Artist in Residence Alumni

Class of 2022

James Fernando 21021A 168 By Margot Schulman Lores

jazz pianist

James Fernando

Sponsored by Belinda M. Kane in memory of Mamie C. Kane
& Ava Kaufman


Since graduating summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music, pianist and composer James Fernando continues to amass critical acclaim and recognition. This “prodigiously gifted composer and virtuoso pianist,” (World Music Report) merges jazz, classical, and electronic music. Fernando relies on his genre-expanding original compositions to deliver thought-provoking, exciting performances.


Fernando has performed at many prominent venues, including the historic Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music and has collaborated with artists like Chris Cheek, Mingjia, and The Either/Orchestra.

Langston Hughes II 21021 209 By Margot Schulman Lores

Jazz saxophonist

Langston Hughes II

Sponsored by Daniel and Sarah Gallagher, Richard and Melba Reichard, & HelenLouise Pettis


As his name would suggest, Langston Hughes II creates beauty. However, rather than a pen, Hughes’ instrument of choice is the saxophone. The rising star’s artistic mission is to develop a voice that has a profound spiritual and emotional impact on his listeners.


The young saxophonist, flutist, bandleader, and composer already has many impressive credits and awards to his name.


Hughes is currently studying jazz saxophone at Howard University under the tutelage of esteemed professor Charlie Young III.

Titilayo Ayangade 21021 094 By Margot Schulman Lores (Copy)


Titilayo Ayangade

Sponsored by Tina and Arthur Lazerow & Bayo and Funke Oyewole


Cellist Titilayo “Titi” Ayangade is dedicated to spotlighting musicians of color and giving voice to underrepresented artists through exciting collaborations. She enjoys commissioning new music as well as performing with orchestras and chamber ensembles.


Ayangade has a degree in performance from University of Cincinnati and University of Texas at Austin, and is currently pursuing a DMA at the University of Maryland as part of the award-winning fellowship ensemble in residence, Thalea String Quartet. 

Alex Hamburger 21021 272 By Margot Schulman Lores Copy

jazz flutist & vocalist

Alex Hamburger

Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold


Born to an artistic family, Alex Hamburger began studying classical flute at age 7 and began finetuning her improvisation skills sitting in on her father’s gigs and being a part of Paul Carr’s Jazz Academy of Washington. Since then, this DC native’s talents have taken her all over the world.


From SUNY Purchase where she received formal training as a James Moody Scholar, she was off to Canada as a member of the Banff Jazz and Creative Music Program in 2017. The next year she was invited to Switzerland as part of the prestigious Focusyear band at the JazzCampus.


In November 2021 her quartet released its debut album, And She Spoke. Hamburger wrote and arranged the compositions which are inspired by the works of female poets and composers.

Taisha Estrada 21021A 205 By Margot Schulman Lores


Taisha Estrada

Sponsored by Hope Eastman and Allen Childs, Margaret McDowell, & Victoria J. Perkins


Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Taisha Estrada grew up with grandparents who felt a strong devotion to la patria, their homeland. The rhythms of salsa, bomba, and plena course through Estrada’s veins. Though she moved away from the island when she was young, her passion for Latin culture has only grown with time.


Estrada’s style, which blends Latin styles with jazz, R&B, and pop, is comparable to artists such as Omara Portuondo, Elis Regina, Natalia LaFourcade, and iLe. Lyrically, she is heavily influenced by the sensory experience of the Caribbean, and her work explores the beautiful and mystifying bond between humanity and the earth. 

Gerson Lanza 21021A 036 By Margot Schulman Lores (Copy)

tap dancer

Gerson Lanza

Sponsored by Dale Rosenthal and Michael Cutler & Linda and Van Hubbard


Gerson Lanza has as much rhythm in his little toe as any top percussionist—and we mean that quite literally. Through his percussive footwork the Honduran dancer and choreographer can tell a story. Whether performing alongside spoken-word artists, musicians, or other dancers, his intricate moves are evocative and captivating.


Lanza began his training under Omar Edwards at his Harlem Tap studio and has since completed residencies at Lincoln Center and Jacob’s Pillow. Lanza is currently pursuing his MFA in Dance Performance Studies at the University of Maryland.

Class of 2021

Ellington Carthan

jazz pianist & composer

Ellington Carthan

Sponsored by Daniel and Sarah Gallagher, Tina and Arthur Lazerow, and Bayo and Funke Oyewole 


Just like his namesake, jazz pulses through Ellington Carthan’s veins. This up-and-coming jazz pianist, whose diverse career includes performing, teaching, producing, and composing, holds dual degrees in jazz studies and music technology.

View Archived January 13 Virtual Concert


Sheyda Do A

vocalist, pianist, guitarist

Sheyda Do’a

Sponsored by Cathy Bernard/Bernard Family Foundation and Richard and Melba Reichard


Musician, vocalist, singer-songwriter, mathematician—is there anything Sheyda Do’a can’t do? Drawing on her multi-cultural heritage and upbringing in Albania, Do’a blends sounds from across the globe into what she calls “melodies for the soul.”

View Archived February 10 Virtual Concert


Ceylon Mitchell V2

contemporary classical flutist

Ceylon Mitchell

Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold and Ava Kaufman


Just as the notes from his flute fly and float on air, Ceylon Mitchell is always in motion. This musician, educator, entrepreneur, and arts advocate’s mission is to keep classical music alive, authentic, and accessible. 

View Archived March 10 Virtual Concert


Aaron Freeman

bassist & beyond

Aaron Freeman

Sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore, Jr. and Belinda M. Kane


Although many know him by his stage name, “ijustplaybass,” Aaron Freeman does much more than that. This arranger, filmmaker, and multi-instrumentalist plays everything from guitar and bass to brass and keys. 

View archived April 14 Virtual Concert

Rui Fu

improvisational singer-songwriter

Rui Fu

Sponsored by Hope Eastman and Allen Childs

Singer-songwriter Rui Fu specializes in improvisational and impressionistic interpretations of Chinese ethnic musical traditions and modernist portrayals of ancient Taoist meditative music. Through her music, Fu initiates conversations between Indigenous music cultures and rare instruments around the world.

View Archived May 12 Virtual Concert

Becky Hill

percussive dancer

Becky Hill

Sponsored by Dale Rosenthal and Michael Cutler and Linda and Van Hubbard


Becky Hill was born with rhythm in her feet. This sought-after percussive dancer, Appalachian square dance caller, and choreographer “slides and shuffles her feet with the precision of snare brushes” (NPR Music). 

View Archived June 9 Virtual Concert

Class of 2020

AYO singer

pop vocalist


Sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore, Jr.


AYO’s smooth pop vocals combined with her fearless, confident lyrics create music with empowering messages that showcase her stylistic and emotional versatility.

View archived Live from the Living Room

Niccolo Seligmann

early folk instrumentalist

Niccolo Seligmann

Sponsored by Van and Linda Hubbard & Stephen and Tanya Spano


Niccolo Seligmann is fascinated by obscure folk instruments and early music. He plays over 20 acoustic instruments including viola da gamba and medieval fiddle, uniting historical and experimental music to create a unique listening experience.

Christian Douglas V2


Christian Douglas

Sponsored by Richard and Melba Reichard


Christian Douglas’ original music echoes his background as a classical tenor and musical theater performer, combining quality storytelling with a smooth, soulful voice. His heartfelt lyrics and acoustically-driven sound carry pop, jazz, and soul influence. 

View archived Live from the Living Room

Nataly Merezhuk V2

jazz violinist

Nataly Merezhuk

Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold & Ava Kaufman


Though Nataly Merezhuk’s musicianship is rooted in classical training, she embraced the role of the violin in jazz after being drawn to its improvisational nature.

View archived Live from the Living Room

Jake Blount

folk musician

Jake Blount

Sponsored by Sarah and Dan Gallagher


Jake Blount is a fiddler, banjoist, singer, and scholar whose performances, compositions, and research venerate and reflect the traditional music of Black and Indigenous communities in the southeastern US. 

View archived Live from the Living Room

Lucas Ashby V2

percussionist & composer

Lucas Ashby

Sponsored by Arthur and Tina Lazerow & Dale Rosenthal and Michael Cutler


Lucas Ashby’s genre-bending compositions are rooted in his musical worldliness. He’s played with masters of Afrofunk, Brazilian jazz, Ghanaian highlife, and more, bringing a plethora of sounds and textures to all his work.

View archived Family Jam Session

Class of 2019

Dante Pope

Dante’ Pope

Sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore, Jr.


Multi-instrumentalist Dante’ Pope communicates his love, passion, and appreciation of life through his music. Whether he is playing the piano, guitar, or drums, Pope’s signature soulful sound is infused with elements of gospel, jazz, and R&B.

Anjali Taneja

Anjali Taneja

Sponsored by Richard and Melba Reichard


Singer-songwriter Anjali Taneja believes in the power of Indian classical and Sufi music to transform contemporary music. By fusing R&B and pop melodies with Bollywood rhythms and Indian ragas, Taneja aims to bring the sounds of her heritage to a wider audience.

Eliot Seppa

Eliot Seppa

Sponsored by Myra Turoff and Ken Weiner


For Eliot Seppa it’s all about that bass! The bandleader, arranger, and composer is a master of both the upright and electric bass. His jazz fusion sound is heavily influenced by R&B, hip-hop, gospel, Latin, and African music.

Calista Garcia

Calista Garcia

Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold


Singer-songwriter Calista Garcia brings a mix of lyrical complexity and musical sophistication to her folk-rock and blues sound that harkens back to ’70s classic acts such as Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and Joni Mitchell.

Sean Heely

Seán Heely

Sponsored by Sarah and Dan Gallagher and Van and Linda Hubbard


Follow Seán Heely’s fiddle as he takes you on a journey through Scotland, Ireland, and America. With every bow stroke, Heely breathes new life into the rich traditions of Celtic music.

Trey Sorrells

Trey Sorrells

Sponsored by Dale Rosenthal and Michael Cutler


Trey Sorrells fell in love with the saxophone at age 12. After honing his sax skills in church, Sorrells became enamored with hard-bop jazz popularized by Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. Sorrells’ unique sound combines aspects of hard-bop with gospel melodies.

Class of 2018: Sponsored by Effie & John Macklin

Gina Sobel

Gina Sobel

Sponsored by Ellen and Michael Gold


A devoted multi-instrumentalist, Gina Sobel is just as comfortable on the flute and saxophone as she is singing or playing guitar. Sobel combines jazz with genres from folk to rock to create a unique, energetic sound. 

Uasuf Gueye V2

Uasuf Gueye

Sponsored by Dr. J. Alberto Martinez


A performer, craftsman, and cultural ambassador, Uasuf Gueye’s mastery of West African musical idioms and experience learning from skilled musicians from around the world have made him a catalyst for forging unity through music. 

Drew Kid

Drew Kid

Sponsored by Myra Turoff and Ken Weiner


Inspired by the soul and funk jams of legends like Sly Stone and Marvin Gaye, versatile musician Drew Kid brings his new ventures in songwriting together with his background in jazz.

Chao Tian

Chao Tian

Sponsored by Linda and Van Hubbard


A leading performer on the Chinese dulcimer and prominent educator and advocate for Chinese traditional music, Chao Tian combines her scholarly experience with her virtuosic ability to engage a truly global crowd. 

Cecily Bumbray V2


Sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Haywood Moore and Dr. Roscoe M. Moore, Jr.


Influenced by soul, jazz, and 90s R&B, vocalist and songwriter Cecily has captivated audiences around the country and garnered comparisons to singers as diverse as Brandy and Corinne Bailey-Rae. 

Josanne Francis

Josanne Francis

Sponsored by Dale S. Rosenthal


A virtuosic steelpan player with a career that includes both a Carnegie Hall appearance and a music education degree, Josanne Francis has made a name for herself as both a talented musician and a highly qualified music educator.  

Class of 2017

Chris Urquiaga

Chris Urquiaga

A multi-faceted singer-songwriter, Chris Urquiaga’s music combines Latin rhythms, pop, R&B, and more. Urquiaga has been commissioned by numerous organizations including the Congressional Chorus and Prince George’s Philharmonic.

Joey Antico

Joey Antico

Joey Antico’s finesse with all things percussion makes him a well-respected musician and frequently sought after percussionist to share the stage with jazz, rock, funk, and electronic musicians.

Ethan Foote

Ethan Foote

As a composer, arranger, bassist, and songwriter, Ethan Foote employs a wide array of styles and voices in his compositions. Prepare to be blown away by this young artist’s versatility!

Patrick Mcavinue

Patrick McAvinue

An award-winning fiddler, Patrick McAvinue uses his passion for roots music to translate bluegrass traditions into an innovative language of his own and deliver a unique, energetic performance.

Simone Baron

Simone Baron

Simone Baron improvises, interprets, experiments, and arranges classical, chamber jazz, and global music on the accordion and piano. Baron reimagines the performance experience by putting unlikely ideas, artistic forms, and audiences in refreshing and revealing dialogues.

Ines Nassara

Ines Nassara

Ines Nassara’s powerful vocal ability and enthusiastic energy on stage enable her to tower over accompanying choruses, conveying shockingly palpable emotions and burning passion that are unrivaled among her peers.

Photos by Jonathan Timmes

Stay tuned for more listings of Artist in Residence program alumni!

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Calista Garcia By Jim Saah 413X330 Min