MAGDA KACZMARSKA is a New York City based performer, choreographer, teaching artist and creative aging advocate. She was born in Poland, but grew up in the southwestern United States, where she received her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography, as well as her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona. As a performer, Kaczmarska was a soloist with the Lajkonik Polish Folk Ensemble and Evolve Dance~West, where she also held the position of co-founder and choreographer. In 2017, she began collaborating with choreographer, Hilary Brown through her platform, HB² PROJECTS and collective, Same As Sister (S.A.S.), and was also commissioned by visual artists, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy to perform the lead role in their upcoming film, CLEANER (2019), as part of their Workstations film trilogy, developed during a residency at Kickstarter. Drawing on her extensive ballet, modern and folk training, Kaczmarska’s choreographic work explores infrastructures of language and identity. Her interdisciplinary work has been presented at Center for Performance Research and Shoestring Press in Brooklyn, New York, Scenofest, as part of World Stage Design 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan, LEGS Performance Festival in Giswil, Switzerland, as well as the Tucson Museum of Art, Fred Fox School of Music, ZUZI! and Stevie Eller Theatres in Tucson, Arizona. Currently, she is a lead teaching artist and performer with Dances For A Variable Population. Recent work includes a collaboration with visual artist, Laura Nova and the senior population of the Lower East Side, featuring dance performances, as part of the River to River Festival, presented by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. magdakaczmarska.com
KRISTINA HAY is a Norwegian contemporary dance artist who performs, collaborates and creates across Europe and North America. Hay was trained at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, where she later performed professionally in productions of The Nutcracker, The Bat and Cinderella. She continued her training at London Studio Centre in the UK, where she graduated with a double distinction and was a member of INTOTO DANCE, under the direction of Sue Booker and Leesa Phillips. During this time she toured works by Henri Oguike, Jose Agudo and John Ross. In recent years, Hay has had the privilege of working with Luke Birch, Diana Scarborough, Meredith Bruno Company, Robert Kenny, Feeling Blue Collective, Jessica Nina Barlow, Human Dance and Same As Sister (S.A.S.). With S.A.S., she has presented interdisciplinary works/commissions at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club (AUNTS @ La MaMa Moves!), Danspace Project (Platform 2018), Centre d'Art Marnay Art Centre (2017 Artist Program Residents) and Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church. S.A.S. were also the recipients of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2017 Emergency Grant. As an independent choreographer, Hay has shown work; You Are Someone Else, Fix and Filter, and collaborated with artists in both London and New York City.
JESSICA NINA BARLOW is a dance artist/choreographer working within the fields of theatre, performance art and education, to create and promote dance works through a multidisciplinary and collaborative practice. Barlow began her vocational training at the Arts Educational School London, before pursuing a BA Honours Degree at London Studio Centre, specializing in contemporary dance, where she was awarded the Peter Brinson Award for Excellence in Contemporary Dance. As a performer, she has worked with Tangled Feet Company, Meredith Bruno Company and was a member of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s International Programme in Israel. In 2018, she performed as both an actor and dancer in operas with the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne Opera. Barlow’s choreographic works have been presented at Dance Umbrella Festival, Nitzoutzout, Kaleidoscopic, Linger/Beyond and Resolution Festival at The Place, as well as receiving funding support from The Arts Council England. Currently, she is developing a multidisciplinary collective with visual artists and musicians in London. jessicaninabarlow.com
LAMY ISTREFI JR. is a New York City based drummer, percussionist, composer and conductor, originally from Mitrovice in the Republic of Kosovo. Istrefi attended the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz (KUG) in Austria, before moving to the United States. He is currently a member of Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and composer, Joe Lovano’s Classic Quartet, for which he has toured internationally to perform at such prestigious festivals and venues as Coltrane Day, Jazz Forum, Jazz Standard, Monterey Jazz Festival, Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Blue Note Milano, Bimhuis Amsterdam and Bergamo Jazz Festival. Istrefi has also played and toured with legendary and prominent musicians in the jazz and free music scenes in NYC and abroad including Mark Murphy, Shelia Jordan, Dennis Irwin, Butch Morris, Juini Booth, Mino Cinelu, Judi Silvano, Jay Clayton, Greg Tardy, Eddie Henderson, Josh Evans, Duane Eubanks, James Hurt, Leo Genovese and Esperanza Spalding. For his personal artistic projects, he continues to collaborate with a notable and diverse group of musicians: The Lamy Istrefi Jr. Trio/Quartet featuring saxophonists, Dave Liebman (National Endowment for the Arts’ 2011 Jazz Master) and George Garzone, as well as Musical Minds Orchestra (MMO), a large ensemble performing conceptually-based free improvisation, that he founded in 2010. MMO recently collaborated with HB² PROJECTS to develop and present their interdisciplinary performance, NEW YORK SKETCHES: So The People Came, during the Exploring the Metropolis’ 2017-18 Choreographer + Composer Residencies, in partnership with the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning and The Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Later this Summer, the Lamy Istrefi Jr. Quartet will be recording their debut studio album, for release in 2020. smallslive.com/artists/1284-lamy-istrefi-jr/
RIE YAMAGUCHI-BORDEN born in Ehime, Japan, has been a part of New York City’s vibrant jazz and free-spirited music scene since 1999. Regardless of the medium she is working in, she has the desire to express most honestly and soulfully all that life has to offer. Yamaguchi-Borden is currently a member of Musical Minds Orchestra (MMO) led by Lamy Istrefi Jr., where she collaborates with a variety of artists who are engaged in opening their personal and global awareness to delve into something much deeper creatively. She continues to cook up schemes as a vocalist and drummer in NYC.
Composer and vocalist, JUDI SILVANO has written forty works for voice, piano, woodwinds, harp, string quartet, scores for dance, a cappella vocal groups, jazz ensembles and big bands. She has been awarded three grants from Meet the Composer and New York State Council on the Arts, and has twelve recordings including her own compositions. Silvano attended Temple University College of Music, sang premieres of Penderecki’s Utrenja Suite and Barber’s The Lovers (poetry of Pablo Neruda) with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has worked with conductors, Robert Shaw, Gunther Schuller, Robert Page and Manny Albam. She has also toured Europe (Akademie der Kunste, Berlin) as a modern dancer working with inflatable sculpture and electronic music, which informs her current collaborations with choreographers. Silvano’s compositions span thirty years in chamber music and jazz idioms, with premieres of her works for New York Women Composers at Symphony Space, the Spoken Word Festival, and many other original poetry, chamber music and big band arrangements on stages in the United States and Europe. She has recorded and toured internationally with jazz greats Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Bill Frisell, Kenny Werner and Gunther Schuller, among others, has released fourteen albums of original songs, and has been voted one of the Top Ten Jazz Vocalists in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll four times. judisilvano.com
VIDEO + FILM
CLARA LEAC is a French writer, director, producer and teaching artist, who received her Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She started her career at the International Sound and Image Institute (3IS) in Paris, after several years of studying theater. Leac has worked as a journalist for Eurochannel, where she covered events including Cannes International Film Festival, Miami Film Festival and Winter Music Conference, and was part of the creative team at Sopeg, an innovative consumer electronics company. In addition to her work in television and video production, her award-winning and nominated films have been screened at notable international festivals: BFI London Film Festival, Palm Springs Short Film Festival and Newport Beach Film Festival. Her film, Subordinate (2014), won the National Board of Review Student Grant and was a faculty selection at the Columbia University Film Festival, and Bittersweet Sixteen (2014), won the Richard Brick Producing Award and was nominated for the Adrienne Shelly Best Female Director Award. She has also participated in a producing exchange at La Femis for the Atelier Ludwigsburg, Paris. Her passion for film has extended back into the classroom, where she has shared her knowledge of screenwriting and directing as an instructor at Factory, La Flec and 3IS. In 2017, she founded, promoted and documented the jazz music series, Le Genie Sous Les Etoiles, at Live Genie in Paris. As a result of this experience, she is continuing to explore artistic collaborations that bring together her background in film and jazz music. Leac is currently workshopping a feature script with co-writer, Kyle Novak, that is set in France, dealing with themes around youth, hope and society’s model. vimeo.com/user9047947