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Stacy Dillard (“Sax”) has been described by Ben Ratliff of The New York Times as “a young saxophonist of serious promise” and by trumpeter Roy Hargrove as “a one-of-a-kind musician”; while Wynton Marsalis simply says of him, “This MF can play.”  In addition to leading three bands of his own, he recently appeared as a featured guest with Cyrus Chestnut at Dizzy’s Club, and has played with such artists as Hargrove, Clark Terry, Billy Taylor, Mulgrew Miller, John Hicks, Wycliffe Gordon and Stevie Wonder.


Eric Reed (“Piano”) began playing the piano at age two and was performing in his father’s Baptist church in Philadelphia by age five.  Dubbed “one of the top pianists of his generation” by AllMusic Guide and described as “one of my very favorite pianists” by Ahmad Jamal, his credits include performances with Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Quincy Jones and Patti Labelle, among others. His musical ventures include over 20 recordings as a leader, including his latest recording, “Stand!,”; scoring for Eddie Murphy’s comedy, “Life”; and musical direction for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Currently Reed is in residence with the Ebony Repertory Theatre of Los Angeles, as musical director of Regina Taylor's “Crowns.”


Ted Nash (“Plastic Sax”) first came to New York at the age of 18, becoming a regular member of the Gerry Mulligan Big Band, the National Jazz Ensemble, and the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the latter an association that would last for more than ten years. He is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Jazz Composers Collective, as well as his own groups Odeon, Still Evolved and Double Quartet.  His CDs have received many awards, including top ten CDs byThe New York Times, Village Voice, Boston Globe, Newsday, The New Yorker, Downbeat Magazine, and Jazz Times.  Nash’s most recent release, Portrait in Seven Shades (JLCO), earned him a 2010 Grammy nomination.


Douglas Chang (Writer-Director) produced, directed and co-wrote the narrative feature film Absent Father, which premiered at the Dhaka International Film Festival in 2008 and was nominated for Best Picture at the Religion Today Film Festival in Trento and Rome, Italy.  He has also played an integral role on two PBS programs: “P.O.V.”, the acclaimed documentary series; and “City Arts,” a groundbreaking art and culture series, where he worked with some of the world’s most prominent artists.

Melvin Van Peebles (“Hobo”) needs no introduction among film buffs, but his accomplishments outside of film encompass Broadway musicals, best-selling books, and several albums of original music.  He is best known for directing, producing and starring in “Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song,” which ushered in the era of black “soul cinema,” set new standards for independent filmmaking, and forever changed the way Hollywood views African Americans.