2-time Grammy winner
Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami, USA, Jon Secada is an international star who has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. He has written and produced many hits for his own albums and for artists such as Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez. The platinum singer-songwriter won two Grammys for Number One Latin Album (“Just Another Day”) and his 1995 album Amor. He was a celebrity judge on the international hit show, Latin American Idol, for four years. The diversely talented artist holds a Master´s Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance. A theatre lover, he has starred on Broadway as part of the cast in Cabaret and in Grease as the first-ever Latin Danny Zuko. He also impressed in the role of Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber´s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Widely regarded as one of pop/R&B´s pioneering icons and a trendsetter in music, video, dance and fashion, Jody Watley has amassed an incredible 32 Top Ten singles and 13 #1 singles in the pop, dance and R&B music genres over the past three decades. Beginning on the TV dance show Soul Train and as an original member of the group Shalamar, she won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1987, and is one of MTV´s most nominated artists for her video “Real Love” with 7 nominations. In 1995, Jody was on Broadway playing the role of Rizzo in the hit musical Grease. Named one of “America´s Most Beautiful” by People Magazine and featured in Harper´s Bazaar, she has been featured in fashion magazines around the world.
Over an impressive 40-year history, reggae legend Black Uhuru was the first ever band to win the Grammy Award in the Reggae Music category. Founded by Duckie Simpson in Kingston, Jamaica, Black Uhuru has headlined many music festivals across the globe and toured with groups such as the Rolling Stones and the Police. Their celebrated album Red, calling for cultural change and religious faith, ranked #28 in the UK album chart and #23 in The Rolling Stones magazine´s 100 Best Albums of the Eighties. Today, Duckie Simpson, Andrew Bees, and Kaye Starh continue to give memorable live performances, often joined by other acclaimed artists. Uhuru means “freedom” in Swahili.
Debbie Gravitte has had a varied career which took her from the Broadway stage to Boston´s Symphony Hall and many places in between. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jerome Robbin´s Broadway, along with a Drama Desk Award nomination as well as the New York Showstopper Award. While releasing her own albums, she has appeared in Encores! series productions, performed her nightclub act worldwide, has sung with numerous leading symphony orchestras, and starred on television shows, including Ira Gershwin´s 100th Birthday Celebration from London´s Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Tony winner Kiril Kulish is a dancer, actor, singer, musician and all-around sensation. He is best known for playing the starring role of Billy in Sir Elton John and Lee Hall´s Billy Elliot the Musical for its Broadway opening in 2008. For his fantastic performance, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and more recently a Fred Astaire Award, Theatre World Award and Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award. At age 12, he garnered the Hope Award for Best Overall Performance at the Youth America Grand Prix, the world´s largest student ballet competition. Kiril is also a ballroom dance champion and concert pianist.
Emmy winner & Tony nominee
“The most fascinating performer to come down the pike since the infant Bernadette Peters,” is how critic Clive Barnes described Liz Callaway when she burst on the Broadway scene over 25 years ago. Since then the Tony-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress has gone on to star in numerous Broadway shows including Baby, Miss Saigon and Cats. She has also established a critically acclaimed career as a singer and recording artist. She has appeared in many of the world´s greatest concert halls with several of the most acclaimed symphony orchestras. Liz is a singing voice in many acclaimed animated movies including Beauty and the Beast and Lion King II, and most notably was the title voice in the Oscar-nominated Anastasia.
Patti Cohenour has originated and performed numerous roles on Broadway including Signora Naccarelli and the Margaret Johnson Alternate in The Light in the Piazza at the Lincoln Center, the Mother Abbess in the 1997 revival of The Sound of Music, Christine Daae’ in the original Broadway cast of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera opposite Michael Crawford, Rosabud in Rupert Holmes’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood; winning the prestigious Clarence Derwent Award and Tony and Drama Desk nominations, and Mary Jane Wilkes in Big River; winning a Theater World Award and a Drama Desk nomination. Her Broadway debut was made in 1982 in Hal Prince’s production of A Doll’s Life understudying the role of Nora.
Born in Châbons, France, Flo Ankah is a versatile performer based in New York City and the founder of Simple Production. She graduated from the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. As film, stage and television actress, she has acted with Helen Hunt, Tuc Watkins, and for esteemed directors Alice Jankell and Jonathan Demme. Flo is an authentic French chanteuse known as Floanne. Singing original songs and vintage tunes with a modern twist, she wrote and produced the acclaimed solo shows, Edith Piaf Alive, Floin’ to America, and Love Is French. Sold-out venues include the New York Botanical Garden, Triad Theater and the Metropolitan Room, where she holds a monthly residency. Floanne has been featured on NPR, the radio news show “For Your Ears Only,” and French national television on France 5, M6 and TV5 Monde.
Referred to by Stevie Wonder as “brilliant and genuine,” Camellia is a gifted singer-songwriter who embraces her Lebanese and Palestinian roots. She has co-written and recorded a song with rapper AMG that appeared on the 2010 season of Entourage (HBO) and performed at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. She has collaborated with multi-platinum Grammy winning producer Danny Sembello, who said of Camellia, “Rarely do I come across a young artist who can transcend the boundaries of musical genres. Her songs are raw, organic, and from the heart.” Currently working to combine Arab and Western music elements in her unique sound, she will be releasing her debut album in 2013.
Junior Case worked with Cirque du Soleil in one of their newest shows, Viva ELVIS, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He played the prominent role of the narrator and Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who weaved together the show’s musical, acrobatic and visual elements. Junior’s feature film credits include roles in MGM’s Legally Blonde 2, Missy and Take a Chance. Stage credits include: Jake Blues in the Blues Brothers Show at Universal Studios Japan, Fiddler on the Roof at Sundance with Tony Award-winning Michael Rupert, and Lenny in Of Mice and Men based on the novel by John Steinbeck. From 1999 to 2008, he performed as a guest artist with Odyssey Dance Theatre, touring the world while playing multiple roles: a ballroom dancing hunchback in their hit Halloween show Thriller, club owner Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge, and Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Luke Eberl’s film acting credits include Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning Letters from Iwo Jima, a lead role in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, Phantoms with Ben Affleck, and Sprawl, among many others. He was recognized as Best Actor in a Short Film at Method Fest for his performance in Sugar Mountain. Luke has guest starred on many acclaimed TV shows. On stage, Luke has performed in A Christmas Carol and Life with Father, Shenandoah, Macbeth, Camelot, Phantom and The Will Rogers Follies. At a young age he made local TV documentaries and directed award-winning short films played in film festivals worldwide. With his directorial feature film debut Choose Connor winning the Jury Prize for Best American Independent at the Philadelphia International Film Festival, Luke was named one of the “Ten Young Americans to Watch” by MovieMaker Magazine.
ITALIAN TENOR (VEGETARIAN)
Multitalented Italian artist Mark Janicello is a singer, actor, author, director, poet, painter and lyricist. Performing since the age of 4, Mark has played lead roles in over 20 musicals, 30 operas, 12 plays, and 14 films. In 1992 he was named “America´s Best Street Performer” switching between Pavarotti and Elvis style singing, which led to nationwide and international media attention. Becoming widely known especially while living in Europe, he went on to star in Elvis: A Musical Biography and was dubbed the best Elvis interpreter by legendary Elvis composer Ben Weisman. With 28 CD recordings, Mark has also appeared or recorded with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby and Liza Minelli, and performed in Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, and The Apollo Theater.
AWARD-WINNING ISRAELI SINGER
Blessed with an immensely talented voice, international singer-songwriter and peace activist Liel Kolet has dedicated her career to peace. Since she won a European talent contest at age 12, Liel has performed in hundreds of concerts around the world and helped raise millions in funds for respected aid organizations. At age 14, she invited President Bill Clinton to join her on stage in a historical duet that gave her peace mission global exposure. Renowned artists Andrea Bocelli, Herbie Hancock, Patty Labelle and the Scorpions have recorded peace songs with Liel. A German Radio Award winner, she is currently recording with the legendary multi-Grammy winning producer Humberto Gatica.
Katie McMahon is best known for her exquisite soaring soprano solo in the original Riverdance single, which topped the charts in Ireland for three months. She toured with the hugely popular show Riverdance for five years as their original lead vocalist. Her voice has been described by the Irish Times as “poetry, perfection and purity.” Before her work in Riverdance, Katie, a born and bred Dubliner, was classically trained in voice and harp. She was a member of the renowned Anúna, Ireland´s National Choir, and a featured soloist on their first two CDs. With five acclaimed solo CDs, she has toured with the group Secret Garden as lead singer and harpist and founded her own band and troupe of Irish dancers, who perform throughout the US.
KOREAN POP STAR
Brian Joo debuted as a member of the Korean pop/R&B phenomenon, Fly to the Sky, releasing eight full-length albums and producing multiple #1 singles, while garnering various top Korean music awards. Currently, the singer, songwriter, DJ, MC and actor is working on his solo career. He has successfully released two full-length albums and two mini albums: The Brian, Manifold, Unveiled, and ReBorn Part 1, plus a #1 single, “Kajima (Don’t Go).” In another highlight, Unveiled landed on the iTunes R&B charts in the US, Canada and Japan. He released the Korean version of “In My Head” and performed it live with Jason Derulo, and has collaborated with other international artists such as Jade Valerie. In 2011, Brian starred in the Korean production of the musical Rent.
KOREAN SINGER (VEGAN)
Heather Park, the Seoul Diva, was discovered in Manhattan, New York City by the program director of the leading hip-hop/R&B radio station Hot 97. Soon launching her career with the record label Stush Music, the singer-songwriter has since gone from strength to strength: Her 2005 debut album Dream in Pictures won international recognition. In 2007, her ballad “Leave Me To Dream” was featured in the soundtrack of Michael Kang´s feature film West 32nd starring John Cho and Grace Park. Heather has performed throughout the US and the UK. Her second album, Stay, highlights her own unique style blending various genres of R&B, hip-hop, soul, and folk. Heather is a yoga practitioner and vegan.
AWARD-WINNING BRAZILIAN SINGER
Born in Poços de Caldas, Brazil, Fabiana Passoni began singing when she was 6 years old, taught by her father. After running a successful music school in her hometown, she moved to the United States where she developed her own unique musical style. With joyful rhythms and a velvety, rich Brazilian voice, Fabiana was named Best Brazilian Female Singer living in the US by the Brazilian International Press Awards´ 2012 Colégio Eleitoral. With 3 albums produced so far, Fabiana´s songs are a combination of jazz fusion with the older rhythms of Brazil such as bossa nova, baião and samba. With passionate interpretations, her live performances are a celebration of Brazilian soul and culture – rich in percussion and expression with a relentless zeal for life.
Born in Iran, Siavash Shams is a Persian superstar, pop icon, singer, songwriter, composer and record producer who has sold over 1 million albums and performed at sold-out venues around the world. He has produced 7 successful albums. The first, Hamsayeha, has been reported to be the #1 bestselling Persian album of all time. In 2003, three English tracks on The Voice placed him on the 46th Grammy nomination list. With a distinctive style, dance and vocals that have shaped a whole generation of Iranian pop and R&B, he was one of the first Persian artists to modernize Middle Eastern music by blending in Western rhythms. He was the first Persian artist to top Eurodance and Latin pop charts at MP3.com. Based in California, Siavash has won the hearts of fans across cultural borders.
CHINESE PLATINUM POP STAR (VEGETARIAN)
One of the premier Hong Kong Cantonese female pop singers, Kay Tse has been praised by the media as the “Grassroots Singing Queen.” She is known for her remarkable vocal range and skillful ease with various styles, including pop, alternative, rock, jazz and soul. From her first chart-topping 2008 song, “Wedding Invitation Street,” she has produced one acclaimed album after another, such as Binary and Yelling, and her live concert tours are always well-received. Honored with Hong Kong’s prestigious “Media Award – Performer” for her exceptional number of collective wins across the categories, the platinum artist’s career is an extraordinary success story. Also a songwriter, actress and model, Kay Tse performs in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.
Ho Quynh Huong
AULACESE SINGER (VEGAN)
Ho Quynh Huong from Âu Lac (Vietnam) is beloved by audiences as well as acclaimed by professionals. Her CDs and DVDs have consistently topped the major charts. Called the “Queen of Awards” for her wins both at home and internationally, she is a 3-time winner of the Yellow Apricot Awards’ Most Favorite Pop Artist, 5-time winner of Blue Waves Awards’ Most Favorite Singer, and Blue Waves Awards’ Most Favorite Singer of the Decade. In 2006, readers of Cinema & Theater Magazine voted her as “New Generation’s Diva.” Ho Quynh Huong has been invited to perform in over 20 countries across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, including for the Asia Pop Music Festival in South Korea, and the Southeast Asian Games closing ceremony in Laos. Ho Quynh Huong is an animal-loving vegan who participates in humanitarian endeavors.