MUSIC COMMITTEE

Our music program has two objectives: to provide high-quality music education to underserved students, and to enhance Norwalk’s cultural landscape.  Under the leadership of our Music Director, David DeJesus, we will offer free admission to performances and interactive workshops featuring top-notch Connecticut musicians.  We hope to create a community outlet for local music by developing young musicians and providing opportunities to seasoned professionals.

Our music program will be guided by our Musical Advisory Committee:

MARC ALAN

Factory Underground

Director of Marketing as well as the head of the in-house social media team at Norwalk’s own Factory Underground. Marc has 20+ years of experience in the music business working at the highest levels of the industry, having personally worked with artists such as Sting, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot, Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera, Sonny Rollins, as well as rock artists like Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Jeff Beck, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith. He has also managed one of the most established studios in the country, SIR Studios (Studio Instrument Rentals), and has mixed front of house audio on tour with artists in 24 countries.

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 12.28.13 PM.pn

REBECCA HAVILAND

Singer/Songwriter

Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart, a roots rock Americana band based in New York, consists of bassist Chris Anderson (Martin Sexton), drummer Kenny Shaw (Dispatch) and B3 player Todd Caldwell (Crosby Stills and Nash).  Rebecca’s big vocals and intimate songwriting accompanied by her soulful band break new barriers with their unique form of Americana. Their album Bright City Lights released in 2018 was called “hauntingly beautiful” by Paste Magazine, and “the rare seven song disc that deserves to be stretched to a full length” by Chronogram. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 3.10.55 PM.png

JAMEEL ROBERTS

Producer/Songwriter

Norwalk raised Jameel Roberts is a Grammy Nominated Producer and Songwriter who has worked with numerous artists in various genres including Nicki Minaj, August Alsina, Kendrick Lamar, Ella Mae, Jill Scott, Kanye West, Usher and J. Cole. Jameel’s latest collaborator is Ariana Grande with whom he helped create her latest album - Thank U, Next.

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 2.53.18 PM.png

COLIN WALTERS

Saxophonist

 

A native of Connecticut, Colin Walters is a dynamic and innovative saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Colin discovered his passion for the saxophone at an early age and credits his exposure to listening to Jazz, Classical, Gospel, R&B, and Reggae while growing up. Colin tours and performs regularly in a wide variety of ensembles and genres, including the Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Victor Rendon and the Bronx Conexion, Scott Wenzel Big Band, New London Big Band, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Earl MacDonald 10tet, and the Colin Walters Quartet.

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 2.52.45 PM.png

DAVID DEJESUS

Musical Director

Musical Director of The Norwalk Art Space, David has long been involved in education. Having taught at major conservatories including Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, David is proud to currently be a Professor of Jazz Studies at Purchase College where he directs the 18 piece Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra, coaches student combos and instructs Jazz Arranging classes.

IMG_6687.heic

SANDRA MIKLAVE

Norwalk Symphony Orchestra

Sandra Miklave is the Executive Director of The Norwalk Symphony.  Currently a board member, Miklave volunteered with the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk for 20 years and served as the board chair for eight.  She has also volunteered with numerous local organizations, including the Norwalk High School Boys Soccer Team, Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic, the Fairfield Prep Crew Team Booster Club and various school-based organizations.

1526394604394.jpg

CANYON SHARITS

Singer/Songwriter

Currently hailing from Westport, Connecticut, Canyon has been making a name for herself as a vocal powerhouse and wordsmith.  Known by those that have seen her perform to be a captivating singer/songwriter with haunting and heart-wrenchingly honest lyrics, her intense passion will cut deep enough to hit a nerve. Performing with an acoustic guitar, her catchy vocal melodies will immediately grab your attention while the intimate stories she tells will keep your ears guessing.

DSC_7249.jpg

NICOLE ZURATIS

Jazz vocalist/Pianist/Songwriter

Grammy-nominated American jazz vocalist, pianist, songwriter and arranger from Litchfield, CT. She is very in demand on the NYC Jazz scene as a guest vocalist with various ensembles and is currently the featured vocalist with the famous Birdland Big Band. Nicole also leads a nonet with her husband, Dan Pugach and currently resides in West Haven, CT. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 2.53.01 PM.png

JANET EVELYN

NICE Festival

Founder and Executive Director of The NICE festival in Norwalk CT.  For South Pacific: In Concert, NPT and Norwalk Symphony Orchestra are proud to partner with The Nice Festival. Janet Evelyn, Executive Director, states that NICE is committed to bringing awareness to the multiplicity of our global cultural heritage. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 12.40.55 PM.pn

AMALI PREMAWARDHANA

Cellist

Cellist and graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, currently enjoys a career as a classical orchestral and chamber musician, as well as Suzuki cello instructor. She co-leads her own ensemble, Karavika, which blends Western chamber music with musical traditions of India and Sri Lanka. Karavika has been hailed by the New York Times as "a soulful blend of classical and folk traditions" and by the San Francisco Classical Voice as "commanding performers... suggestive of some of the adventures of such crossover explorers as Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma." 

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 1.01.37 PM.png

JUSTINE LEE HOOPER
Flautist/Singer/Visual Artist/Writer

A Norwalk native who has risen to acclaim in the classical world as a flautist. She has given more than 70 world premieres of contemporary classical music and has performed with Grammy-nominated artists across the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Justine also dedicates much of her time to the nonprofit sector having served on the board of Music Beyond, which during her tenure served communities within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An active arts administrator, she also proudly contributed to the success of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, American Ballet Theatre, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, and flutemaker Burkart Flutes and Piccolos.

edit 2.jpg