Featuring Pulitzer and Tony Winner Michael R. Jackson, Violinist Lady Jess, Artist Anne Patterson, and the Continuation of “Hermitage @ Booker” Series with Singer/Songwriter Reggie Harris
The Hermitage fall season will span North Sarasota down to Boca Grande. The diverse and expansive programs include previously announced events with playwright Donnetta Lavinia Grays and celebrated visual artist Anne Patterson, plus newly announced events with returning Hermitage Fellows Lady Jess, violinist and soloing member of Beyoncé’s band; Hannah Hasan, poet and storyteller; Michael R. Jackson, author of Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning A Strange Loop; and a new season of “Hermitage @ Booker” launching with popular Singer-Songwriter Reggie Harris.
(September 6, 2022) — Kicking off its 20th Anniversary Season, the Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) announces new community programs in October and November with acclaimed Hermitage Fellows in music, theater, visual art, dance, literature, and more. These newly added programs are presented on the Hermitage’s historic beachfront campus as well as outdoor venues throughout Sarasota County as part of the Hermitage’s ongoing partnerships with Gulf Coast organizations, such as the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Booker High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Sarasota Art Museum, and The Ringling Museum of Art.
On October 6th, the Hermitage returns to the Conservation Foundation’s Bay Preserve in Osprey to present a joint program with violinist Lady Jess – an equity advocate as well as a world-renowned musician who tours with pop icon Beyónce – and poet and community leader Hannah Hasan. Fresh from a collaboration in North Carolina that lifted the voices of Charlotte’s Black female artists, this incredible duo will share words and music inspired by their experiences living and making work in the United States and around the world. Hosted on the beautiful grounds of the Gulf Coast’s Bay Preserve, these visionary creators share their talents and speak to how art can shape the individual self, as well as the communities we build.
October programming continues with returning Hermitage Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael R. Jackson, following his acclaimed Broadway debut with A Strange Loop, which won the 2022 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. In a conversation moderated by Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg, Jackson will delve into the inspiration and influences that have shaped his work thus far and what is on the horizon for him, including his fascination with iconic soap operas and the way they have shaped our cultural narrative. Presented on the Hermitage Beach as the sun sets on October 21st, don’t miss your chance to hear from one of the most exciting minds writing for the American theater today. Audience members are invited to come early and experience an open studio with acclaimed visual artist ektor garcia whose multifaceted work explores materials such as leather, ceramic, metal, and found objects.
Hermitage events in October conclude with a joint program focused on music with composer Nkeiru Okoye and multi-instrumentalist performer David “Doc” Wallace. Celebrated internationally for her African Sketches, which have been described by MusicWeb International as “impressionistic pictures of great beauty,” Okoye is one of the leading African-American female composers. Joined by the chair of Berklee College of Music’s String Department David “Doc” Wallace, whose performance style has been described by The New York Times as “Jimmy Page fronting Led Zeppelin,” the two bring equally accomplished and varied perspectives on the art of music. The pair will share selections from current and past work and discuss their creative process in an audience Q&A on October 28th at 5:30pm on the Hermitage Beach.
November brings the continuation of the “Hermitage @ Booker” series that was launched last year with theater legend Paula Vogel and jazz musician Luke Stewart. This second season of “Hermitage @ Booker” kicks off with a main-stay of the international folk music community and returning Hermitage Fellow Reggie Harris. An artist who uses music to entertain, educate, and build community throughout the world, Harris will visit a Booker music classroom to spend time with the remarkable students there before offering a public outdoor performance that evening, which will be open to the community on Friday, November 4th at 5:30pm. Harris is a nationally celebrated Hermitage alumnus who delivers a message of joy, unity, tolerance, and peace through the powerful medium of music.
November also includes a new Hermitage program presented in partnership with longtime collaborators, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Returning Hermitage Fellow Richard Kennedy is a genre-defying creator working across dance, opera, and visual art. In a program combining performance and conversation, Kennedy reveals selections of past and upcoming work while also providing contextual insight, currently slated for the evening of Wednesday, November 2nd; further details and registration information to follow.
The new fall programs above are in addition to previously announced Hermitage offerings in September. These include a virtual play reading and conversation with theater and television writer Donnetta Lavinia Grays, presented in collaboration with Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative on Monday, September 19th, as well as an in-person event at the Sarasota Art Museum with celebrated visual artist Anne Patterson. The outdoor event with Patterson on Friday, September 23rd will now also be available via live-stream.
Additional fall community events are in development with Sarasota’s Resilient Retreat, the YMCA of Englewood, the Englewood Art Center, and more.
(Full program details for all events are provided below below.)
On Saturday, November 12th, the Hermitage hosts the annual Artful Lobster: An Outdoor Celebration. Now in its 14th year, this signature event raises valuable funds for the Hermitage’s renowned artist residency program. The Artful Lobster is the only Hermitage benefit to take place on the grounds of the historic Gulf front campus – outdoors from 11:30am to 2pm beneath a large tent – located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. Michael’s On East offers a luscious lobster feast, with performances from renowned Hermitage Fellows. Tickets for this fundraiser and sponsorship details can be found at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
Additional November and December programs will be announced at a later date.
“As we kick off our 20th Anniversary Season, we are incredibly excited for the dynamic range and scope of our fall program line-up, which speaks to the expansive diversity and creative talents of our renowned Hermitage Fellows,” notes Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “Each one of these hour-long outdoor events is going to be a completely different experience, offering our community a rare glimpse into innovative works in process. We are grateful to our partners and collaborators throughout the region, who help us to expand the geographic reach and impact of our Hermitage programming. We look forward to introducing the work of these visionary artists to thousands of new and returning audience members this season for these truly one-of-a-kind events.”
Nearly all Hermitage programs are free and open to the public (with a $5/person registration fee), offering Gulf Coast audiences a chance to engage and interact with some of the world’s leading talent. Due to capacity limitations and social distancing, registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage hosts artists on its Gulf Coast Manasota Key campus for multi-week residencies, where diverse artists from around the world and across multiple disciplines create and develop new works of theater, music, visual art, literature, and more. As part of their residencies, Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs, offering audiences in the region a unique opportunity to engage with some of the world’s leading artists and to get an authentic “sneak peek” into extraordinary projects and artistic minds before their works go on to major galleries, concert halls, theaters, and museums around the world. These free and innovative programs include performances, lectures, readings, interactive experiences, open studios, school programs, teacher workshops, and more, serving thousands in our regional community each year.
See below for complete program details and artist bios.
For more information about the Hermitage and upcoming programs, visit HermitagArtistRetreat.org.
FULL PROGRAM DETAILS
Previously announced program descriptions:
- “Kudzu Calling” A Play Reading and conversation with Hermitage Fellow Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Monday, September 19 @ 7pm ET: Presented in Partnership with Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, Hermitage Fellow Donetta Lavinia Grays’ play Kudzu Calling is an interweaving of poems and moments which seek to expand and complicate the Southern narrative – a celebration of Black Southern Love, Black Southern Queerness, Black Southern Playfulness, Culture, and Spirituality. It is the playwright’s love letter to the place that made her. Join the Hermitage Artist Retreat and Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative to experience excerpts from this work performed live on Zoom, followed by a candid conversation with the playwright. Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ Hermitage Residency is generously sponsored by Charlotte and Charles Perret. This event is presented in partnership with Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/household registration fee). Presented on Zoom.
- “Scale and Beauty” A Conversation with Hermitage Fellow Anne Patterson, Friday, September 23 @ 5:30pm ET, Presented in Partnership with Sarasota Art Museum. Acclaimed Hermitage Fellow and multi-disciplinary artist Anne Patterson’s work ranges from vast, cathedral-filling beauty to smaller, evocative watercolors alive with moment-to-moment discovery. With an eye informed by her experience as a set designer, her art invites viewers to inhabit new worlds, sometimes literally encouraging people to interact with a given piece. Patterson’s work has been exhibited at The Ringling Museum and commissioned by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Join the Hermitage and Sarasota Art Museum for a conversation about the unique way Anne’s creations burst into life and what is next for this visionary creator. Moderated by Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. This event is presented in partnership with Sarasota Art Museum. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 Now Also Available to join via Live-Stream.
Newly announced program descriptions:
- “Violin and Voice” featuring Hermitage Fellows Lady Jess and Hannah Hasan, Thursday, October 6th @ 6pm at Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Bay Preserve: Celebrated violinist, arts leader, and advocate Lady Jess combines talents with award-winning poet, storyteller, and community leader Hannah Hasan in this dynamic program. Fresh from a collaboration in Charlotte, North Carolina that lifted the voices of that city’s Black, female artists, this incredible duo will share words and music inspired by their experiences living and making work in the United States and around the world. Presented in partnership with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, join us to hear from these inspired creators. This event is presented live and outdoors with social distancing in partnership with Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Bay Preserve, 400 Palmetto Ave, Osprey, FL 34229
- “As the Musical Turns: A Soap Inspiration,” with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winner Michael R. Jackson, Friday, October 21st @ 6pm: For many, the trials and tribulations of characters on any number of contemporary soap operas have been constant companions for years; we laugh at their antics, cry at their heartbreaks, and scratch our heads at their improbable circumstances. In the hands of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winner Michael R. Jackson there is more than a quickly accessible story in soap operas; there is cultural insight with a biting wit. Funny and irreverent but always quintessentially human, hear from Michael on how soap operas and other sources of inspiration have shaped his work in a candid conversation moderated by Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. This program is presented live, outdoors and socially distanced. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd. Englewood, FL 34223
- “Composition to Performance: Music Start to Finish” with Hermitage Fellows Nkeiru Okoye and David “Doc” Wallace, Friday October 28th @ 5:30pm: Like many art forms, music begins in the imagination of one creator, is documented on paper, and later interpreted by a completely different individual. But perhaps more than any other artform, musical creation, notation, and performance is simultaneously codified and constantly evolving. Hear from two exceptional practitioners on the process from start to finish. Nkeiru Okoye’s work is performed around the world, welcoming and affirming traditional and new audiences alike; David “Doc” Wallace is the chair of Berklee College of Music’s String Department whose performance style has been described by The York Times as “Jimmy Page fronting Led Zeppelin.” This program is presented live, outdoors and socially distanced. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd. Englewood, FL 34223
- “Hermitage @ Booker: Reggie Harris and the Power of Music” Friday, November 4 @ 5:30 pm: Returning Hermitage Fellow Reggie Harris believes that music has the power to unite, the power to uplift, and the power to heal. An international leader in the folk and acoustic music scene for more than 40 years, Harris brings all his skill and charm to Booker High School and is inviting the community along for the joyful ride. Join this incredible musician and storyteller to rediscover the essential power of music to move us all. Presented outdoors and socially distanced in the Booker Highschool courtyard in partnership with Booker High School VPA. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Booker High School Courtyard, 3201 N Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34234
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
The Hermitage is a non-profit artist retreat located in Manasota Key, Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local community, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 15 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition.
For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage is supported by:
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by The State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
ALL ANNOUNCED HERMITAGE PROGRAMS:
Monday, September 19 @ 7pm, “Kudzu Calling,” with Hermitage Fellow Donnetta Lavinia Grays (Presented virtually on Zoom)
Presented in partnership with Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative
Friday, September 23 @ 5:30pm, “Scale and Beauty,” with Returning Hermitage Fellow Anne Patterson (Live and outdoors at Sarasota Art Museum)
Presented in partnership with Sarasota Art Museum
Thursday, October 6 @ 6pm, “Violin and Voice” with Returning Hermitage Fellows Lady Jess and Hannah Hasan (Live and outdoors at Bay Preserve in Osprey)
Presented in Partnership with Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
Friday, October 21 @ 6pm, “As the Musical Tunrs: A Soap Inspiration,” with Returning Hermitage Fellow Michael R. Jackson (Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Beach)
Friday, October 28 @ 5:30pm, “From Composition to Performance: Music from start to Finish,” with Hermitage Fellows Nkeiru Okoye and David “Doc” Wallace” (Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Beach)
Wednesday, November 2, Evening, Hermitage Fellow Richard Kennedy at The Ringling Museum; additional details to be confirmed.
Friday, November 4 @ 5:30pm, Hermitage @ Booker Series – “Reggie Harris and the Power of Music,” with Returning Hermitage Fellow Reggie Harris (Live and outdoors at Booker High School)
Presented in partnership with Booker High School VPA
HERMITAGE FALL BENEFIT: “The 2022 Artful Lobster: An Outdoor Celebration”
Saturday, November 12 @ 11:30am; Sponsorships and tables now available.
COMPLETE ARTIST BIOS
(in chronological order of upcoming programs)
Donnetta Lavinia Grays
Hermitage Fellow Donnetta Lavinia Grays – raised in Columbia, South Carolina – is a Brooklyn-based playwright and actor whose writing credits include Where We Stand (Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and AUDELCO Award Nominations; World Premiere Co-Production – WP Theater and Baltimore Center Stage; Warriors Don’t Cry (TheaterWorks USA/Bushnell commission), Last Night and the Night Before (World Premiere – Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Kilroy’s List; Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award Winner); Laid to Rest (O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist); The Review or How to Eat Your Opposition (WP Pipeline Festival; O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist), The New Normal, and The Cowboy Is Dying. Donnetta is a recipient of the Whiting Award for Drama, the Helen Merrill Playwright Award, Lilly Award, National Theater Conference Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, and is the inaugural recipient of the doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. Her work has been developed with, Hedgebrook, New Harmony Project, Berkeley Rep, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Labyrinth Theater Company, New York Theater Workshop, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Portland Stage Company, Pure Theatre Company, [the claque], Naked Angels, Classical Theater of Harlem, Slant Theater Project, terraNova Collective, and TOSOS. In 2018, Donnetta founded Gap Toothed Griot (GTG) as a home for her particular brand of storytelling. Through GTG, Donnetta is currently under commission with True Love Productions, Steppenwolf, The Denver Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and WP Theater. For television, she has been staffed on Spectrum Original/Lionsgate’s Manhunt, Y: The Last Man for FX Network/Color Force, and is currently the Executive Story Editor on Joe vs. Carole starring Kate McKinnon for NBC Universal.
Hermitage Fellow Anne Patterson is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. Her body of work consists of paintings, sculptures, and large-scale multimedia installations that combine sculpture, architecture, lighting, video, music, and scent. Drawing from her background in theater and opera set design, she uses these modalities to create an artistic practice, hovering somewhere between the visual, experiential and immersive. Patterson’s large-scale installations have filled cathedrals, office buildings, and galleries across the country with miles of fabric, aluminum ribbon, and metal birds. Her most recent installation, “Art for Earth,” commissioned by the fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna, was made of thousands of lengths of fabric repurposed from Zegna fabrics. Anne has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at The Ringling Museum and Alfstad & Contemporary. Her work has been shown at The Trapholt Museum, Denmark; Cristina Grajales, New York; Scope Art Fair, Miami; Aqua Art Fair, Miami; Building Bridges Art Exchange, Los Angeles; Valerie Dillon Gallery, New York; Denise Bibro, New York; Cade Tompkins Projects, Providence, RI and One Twelve Gallery, Atlanta. Her paintings and sculptures are in private, public, and corporate collections across the USA (Tishman Speyer, Tribune Media, Nortek, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, Rhode Island Blue Cross) and in London. Anne’s theatrical and symphonic partnerships have included Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Arena Stage, The Wilma Theater, The Kennedy Center, Alliance Theater and prestigious symphonies throughout the country (San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle). Patterson was the 2014 and 2016 CODAaward Winner for Liturgical Art and received a Creative Capital Award in 2008. She is a proud Fellow of the Hermitage Artist’s Retreat. In Sarasota, her work has been exhibited at The Ringling Museum and commissioned by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Patterson received her B.A. of Architecture from Yale University and her M.F.A. in Theater Design from The Slade School of Art, London UK.
Hermitage Fellow Lady Jess performs regularly in New York City and Los Angeles. She is the Artistic Director and lead violinist of the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (UPCO) in New York, leads strings under the baton of Darin Atwater’s Soulful Symphony in Baltimore, and is a regular session musician in Los Angeles. She is a soloing member of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s band and has toured with the superstar. Artist credits include collaborations with Stevie Wonder, The Roots, J.Lo, Max Richter, Alicia Keys, Imagine Dragons, Hans Zimmer, Diana Ross, Spike Lee, Miley Cyrus, Stewart Copeland, Terence Blanchard, Jay Z, Solange, and more. TV credits include: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (with The Roots), Saturday Night Live, and more. Recent projects include the Emmy-nominated documentary Homecoming with accompanying live album, the “On The Run II Tour” with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the Grammy-nominated joint album Everything Is Love, and the soundtrack to Disney’s re-released The Lion King with Hans Zimmer. As a session musician in Los Angeles, she can also be heard on the soundtrack of Charlie’s Angels, It II, and more. While in LA, Lady Jess also performs with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, most recently for performances of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Disney Pixar’s Coco Live. In 2021, she served as contractor and concertmaster for the Academy Award-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah. For a complete Bio: LadyJessMusic.com
Hermitage Fellow Hannah Hasan is an award-winning spoken word poet, speaker, and storyteller who believes that our stories can set us free. With themes that center around home, social justice, racial justice, women’s rights and more, Hasan is often commissioned to write and perform, present keynote addresses, and facilitate workshops for events, conferences, and meetings. Some of the organizations that she has had the pleasure of creating art for include The Office of Community Services, Coffee Cup People, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, Verizon, The Arts for Biden National Campaign, Levine Museum of the New South, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Promise Neighborhoods of Lehigh Valley, Brown University, Davidson College, City University of New York Journalism School, and many others. Hasan has a specialized talent for creating safe and brave spaces for audiences. She has been awarded grants, fellowships, awards, and accolades for her work from organizations like The Arts and Science Council, Mobilize.Org, The Knight Foundation, Citizen’s University, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, and more. She also serves on multiple community advisory boards for organizations such as The Charlotte Symphony, Levine Museum of The New South, and The Charlotte Observer.
Michael R. Jackson
Michael R. Jackson is a returning Hermitage Fellow and the recipient of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and New York Drama Critics Circle winning musical A Strange Loop (which had its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions) was called “a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins” and a “gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies” by Ben Brantley for The New York Times. In addition to A Strange Loop, Jackson also wrote book, music, and lyrics for White Girl in Danger. Awards and associations include the New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Obie Award, an Antonyo Award, a Fred Ebb Award, and a Dramatist Guild Fellowship. Jackson is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group.
ektor garcia is a nomadic artist in search of beauty and truth. A multidisciplinary artist, he approaches sculptural installation through wide-ranging experiments with craft techniques and materials. Throughout his practice, he develops a lexicon of crochet, weaving and fibre-work, including the use of ceramic, metal, leatherwork, found materials, and the principles of assemblage and social sculpture. garcia received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014, and his MFA from Columbia University, New York in 2016. He was included in the Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art in 2019, the 2021 La Trienal at El Museo del Barrio, and Prospect 5 in New Orleans. garcia has exhibited at institutions and galleries including Foxy Production, New York (2020); Etage Projects, Copenhagen (2020); Luhring Augustine, New York (2019); Progetto, Lecce (2019); Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen (2019); Sculpture Center, New York (2018); Museum Folkwang, Essen (2018); LAXART, Los Angeles (2018); Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara (2018); Salon ACME, Mexico City (2017); The New Museum, New York (2017); Kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2016) amongst others.
Hermitage Fellow Nkeiru Okoye is an American-born composer of African American and Nigerian ancestry. She was born in New York, NY and raised on Long Island. After studying composition, music theory, piano, conducting, and Africana Studies at Oberlin Conservatory, she pursued graduate studies at Rutgers University and became one of the leading African American women composers. An activist through the arts, Okoye creates a body of work that welcomes and affirms both traditional and new audiences. Her works have been commissioned, performed and presented by Detroit Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera North UK, Mt. Holyoke College, Juilliard School, Houston Grand Opera, the American Opera Project, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony, Tanglewood Music Festival, Virginia Symphony, Tulsa Opera, Royal Opera House, Da Capo Chamber Players, Cellist Matt Haimovitz, Pianist Lara Downes, Soprano Louise Toppin and many others. Her works include Briar Patch, Inside is What Remains, Black Bottom, We’ve Got Our Eye on You, Voices Shouting Out, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom, Charlotte Mecklenburg, Songs of Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley, African Sketches, and The Creation. Among her honors are a Hermitage Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the inaugural International Florence Price Society award for composition, a Beneva Foundation award, composer grants from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, many awards from ASCAP, the Yvar Mishakoff Trust for New Music, and the National Endowment of the Arts. An educator, Dr. Okoye has taught Master Classes and Composition Classes in colleges and Universities throughout the US including University of Michigan, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Denver, Old Dominion University, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, The New School, Spelman College. Dr. Okoye’s music has been recorded on Albany Records, MSR Classics, Le Chateau Earl Records, and Rising Sun Music. Her works are published by Theodore Presser Music and Carl Fischer Music. They are available throughout the world. For a full bio, visit: NkeiruOkoye.com
David “Doc” Wallace
David “Doc” Wallace improvises like “Jimmy Page fronting Led Zeppelin” (New York Times). Whether playing classical viola for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Texas fiddle with The Doc Wallace Trio, klezmer fusion with Yale Strom’s Broken Consort, new compositions with Hat Trick (his flute-viola-harp trio), or six-string electric viola at heavy metal shows, Wallace is at home in front of an audience. Around the globe, musicians have widely adopted the ground-breaking approaches of his book Engaging the Concert Audience: a Musician’s Guide to Interactive Performance (Berklee Press). Wallace’s broadcast credits include NPR, PBS, KTV (Korea), Tokyo MX, WQXR, CBS, and ABC. He has recorded for Bridge Records, BIS, Innova, Tzadik, Resonance Records, and Mulatta Records. An award-winning composer, Wallace’s commissions for original compositions and arrangements include the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, the Marian Anderson String Quartet, and violinist Rachel Barton Pine. Currently Chair of Berklee College of Music’s String Department, David previously enjoyed a fourteen-year tenure as a Juilliard professor and seventeen years as a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist. Learn and hear more at DocWallaceMusic.com
Hermitage Fellow Reggie Harris has been a vital part of international folk and acoustic music circles for over 40 years. He is a songwriter, a storyteller, songleader, educator and a Kennedy Center teaching artist who travels the world presenting over 300 performances a year spreading hope and light through song to audiences of all ages. As Co-President and Music Education Director for the Living Legacy Project, he leads pilgrimages to sites of the Modern Civil Rights movement in the southern US. Reggie’s solo CD Ready To Go was the #5 CD on the Folk DJ charts for 2018 and his collaboration Deeper Than the Skin with fellow artist Greg Greenway has led to a growing movement of “courageous conversations on race and history across the nation. He is an artist who entertains, educates and builds community throughout the world. For a full bio, visit: ReggieHarrisMusic.com
Hermitage Fellow Richard Kennedy (b. 1985, Long Beach, CA) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. He has choreographed for SSION & Chino Amobi as well as collaborated on projects with NOWNESS, Nicopanda, and Hercules & Love Affair. Richard wrote You Can Shine (MR. INTL) and For Some Reason (Crew Love) before releasing his debut EP Open Wound in a Pool of Sharks (Sweat Equity, 2016). He presented two operas, Black Rage and Comeuppance at Signal in 2016. In 2017, he presented the ballet Both at Artists Space, From.Under.Above at MoMA PS1, and Everything is gonna be Ok at Danspace. In 2019 he received his M.F.A. from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College in Music & Sound.HermitageArtistRetreat.org