Julie Chen is based in the Northeast U.S., with an array of interdisciplinary work ranging from immersive multimedia installation art, design for print and web, photography, craft, and pedagogical projects for architectural education, to name a few.
Originally from Brooklyn, Julie had previously also been a long-time resident of Pittsburgh and Boston. She is currently living/working/teaching in the Hartford, CT area, and supports the arts and community development in Hartford and neighboring towns.
The festival entry installations are designed by Julie.
This engaging and inspiring all-woman jazz ensemble offers a refreshing alternative to the standard jazz band. Led by cellist Nioka Workman (daughter of master bassist Reggie Workman), the stellar chamber ensemble presents performances that incorporate aspects of world music, women’s culture, and string improvisation, while highlighting their deep connection to jazz history. The ensemble has performed at exciting venues and festivals throughout the U.S. including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sugar Hill Music Festival, Coltrane Day Festival and the Hudson Park Bandshell.
Girish is a world music artist, teacher, and author whose talents find expression in a wide array instruments and music genres including roots jazz, world, and sacred music. Drumming has always been instinctual to Girish, flowing freely from his fingers and knowing no musical bounds. Guided as always by rhythm, and now by his spiritual pursuits, Girish began to study tablas with Jagadish in the Nada Yoga tradition (yoga of sound current), which emphasized the spiritual import of music. Girish learned from the musician and spiritual teacher Bob Kindler, known as Babajithat, "sacred music is a viable outlet of spirituality, one that is profoundly uplifting and transformative." Girish also studied with legendary tabla master Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar School of Music in Marin County, California. It was in northern California that Girish met other musicians at the forefront of the chant music explosion in this country. Krishna Das was just gaining popularity at that time and Girish played with him regularly. In this context, Girish was quickly introduced to a wider world of music for yoga. Soon he was accompanying many of the names in the yoga music genre, including Wah!, Dave Stringer, Donna DeLory, Thomas Barquee, Snatam Kaur, Shanti Shanti, Steve Ross, Swaha, and Rasa. His move to Los Angeles in 2000 brought him to the nation's epicenter of chanting and world music. Now he’s here with us in Hartford, CT.
In the DJ booth, Kered’s sound is all about the dance floor. Armed with a deep arsenal and collection of music, Kered’s sets reflect a deeper, emotional sound that’s combined with peak hour rhythms and some classic favorites. Influenced by early Detroit techno and Chicago house, a typical Kered set knows no boundaries and is weaved together to tell a complete story from start to finish. He has entertained crowds on the sun-drenched beaches of Ibiza to the clubs of Berlin, Montreal, Los Angeles, Munich and more. Kered has released music on acclaimed labels such as Definitive Recordings, Nervous Records, Witty Tunes and ultimately on his own label, Loot Recordings. With a passion for discovering new sounds, Loot Recordings has become a platform for new artists to release their music together with established artists who have become a part of the label’s family.
Khaiim is Hartford’s own “RapOet” who lectures on Creativity & Culture around the country. His fans prefer to catch him diving off stages, performing internationally with everyone from Pulitzer Prize poets like Alice Walker to Grammy winning MCs like Common. Hip-Hop heads know him as Self Suffice, the charismatic lyricist whose album with J Cole's engineer Mez summited the Indie Hip-Hop Top 40. His positive use of rap music has been recognized by Obama's Champions of Change, the NY Times, NPR, and others. See him live at a college near you, performing the new album "Self Control." Or, see and hear him as our Spirit Festival MC!
Dan is one of the first to pioneer experiential performances and the vibrational qualities of Crystal Bowls in the U.S. and has developed an extensive palette and collection of Sacred Sounds which he brings to his work. He is certified as an Integrative Music and Sound Practitioner within the field of the Healing Arts and as an educator holds a Masters in Educational Technology. Following a classical music conservatory education in New York, he pursued further studies at the Center for Interdisciplinary and Experimental Art in San Francisco. A multi-instrumentalist, Daniel has performed with a variety of vocalists, ambient ensembles, and has collaborated internationally with teachers, musicians and artists including Grammy award-winning musician Steven Halpern.
People of Goodwill
The music of People of Goodwill reflects the diverse composition of its band members. Their music in homage to Africa, is based around the drum and always reflects a deep respect for the power of rhythm. The music freely uses a wide variety of popular styles including jazz, funk, rock, reggae, rhythm & blues, Latin, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban beats that have evolved from the African Diaspora. They take special pride in being a band that reflects the unique blend of styles and cultures in both its music and membership. Their performances are a combination of original compositions and arrangements of select compositions by some of the most outstanding songwriters and musicians of our time.
The Wave Artist Mixashawn is a multicultural educator and musician who has collaborated with the likes of Rashid Ali, Bobby McFerrin, Ravi Coltrane and along with his brother bassist Rick Rozie founded the original Afro Algonquin.
Mixashawn continues to perform and share his indigenous knowledge and understanding with audiences at home and abroad. Mixashawn is the author of Indigenous Roots of Social Evolution, a compact guide to Connecticut’s Native people. This publication reflects his years of study and practice in identifying and celebrating the Indigenous influence on American Culture, society, arts and science. And finally, the term “Wave “references the understanding that the universe is composed of an infinite number of “waves” in all atmospheres yet sharing certain universal qualities. A Wave Artist is one who uses this knowledge to inform and guide their work.
Balam is an award-winning New Media Artist who creates at the intersection of science and the visual arts. His exploratory works fusing low tech with high tech have been exhibited at fine art venues including the New Zealand Art Festival, Gallery of Oi Futuro in Brazil, the National Library of Cameroon and the World Maker Faire in New York. His innovative designs seamlessly connect the human and digital experience, incorporating intuitive, tactile interfaces that allow individuals to experience physical computing while forgetting they are interacting with an inanimate object. The work comes to life as they begin to explore. Balam loves innovators who push culture forward!
Sound Lounge, presented by the Conduit Center
The Sound Lounge is a designated space to offer attendants and artists a place to rest and recuperate away from the high stimulation of a festival event. In the Sound Lounge we offer sound journeys which is live performing of calming sounds for meditation. We at the Conduit have a studio where we have honed this technique for stress and relaxation, and what we offer at the festival is a modified version of that for the attendants. Through the sounds, participants experience deep healing and inner journeying, which is both rejuvenating and relaxing. We find that the practice complements yoga and other modalities being pursued at the festival.
Taikoza is a New York-based Japanese Taiko drum and dance ensemble that uses the deep and powerful rhythms of the Taiko drums, stringed instruments, metal percussion and bamboo flutes to create electrifying energy and a highly visual musical art form. Drawing from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created an original and high-energy sound that transcends national boundaries. Taikoza has thrilled audiences all over the world with its highly educational and artistic programs.
A prolific multi-media artist, Michelle Thomas fell in love with the process of creation as she explored oil paint, acrylic, pastel, watercolor, ink, and ceramics. No matter the subject or medium, her goal is to illuminate the essence of layered complexities in one visual experience. For Michelle, art production is a cycle of challenges and solutions making way for personal expression and evolution.
Wasine is a passionate and purposeful DJ, activist, producer and radio personality whose eclectic and synergistic selections are influenced by his love for numerous genres including Roots Reggae, Soca, Zouk, Funk, and hip-hop. Originally from the island of Saint Lucia, DJ Wasine has hosted and spun for some of the largest Soca and Caribbean events in Connecticut. He is regarded for his remarkable fusion blends, using tantalizing island rhythms and intense bass-lines to create a unique international fusion of musical artistry… all on top of an unmistakable island beat! Just let the music fill you up!