OUR 2017 PANELISTS
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Elijah Jamal Balbed is a native of Washington, DC. An alumnus of Howard University's legendary Jazz program. Over the last decade, he has established himself as a versatile saxophonist, having performed with artists such as Nicholas Payton, Winard Harper, Cyrus Chestnut, Lalah Hathaway, Eric Benet, The Blackbyrds, and Dr. John. Elijah is best known for having worked regularly with the late, great, Godfather of Go-Go music, Chuck Brown. Elijah also has a band dedicated to preserving and promoting Go-Go music called The JoGo Project. elijahjamalbalbed.com & thejogoproject.com
Owner & CEO of Music Blvd Group
Ade Ariyo, is a Owner and CEO of the leading Music Licensing and Publishing Company, Music Blvd Group, with its primary location in Los Angeles, California, and licensing music in 45 other countries. Some of it's prominent shows and clients include Emmy Nominated shows; House Of Lies & Better Call Saul, Catfish, and much more in various visuals. Ade is a highly sought after film/tv music trainer as she teaches music creators how to be a success in the film/tv music production space. Ade was a recent panelist at Canada Music Week, Sync Summit New York and Hollywood to name a few.
Alexis Kimbrough, CPA believes without the contributions of music creators, the world would be boring. As the founder of Growth Group, Alexis specializes in helping music businesses be profitable and musicians to live prosperous financial lives. Since 2008, Growth Group delivers financial education, tax, accounting, and bookkeeping services for independent artists, record label, and recording studios. Learn more about Alexis and Growth Group here: growthgroup.com
CEO & Founder, DCTOP20
Hakeem Harmon aka DJ Anonymous is an entrepreneur and entertainer based out of Washington, D.C. Since graduating from Howard University in 2007, Anonymous has honed his skills in DJ’in, digital marketing, brand development and team building strategies. He currently is the CEO of a rising startup; DCTOP20, which is made up of 20 featured artists, partners, and a 300+ global ambassador team.
Program manager, Community Engagement, Kennedy Center
Ariel a graduate from Howard University, and is dedicated to diversity and equity in the arts through community events. Prior to joining the Kennedy Center, she worked for National Arts Strategies, Washington Performing Arts, The Washington Women in Jazz Festival, The MusicianShip and Flashband, and continues to volunteer to provide event support for community based arts events throughout Washington, DC.
She is a classically trained French Horn player, and has had the opportunity to perform with ensembles across the United States.
Kapital Magazine is a print and digital magazine that has been published by Jones Worldwide Publishing for over 5 years. The magazine is released on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. The objective of the magazine is to connect hip hop FANS to ARTISTS. We tell the stories hip hop culture in the magazine and promote artists music on the INDIE HIP HOP page (http://www.kapitalmag.com/indie-hip-hop.html) of the Kapital Magazine website. On May 21 Kapital Magazine will be launching the 8 city "WHOSE FAN ARE YOU" 2017 TOUR in Washington DC (http://www.kapitalmag.com/whose-fan-are-you---2017-tour-fans-pick.html)
Director of Multiflora Productions
Label head of Electric Cowbell Records
Jim Thomson owns and operates the the Washington, DC-based boutique record label-Electric Cowbell Records. He currently runs Multiflora Productions out of Washington, DC, a multifaceted, multicultural agency that specializes in expanding the reach of genre-bending roots-to-the-future music through artist management, event marketing, and music releases. He programs an eclectic and exciting blend of live regional and international music at various venues in the Washington, DC, notably Capital Fringe, Tropicalia, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Hill Center, Funk Parade, and Bossa Bistro as well as programming various regional music festivals in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia.
Founder, Kwality Records
A superior guitarist, Dan Haedicke (pronounced Ha-dik) has developed his own melodic and bluesy jazz voice. In All The Ways, his recording debut as a leader, is filled with warm and memorable melodies, concise solos, and music that is both creative and accessible. Dan founded the Kwality label in 2007 as both a vehicle for his recording projects and as an opportunity for him to work as a producer with such artists as the modern New Orleans soul singer Tondrae Kemp. He has worked extensively as a guitarist (including with Lil’ Fame, Cisco Adler, The Diplomats, Rich Boy, and B. Slade) and as a producer. The live performances of his DH4 and the release of In All The Ways put the focus on Dan Haedicke’s jazz guitar playing and composing, showing that he is a talent well worth knowing about.
Aaron Myers is an entertainer based in DC, and was voted "Best Singer" in the Washington City Paper Reader's Poll in 2015 & 2016. . Currently, a Resident Artist at the Mr. Henry's in Washington, DC and Minister of Music at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ. His public activist work can be seen as he lobby's for the rights of Jazz Artist in Washington DC. He also serves on the Board(s) of Directors for Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, Covenant Full Potential Development Center, CTE Vision Foundation & The Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation.
John C. Good
Executive Director of Washington Area Lawyer for the Arts
John has enjoyed a successful career as a non-profit executive with DC’s premiere arts presenters including The John F. Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Washington Performing Arts, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, and Blues Alley. He is the founder of the Virginia Jazz Service Organization, and is President and CEO of GMG Events, an entertainment and special events production group.
John has served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Area Music Association, Capital Area Performers Organization, and Community Arts Agencies of Virginia, and is an Advisory Panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Stephen Baiyewu (pronounced Bai-Yay-Wu)
Event Producer-A&R-Creative Consultant
Stephen Baiyewu (pronounced Bai-Yay-Wu), is an Event Producer-A&R-Creative Consultant in Washington D.C. He has played an integral role in establishing Beyond Studios as well as being apart of the Trillectro Music Festival team since its inception. Establishing himself as a creative conduit in our community has led him to administer high-level support in a variety of industries. He has collaborated and worked with a variety of brands, recording artists, DJs and creative based companies around the country + locally in the form of a A&R, marketing consultant, project manager, event producer, content developer to name a few.
Turk Gaines - Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Teacher Keys & Vocals
Hailing from Washgton DC, his musical influences include motown, jazz, gospel, hip-hop and pop. Turk is a multi-instrumentalist/Music Director/Teacher and producer. He has played many stages around the world from the smallest house party to Radio City Music Hall. After many years in Philadelphia, now resides in Washington, DC where he records, writes, and plans his world wide take over.
Desirée Venn Frederic
nomad yard, founder/creative director
artist union dc, founding member
combing cotton co., founder/creative director
Desiree Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leone born writer and business woman and installation artist. A founder of Nomad Yard Collectiv, a globally minded vintage incubator in Washington, D.C. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is a community organizer, and founding member of Artist Union DC, She holds a certificate in Community Advocacy, She is a TED speaker, keynote speaker at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, The National Endowment for the Arts National Maker Faire, Made in DC Maker Summit, General Assembly, and Creative World’s Creative Economy Summit. She exists via the internet sphere simply as @xoDVF on all social platforms.
Clifford Brody (“Cliff”)
CEO of the National Performing Arts Funding Exchange, Washington, DC.
Born and raised in New York City and a DC resident since 1975, Brody has had professional incarnations as an Army officer (Vietnam veteran), U.S. diplomat, international business and marketing consultant and strategic partner to multinational companies (e.g. Citibank, American Airlines, AT&T, Dell), entrepreneur, and husband, father, brother, and uncle. Brody now spends his time working with not-for-profits to advance their missions in childhood education, health services for seniors and the less fortunate, and the performing arts. He is author of “Commitments“, an unusual work of creative non-fiction, punctuated by intimate moments from his own life.
CEO/Lead designer of Underground Tree Projects
Dawn Tree owner Underground Tree Projects provides marketing to businesses and art promotion, it is a virtual business, providing quality visuals/graphics/web design-- overall marketing tools to any growing business, and has been for 7 years. Dawn is also a painter, enjoys hiking and biking and now resides in Baltimore and will soon be continuing her education in mobile app programming.
Mars Urban Arts Curator, Washington Performing Arts
Shay Stevens is the MARS Urban Arts Curator for Washington Performing Arts. Prior to this role, Shay was a Fellow at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has also worked as a consultant for RADish LLC, creating international exchanges for clients such as the Apollo Theater, Jazz à Vienne, and the El Gusto Orchestra.
Kymone Freeman is a poet, an activist working on equitable economic development, an award winning playwright, producer of #AnacostiaUnmapped on NPR subject of the book Beat of A Different Drum: Untold Stories of African Americans Forging Their Own Paths in Work & Life (Hyperion) & co-founder of the Best Social Justice Radio Station in 2017 by Washington City Paper, the full Media production studios of We Act Radio.
Front End Web Developer
TIM WEEDON is from Washington dc. he has worked in the music industry for over 15 years in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Amsterdam and the United Kingdom. He started his career doing club promotions and worked at EMI records. He has managed various musical groups and won a Swedish Grammy for best new musical group. He started a publishing collaboration with Sony music ATV/Sweden. In addition, he started the first soul music school in Stockholm, Sweden called the Modern Soul Academy (MSA)
Tim has also worked in Ireland and Germany for the past 5 years. He has dedicated his career to the love of music especially DMV music and started a music tech company called dcma.love to support local DMV artists international.
Artist & Story Teller
Sheldon makes, Performance, Sculpture, Installation, Photo-based work, Spoken word, Creative Nonfiction, Objects and Ephemera. His work plays in the intersection of Race, Sexuality and Economics, while impugning mythologies of Black Male supernaturality. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Blouin Art Info, Art 21 and Hyperallergic. His upcoming book project, a memoir, “Shrimp & Griots”, is based on his storytelling narratives of the same name. His upcoming Performance Installation, “the Finest Amenities”, is a site-specific work commissioned by Alexandria City and explores enslaved narratives from the Gadsby’s Tavern Inn while interrogating the relationship between personal identity and the environment.
Founder, Neo Elite, LLC
Founder entertainment company entitled Neo Elite, LLC. Elite's primary focus is to produce high quality authentic motivational entertainment for millennials. The first brand launched under the Neo Elite, LLC umbrella was Neo Age Live, a concert production, artists management, and multimedia brand that introduces millennials to the next generation of the most talented soulful and authentic superstars. With partnerships such as The Howard Theatre, the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, and Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, Neo Age Live has worked with many of the DMV’s and nation’s most talented rising Soul and R&B talent.