Meet the Artist in Residence Class of 2023! This year’s class represents a delightfully diverse range of instruments, styles, and genres. Tickets for artists’ individual shows and workshops are on sale now!
Program supported in part by Cathy Bernard/Bernard Family Foundation♪
In-kind support provided by Seasons 52
Class of 2023
Cellist & composer
Erin Murphy Snedecor
Erin Murphy Snedecor is a multi-genre cellist who specializes in contemporary chamber music, composition, and collaborative performance. While her training is primarily classical, she has used the influence of rock, folk, and electronica to improvise and compose in new styles, leading to many unconventional collaborations and performances. Most recently, Erin released an album of original music under her solo moniker, Zooxanthellae, available on Off Latch Press.
Supported in part by Richard & Melba Reichard♪, Ava Kaufman, and Victoria J. Perkins
Irish traditional vocalist & multi-instrumentalist
Kevin Elam is a multi-instrumentalist and 2019 All-Ireland Champion in Men's Singing. Although he boasts a strong background in classical piano and a degree in Jazz studies from George Mason University, Kevin is rooted in Irish traditional music.
In addition to playing the tin whistle, guitar, mandolin and banjo, Kevin has also honed his skills as a singer and interpreter of Irish traditional song. In August of 2019, he was awarded first place in Men's English Singing at the 2019 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, held in Drogheda, Ireland, and took home the coveted Dalaigh Shield, an award only won by one other American in its 65-year history.
Over the past several years, Kevin has performed at the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art, and the Library of Congress, as well as at the Washington Folk Fest, Appaloosa Festival, and many other festivals in the mid-Atlantic region. Kevin has given classes and workshops on traditional music throughout the Eastern US, including with the prestigious faculty of DC's premiere Irish traditional music camp, MAD Week.
In 2020, Kevin received a grant from George Mason University’s Young Artist Commissioning Project, and consequently recorded his debut album, If I Were A Small Bird, released in September 2021. Kevin also studies early music and sings Renaissance polyphony and other choral repertoire with DC-based men's ensemble the Suspicious Cheese Lords, and with the Choir of Ascension & Saint Agnes Episcopal Church.
Supported in part by Hope Eastman & Allen Childs♪, Dale Rosenthal & Michael Cutler♪, and Linda & Van Hubbard
Downbeat Award-winning, 22-year-old Dominique Bianco is a multi-faceted vocalist specializing in jazz and contemporary genres. Originally from Staten Island, New York, Dominique was a finalist in the 2022 International Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Competition and has shared the stage with renowned musicians such as Julius Rodriguez, Joe Farnsworth, Mark Whitfield, Peter Washington, Benny Benack III, Elijah Jamal Balbed, Emmet Cohen Trio including Kyle Poole and Russell Hall. Dominique has been mentioned in publications such as Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, The Baltimore Sun, WBGO, WPFW, Capital Bop, Parklife DC, The Baltimore Times, and interviewed in Voyage Baltimore Magazine. Performing at prestigious venues including Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Keystone Korner, Smalls NYC, Pearl Street Warehouse, An Die Musik, Union Stage, “Charm City Django Festival 2022”, The Cutting Room NYC, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Blues Alley with Jose Andre, to name a few.
Dominique Bianco released her debut EP "I'm All Smiles" on November 13th, 2022. This record features NYC-based jazz trumpeter Benny Benack III and DC saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed. Her debut EP was recorded at Grammy Award-Winning Bias Studios in Springfield, Virginia. Growing up in a musical environment, she has always searched for obscure melodies to dissect and make her own, and she hopes this new record will advance her career to new highs with many more records to come.
Supported in part by Ellen & Michael Gold♪, Karen Deasy, and Carolyn & Martin Shargel
Guitarist & composer
A DMV native, Connor Holdridge’s music is anything but limited by the region he grew up in. His musical influences range from the jazz soloing styles of Django Reinhardt and Dexter Gordon to the overdriven blues/rock guitar of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Page. Alongside saxophonist Gabriel Wallace, Connor co-leads “The Hot Mess,” a quartet whose repertoire is inspired by Django’s early 1940s ensembles. Connor has also been featured with local jazz artists such as Michael Joseph Harris and Nataly Merezhuk.
Connor’s own compositions seek to explore the possibilities in sound using two French guitars, upright bass, and cajon. His sound draws upon various musical cultures and takes inspiration from a younger generation of acoustic guitar players with more modern influences.
Supported in part by Karen Lefkowitz & Al Neyman, Margaret McDowell, and Myrna Sislen
Jo Palmer grew up amidst the vibrant Jazz scene that resides within Hartford, Connecticut. Coming from a musical family, Jo was introduced to music at an early age. He attended Berklee College of Music and later The New School For Contemporary Music, to pursue the art of contemporary drumming with an emphasis on rhythms coming from the African Diaspora (jazz, Afro-Cuban, reggae, blues). Jo has performed with artists such as Les Amazones D'afrique, and Amiri Baraka. He plans to continue his professional study of music together with promoting humanitarian work through world travel and cultural exploration.
Supported in part by Jamie & Jessica McIntyre♪, Bayo & Funke Oyewole♪, and Dr. J. Alberto Martinez & Anna Pigotti
Joshua Jenkins has been playing the piano since he was seven years old and began performing in public at the age of twelve. A proud alum of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, he holds a Bachelor of Music from Temple University, where he also majored in Spanish.
Alongside fellow Ellington students, he performed on stage at the Kennedy Center and Strathmore Music Center with artists such as Ledisi, Patti LaBelle, and Sting. While studying in Philadelphia, he gave various classical solo and chamber recitals, and worked with several jazz ensembles. Joshua studied pipe organ for several years under the tutelage of organist Clyde T. Parker, having performed numerous times on this instrument at People’s Congregational Church in Washington, D.C.
Joshua was the Jazz Ensemble Director of CAAPA (the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts) from 2018 to 2020. He has a keen interest in Afro-Cuban drumming and has visited Cuba several times to conduct research and take lessons. Having worked with a wide array of musicians and ensembles throughout the Washington, D.C. area, he is intent on continuing to expand his performing career.
Supported in part by Daniel & Sarah Gallagher♪, HelenLouise Pettis♪, and Tina & Arthur Lazerow
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