Redemption for Our Skin

Director’s Note

Hello and welcome to the 2021 Office of Cultural & Special Programs and Department of Performing Arts Black History Month Dance Concert. We have all been navigating the complexities of both a global pandemic and traumas stemming from the horrific acts of violence and injustice towards black people in America. Ensuring the wellness of our students was paramount so with the Ready and Resilient guidelines in mind, we re-directed our focus to a virtual concert. The cornerstone of this production, Redemption for Our Skin, lies in challenging the toxic belief systems that reinforce oppression, dismissal, and the dehumanization of Black people. While creating these works, we were met with many challenges related to COVID-19 but decided to use them as fuel to create a beautiful and harmonious production. Redemption features works from globally recognized artists including Jaki Shelton Green, poet laureate of North Carolina, Africa Unplugged, and Maurice Watson. We hope you enjoy Redemption for Our Skin and thank you for your viewing support. 

In peace,

Professor Keshia Wall

Special Thanks

Lauren Kearns, JP Mullican, Jack Smith, Heidi Jo Schiemer, Jeff Clark and office of cultural and special programs, Wayne Vaughn and Shirley Dreschell, Jaki Shelton Green, Jennifer Guy, Lauren Jacobbe, Kimberly Rippy, the Liberal Arts Forum, and the amazing performers that made this possible.

Pieces

Lift Every Voice

Choreographed by Keshia Wall

Singer: Christian Anderson

Music Credit: Atiba Rorie, Elisha Harris, Lamar Lewis, Will Darity, Joe Quinde

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks

Keshia Wall

Nekeshia Wall, of Greensboro, NC earned a BA from UNC Greensboro in Dance and African American Studies and an MFA in Dance at Hollins University in collaboration with Kunstlerhavs Mousontvrm and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; with support from The Dresden Frankfort Dance Company. She is also the founder of Matriarch Dance Co. LLC.Wall is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and specializes in Traditional West African and Contemporary Dance. Her current research focus seeks to explore how binary dancing forms such as West African Dance, can be engaged as valued and valid epistemological and ontological domains in scholarship.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauryn McCarthy is originally from Portland, Oregon. She is currently a first-year at Elon University, pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has trained under the Jefferson Dancers, a pre-professional company. Through the Jefferson Dancers Lauryn got to perform over 50 times a year including traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the National High School Dance Festival and the South of France to take class as well as perform.

Maya Simmons

From Atlanta, Georgia. Danced at The Studio Atlanta Dance for 4 years before attending the magnet program Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School. Attended summer programs at The Georgia Ballet, Dance Canvas, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Complexions.

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding is a second-year student, from Winston-Salem North Carolina, working to complete her B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography and her A.B. in History. During her time at Elon University thus far, she has performed in Dancing in the Landscape (2019), Rites of Seasons Spring Dance Concert (2020), Fall Dance Concert (2020), and Redemption for Our Skin Black History Month Dance Concert (2021). Kayla is grateful for her experiences with the Elon dance program and looks forward to future performances.

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks is a native of McLean, Virginia. She is currently a junior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is delighted to be making her debut at Elon University in the Black History Month Concert and is thankful for the support of her family and friends.

I Want to Undie You

Choreographed by Keshia Wall in collaboration w/ performers

Poetry Written and Read by: Jaki Shelton Green

Music Credit: Meaghan Skogen

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall

Kendra Chideya

Kendra Chideya

Izzi Piccirilli

Izzi Piccirilli

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Kali-Ann Nassoura

Kali-Ann Nassoura

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green

Keshia Wall

Nekeshia Wall, of Greensboro, NC earned a BA from UNC Greensboro in Dance and African American Studies and an MFA in Dance at Hollins University in collaboration with Kunstlerhavs Mousontvrm and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; with support from The Dresden Frankfort Dance Company. She is also the founder of Matriarch Dance Co. LLC.Wall is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and specializes in Traditional West African and Contemporary Dance. Her current research focus seeks to explore how binary dancing forms such as West African Dance, can be engaged as valued and valid epistemological and ontological domains in scholarship.

Kendra Chideya

Kendra Chideya is a senior BFA Acting major at Elon University. Kendra has been acting in theatre since the age of eleven and has acted in films for about four years now. Besides acting, she also enjoys directing, producing, and writing work within the entertainment industry and will continue to have these pursuits within her future career endeavors. Kendra is extremely grateful to her phenomenal and devoted family who are some of the most selfless humans she has ever known. She's eternal thankful to have them in her life and for the amazing opportunity to be in this production.

Izzi Piccirilli

Isabella is a sophomore Dance Performance/Choreography and Political Science double major. She is also a contracted cadet in the ROTC program here at Elon, where she will commission as an officer in the U.S. Army after graduation. Last year she performed in the Fall Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert. In the fall, she was in the trio choreographed by Leah Wilks, and in the spring was in Casey Avaunt's Summer piece. She is very excited to perform again this year and cannot wait for what the program has in store for her in the future.

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce is a sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography BFA major as well as a Strategic Communications AB major. Raised in Durham, NC, she trained and taught at many of her local studios and children’s theaters. She has participated in Dancing in the Landscape as well as Rites of Seasons, Elon’s Spring Dance Concert.

Kali-Ann Nassoura

Kalie-Ann is a senior at Elon University pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and BA in Strategic Communications. She is a lover of all things creative and imaginative. Whether it’s dancing in front of the audition table or working casting from behind it; she undoubtedly has a passion for the entertainment industry. She sends lots of love and gratitude to her family back home, who have never stopped supporting her dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem.

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green, ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records. Jaki Shelton Green is the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Martha’s Vineyard, Ocracoke North Carolina, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland.Photo Credit: Sylvia Freeman

We. CAN. Together.

Choreographed by Maurice Watson

Sound Created by Performers

Maurice Watson

Maurice Watson

Hannah West

Hannah West

Marissa Mahoney

Marissa Mahoney

Lauren Mitchell

Lauren Mitchell

Molly Jenks

Molly Jenks

Gabrielle Cataldo

Gabrielle Cataldo

Izzi Piccirilli

Izzi Piccirilli

Maggie Davenport

Maggie Davenport

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Maurice Watson

Maurice Watson is a choreographer, dancer and teacher is who currently on faculty within the School of Dance at UNCG. Mr. Watson has successfully danced and performed with companies such as Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Disney, Jazz Antiqua, Long Beach Ballet, and Holland America Cruise Line. He is an engaging and inspiring artist, who has taught at numerous universities, summer programs, and dance seminars throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Hannah West

Hannah West is from St. Augustine, Florida. She is in her final year at Elon University. At Elon, Hannah is working to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has participated in faculty-directed dance concerts, worked with guest choreographers, presented her own works, and performed abroad in Florence, Italy with The Kearns Dance Project. She’s also currently working to receive her certificate in classical Pilates. Hannah is very excited to continue exploring the amazing opportunities Elon provides.

Marissa Mahoney

Marissa Mahoney is from Naples, Florida. She is a senior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography, B.A. in Strategic Communications, and a minor in Creative Writing. Marissa’s choreography was featured in the American College Dance Association Southeast Regional Gala and she is excited to showcase her work in the 2020 Fall Dance Concert. Marissa has completed internships at the Merce Cunningham Trust in NYC and Avalon Artists Group in LA. She is also the president of Elon DanceWorks, as well as an office assistant to the head of the performing arts department.

Lauren Mitchell

Lauren Mitchell, from Sparta, New Jersey, is a senior at Elon pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography and B.S. in Dance Science. She has worked with various faculty and student choreographers in performances throughout the years, both on film and stage. During the summer of 2019 she had the incredible opportunity to travel and study abroad in Florence, Italy, training at the Florence Dance Center. This year she is working towards her goals of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist and dance teacher, where she will get to work with kids while continuing her passion for dance!

Molly Jenks

Molly Jenks is a senior pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography, a B.A. in Journalism, and a minor in International and Global Studies at Elon University. Molly trained at the School of Richmond Ballet, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Florence Dance Center, and American Dance Festival. Performance credits include Indonesian choreographer Alisa Soelaeman’s Transference 2.0, Jen Guy Metcalf’s All the Light We Cannot See, Keshia Wall’s Darling Betty, and Lauren Kearns’s Rites of Seasons. Molly is thrilled to be part of Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month, and Spring Dance Concert this season.

Gabrielle Cataldo

Gabrielle Cataldo, a native from Jamison, Pennsylvania, is a first-year student pursuing a major in Dance Performance and Choreography (B.F.A.). She will be performing in Dancing in the Landscape and Black History Month Performance this year. Gabrielle is excited to continue her training and growth at Elon!

Izzi Piccirilli

Isabella is a sophomore Dance Performance/Choreography and Political Science double major. She is also a contracted cadet in the ROTC program here at Elon, where she will commission as an officer in the U.S. Army after graduation. Last year she performed in the Fall Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert. In the fall, she was in the trio choreographed by Leah Wilks, and in the spring was in Casey Avaunt's Summer piece. She is very excited to perform again this year and cannot wait for what the program has in store for her in the future.

Maggie Davenport

Maggie Davenport is a native of Wake Forest, North Carolina. She is currently a sophomore at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography and a B.S in Dance Science. She is also minoring in Business Administration. She has trained under Marcia Del Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Trish Casey and Jared Redick at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is so excited to be involved in the Black History Month Dance Concert this year!

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce is a sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography BFA major as well as a Strategic Communications AB major. Raised in Durham, NC, she trained and taught at many of her local studios and children’s theaters. She has participated in Dancing in the Landscape as well as Rites of Seasons, Elon’s Spring Dance Concert.

“8:46” & “Mr. President”

Band: Africa Unplugged

Music Credit: Atiba Rorie, Elisha Harris, Lamar Lewis, Will Darity, Joe Quinde

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie

Elisha H. Harris

Elisha H. Harris

Lamar Lewis

Lamar Lewis

William Darity

William Darity

Joe Quinde

Joe Quinde

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one-month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston Salem State University and Guilford College. He currently is the Dance music coordinator at UNC Greensboro. He is the founder of the dynamic band Africa Unplugged. Rorie is also a musician within various professional ensembles; with these ensembles, he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two Presidential Inauguration Celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.

Elisha H. Harris

Elisha Harris is a charismatic musician hailing from Durham, North Carolina. His musical journey started as a child, learning West African percussion from his first teacher Bashir Shakur at E.K. Powe Elementary School. He soon after joined Collage Dance Company, a children’s dance ensemble and institution in the city, being a member until his final year of high school. Elisha attended North Carolina A&T State University, studying Architectural Engineering. While there he played with a campus dance company, as well as Sugar Foote Productions, the brainchild of Robin Gee professor in the UNC Greensboro dance department where he worked as an accompanist. In 2011 he became a part of fellow Collage alumni, and mentor Atiba Rorie’s band Africa Unplugged, a dynamic group pushing the limits of traditional and contemporary ideas about the music of the diaspora. He has been honored to share stages with brilliant musicians around the country, has played for various ensembles, universities, and with wonderful artists from both here and abroad. He currently resides in Durham working for a Structural Engineering firm in Raleigh and enjoying what he believes was one of God's greatest gifts to him, music.

Lamar Lewis

Lamar Lewis, a Newark, New Jersey native, grew up and received his formative training in West African percussions in Durham, North Carolina. Lamar has studied with master musicians such as Modibo Keta, Baba Khalid Saleem and Baba Bradley Simmons, all former musical directors for the African American Dance Ensemble under the artistic direction of Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis. Lamar enjoys musically accompanying dancers currently with Elon University and UNC of Greensboro’s dance departments. He is also a touring band member with both AfricaUnplugged and Caique Vidal & Batuque; under the musical direction of Atiba Rorie and Caique Vidal respectively.

William Darity

“As a guitarist, the jazz-steeped Durham native has dabbled in everything from funk and hip-hop to West African music and country tributes, amassing a breadth of musical and business knowledge along the way.” - Grant Golden [Indyweek]William Darity began playing guitar professionally with jazz groups, in and around his hometown of Durham, NC as a teenager. He soon found himself playing in a variety of genres, including soul, hip-hop, gospel, and reggae. These influences began to coalesce into a sort of experiment with pop music as he started leading his own project, Durty Dub, in 2013. Working as a bandleader, Darity soon expanded Durty Dub’s performance footprint across the state of NC and up the east coast, into Washington DC and NYC in 2016. It was around this time that he began to realize that he was interested in the business side of music as much as the creative process and wanted to collaborate with others toward that end. A chance opportunity to book Detroit artist, De’Sean Jones at the renowned Art of Cool Festival in 2017 led to an on-going business partnership and inspired the founding of his new talent agency, Forging The Musical Future. Since its humble beginnings, FTMF has quickly grown to represent a roster of artists including Grammy nominee, Cheick Hamala Diabate, world-renowned djembe master, Weedie Braimah, as well as Ropeadope recording artists, Black Light Collective, and Nathan Paul. On the guitar side, Darity is currently working on a project with Durty Dub, celebrating country music legend, Charley Pride. Otherwise, he can be found performing and/or recording with Vanessa Ferguson, Young Bull, Africa Unplugged & Solomon Fox.

Joe Quinde

Joe Quinde is an American musician, producer, and engineer best known for his work, shaping the sounds for what is known as the “golden era” of hip-hop and RnB / soul. Working with many industry artists, including Jay-Z, N.O.R.E., Cam’Ron, Chubb Rock, Guru, Camp Lo and Nice n’ Smooth  [2], his unique and exacting approach to mixing resulted in a 1998 Grammy [best rap album] win for Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2”. He also received critical acclaim for his approach to Camp Lo’s hip-hop classic, “Luchini AKA This is It”. Over the course of Quinde’s career, he appeared as a musician on many records including Angie Stone’s “Black Diamond”, Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal”and Vanilla Ice’s “People's Choice” [5]. He has also worked as a FOH and MON engineer for many live shows including tours with Roberta Flack and concerts at select Greensboro venues like Cone Denim Ent. Center, Carolina Theatre [Greensboro, NC] and Arizona Pete’s, as well as John Coltrane Jazz & Blues Festival. Currently, Quinde is mixing records in genres such as afrobeat, hip-hop, RnB, reggae, rock, and jazz, andperforming with North Carolina artists.

Redemption

Choreographed by Keshia Wall

Music Credit: Atiba Rorie, Lamar Lewis, Elisha Harris, Greg Ince, Sandy Blocker

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall

Arianna Shahin

Arianna Shahin

Trey Phillips

Trey Phillips

Lilly Beaver

Lilly Beaver

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Haley Asbury

Haley Asbury

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons

Jenna Kulacz

Jenna Kulacz

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe

Lily Herrin

Lily Herrin

Phoebe Crumbine

Phoebe Crumbine

Maggie Fairley

Maggie Fairley

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks

Madeline Brislenn

Madeline Brislenn

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie

Elisha H. Harris

Elisha H. Harris

Lamar Lewis

Lamar Lewis

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews

Greg Ince

Greg Ince

Keshia Wall

Nekeshia Wall, of Greensboro, NC earned a BA from UNC Greensboro in Dance and African American Studies and an MFA in Dance at Hollins University in collaboration with Kunstlerhavs Mousontvrm and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; with support from The Dresden Frankfort Dance Company. She is also the founder of Matriarch Dance Co. LLC.Wall is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and specializes in Traditional West African and Contemporary Dance. Her current research focus seeks to explore how binary dancing forms such as West African Dance, can be engaged as valued and valid epistemological and ontological domains in scholarship.

Arianna Shahin

Arianna Shahin is a senior at Elon University, double majoring in BFA Dance Performance & Choreography and Accounting while minoring in Finance. She is from Ambler, Pennsylvania where she trained in an array of dance genres. Arianna has studied at prestigious summer intensives including American Dance Festival, Paul Taylor American Dance, and NYU Tisch. At Elon, Arianna has performed under faculty including Renay Aumiller, Jen Guy-Metcalf, Keisha Wall and guest artist, Ming-Lung Yang. She has presented her choreographic work at New Century Dance Project. Arianna intends to critique social injustices and raise issues to awareness through performance and choreography.

Trey Phillips

Trey Phillips is a native of Covington, Georgia. He is currently a freshman at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance & Choreography. Trey trained with Covington Regional Ballet for 4 years as well as attended New York University’s summer intensive in 2019. He has completed an internship at the Newton County Arts Association.

Lilly Beaver

Lilly is a first year BFA Dance Performance & Choreography major from Kannapolis, NC. She has been dancing since the age of two. Lilly trained, choreographed and taught at her local dance studio. She also started and taught a dance class for children with special needs. Lilly is excited to be performing in Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month, and Elon Cares performances, as well as participating in Elon DanceWorks and Dance for Parkinson's disease this year. Lilly is so excited to continue her training at Elon.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauryn McCarthy is originally from Portland, Oregon. She is currently a first-year at Elon University, pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has trained under the Jefferson Dancers, a pre-professional company. Through the Jefferson Dancers Lauryn got to perform over 50 times a year including traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the National High School Dance Festival and the South of France to take class as well as perform.

Haley Asbury

Haley Asbury is a freshman double major in dance performance/choreography and dance sciences from Morris County, NJ at Elon University. She trained at The Dance Academy of North Jersey, and went to a vocational high school to study dance. Haley’s proudest moment was in 2019 when her piece entitled “What Have I Done” was selected to perform at the 92Y in NYC for a choreography award. After graduation, she hopes to eventually have her own choreography company and work as a part time physical therapist for dancers.

Maya Simmons

From Atlanta, Georgia. Danced at The Studio Atlanta Dance for 4 years before attending the magnet program Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School. Attended summer programs at The Georgia Ballet, Dance Canvas, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Complexions.

Jenna Kulacz

Jenna Kulacz is a native of Westchester, New York. She is currently a senior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography. She has a passion for health and wellness and is a certified yoga instructor. Performance credits include Elon’s Fall Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert, ACDA, where she performed a duet representing Elon and had her piece selected to be featured in the 2020 Choreography Showcase and the CAPEZIO 125th ANNIVERSARY GALA. She has also performed professionally for Christal Brown’s INSPIRIT In Arts Across America: A Live Virtual Performance with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Jenna is grateful for the talented and dedicated artists who have supported her growth as a dancer and is excited for the future!

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding is a second-year student, from Winston-Salem North Carolina, working to complete her B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography and her A.B. in History. During her time at Elon University thus far, she has performed in Dancing in the Landscape (2019), Rites of Seasons Spring Dance Concert (2020), Fall Dance Concert (2020), and Redemption for Our Skin Black History Month Dance Concert (2021). Kayla is grateful for her experiences with the Elon dance program and looks forward to future performances.

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe is a Sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography and Human Services double major from Western Massachusetts. Prior to her Elon education she trained, taught, and performed with Berkshire Dance Theatre from Adams, MA. Since her time here at Elon she has performed in Dancing in the Landscape as well as assisted and understudied for other performances such as Fall Dance 2019, Spring Dance Rites of Seasons 2020, and Black History Month 2020.

Lily Herrin

Lily Herrin is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In her senior year here at Elon University, she is majoring in Dance Performance & Choreography with a double major in Arts Administration and a minor in Business. Lily has had the opportunity to perform in multiple dance concerts at Elon so far, as well as choreograph with her peers. Two summers ago, Lily also had the opportunity to spend a month in Florence, Italy studying, performing, and choreographing with other members of the Elon Dance Program. She is excited about continuing her dance education in her final year at Elon!

Phoebe Crumbine

Phoebe Crumbine is from Beverly, Massachusetts. She is a sophomore at Elon University, is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and a BA in Psychology. She has studied at numerous summer intensives including Urbanity Dance, The Rock School for Dance Education, Boston Ballet, New York City Dance Alliance, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has performed in and worked on dance concerts, as well as in several student works. She is very grateful to be back on campus and is thankful for the performing arts faculty and her peers for the overwhelming encouragement and support.

Maggie Fairley

Maggie Fairley is from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. She is currently a senior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography and a B.A. in Arts Administration with a minor in Business Administration. During her time at Elon, she has performed in the Black History Month Concerts, Spring Dance Concerts, and participated in Senior Fellows Research performances. Maggie has also had internships with New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble and is currently the Production Assistant for the Fall Dance Concert.

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks is a native of McLean, Virginia. She is currently a junior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is delighted to be making her debut at Elon University in the Black History Month Concert and is thankful for the support of her family and friends.

Madeline Brislenn

Madeline Brislenn is a native of Debary, Florida. She is currently a junior at Elon University pursuing a B.S. with a double major in Adventure Based Learning and Physical Education with minors in Dance and Exercise Science. Madeline has trained in tap, ballet, jazz, and contemporary since age 3 and has participated in summer intensives including the Collective at Dancerpalooza and The Art of Movement. She has studied abroad with Elon University to Ghana to study traditional West African dance and culture last winter term. This is Madeline’s second year dancing in the Black History Month Concert.

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one-month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston Salem State University and Guilford College. He currently is the Dance music coordinator at UNC Greensboro. He is the founder of the dynamic band Africa Unplugged. Rorie is also a musician within various professional ensembles; with these ensembles, he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two Presidential Inauguration Celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.

Elisha H. Harris

Elisha Harris is a charismatic musician hailing from Durham, North Carolina. His musical journey started as a child, learning West African percussion from his first teacher Bashir Shakur at E.K. Powe Elementary School. He soon after joined Collage Dance Company, a children’s dance ensemble and institution in the city, being a member until his final year of high school. Elisha attended North Carolina A&T State University, studying Architectural Engineering. While there he played with a campus dance company, as well as Sugar Foote Productions, the brainchild of Robin Gee professor in the UNC Greensboro dance department where he worked as an accompanist. In 2011 he became a part of fellow Collage alumni, and mentor Atiba Rorie’s band Africa Unplugged, a dynamic group pushing the limits of traditional and contemporary ideas about the music of the diaspora. He has been honored to share stages with brilliant musicians around the country, has played for various ensembles, universities, and with wonderful artists from both here and abroad. He currently resides in Durham working for a Structural Engineering firm in Raleigh and enjoying what he believes was one of God's greatest gifts to him, music.

Lamar Lewis

Lamar Lewis, a Newark, New Jersey native, grew up and received his formative training in West African percussions in Durham, North Carolina. Lamar has studied with master musicians such as Modibo Keta, Baba Khalid Saleem and Baba Bradley Simmons, all former musical directors for the African American Dance Ensemble under the artistic direction of Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis. Lamar enjoys musically accompanying dancers currently with Elon University and UNC of Greensboro’s dance departments. He is also a touring band member with both AfricaUnplugged and Caique Vidal & Batuque; under the musical direction of Atiba Rorie and Caique Vidal respectively.

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews began studying West African music in 2003 and met his mentor, Fode Lavia Camara, shortly after. After years of training under Lavia, he traveled to Guinea in 2015 to help him with the first KALOUM DJEMBE Festival in the capital Conakry. Since then, Forrest has traveled to Guinea annually, to train with the artists of Ballet Gbassikolo du Kaloum, and continues to work with the annual KALOUM DJEMBE Festival. In 2019, he and Lavia held the first Kaloum Djembe Drum and Dance Conference in Greensboro. Forrest resides in Greensboro, NC working as a freelance artist.

Greg Ince

Greg Ince is a drummer, educator, and co-founder of SCPA. Greg has more than three decades of experience teaching African drumming and dancing in schools across the country.He has studied with teachers such as Baba Walter Ince, Papa Ladji Camara, Mamady Keita, Abdou Kounta, Abdoul Doumbia and Fadouba Oulare just to name a few.Greg has performed both at home and abroad with companies such as Alvin Ailey, Arthur Mitchell of Dance Theater of Harlem, Marie Brooks' Caribbean Dance Theatre, and The Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble. He was also the co-founder of the International Afrikan American Ballet.

Production Team

DirectorKeshia Wall
Costume DesignerJack Smith
Asst. Costume DesignerHeidi Jo Scheimer
Sound DesignerRick Earl
Lighting DesignerGreg Thorn
Technical DirectorJP Mullican
Stage ManagerGrace Granger
Asst. Stage ManagerLauren Memery
Asst. Stage ManagerEmily George
Deck ChiefEmily Kopchains
Poster DesignerTerri Jackson
Video RecordingJermaine Studwell

Bios

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall

Maurice Watson

Maurice Watson

Jack A. Smith

Jack A. Smith

Emily George

Emily George

Kendra Chideya

Kendra Chideya

Lauren Memery

Lauren Memery

Hannah West

Hannah West

Arianna Shahin

Arianna Shahin

Marissa Mahoney

Marissa Mahoney

Lauren Mitchell

Lauren Mitchell

Trey Phillips

Trey Phillips

Lilly Beaver

Lilly Beaver

Molly Jenks

Molly Jenks

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Gabrielle Cataldo

Gabrielle Cataldo

Haley Asbury

Haley Asbury

Izzi Piccirilli

Izzi Piccirilli

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons

Jenna Kulacz

Jenna Kulacz

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe

Lily Herrin

Lily Herrin

Phoebe Crumbine

Phoebe Crumbine

Maggie Fairley

Maggie Fairley

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks

Emily Kopchains

Emily Kopchains

Maggie Davenport

Maggie Davenport

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Kali-Ann Nassoura

Kali-Ann Nassoura

Greg Thorn

Greg Thorn

Grace Granger

Grace Granger

Madeline Brislenn

Madeline Brislenn

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie

Elisha H. Harris

Elisha H. Harris

Lamar Lewis

Lamar Lewis

William Darity

William Darity

Joe Quinde

Joe Quinde

Rick Earl

Rick Earl

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews

Greg Ince

Greg Ince

Keshia Wall

Nekeshia Wall, of Greensboro, NC earned a BA from UNC Greensboro in Dance and African American Studies and an MFA in Dance at Hollins University in collaboration with Kunstlerhavs Mousontvrm and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; with support from The Dresden Frankfort Dance Company. She is also the founder of Matriarch Dance Co. LLC.Wall is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and specializes in Traditional West African and Contemporary Dance. Her current research focus seeks to explore how binary dancing forms such as West African Dance, can be engaged as valued and valid epistemological and ontological domains in scholarship.

Maurice Watson

Maurice Watson is a choreographer, dancer and teacher is who currently on faculty within the School of Dance at UNCG. Mr. Watson has successfully danced and performed with companies such as Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Disney, Jazz Antiqua, Long Beach Ballet, and Holland America Cruise Line. He is an engaging and inspiring artist, who has taught at numerous universities, summer programs, and dance seminars throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Jack A. Smith

Jack is an Associate Professor of Performing Arts. He has worked at many regional theaters from The Orlando Shakespeare Theater to The Actor’s Theater of Louisville. He spends most of his summers either working at a small theater in Missouri (City of Maples Rep) or traveling the world looking at textiles, antique garments, or cultural wonders. His passions include antique textiles (specifically American Women’s Costume from the 19th century and the politics of 18th-century French fashions) and his dog, Neha!

Emily George

Emily is a senior Theatrical Design and Technology major and is thrilled to be working as the Scenic Charge on the mainstage Spring productions this year! All my love to the TDT department (past & present). You make this worth it. <3

Kendra Chideya

Kendra Chideya is a senior BFA Acting major at Elon University. Kendra has been acting in theatre since the age of eleven and has acted in films for about four years now. Besides acting, she also enjoys directing, producing, and writing work within the entertainment industry and will continue to have these pursuits within her future career endeavors. Kendra is extremely grateful to her phenomenal and devoted family who are some of the most selfless humans she has ever known. She's eternal thankful to have them in her life and for the amazing opportunity to be in this production.

Lauren Memery

Lauren Memery is a writer and comedian from Sumter, South Carolina. She has written several full length plays and is currently developing an original TV pilot titled, "They Told Us We Were Girls." She has directed several shows, including Effect's The Vagina Monologues and APO's Dog Sees God. She is an alumni of Second City's Comedy Studies program and plans to relocate back to Chicago after graduation where she can pursue a profession in comedic writing, direction, and performance.

Hannah West

Hannah West is from St. Augustine, Florida. She is in her final year at Elon University. At Elon, Hannah is working to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has participated in faculty-directed dance concerts, worked with guest choreographers, presented her own works, and performed abroad in Florence, Italy with The Kearns Dance Project. She’s also currently working to receive her certificate in classical Pilates. Hannah is very excited to continue exploring the amazing opportunities Elon provides.

Arianna Shahin

Arianna Shahin is a senior at Elon University, double majoring in BFA Dance Performance & Choreography and Accounting while minoring in Finance. She is from Ambler, Pennsylvania where she trained in an array of dance genres. Arianna has studied at prestigious summer intensives including American Dance Festival, Paul Taylor American Dance, and NYU Tisch. At Elon, Arianna has performed under faculty including Renay Aumiller, Jen Guy-Metcalf, Keisha Wall and guest artist, Ming-Lung Yang. She has presented her choreographic work at New Century Dance Project. Arianna intends to critique social injustices and raise issues to awareness through performance and choreography.

Marissa Mahoney

Marissa Mahoney is from Naples, Florida. She is a senior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography, B.A. in Strategic Communications, and a minor in Creative Writing. Marissa’s choreography was featured in the American College Dance Association Southeast Regional Gala and she is excited to showcase her work in the 2020 Fall Dance Concert. Marissa has completed internships at the Merce Cunningham Trust in NYC and Avalon Artists Group in LA. She is also the president of Elon DanceWorks, as well as an office assistant to the head of the performing arts department.

Lauren Mitchell

Lauren Mitchell, from Sparta, New Jersey, is a senior at Elon pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography and B.S. in Dance Science. She has worked with various faculty and student choreographers in performances throughout the years, both on film and stage. During the summer of 2019 she had the incredible opportunity to travel and study abroad in Florence, Italy, training at the Florence Dance Center. This year she is working towards her goals of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist and dance teacher, where she will get to work with kids while continuing her passion for dance!

Trey Phillips

Trey Phillips is a native of Covington, Georgia. He is currently a freshman at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance & Choreography. Trey trained with Covington Regional Ballet for 4 years as well as attended New York University’s summer intensive in 2019. He has completed an internship at the Newton County Arts Association.

Lilly Beaver

Lilly is a first year BFA Dance Performance & Choreography major from Kannapolis, NC. She has been dancing since the age of two. Lilly trained, choreographed and taught at her local dance studio. She also started and taught a dance class for children with special needs. Lilly is excited to be performing in Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month, and Elon Cares performances, as well as participating in Elon DanceWorks and Dance for Parkinson's disease this year. Lilly is so excited to continue her training at Elon.

Molly Jenks

Molly Jenks is a senior pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography, a B.A. in Journalism, and a minor in International and Global Studies at Elon University. Molly trained at the School of Richmond Ballet, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Florence Dance Center, and American Dance Festival. Performance credits include Indonesian choreographer Alisa Soelaeman’s Transference 2.0, Jen Guy Metcalf’s All the Light We Cannot See, Keshia Wall’s Darling Betty, and Lauren Kearns’s Rites of Seasons. Molly is thrilled to be part of Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month, and Spring Dance Concert this season.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauryn McCarthy is originally from Portland, Oregon. She is currently a first-year at Elon University, pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has trained under the Jefferson Dancers, a pre-professional company. Through the Jefferson Dancers Lauryn got to perform over 50 times a year including traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the National High School Dance Festival and the South of France to take class as well as perform.

Gabrielle Cataldo

Gabrielle Cataldo, a native from Jamison, Pennsylvania, is a first-year student pursuing a major in Dance Performance and Choreography (B.F.A.). She will be performing in Dancing in the Landscape and Black History Month Performance this year. Gabrielle is excited to continue her training and growth at Elon!

Haley Asbury

Haley Asbury is a freshman double major in dance performance/choreography and dance sciences from Morris County, NJ at Elon University. She trained at The Dance Academy of North Jersey, and went to a vocational high school to study dance. Haley’s proudest moment was in 2019 when her piece entitled “What Have I Done” was selected to perform at the 92Y in NYC for a choreography award. After graduation, she hopes to eventually have her own choreography company and work as a part time physical therapist for dancers.

Izzi Piccirilli

Isabella is a sophomore Dance Performance/Choreography and Political Science double major. She is also a contracted cadet in the ROTC program here at Elon, where she will commission as an officer in the U.S. Army after graduation. Last year she performed in the Fall Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert. In the fall, she was in the trio choreographed by Leah Wilks, and in the spring was in Casey Avaunt's Summer piece. She is very excited to perform again this year and cannot wait for what the program has in store for her in the future.

Maya Simmons

From Atlanta, Georgia. Danced at The Studio Atlanta Dance for 4 years before attending the magnet program Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School. Attended summer programs at The Georgia Ballet, Dance Canvas, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Complexions.

Jenna Kulacz

Jenna Kulacz is a native of Westchester, New York. She is currently a senior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography. She has a passion for health and wellness and is a certified yoga instructor. Performance credits include Elon’s Fall Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert, ACDA, where she performed a duet representing Elon and had her piece selected to be featured in the 2020 Choreography Showcase and the CAPEZIO 125th ANNIVERSARY GALA. She has also performed professionally for Christal Brown’s INSPIRIT In Arts Across America: A Live Virtual Performance with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Jenna is grateful for the talented and dedicated artists who have supported her growth as a dancer and is excited for the future!

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding is a second-year student, from Winston-Salem North Carolina, working to complete her B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography and her A.B. in History. During her time at Elon University thus far, she has performed in Dancing in the Landscape (2019), Rites of Seasons Spring Dance Concert (2020), Fall Dance Concert (2020), and Redemption for Our Skin Black History Month Dance Concert (2021). Kayla is grateful for her experiences with the Elon dance program and looks forward to future performances.

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe is a Sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography and Human Services double major from Western Massachusetts. Prior to her Elon education she trained, taught, and performed with Berkshire Dance Theatre from Adams, MA. Since her time here at Elon she has performed in Dancing in the Landscape as well as assisted and understudied for other performances such as Fall Dance 2019, Spring Dance Rites of Seasons 2020, and Black History Month 2020.

Lily Herrin

Lily Herrin is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In her senior year here at Elon University, she is majoring in Dance Performance & Choreography with a double major in Arts Administration and a minor in Business. Lily has had the opportunity to perform in multiple dance concerts at Elon so far, as well as choreograph with her peers. Two summers ago, Lily also had the opportunity to spend a month in Florence, Italy studying, performing, and choreographing with other members of the Elon Dance Program. She is excited about continuing her dance education in her final year at Elon!

Phoebe Crumbine

Phoebe Crumbine is from Beverly, Massachusetts. She is a sophomore at Elon University, is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and a BA in Psychology. She has studied at numerous summer intensives including Urbanity Dance, The Rock School for Dance Education, Boston Ballet, New York City Dance Alliance, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has performed in and worked on dance concerts, as well as in several student works. She is very grateful to be back on campus and is thankful for the performing arts faculty and her peers for the overwhelming encouragement and support.

Maggie Fairley

Maggie Fairley is from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. She is currently a senior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography and a B.A. in Arts Administration with a minor in Business Administration. During her time at Elon, she has performed in the Black History Month Concerts, Spring Dance Concerts, and participated in Senior Fellows Research performances. Maggie has also had internships with New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble and is currently the Production Assistant for the Fall Dance Concert.

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks is a native of McLean, Virginia. She is currently a junior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is delighted to be making her debut at Elon University in the Black History Month Concert and is thankful for the support of her family and friends.

Emily Kopchains

Emily Kopchains is a Senior Theatrical Design and Technology major with a Scenic focus and is so honored to be the Scenic Designer for Medea. She is beyond lucky to be a member of the Elon TDT family and could not be more grateful for the faculty and especially her fellow students who have encouraged her to learn, make mistakes, and push boundaries throughout this process.

Maggie Davenport

Maggie Davenport is a native of Wake Forest, North Carolina. She is currently a sophomore at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography and a B.S in Dance Science. She is also minoring in Business Administration. She has trained under Marcia Del Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Trish Casey and Jared Redick at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is so excited to be involved in the Black History Month Dance Concert this year!

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce is a sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography BFA major as well as a Strategic Communications AB major. Raised in Durham, NC, she trained and taught at many of her local studios and children’s theaters. She has participated in Dancing in the Landscape as well as Rites of Seasons, Elon’s Spring Dance Concert.

Kali-Ann Nassoura

Kalie-Ann is a senior at Elon University pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and BA in Strategic Communications. She is a lover of all things creative and imaginative. Whether it’s dancing in front of the audition table or working casting from behind it; she undoubtedly has a passion for the entertainment industry. She sends lots of love and gratitude to her family back home, who have never stopped supporting her dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem.

Greg Thorn

Greg Thorn (Lighting Designer) is the Technical Director for the Department of Cultural &amp; Special Programs at Elon University. Some of his past lighting design credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Cabaret, You Can’t Take It with You, The Glass Menagerie, and Mama Mia! In addition, his set design credits include My Side of the Story and The Thing With Feathers. This is his fifth time designing for this production, and it remains to be his favorite event of the year! He wants to thank the entire production team for tackling this event in a film capacity for the first time ever, as well as the dancers for their amazing work!

Grace Granger

Grace Granger is a junior theatre design and technology major and is very excited to stage-manage the Black History Month Concert with so many wonderful people. Previously she stage-managed Elon's Black History Month Concert and assistant stage managed Damn Yankees, Elephant Man, Arcadia, and Once on This Island. She was also deck chief for We Will Rock You and worked as a summer intern at Theatre Arlington. She would like to thank everyone in the cast and crew for this experience and for all of Kesha's hard work.

Madeline Brislenn

Madeline Brislenn is a native of Debary, Florida. She is currently a junior at Elon University pursuing a B.S. with a double major in Adventure Based Learning and Physical Education with minors in Dance and Exercise Science. Madeline has trained in tap, ballet, jazz, and contemporary since age 3 and has participated in summer intensives including the Collective at Dancerpalooza and The Art of Movement. She has studied abroad with Elon University to Ghana to study traditional West African dance and culture last winter term. This is Madeline’s second year dancing in the Black History Month Concert.

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one-month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston Salem State University and Guilford College. He currently is the Dance music coordinator at UNC Greensboro. He is the founder of the dynamic band Africa Unplugged. Rorie is also a musician within various professional ensembles; with these ensembles, he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two Presidential Inauguration Celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.

Elisha H. Harris

Elisha Harris is a charismatic musician hailing from Durham, North Carolina. His musical journey started as a child, learning West African percussion from his first teacher Bashir Shakur at E.K. Powe Elementary School. He soon after joined Collage Dance Company, a children’s dance ensemble and institution in the city, being a member until his final year of high school. Elisha attended North Carolina A&T State University, studying Architectural Engineering. While there he played with a campus dance company, as well as Sugar Foote Productions, the brainchild of Robin Gee professor in the UNC Greensboro dance department where he worked as an accompanist. In 2011 he became a part of fellow Collage alumni, and mentor Atiba Rorie’s band Africa Unplugged, a dynamic group pushing the limits of traditional and contemporary ideas about the music of the diaspora. He has been honored to share stages with brilliant musicians around the country, has played for various ensembles, universities, and with wonderful artists from both here and abroad. He currently resides in Durham working for a Structural Engineering firm in Raleigh and enjoying what he believes was one of God's greatest gifts to him, music.

Lamar Lewis

Lamar Lewis, a Newark, New Jersey native, grew up and received his formative training in West African percussions in Durham, North Carolina. Lamar has studied with master musicians such as Modibo Keta, Baba Khalid Saleem and Baba Bradley Simmons, all former musical directors for the African American Dance Ensemble under the artistic direction of Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis. Lamar enjoys musically accompanying dancers currently with Elon University and UNC of Greensboro’s dance departments. He is also a touring band member with both AfricaUnplugged and Caique Vidal &amp; Batuque; under the musical direction of Atiba Rorie and Caique Vidal respectively.

William Darity

“As a guitarist, the jazz-steeped Durham native has dabbled in everything from funk and hip-hop to West African music and country tributes, amassing a breadth of musical and business knowledge along the way.” - Grant Golden [Indyweek]William Darity began playing guitar professionally with jazz groups, in and around his hometown of Durham, NC as a teenager. He soon found himself playing in a variety of genres, including soul, hip-hop, gospel, and reggae. These influences began to coalesce into a sort of experiment with pop music as he started leading his own project, Durty Dub, in 2013. Working as a bandleader, Darity soon expanded Durty Dub’s performance footprint across the state of NC and up the east coast, into Washington DC and NYC in 2016. It was around this time that he began to realize that he was interested in the business side of music as much as the creative process and wanted to collaborate with others toward that end. A chance opportunity to book Detroit artist, De’Sean Jones at the renowned Art of Cool Festival in 2017 led to an on-going business partnership and inspired the founding of his new talent agency, Forging The Musical Future. Since its humble beginnings, FTMF has quickly grown to represent a roster of artists including Grammy nominee, Cheick Hamala Diabate, world-renowned djembe master, Weedie Braimah, as well as Ropeadope recording artists, Black Light Collective, and Nathan Paul. On the guitar side, Darity is currently working on a project with Durty Dub, celebrating country music legend, Charley Pride. Otherwise, he can be found performing and/or recording with Vanessa Ferguson, Young Bull, Africa Unplugged & Solomon Fox.

Joe Quinde

Joe Quinde is an American musician, producer, and engineer best known for his work, shaping the sounds for what is known as the “golden era” of hip-hop and RnB / soul. Working with many industry artists, including Jay-Z, N.O.R.E., Cam’Ron, Chubb Rock, Guru, Camp Lo and Nice n’ Smooth  [2], his unique and exacting approach to mixing resulted in a 1998 Grammy [best rap album] win for Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2”. He also received critical acclaim for his approach to Camp Lo’s hip-hop classic, “Luchini AKA This is It”. Over the course of Quinde’s career, he appeared as a musician on many records including Angie Stone’s “Black Diamond”, Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal”and Vanilla Ice’s “People&#39;s Choice” [5]. He has also worked as a FOH and MON engineer for many live shows including tours with Roberta Flack and concerts at select Greensboro venues like Cone Denim Ent. Center, Carolina Theatre [Greensboro, NC] and Arizona Pete’s, as well as John Coltrane Jazz &amp; Blues Festival. Currently, Quinde is mixing records in genres such as afrobeat, hip-hop, RnB, reggae, rock, and jazz, andperforming with North Carolina artists.

Rick Earl

Rick Earl is the Production Manager for Cultural and Special Programs at Elon University. Rick has worked as an audio engineer, production manager, and designer with various acts and clients throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Rick is a full member of the Audio Engineering Society, USITT, and the Event Safety Alliance.

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green, ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records. Jaki Shelton Green is the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Martha’s Vineyard, Ocracoke North Carolina, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland.Photo Credit: Sylvia Freeman

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews began studying West African music in 2003 and met his mentor, Fode Lavia Camara, shortly after. After years of training under Lavia, he traveled to Guinea in 2015 to help him with the first KALOUM DJEMBE Festival in the capital Conakry. Since then, Forrest has traveled to Guinea annually, to train with the artists of Ballet Gbassikolo du Kaloum, and continues to work with the annual KALOUM DJEMBE Festival. In 2019, he and Lavia held the first Kaloum Djembe Drum and Dance Conference in Greensboro. Forrest resides in Greensboro, NC working as a freelance artist.

Greg Ince

Greg Ince is a drummer, educator, and co-founder of SCPA. Greg has more than three decades of experience teaching African drumming and dancing in schools across the country.He has studied with teachers such as Baba Walter Ince, Papa Ladji Camara, Mamady Keita, Abdou Kounta, Abdoul Doumbia and Fadouba Oulare just to name a few.Greg has performed both at home and abroad with companies such as Alvin Ailey, Arthur Mitchell of Dance Theater of Harlem, Marie Brooks' Caribbean Dance Theatre, and The Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble. He was also the co-founder of the International Afrikan American Ballet.