"David Bixler is an artist who manages to take much of the best of the jazz tradition and push it in new directions—push, but never shove. He is original, but his originality is not what I would call radical. He works within the tradition. He is not looking to destroy it. The Nearest Exit May Be Inside Your Head is an album filled with inventive ideas and exciting artistry. Most importantly, it is filled with music you'll want to hear and hear again." Jack Goodstein
Saxophonist, composer, and educator David Bixler continues to establish himself as a multi-faceted artist. David has performed and toured the world with the orchestras of Chico O'Farrill, Lionel Hampton, and Toshiko Akiyoshi, among others. His collaboration with pianist Arturo O’Farrill has resulted in many fruitful offerings, including the GRAMMY nominated 40 Acres and a Mule.
In reviewing The Nearest Exit May Be Inside Your Head, Bixler's fifth recording as a leader, Dan Bilawasky writes in All About Jazz," Bixler has garnered plenty of attention for his contributions to O'Farrill's music over the years, but this album makes it clear that it's time to give him his due for his own winning work."
Also active as a composer, this fall David premiered The Hughes Project, musical ruminations on the poems of Langston Hughes for nine musicians. He has also received numerous commissions, the latest of which, Gaze for oboe, bassoon, and piano was premiered at the 2014 International Double Reed Symposium in New York. David is the Director of Jazz Studies at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. As both a Selmer and Vandoren Artist he is active as a clinician throughout the world.
His latest recording, SLINK, with his group Auction Project was released in October of 2014 and features pianist Arturo O'Farrill and guitarist Mike Stern.
David and his wife Heather reside in New York City and have four children.
Bennett, life long musician with Southern roots, is a Brooklyn-based banjo player, composer, educator, and entrepreneur. He has performed with top musicians in the New York music business and has taught music professionally for over 10 years.
In 2014, Bennett was recruited by comedian Steve Martin, a very accomplished banjo player himself, to be the sole banjo player in “Bright Star,” his Broadway-bound musical. Bright Star opened in California in 2014 and has received critical acclaim. It will open on Broadway in the Spring of 2016. New York Times September 2014
Bennett is a passionate teacher, and is always searching for the best ways to help people learn their instrument. In the summer of 2014, after months of collaboration with talented Czech programmer and designer, Jiri Markalous, Bennett launched his first mobile app for iPad called "Listen & Learn", and shortly thereafter released two more apps called "Pocket Lick: Banjo and Pocket Lick: Guitar."
In regards to the “Pocket Lick: Banjo” app for iPhone, Steve Martin stated, "One of the finest banjo apps I've seen.”
Currently living in Brooklyn, Bennett is pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams, writing music, and teaching private lessons.
Jane Stewart Adams
Jane is a data scientist, programmer and writer living in Brooklyn. She holds a B.A. and an M.S. from New York University in complex systems and urban data science. Her complexity work has focused on emergence in complex systems, the phenomenon of relatively simple individuals interacting in relatively simple ways giving rise to complex collective behavior, for example, how ants find your picnic basket. She has explored this theme in her personal, professional, and creative work primarily through data and code.
Her data science work has focused on how to use data to help people, which began during her masters work on estimating and mapping the unauthorized immigrant population of New York City. Since then, she has spoken publicly about how to use data for social good, and how data can be and is used against certain people. She has several open source projects that aim to improve access to and experiences working with personal and public data.
Elizabeth A Davis
Elizabeth is currently originating the world premiere of 5X Tony Award nominee Michael John Lachiusa's RAIN at The Old Globe, which she previously workshopped at NY Stage and Film. She was seen on Broadway in ONCE (Tony Award nomination, Cast Grammy Award), Off Broadway in ALLEGRO (Drama Desk Award Nomination); ZORBA! (City Center Encores); CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE (Classic Stage Company); FOUR LAST THINGS (American Globe); 39 STEPS (New World Stages); WOLVES (59E59); JOE (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Theatre Row); and ONCE (New York Theatre Workshop). Her TV appearances include Law and Order SVU, Jim Gaffigan Show, Blue Bloods, Taxi Brooklyn, Fringe, The David Letterman Show, The View, America's Got Talent, & The Today Show. Select Regional work includes: INDIAN JOE (The Goodspeed Opera House, Norma Terris); ONCE (American Repertory Theatre); THE MISANTHROPE & DEVIL’S DISCIPLE (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ); DOUBT (Gulfshore Playhouse); OPUS (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati); A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Cleveland Play House). As a writer, Elizabeth has worked with the Johnny Mercer Writer's Colony, Cleveland Play House New Ground Play Festival, the Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, Cherry Lane Mentor Project & Goodspeed Opera House. Elizabeth holds an MFA / BFA in Theatre Performance, and attends The Gallery Church with her husband, Jordan Richard.
Jakki has an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. Her forthcoming novel, The Rules of Shame, is about a woman who must encounter a new perspective on love and family after a relationship ends and family secrets emerge. Her fiction has appeared in the Golden Handcuffs Review. Jakki's work explores ideas of home and displacement in a globalized world, and how these ideas play out in the larger context of wholeness and being.
Jakki is also the founder of the annual Nyanza Literary Festival, a non-profit that seeks to elevate literary engagement in the Western part of Kenya, where she's originally from. She lives and works in New York.
Erin Layton is a Brooklyn based playwright, performer, deviser and producer. Erin’s one woman play, MAGDALEN has toured to cities across the United States, in New York City (FringeNYC ‘12, Off-Broadway at United Solo Festival ‘13/’14, East To Edinburgh at 59E59 Theaters ‘15, Fringe ENCORE Series at SoHo Playhouse ‘15), internationally as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ’15 and as invited performances for Irish community centers and venues around the New York tri-state area. MAGDALEN is an award-winning (Best Documentary Script - United Solo Festival 2013), published manuscript (Indie Theater Now): “the performance of the festival” (Huffington Post), “tight, well-structured script...marvelous performance “ (* * * * The Scotsman). As an actor, Erin has appeared onstage in regional and NYC productions: (Off-Broadway, The Lion, The Witch, The Wardrobe, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Kumble Theatre, La MaMa ETC, and many more). This spring, Erin is an invited guest artist at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness, Scotland where she will work with longtime collaborator and director, Julie Kline and Scottish musician, Fraser Fifield on developing an original score for her new play, THE IMMIGRANTS. She is thrilled to develop a first draft of THE IMMIGRANTS with CFW as their Artist-In-Residence this spring! Erin is a member of the women playwrights group The Geese and The Dramatists Guild.
Comedic storytelling is booming across America and one of its undisputed masters is the hilarious, deeply humane Adam Wade. He is Everyman: the guy on the bus who greets the driver, the local whose order is well known to the counter girl at the coffee shop, the underdog pining for the waitress with the slightly green front tooth. Adam is originally from a small town in New Hampshire, so you know his values have to be solid. But like anyone, he always wants a little more than he can get, which can lead him into situations that are frequently absurd. Audiences love Adam because they see themselves in his yearnings and dilemmas, and because he makes them long to know how everything turns out in the end.
Adam’s first comedy album, Adam Wade: The Human Comedy, was recorded in front of a sold out audience at The Bell House in Brooklyn and released on iTunes and Google Play in September of 2015. Adam is a record 20-time Story Slam Champion at The Moth. His comedic storytelling has been lauded by critics at The New York Times, the Village Voice, Newsweek and New York Magazine. He has toured North America with his award-winning stories and is a regular performer on the legendary monthly storytelling show “The Nights of Our Lives” at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Time Out New York has featured him on their “Best of List” in the Most Promising Young Talents category. He has also appeared on Season 2 and 3 of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer.
Alix Pentecost Farren
Alix Pentecost-Farren is an illustrator, cartoonist and artist. Her work has included stationery design, mud murals, animations, and installations. She went to school for art and design at the North Carolina School of the Arts and then studied illustration and filmmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to Brooklyn, NY.
Her work has been shown in multiple galleries in New York and abroad, and her comics have been published by Harlequin Creature and Keep This Bag Away From Children and exhibited at Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo and the Society of Illustrators Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival.
Caroline is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She received her degree in both Visual Art and Art History from Brown University in 2012, where she graduated with honors.
Caroline’s practice explores the concept of re-contextualization. Primarily working with graphite and paper, she creates a state of eerie hyperrealism by focusing on themes of memory and isolation. Her work provides a dramatic awareness of the singularity of her subjects, which allows the viewer to intimately interact with the subject as she does.
Caroline has been included in a number of group exhibitions. She had her first solo exhibition Visual Heritage in 2012 and was featured as the alumni artist at her alma mater, Shady Side Academy, in 2013. Caroline was awarded the William Weston Excellence in Fine Arts Award and the Annual Juried Student Exhibition Prize in 2012.
She is currently living and working in New York City.
Lauded as “refreshingly original” by Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times, choreographer Miro Magloire is the founder and artistic director of New Chamber Ballet. Born in Munich, Germany, Magloire started his career as a composer. After relocating to New York and studying Modern Dance at the Ailey and Martha Graham Schools, he turned his attention to choreography and in 2004 founded New Chamber Ballet.
Magloire has created over 60 ballets in his signature style, all distinguished by sweeping elegance, a striking theatricality, and bold musical choices. The subject of a 2008 full-page profile in the Sunday NY Times, he recently received an O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation Grant. Miro’s commissioned piece will be performed as part of New Chamber Ballet’s June 2015 season at City Center Studios in midtown Manhattan.
Mentored by Gregory Hines, Andrew is considered one of the most diverse tap dance artists today. Artistic director of Cats Paying Dues and co-founder of the Tap Legacy™ Foundation, Inc., Andrew has garnered a reputation for impeccable storytelling, musicianship and sensitivity, and respect for the craft that he loves. Andrew is the recipient of a 2012 TED Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative Grant, a CUNY Dance Initiative grant, and is the Artist in Residence of the Quarterly Arts Soiree at Webster Hall. An internationally recognized performer and educator Andrew has performed alongside the likes of Nat Adderley, Jr., Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Harry Connick Jr., the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and the legendary Les Paul. He has taught and performed in Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, London, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Berlin and across the United States. Nemr appears on the Grammy nominated recording “Itsbynne Reel” by Dave Eggar, the DVD Documentary and companion album “Tuesdays at Mona’s” by Mona’s Hot Four, and as narrator of DanceTime Publications’ first tap dance DVD, Tap Dance History: From Vaudeville to Film. Andrew has also spoken at numerous TEDx events (TEDxCERN, TEDxPuraVida, TEDxSetonHall, etc.) and has his own TED ED Lesson on tap dance.
Andrew’s commissioned piece, Enter the Waters, is a 20min suite that is anticipated to premiere at Cats Paying Dues 10th Anniversary Celebration, May 13-17th, at Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
Kamilah Aisha Moon
A recipient of fellowships to Cave Canem, the Prague Summer Writing Institute and the Vermont Studio Center, Kamilah Aisha Moon’s work has been featured in Harvard Review, jubilat, Poem-A-Day for the Academy of American Poets, The Awl, Villanelles and Gathering Ground. A Pushcart Prize winner and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Audre Lorde Award from the Publishing Triangle, Moon is the author of She Has a Name (Four Way Books) and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Sasha Arutyunova is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-based freelance photographer. The primary focus of her work is the exploration of personal narratives through intimate detail, by way of photography and short form video. Sasha is a co-founder of documentary production company and artist collective Nomadique, for which she serves as a producer, curator and community organizer. She has also served as a camera operator and photographer for audiovisual collective Mason Jar Music since 2010. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Time Out NY, Le Monde and DETAILS. Her Instagram account won her fee cupcakes for a year. You can follow her at @sashafoto. Sasha’s work was featured at the Faith & Work Conference, November 7-8th.
Carey Wallace is the author of The Blind Contessa’s New Machine and The Ghost in the Glass House. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Ben is an award-winning independent filmmaker based in the New York City area who specializes in cinematography, editing and directing for productions around the world. Ben’s guiding principle as a filmmaker is to reveal the visual soul of the story with sensitivity and the highest artistic integrity. With a background in fine art and music, Ben’s intuitive approach to imagery and sound has led him to a broad range of human interests, from exploring remote villages in the Amazon to the complexities of human trafficking across India. Appreciated by his clients for his adventurous spirit, Ben is uniquely adapted to working in the most challenging situations. Ben’s primary work is in feature documentary, feature narrative and music video. Current projects include Don’t Foil My Plans: a full length documentary on art, autism and the transition into adulthood.
Ben's commissioned work was shown at CFW's City Rhythms: Film event.
Julia is a vocalist and loop artist who wields composition, production and performance in one fell swoop. One part siren and one part technologist, she uses looping hardware to build a one-woman chorus live onstage. This rare sound has driven Julia to recent performances at the venerable Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, SXSW in Austin TX, the MIDEM Conference in Cannes FR, the CollegeMusicJournal (CMJ) Festival in New York City, and the TEDxWomen Conference in Los Angeles.
Born in the UK, Rebecca Locke is based in New York City which has proved formative in the development of her installation art, film, photographic, sound and performance-based artwork. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, and has studied at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is a visiting fellow at The Center for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, an inaugural member of the Association of Urban Photographers and curator of the City to Sea Project. City to Sea developed from Rebecca’s practice, specifically her work based on her hometown Bognor Regis.
Rebecca exhibits internationally and recent exhibitions include the Lab Film Festival, London; Visual Urbanism: Perspectives on Contemporary Research, The British Library, London; Festival de la Imagen, Columbia and the first Bienal de Fotografía, Lima, Peru, which featured the artist’s video and sound series Lugares qui fui (everywhere I’ve ever been). The artist’s City to Sea Project recently collaborated with Magnum Photos for a workshop and screening at the Urban Encounters festival at Tate Britain. The artist is currently working on a film, E pluribus unum, and a self-portrait based series exploring narrative identity.
Her commissioned installation for the Center for Faith and Work, and we all came in together, utilized new digital media, analogue technologies, found images and discovered stories to reflect New Yorkers ongoing relationship to the city and meaning through interaction with people.