CAST & MUSICIANS

Adam Wade

Voiceovers, Original Director & Writer

Adam Wade (born Patrick Henry Wade, March 17, 1935) is an American singer, drummer and television actor. He is noted for his stint as the host of the 1975 CBS game show Musical Chairs, which made him the first African-American game show host.

 

Early career: Wade worked for a time as a lab assistant with Dr. Jonas Salk on the polio research team. He wanted to pursue a recording career and signed with Coed Records in late 1959. He had his first major hit with a song called "Ruby" in early 1960, a cover of the hit movie song of 1953. Wade was popular in the early 1960s with vocal styling similar to that of Johnny Mathis.[4] In 1961 three of Wade's recordings ("Take Good Care of Her" (#7), "As If I Didn't Know" (#10) and "The Writing on the Wall" (#5) made the Top Ten in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. These songs also made the Top Five of Billboard's Easy Listening (later Adult Contemporary) survey.

 

He released the following albums in the UK: 1961 Adam and Evening, HMV CLP 1451, Adam Wade One Is A Lonely Number, mono Columbia 33SX1501, stereo Columbia SCX3474, both 1962. He also released an EP in 1960, And Then Came Adam, HMV 7EG 8620. "Take Good Care of Her" reached #38 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1961. In 1975, Wade become the first African-American to host a television game show, with the premiere of Musical Chairs. He starred in the production Guys and Dolls in 1978, and hosted the talk show Mid-Morning LA.  On TV he was seen in the soaps "The Guiding Light" and "Search for Tomorrow," and was a familiar presence on the popular black-oriented sitcoms such as "Sanford & Son," "The Jeffersons," "What's Happening" and "Good Times. His handsome face lit up the room and allowed his natural mannerism to take over the scene.1970 to the present. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Wade began to concentrate on acting, and appeared in several of the so-called blaxploitation movies, including Gordon's War. He briefly returned to recording, producing a self-titled album on the Kirschner record label. This was a venture into a more soulful singing genre. It met with moderate success and is still a favorite with his loyal fans. His latest theatrical appearance was with the 2008 touring company of the play The Color Purple. Wade and his wife have a music production firm, Songbird, whose headquarters are in New Jersey.

Ty Stephens

Ivan King

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., Ty is an Award-winning Singer/Songwriter, Entertainer/Recording Artist (Grand Prize Winner Jazzmobile/Anheuser-Busch Solo Jazz Vocalist Competition, NYC, 2006, and First Place Winner R&B/Blues Category of the International Songwriting Competition 2002, for "Somethin’ Strange"), Co-writer and original cast of "From My Hometown", Co-writer/ Producer, Choreographer and Star of the long-running "Shades Of Harlem" revue show, and upcoming "On Kentucky Avenue" (Songbirds Unlimited Productions/StepForward Entertainment); appeared on Broadway in the original productions of "Sophisticated Ladies" and "Marilyn,  An American Fable".  

 

Among many recordings, he is Guest Vocalist, alongside Sax Legend Houston Person, on a jazz disc from bassist Jon Burr, "Just Can’t Wait".  Spring 2010, Ty joined with vocalists from Broadway's The Lion King singing on the recording of the Soundtrack for the World Cup. He has performed/appeared with: Harry Belafonte, Gregory Hines, Phyllis Hyman, Toshi Kubota, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Phoebe Snow, Smokey Robinson, Jon Hendricks; at Carnegie Hall with Liza Minnelli; Natalie Cole, (Laurie Strauss Leukemia Foundation Benefits); Ledisi, Savion Glover, and more; appears regularly in Russia as Guest Artist with Russian drummer Oleg Butman's jazz trio and sax great Igor Butman's Big Band; [with his band, (the) SoulJaazz, just completed their 6th Season at the world-famous Sporting Club in Monte Carlo as the Sporting Orchestra (opening for Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Janet Jackson, Carlos Santana, Steely Dan, Alicia Keys, and Celine Dion, to name a few), and a 2011-2012 tour of Japan with superstar Toshi Kubota's 25 Anniversary "Gold Skool" tour, and embarking on his 4th tour of eastern Russia with his band, SoulJaazz, with the US State Department and The Vladivostok Philharmonic. 

 

Ty's original recordings inlcude "Aquarian Mind", "Deeper In Fantasy" and "Musichameleon", and the band is currently in the studio completing the 4th release "Feels So Good" and a pending Standard Jazz CD. www.tystephensmusic.com, also on Facebook as SoulJaazz, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Myspace and more.]

Cheryl Freeman

Betty Jo Stanton

Cheryl Freeman has electrified and captivated Broadway Audiences and Critics with her original starring roles in "The Who's Tommy" as The Acid Queen; Duke Ellington's "Play On" as Vy-VyMan; "The Civil War" as Bessie, which she was nominated for both the Drama Desk and The Outer Critic Circle Awards. Cheryl has starred in numerous Off-Broadway Productions including "Fame on 42nd Street" as Ms. Sherman and 'Walmartopia" as Vickie Latrell. Cheryl can be heard on all of the above-mentioned Original Cast Recordings.

 

Cheryl is The Muse, Melpomene in Disney's Animated Feature "Hercules" as well as the Cartoon lV Series Other Credts Include: New York Under Cover, One Life To Live, Law and Order-Criminal Intent. Film Credits Include: "Fresh", "Dear Diary"(Oscar Short Winner), "Dead Presidents", "Where God Left HisShoes" and "Mystery Gang". Her One-Woman Show has captivated audiences and critics alike from New York to L.A. Cheryl has toured international sharing her vocal talents in concerts and theatre. She was one of the Stars asked to ·perform in concert for President Bush his wife, The Senate, Congress and Supreme Court at the Ford's Theatre Gala in Washington D.C. in 2008. In 2009, she was asked to return to Washington, D.C. as one of the Stars performing in Concert for the Re-Opening of  The Ford's Theatre and Lincoln's Bi-Centennial for President Obama, The First Lady,  The Senate, Congress and The Supreme Court.  The Other Stars included: Kelsey Grammer, James Earl Jones, Jesse Norman, Richard Thomas, Jeffrey Wright, Audra MacDonald, and Ben Vereen. Sidney Poitier and George Lucas were honored and received The Lincoln Medal. Cheryl grew up in Washington, D.C. and attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music, (in Ohio) as a voice major. After 2 years of study she transferred to Manhattan School of Music( In N.Y.) to complete her last three years of study for a Bachelor of Music Degree. Cheryl is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Board Certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Brenda Braxton

Betty Jo Stanton (Alternate)

Broadway credits include Smokey Joe’s Cafe, a performance that earned her a 1995 Tony Award nomination, the NAACP Theater Award, the city of Chicago’s Jefferson Award and a Grammy Award for Best Cast Album, Other Broadway credits include CHICAGO, Jelly’s Last Jam, Legs Diamond, Cats and the original production of DREAMGIRLS. . She received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Living the Dream” Award given by New York Gov. George Pataki and the Josephine Baker Award from the National Council of Negro Women for her work as founder of Leading Ladies Just for Teens, seminars geared to empowering teenage girls. She can be seen opposite Jennifer Hudson in SMASH on NBC and Nurse Jackie on Showtime. This summer she launches her Act 2…Now What? Seminars to IN-power women over 50 to stay FIERCE in pursuit of their dreams!!

Renée Ternier

Betty Jo Stanton (Alternate), Quincetta

Born in New York, this talent is a formidable force. She has sung as a background vocalist for Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Deborah Cox & Sinead O’Connor among others.  When  she’s not gracing the stage with her singing, dancing & acting talents, she’s the voice behind countless radio commercials & jingles.  Encountering her onstage, you understand that her passion for life and art rings loud and clear!

N'Kenge

Betty Jo Stanton (Alternate)

International Award Winning Singer N'Kenge, was called "Electrifying" by the NY Post in the role of Mary Wells that she originated in Broadway's Smash Hit Motown: The Musical.  Berry Gordy describes N'Kenge as "the most versatile artist I know". N'Kenge was recently seen on National TV singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden.

 

N'Kenge made her Broadway debut in Sondheim on Sondheim singing alongside Vanessa Williams, Barbara Cook, Tom Wopat and Norm Lewis. N'Kenge was seen on TV as a presenter at the 58thAnnual NY Emmy Awards. N'Kenge had the honor to sing at the White House for President Bill Clinton and for the Commander-in-Chief Ball for President Obama, she starred in London’s West End at the Theatre Royal in a tribute to the late great Ray Charles and has done solo engagements in New York at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC in which it was broadcast worldwide by NPR.  

 

This energetic, well-rounded singer was  nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of the leading roles in both the Elton John/Tim Rice Musical “Aida” and in Marion Caffey’s “3 Mo Diva’s” by the Helen Hayes Awards and the Arizoni Theater Awards. N'Kenge starred in the Michael Jackson Tribute Show World Tour and recently made her debut in the leading role of Mother Hare/Circe in The Golden Apple at New York City Center Encores! N'Kenge is consistently seen as a soloist in pop programs with the Indianapolis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Pops Orchestra among others around the globe.

 

N'Kenge is the star, conceiver and producer of Broadway bound musical DAT’S LOVE The Legacy Of Dorothy Dandridge that will open Off Broadway in the Fall at Theatre 80! For more details on tickets and N'Kenge's 2018-2019 tour schedule and recordings, visit her at www.nkengemusic.com

Gabrielle Lee

Betty Jo Stanton (Alternate)

Gabrielle Lee, is a successful performer, actress, vocalist, commercial  model, worldwide guest entertainer and session singer; BFA in Theater Performance, Graduate of William Esper Studio For Actors in NY; at home in popular music, TV/Film and musical theater; Performance and Cabaret Fellows Award Recipient and guest performer of the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center.

 

Gabrielle has taken leading roles in Broadway Nat’l and European tours, Off-Broadway and in Regional Theaters across the U.S. –with performances in Dreamgirls, Blackbirds of Broadway, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, One Mo Time, Showboat, Man of La Mancha, Ain’t Misbehavin, My Fair Lady, Once On This Island, Little Shop of Horrors and more.  Special appearance performances as a backing vocalist for: Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, Marvin Hamlish and the New York Pops Orchestras; Featured backing vocalist with Harry Belafonte U.S. and Abroad.  Gabrielle leads performances and campaigns for Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids, ICCV Haiti International Scholarship Fund (Co-Creator), entertaining troops and veterans, Member of SAG Foundation BookPals; and happy to be an International Ambassador granting wishes with Make-A-Wish Foundation International.  

Andricka Hall

Pauline Pierce

The first thing one notices about Andricka Hall, is her confident, yet available nature.  While watching her perform, there is never a doubt about her knowledge of herself and her effect on her audiences.  That self-awareness stems from years of performing on stages across the globe, and extensive training in all areas of music.  Having done only a few prior shows in theatre; "Women Of A Certain Age, "Long Road Home" and "The Jenny Burton Experience", which won the Mac Award for Best Vocal Group, she is proud to be a part of "On Kentucky Avenue".

 

Andricka, Andricka.com, has recorded/worked with luminaries such as Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Joe Cocker, Taylor Swift,  Jennifer Holiday, Chaka Khan,  J. Geils Band, Annie Lennox, and, numerous others. She is also the off-camera vocal talent  for numerous television/radio jingles, children CD's and, The Cartoon Network.

 

A scholarship to Manhattan School of Music and her attendance at the High School of Music and Arts provided the foundation for this South Carolina native, now residing in NYC. 

Rosalind Brown

Pauline Pierce (Alternate)

Rosalind Brown,

destined to be America’s next singing sensation and household name, has crossed every music boundary from Pop, Soul to Rock and Roll all while creating a performance experience that is magical, sonically eclectic and spiritually empowering. She has toured throughout America and Europe with her raw and dynamic vocals that have been compared to electrifying rocker Tina Turner fused with the soul of Aretha Franklin and the sultry tones of Natalie Cole. Roz has starred on Broadway and Regional Productions including Footloose, Dreamgirls, One Mo’ Time, Ain’t Misbehavin, and Little Shop of Horrors affording her opportunities to work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Neil Simon, and the Late Cy Coleman. Rooted in Gospel music, Roz has soared to the Las Vegas stages performing with famed QUEEN GUITARIST Brian May in the Queen Musical We Will Rock You at The Paris Hotel and with Mr. Las Vegas; comedian George Wallace at The Flamingo Hotel. Roz was the solo opening act for Bob Newhart at Bass Hall in Dallas, TX.

 

Roz has gone beyond music, appearing as an actress in the hit series Orange Is The New Black for Netflix, HBO’s new TV series” The Leftovers” Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” “Law and Order SVU” Third Watch, and All My Children. She has also appeared on; Good Morning America, The Today Show and Rosie O’Donnell Show.  She sang background and shared the stages with Patti Labelle, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Ashford & Simpson, Mary J Blige and Stevie Wonder and is very happy to now be a part of the "On Kentucky Avenue" family.

Jenny Douglas-Foote

Pauline Pierce (Alternate)

Jenny Douglas-Foote is a talented singer born on March 3 19??. Jenny first started dating her husband, composer, producer and bassist Gary Foote in 2004. The couple tided the knot in a ceremony with family and friends on the 28th February 2010. 

 

During her career Jenny has worked with many artists. In 1990 she joined the popular band TOTO were she met her ex husband musician Warren McRae. Toto was a world success. Since leaving the band Jenny has worked with artists such as; Rob Thomas, Cher, Janet Jackson, Moby, John Mellecamp, Joe Cocker, Enrique Iglesias, Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx, Patty Austin (god daughter to Qunicy Jones) Glenn Lewis, Joey McIntyre (new kids on the block) and has even sang with Snoop Dogg at a party! 

 

Jenny Douglas-Foote has become a well known name in recent years due to her work with US mega star P!nk. She has provided live vocals on the Im Not Dead and Funhouse Worldwide Tours. She has gained the love and support of thousands during this time and is a well known and loved member of the funhouse family.

Ramona Dunlap

Pauline Pierce (Alternate)

Ramona Dunlap has performed collaborative and solo performances nationally and internationally for such events and ensembles as ‘Amen! A Gospel Celebration’ with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the ‘Joy of Jazz Festival’ in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 1st ever Capital Jazz Cruise, for the legendary Muhammad Ali’s Tribute Celebration in Louisville, Kentucky, the ‘BET ON JAZZ Music Festival’ in Durban, South Africa, and many more.  She is thrilled to be a part of Jeree Wade’s “ON KENTUCKY AVENUE!”

Jeree Wade

Damita Jo

Jeree Wade burst on the off-Broadway stage in 1983 as star, creator, writer, co-star and producer of the musical, Shades of Harlem, which opened at the Village Gate in New York, in August 1984. At the same time, she formed her present production company, Songbirds Unlimited Productions. She turned Shades into an International touring show creating jobs and opportunities for her company. Then she really went to work creating Jazz Alley, Symphony Suite, Nat King Cole and Mid Life. Jeree was doing well. The only thing that changed was her last name when she married Adam Wade. 

 

Jeree was raised in Atlantic City by her grandmother and commuted regularly to Harlem in New York City to stay with her working parents on weekends and summers from the time she was five. Through her remembrances of shows at the famous clubs from Smalls Paradise to the Club Harlem, she continues to cherish and keep the genre of these exciting productions alive. Like her husband, Adam Wade, she headlined at the Club Harlem in Atlantic City in 1978, ten years after Adam was there in 1968. She is a multi-talented singer, actress, producer and a veteran of the show business trade. She has a Bachelors degree in Theatre Arts from Brown University and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Goddard College. 

Lee Summers

Slappy Black

Lee Summers made his Broadway debut in the original Dreamgirls; he reprised his role in the 2001 Dreamgirls 20th Anniversary with Audra McDonald and Billy Porter. Summers has also performed and at Carnegie Hall and in numerous Off-Broadway and Regional Productions. His TV and film credits include Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order, Malcolm X and more. Summers is also known for creating, co-writing and producing Off-Broadway's From My Hometown (8 AUDELCO Nominations); he is librettist for Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song conceived by Maurice Hines; co-librettist/lyricist/composer for The Funkentine Rapture (NAMT Festival) and librettist/co-lyricist/co-composer for Yo’ Alice: A Hip Hop adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland" and many others. Mr. Summers directed the 2015 world premiere of Acappella: The Musical for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, garnering three NYMF awards. Summers is an alumnus of HBCU Tennessee State University; he holds a BA from SUNY Empire State University and an MFA from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. Summers originated the role of “Slappy Black” in On Kentucky Avenue.

Count Stovall

Homer Paisley

Count Stovall (Homer Paisley) is a 50 year veteran award winning actor and director. Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Driving Miss Daisy, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, “Inacent” Black, A Philadelphia Story. Favorite plays: No Place To Be Somebody, Proof,  Rashomon, Flyin’ West, TV: Madame Secretary, The Good Wife, Army Wives, As The World Turns, Gimme A Break, Law & Order.  Member of The Actor’s Studio and The Ensemble Studio Theatre. 

Donna Clark

Hortense, Assistant Choreographer

Donna Clark has had a long association with the OKA creators, her extended theater family, having worked on previous projects including Shades of Harlem (featured dancer), Café Society (choreographer) and now On Kentucky Avenue (assistant choreographer). Ms. Clark is a native New Yorker who became interested in dance by first exploring all forms of the arts including music and theater. She studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and has worked as a soloist and featured dancer with several modern dance companies in New York and New Jersey. She is currently a principal dancer and associate director of the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company. Ms. Clark holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education from Baruch College, City University of New York with theater credits that include Black and Blue, Porgy and Bess, The Wiz, Children of Eden, Play On!, and Latin Fever.

Cassandra Palacio

Angel, Dance Captain

Cassandra, a native New Yorker and NY Yankees fan, is excited to be performing again with this production team.  This is her 3rd show with them-they are family now! Cassandra has performed in various musicals throughout her career some are:   Annie Get Your Gun, Sweet Charity (Helene),  Dreamgirls (Joanne), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Durla),  Beauty and the Beast, The Wiz, West Side Story, and she was a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall. Her Television credits include: HBO's  In Treatment, All My Children, Hope & Faith, all  Law & Orders;  Bored of Education and  Prison Life.  Films include:  War of the Worlds, Freedom Land, The Devil Wears Prada. She also performs annually with the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company.   Alphaomegadance.org

Mindy Haywood

Lara

Mindy Haywood, a native of New York, received her training from ballet master Madame GabrielaTaub-Darvash and has studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She has performed and toured in numerous Broadway and Equity staged productions such as You're Welcome America, A Final Night with George Bush, Metropolitan Opera's Romeo and Juliet, Stomp!, Aida, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Sweet Charity and Chicago. Mindy has also performed nationally and internationally as a featured company member with Jubilation! Dance Company and Clive Thompson Dance Company. Her television credits include HBO's Stomp! Out Loud, the Academy Awards (Oscars) and All My Children to name a few. She is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful cast.

Tiffany Webb

Quincetta

Tiffany Webb, a Philadelphia native has been gracing the stage since the age of 2; she entered the performing world through the art of dance.  Having trained and performed with Freedom Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, Philadanco, Kariamu and Company,  Eleone Dance Theater, and Grace Dance Theater, she had chosen her field young.  Post receiving her BFA from Howard University (Musical Theatre), she continued her career as a teaching artist in Philadelphia, Jersey, and now NYC.  Her recent credits include: off broadway-"The First Noel" (Apollo Theater/Classical Theater Of Harlem) and  "Power of Trinity" (The Triad Theater). Concert Dance: NonaLee Dance Theater, ModArts Dance Collective and countless others. Tiffany is most honored to have performed for the "legend" Cisely Tyson (NYC)! Currently, you may find her as a teaching artist, freelancing and running her summer performing arts program in Brooklyn NY.  Tiffany loves her family for their never ending support and the creator for all her Blessings.

Zhana Roiya

Quincetta

Zhara Roiya studied Dance At Alvin Ailey and Morelli Ballet, Worked as a Background singer/Dancer with Major recording & Dance projects both Nationally and Internationally. Dancer choreographer for various industrial corporate events as well as dance events. Artist Roster includes: Taylor Dayne, JT Taylor, Deelite, Lidell Townsell, C&C Soul System, Lisette Melendez, D'Bora, Dave Stewart, Puffy, Mary J. Blige, TRF......Self Employed: Independent Entertainment Professional working in Areas: Voice Overs, Music Contracting: Let me find what you are looking for in one Stop Shopping. Coaching European accents to sing without an accent. Also I can reproduce vocals in any language. Specialties: Singing, Acting, Dancing, Choreographing, Diet and Health & Wellness Passionista. Experience, Brand Ambassador Judy Venn & Associates.  Independent Professional Dancer & Choreographer Indabodymusic,1989 – Present (26 years). Specializing in: Lead and Background Vocal styles ranging from - R&B, Pop, Dance, Opera, Smooth Jazz, Talkappellas, Broadway, Trance, New Age, Vocal Sweeting, Background haromony Layering, Song arrangement.

Khadija Ahmaddiya

Lara

Khadija Ahmaddiya is a native of Philadelphia PA. Upon graduating from the University of the Arts, she joined DanceSpora Contemporary Ballet and NonaLee Dance Theater, performing in several cities throughout the United States. In 2012 she toured cities in Panama with The New Freedom Theater as a guest artist of the International Karate Tournament. Khadija has premiered choreographic works in Philadelphia, New York & New Jersey in venues such as the historic Freedom Theater & Ailey Citigroup Theater. In 2015 Khadija Co-Produced & Co-Directed ‘Smoke Lines’ a full evening of dance, film, and original live music. Under her direction DRIGGproductions received the 2015 New Music USA Project Grant.

Carmen Carriker

Lara (Alternate)

Carmen is currently in the cast of Sophisticated Ladies at the Cotton Club. She is dance captain/actor in Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic at The Liberty Theater. She performs as a soloist with Erica Mancini & Band at O’Neals in NYC weekly. She also performs as the theatrical act CeCeBrownSugah Burlesque monthly in The Pearls & Bo’s Show. She is a former member of Balance Dance Theater and apprentice for Urban Bush Women. Featured in the independent film “Lifted” by Randy Dottin, music video “Postman” by singer Melissa Laveaux, and a featured extra on tv shows“30 Rock” and “Dance Moms”. She looks forward to performing with the cast of “On Kentucky Avenue.”

Gregory J. Hanks

Brick

New York Credits: On Kentucky Avenue (The Triad & Beechman Theatre), A Taste of Chocolate (Midtown International Theatre Festival - Outstanding Musical Production 2012). Select Regional credits include: Oklahoma! (Portland Center Stage), Hairspray (Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Phoenix Theatre), Shades of Harlem (Artists Collective), Dreamgirls (Cohoes Music Hall), and The Full Monty -Horse- (Alexander Kasser Theatre). BFA Montclair State University. LoveLove. Philippians 4:13

Olutayo

Maurice

Nigerian-American, Olutayo (oh.lo͞o.tie.yo) was born with an innate passion for music and performance. Always able to sing and move well, he focused on dance and began training at the age of fifteen under The Venettes Cultural Workshop. Later, he trained at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. Olutayo has performed on many stages including Nassau Colosseum and placing “2nd Overall Vocalist” at The World Famous Apollo Theater at age 19. Olutayo soon emerged as a triple threat starring in and choreographing Off-Broadway productions throughout New York City. In 2009 Olu signed with Bloc Talent Agency, and continued to further his career as a professional dancer. He can be seen in the music videos for Rihanna's "What's My Name" featuring Drake and Toby Love's "Hey" he was also featured in "One Life to Live: Star Crossed Lovers" daytime series. In 2012 he toured with Dublin Worldwide’s “Man in the Mirror” Michael Jackson tribute show as Dance Captain and Company Manager. Olu can be seen in  recent promotional performances with Madonna and Chris Brown and was featured as a principle dancer in Office Max's award winning holiday interactive viral website "Elf Yourself." Olutayo has come full circle and returned to his first love of music with the release of "Acoustic Ascension {LIVE}" the Mixtape ( soundcloud.com/Olutayo) While working on his latest musical project, Olu is ecstatic to have joined On Kentucky Avenue as the role of "Maurice."  Olu is a member of the cast of 2015 NBC’s The Wiz Live.    www.TheArtOfOlu.com

Brian Davis

Goldie

Dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, and teacher, Brian S. Davis began his journey as a performer with the North West Tap Connection in his home town of Seattle Washington under the artistic direction of Dr Darryln A. Smith and Melba Ayco. In the Duo of the Tapoholiks with Seattle native Alex Jackson, he choreographed the show stopping number “I Like The Way You Move,” which won the Seattle 2004 Apollo Star Search and earned the Tapoholiks a spot on the legendary and nationally televised “Showtime at the Apollo”. While competing, Brian attracted the attention of CP Lacey who then offered Brian a spot as the substitute "Executioner" for the Apollo Theater's historic "Amateur Night" competition. In 2005, Brian had the opportunity to dance with Savion Glover in the production of "Dance This" at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, WA.

   

As a graduate of the University of the Arts, he earned a BFA in Modern Dance and a Musical Theater Minor. Brian holds the title of Philly Tap Idol for 2008, and is a former member of Tap Team 2 of Philadelphia under the direction of Robert Burden.  From 2010 to 2015, Brian studied acting and voice with the Lola Louis' Creative and Performing Arts Studio (CAPAS). His Theater Credits include, “My One and Only” Goodspeed Opera House, "Rhythm is Our Business" 14th Theater (NYC), "Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic" Liberty Theatre (NYC)  "On Kentucky Avenue," Triad Theater New York, NYC), Broadway's "After Midnight" on the Norweigian Escape as the Tap Mathematician.

Garrett Turner

Maurice (Alternate)

Garrett is delighted to join the On Kentucky Avenue family! He was recently seen in Acappella the Musical as part of NYMF and as Mr. Franklin/Mr. Venus in Passing Strange at Playhouse on Park. A proud native of Florence, Alabama, Garrett received his Bachelors in Music and Creative Writing from Emory University and his Masters in Music Theatre in London at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on a Marshall Scholarship. Garrett is a spoken word poet, basketballer, and scrabble enthusiast. www.garrett-turner.com

Devin L. Price

Goldie (Alternate)

Devin Price originally from Lansing, Michigan. Recent graduate of Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan (BFA Musical Theatre). Also a recent New York resident. Favorite shows performed include: Jojo (The Life), Ernst (Spring Awakening) Lounge Singer (Dogfight) Carrie, Legally Blonde, and Sweet Charity. Special thanks to God, and his amazing friends and family, and About Artists Agency.

Robert H. Fowler

Brick / Goldie / Maurice (Alternate)

ROBERT H. FOWLER is thankful to return his On Kentucky Avenue family! This native New Yorker’s credits include, Broadway: The Producers, Beauty and The Beast, and Dreamgirls; Film: The Producers and Malcolm X; Television: The Good Wife, Cupid and All My Children. He has worked as Assistant Choreographer for several shows including the Off-Broadway production of From My Hometown, as well as Stage Manager for several productions including the talk show, Qtalk. Robert currently sings with The Coasters, and is also a proud member of Broadway Inspirational Voices. Thank you Ty, Jeree, Adam, Lee and Pearl! Always grateful for what God is doing in my life!! Blessings Always!

Valton Jackson

Maurice (Alternate)

Valton Jackson is a southern boy all the way from Columbus, GA and holds a BA in Theatre from Berea College. National Tours: Joseph … Dreamcoat (Dan, u/s Joseph), Guys & Dolls (Ensemble). Regional: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Ensemble, u/s Frank), Tarzan (Leopard), A Chorus Line (Richie), Jesus Christ Superstar (ensemble) directed by Eric Woodall, Lessons on the A Train (Alonso) directed by Reg E. Gaines, Joseph…Dreamcoat (Judah), Twilight in Harlem (featured dancer) with Ms. Carmen de Lavallade, State Fair (Hank Munson), and Nutcracker: Rated R (Fritz/Male Ingénue). Film & Television: Trial of Barnaby Finch (Shiva), Snooki & Jwoww, and Boardwalk Empire. Valton was recently a swing dancer in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade as well as an actor in Darius Rucker’s music video for “Love Do What It Do”, and in February 2013 he was an underwear model in Adrian Alicea’s “CHRYSALIS” for New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This past February Valton was also a ballroom dancer in Malan Breton’s showing for NY Style Week. Endless love and gratitude to Mama, Devin, friends, and family for all their support. Be sure to check out Valton’s new single “Told” available now on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify.

Frank Owens

Freddie Baxter (Pianist), Original Musical Director

Frank Owens was conductor and pianist for the Broadway productions of Ain’t Misbehavin and Maurice Hines’ Uptown It’s Hot! as well as for the Broadway, Moscow and Kennedy Center productions of Sophisticated Ladies. Other theatrical credits include Black Broadway, Melvin Van Peebles’ Don’t’ Play Us Cheap, Hartford TheatreWorks’ Paul Robeson, Blue Monday Blues and his own Shades of Harlem (also a double CD set which he produced). Mr. Owens was musical director for Tan Manhattan (Chicago Humanities Festival) and for Hotcha Razz-Ma-Tazz (92nd Street Y in NYC). He was resident pianist at Mortimer’s, a trendy east-side restaurant, and performed several seasons at the Hotel Carlyle’s Bemelman’s Bar. In addition, he has been musical director for the annual Tap Extravaganza in New York City, the annual Tap Extravaganza-­‐ Queens at Flushing Town Hall, and hosts an open mic Friday evenings at the Musicians Union, Local 802.

Wilbur Bascomb

Odell Craft (Bass)

Wilbur Bascomb is a well-known and influential NYC bassist. He has been a top recording session musician for over 40 years. He is a NYU graduate and learned his craft in the New York City bands of the top professionals of his ERA. He is famous for his playing on the “Hair” movie score, The Bee Gees “SGT Pepper film score” and the Jeff Beck “Wired” album. Wilbur is also known for his work with, and on the recordings of, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck, Dr. John, Billy Taylor band, Mick Taylor band, and James Brown. 

Richard A. Cummings, Jr.

Vincent Campbell (Keyboards), Musical Director/Conductor

Conductor/Keyboardist was musical director for the legendary Harry Belafonte for nearly 2 decades, and has performed and recorded with Mr. Belafonte, as well as with Noel Pointer, Jon Lucien, Dianne Reeves, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Wayne Shorter, Zubin Mehta, George C. Wolfe and many others.

Damon Duewhite

Styx (Drummer)

Damon DueWhite (drums, percussion) a native of Twin Oaks, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, learned to play the drums at the age of six from his father. At the age of fourteen, he was playing in local bands in the Philadelphia and the New York Tri-State area. Prior to embarking on his first tour with the vocalist Roberta Flack in 1982, DueWhite, attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

 

DueWhite has performed and/or recorded with Rachelle Ferrell, Joe, Branford Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Alex Bugnon, Miriam Makeba, Oliver Lake, Shemekia Copeland, David Linx, Chico DeBarge, Joan Osborne, George Duke, Roberta Flack, Grant Green Jr., Vernon Reid, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Chuck Berry, Regina Carter, Nona Hendrix, Johnny Clyde Copland, Johnnie Johnson, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Carla Cook, Jonathan Butler, James McBride, Sarah Dash, Mick Taylor and Harry Belafonte. He also performed in the first U.S. tour of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk" and was a member of the national tour of the Tony Award-nominated blues revue “It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues” and worked on the Tony Award winning Broadway Musical “The Color Purple.”  DueWhite is currently working with the multi-platinum, European recording artist Axelle Red.

 

He has performed in a number of music festivals around the world, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz in Tokyo Festival, Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris, Australia’s Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, International Jazz Festival of Bern, Switzerland, Bastia Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Long Beach Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Fort Meade Jazz Festival and the Capital Jazz Festival. Along with his countless performances in the United States, DueWhite has toured Africa, Australia, South America, Japan, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean.

 

He has also appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Black Entertainment Television/BET Jazz Central, the Pat Sajack Show, VH-1 and CBS This Morning.

David Silliman

Styx (Drummer)

Drummer and percussionist, David Silliman's middle name should be versatility. Whether accompanying song stylists such as Mariah Carey, Cassandra Wilson, and Blossom Dearie or playing with Colombian Harpist Edmar Castaneda or Guitarist Al DiMeola, David's exciting rhythmic energies add color and mood to any musical performance. He's also comfortable playing in the pit of a Broadway show or with the New Jersey Symphony.  David has over 30 years of experience. His performances have taken him to concerts and festivals in Italy, Vienna, Berlin, the North Sea, Monterey, Uruguay and Lithuania.

Dion Parson

Styx (Drummer)

Dion Parson is an educator, composer, and one of New York’s finest, GRAMMY-award-winning

drummers. Born on June 11, 1967 on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Parson’s musical foundation

ranges from classical, reggae, calypso, jazz, African, and pop music. While his first musical instrument was

the trombone, at age 15 Parson discovered he had a greater interest in the drums. He received a grant from

the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts to study at Interlochen Music Academy in Michigan, and was later

selected to represent the USVI as a drummer in the McDonald’s All-American High School Band. Parson

later attended Rutgers University in New Jersey where he studied percussion with Keith Copeland and

William Moersch. He received a BM in Music Education in 1990 and his Masters in Jazz Performance in

2012. Parson also studied with master drummer Michael Carvin who remains his mentor.

After graduation, Parson moved to New York where he quickly became part of the jazz scene, playing with

a wide variety of artists, including such greats as Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander, Jon Faddis, Geri Allen,

Lee Konitz, Dianne Reeves, Wycliffe Gordon and Cyrus Chestnut. Parson has performed globally in Asia,

Europe, Canada, the West Indies, Africa, and the Middle East. He has also recorded for several major labels,

including Columbia, Sony, Gramavision, Arabesque, Blue Note, High Five, Verve, Enja, Koch Records,

and Concord Records. His first record as a leader, 21st Century, was recorded on Tahmun Records with coleader

Ron Blake, and in 2001, he recorded his first solo effort People Music.

In 1998, together with Blake, Parson founded 21st Century Band, a jazz band featuring the rich musical

traditions of jazz fused with the rhythms of his native US Virgin Islands. Under Parson’s leadership, 21st

Century Band is paving the way for Caribbean Jazz, making their first two live recording at the prestigious

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2010 and 2012, with special guest Terell Stafford and

Marcus Printup. And in June 2016, as an homage to their musical cultural heritage, they released the studio

CD St. Thomas.

In addition to his established presence on the jazz scene, Parson has also performed on Broadway with the

musical Color Purple. As an educator, he has taught at several educational facilities, including Rutgers

University, Harlem School of the Arts (NY), among others. Since February of 2005 Dion has been the

drum/percussion instructor at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Jazz for Teens program,

Stevens Institute of Technology: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, the Conservatory of Amsterdam and since

2012 as an Artist in Residence at the University of the Virgin Islands, where he conducts clinics, workshops,

teach private lessons and theory classes, directs student ensembles and performs.

Always passionate in giving back to his community, in 2009 Parson founded the program “Mentoring

Through the Arts of Music”, under the auspices of United Jazz Foundation, of which he is President. United

Jazz Foundation (UJF) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to identify, educate, and mentor students

who aspire to begin a career in music, as well as developing program curriculum (Pre-K through High

School) which consists of activities and experiences through music with the intent to insure developmental

changes in children within their cultural context as well as to create a safe environment in which the

children of the US Virgin Islands can experience and learn about their own local heritage and aspects of

life outside of their community, which inspires them to blossom and become more confident as they focus

on the learning process and achieving their dreams.

This summer his performing career and educational aspirations came together through the successful

summer program “21st Century Band Jazz Institute”, under the direction of Ron Blake, at the Snow Pond

Center for the Arts in Sidney Maine.

Dion Parson endorses Sakae Drums, Dream Cymbals, Evens Drum Heads, Reunion Blues – Quality gigbags

and cases and Regal Sticks by Calato drumsticks.

Lafayette Harris, Jr.

Keyboards

Respected as a pianist’s pianist by many musicians and fans, Lafayette Harris, Jr. released his 7th CD, Bend To The Light, featuring Lonnie Plaxico and Willie Jones III in 2015. It got very positive reviews and went to #25 on the JazzWeek Charts. In May of 2016 Lafayette will release CD #8: Hangin’ With The Big Boys.

 

In 2014 and 15 Lafayette is worked with the heading to Broadway production: Shuffle Along, which opened in April 2016

 

In his career his performed with the Duke Ellington Legacy Orchestra, Houston Person, Max Roach, Ernestine Anderson. He was the last pianist for Mr. Roach and Ms. Anderson before they stopped performing.

 

Lafayette is featured on the Oct 2014 release by Mr. Person: “The Melody Lingers On”.

His original composition: “You Can’t Lose With The Blues” has been getting lots of airplay!

 

After earning his degree at Oberlin Conservatory (‘85) Lafayette arrived to NYC in 1985 and by the early 90’s had become a regular in NYC clubs as well as on the European jazz festival circuit.

 

From 2011 to 2013 he has taught and performed in Asia and made many new fans in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Seoul, Fukuoka and Fukushima.

 

Lafayette conducted and played in the smash hit Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk in the late 90’s. 

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