KWAMI COLEMAN (Moderator/Panelist) is a pianist, composer, and musicologist specializing in improvised music. A visiting assistant professor and fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, his research interests include experimental music history, jazz history, the history and music cultures of the African Diaspora, the political economy of music, music technology, aesthetics, and cultural studies. Kwami is currently working on a monograph of Miles Davis and the jazz avant-garde and articles on black musical avant-gardism and historiography, the pianist/composer Andrew Hill, and the authenticity wrought by locality in African American music culture of the last century. He is also actively engaged in several music projects including his own recording of original compositions for small ensemble. Kwami is a founding member of the Afro-Latin@ Forum, a non-profit organization devoted to the study and increased visibility of Latinos of African descent in the United States, now housed in NYU’s Steinhardt School. He earned his Ph.D. in Musicology from Stanford University in 2014 and served as the panel and presentation coordinator for the 24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference.

Michael Dinwiddie
MICHAEL DINWIDDIE (Moderator) is board chair of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts. He is a playwright, composer, pianist and associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, where he teaches courses related to dramatic writing and cultural studies. His recent plays include The Carelessness of Love, A Guest of Honor, and Northern Lights ’66. Michael was an inaugural fellow in the Walt Disney Writers’ Program (Touchstone Pictures) and he currently serves on the national governance task force of TCG (Theatre Communications Group). He is immediate past president of the Black Theatre Network (BTN).
Melanie LaPatin
MELANIE LaPATIN (Moderator) is a United States Professional Ballroom Dance Champion and world-renowned choreographer, best known for her choreography work on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” LaPatin formed a professional partnership with Tony Meredith in 1981, and they traveled the world, winning over 100 championship titles. LaPatin eventually moved to back to New York to coach and open a Latin and Ballroom dance studio, Dance Times Square. As a dance coach and choreographer, she has worked with film and television personalities including Robin Williams, Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Cameron Diaz, Megan Mullally, Matthew Morrison, Pierce Brosnan, Renee Russo, Vanessa Williams, Tim Robbins, Mary Steenburgen, Sonya Brava, Susan Sarandon, Steven Dorff, Patrick Stewart, Leslie Caron, Jennifer Beals, Harvey Keitel, Campbell Scott, Rob Schneider and Barbara Walters. Upon retiring from the competitive floor in 1998, LaPatin and Meredith created Dance Times Square Studio. She and Tony continue to choreograph for film, television, Broadway and a new generation of competitive dancers, and celebrities. Vogue magazine called the studio “the most fashionable place in New York City to learn to dance…”

Herb Boyd
is an American journalist, educator, author and activist whose articles appear regularly in the New York Amsterdam News. He teaches black studies at the City College of New York and The College of New Rochelle. Boyd’s work has been published in The Black Scholar, The City Sun, Down Beat, Emerge, and Essence. Brotherman, which Boyd co-edited with Robert L. Allen, was given the 1995 American Book Award. His biography, Baldwin’s Harlem, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2009. Boyd also co-developed and instructed the initial curriculum in jazz studies at the Oberlin Conservatory.
Mercedes Ellington
MERCEDES ELLINGTON (Moderator) has continued a three generations-long tradition of musical excellence and international fame as a dancer, choreographer, and educator. This modern-day dance pioneer made history as the first African-American dancer to perform with the June Taylor Dancers on the Jackie Gleason television show. She continued to make history for years to come with her contributions to the entertainment world. Ms. Ellington began her dance studies at a young age, graduating from the Juilliard School in 1960 with a degree in classical and modern dance. After her groundbreaking years with the June Taylor Dancers, she appeard in such Broadway productions as No, No Nanette; Hellzapoppin’; Oh Kay!;Happy New Year; The Grand Tour, and The Night that Made America Famous. In 1981, Ellington made dance history again as a featured dancer and assistant choreographer in the Broadway hit Sophisticated Ladies. Among her many awards are the Drama-Logue Award for Best Choreography, the Barrymore Award for Choreography/Musical Staging, and the Paul Robeson Citation Award from Actors’ Equity Association. She is the Founder/President of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA), a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to further her grandfather’s legacy and philosophy.

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