Robert Bynum is a Philadelphia-born entrepreneur and jazz advocate. He’s responsible for creating some of the city’s most iconic jazz venues and restaurants in partnership with his brother, Benjamin Bynum. Current ventures include Warmdaddy’s, Relish, and SOUTH, which features regional, national, and international jazz acts nightly, as well as award-winning southern cuisine—it was lauded as one of the city’s top 50 restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine. His next restaurant, Green Soul, will feature healthy southern cuisine and feature a wide variety of musical acts, poetry, book readings, and other community-minded debates and discussions.
David B. Devan joined Opera Philadelphia in 2006 and was appointed general director and president in 2011. His strategic vision, innovative artistic mind, and tireless advocacy for opera have helped secure Philadelphia’s place as a hotbed for collaborations with companies around the world. In 2001, Devan founded the American Repertoire Program, which firmly cemented Opera Philadelphia’s role as a national leader in the creation of new works. He also created the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater, the country’s first ever collaborative composer program meant to “foster the growth of tomorrow’s great operatic composers.” Devan, a native of Canada, attended Brock University in Ontario and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program. Prior to his work with Opera Philadelphia, he was the Executive Director of the Pacific Victoria Opera from 1998 to 2005.
Bill Johnson is the general manager of WRTI, Philadelphia’s classical and jazz station, where he served as station manager for 16 years before his 2017 appointment. Johnson’s focus is on increasing service to listeners and forging strong relationships with the jazz community, including bringing the work of local jazz musicians to Philadelphia’s airwaves via live performances. An avid lover of classical music and jazz who has played the trumpet for 40 years, Johnson believes that jazz is for everyone, that jazz should be everywhere, and that it’s an art form that provides a model and inspiration for social change. He currently serves on the board of the International Society for Improvised Music and has also served on the boards of WYBE and the African-American Jazz Caucus of the International Association for Jazz Education. Johnson is also a veteran corporate and foundation relations specialist who has held top positions at both Temple University and at his alma mater, Cornell University.
Roger LaMay is a 30-plus year broadcast veteran who joined WXPN in January 2003 and is responsible for the overall operations of the station including fundraising, programming, and marketing. During his tenure, WXPN forged a long-term partnership/distribution agreement with NPR and NPR Music, moved and expanded its annual summer music festival, and launched its popular Free at Noon live weekly concert series in a unique partnership with World Cafe Live, the performance venue named for XPN’s flagship program located in the same building. From 2015-2017, LaMay served as Chairman of the Board of National Public Radio. Previously, he served as GM and News Director of Fox29/WTXF-TV in Philadelphia where he created its award-winning news program The Ten O’Clock News. He holds an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A from Skidmore College.
Frank Machos is the Executive Director for the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of The Arts & Academic Enrichment and has also served as the district’s Director of Music Education. He relocated from his native New Jersey to Philadelphia, where he received a B.A in Music Composition and an M.A. in Music Education at the University of the Arts; he also holds an M.A. in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Before transitioning to administrative roles, Machos taught music at Grover Washington Jr. Middle School and later at School of the Future, specializing in instrumental music. His focus has been on expanding innovation in music education by integrating popular and contemporary music, technology, and college and career skill development. He’s also the founder of the community-centered nonprofit Limelight Arts, which develops and supports artists of all ages, abilities, and interests. He remains active in the Philadelphia music community as a saxophonist, performing with a variety of musicians and performing artists, covering a wide range of musical genres, and enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons.
Sara Moyn is a Philadelphia arts consultant. Most recently, she served for 15 years—from 2001 to 2016—as the producer of Evening Programs for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she set records for attendance and reaching diverse audiences. She also curated an eclectic weekly performance series for community audiences that featured jazz, world music, dance, and the occasional film. While at PMA, she secured funding to commission and premiere numerous new works in a variety of disciplines. Several of her programs were later performed across the country, including at The Kennedy Center. Research and professional development grants have sent Moyn to festivals and conferences in Israel, Spain, Switzerland, France, Turkey, Morocco, India, and Cuba. After leaving the PMA, Moyn volunteered for the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and The Creative Economy, The Kimmel Center, and The America Reads program.
Terell Stafford is a world-renowned trumpet player and educator based in New York. He’s roundly recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player who combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford was born in Miami and first picked up the trumpet at age thirteen to study classical music. He was raised in Chicago, Illinois and Silver Spring, Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988. He also holds a Masters of Music from Rutgers University. Along the way, Stafford received advice and support from fellow trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who remains a friend and collaborator. Stafford has had a robust and storied career as an award-winning and sought-after performer, and he’s the founder and bandleader of the Terell Stafford Quintet. Stafford also serves as the Director of Jazz Studies and the Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University and is the managing and artistic director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia.
Ernest Stuart is a Philadelphia-born trombone player that fell in love with jazz early. He eagerly pursued music throughout his adolescence, sometimes with—and sometimes without—his family’s knowledge. At various points in his jazz education, he surreptitiously signed up for band classes on his own (though he worried his mother could not afford to buy him an instrument), spent his high-school-service-worker wages on trombone lessons, and meted out as much time playing in jazz clubs as he did attending class while he was getting his music degree from Temple University. After a post-college stint in New York, Stuart returned to Philadelphia to continue his recording and performance career, including several years spent playing and touring internationally as part of the band Red Baraat. He also threw time into founding and producing the Center City Jazz Festival, now in its 7th year. He tours regularly as part of the house bands for international acts, as well as playing and producing his own original music.
Naturally gifted, yet highly trained, Ohio native Laurin Talese has been captivating audiences with her voice since the age of ten. After attending the Cleveland School of the Arts, Talese received a degree in jazz vocal performance from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. She is the 2018 winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition. Although her greatest affinity is for jazz, she performs in many genres and has worked with numerous American recording artists including Jaguar Wright, Bilal, Robert Glasper, and Vivian Green. Talese has also worked with German superstar Joy Denelane and has shared the stage with renowned classical and jazz ensembles such as The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Jazz Heritage Orchestra, The Moses Hogan Chorale, and the internationally acclaimed Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, Austria. In addition to her prowess as a vocalist, Talese is also a gifted songwriter. Her debut album, “Gorgeous Chaos,” features Owens and Blackstone alongside Robert Glasper, Vivian Green, Josh Lawrence, Christian McBride, Christian Sands, Eric Wortham II, and more. She’s toured extensively with the U.S. and around the globe and is committed to supporting other artists who make Philadelphia their home.
Anthony Tidd is a Philly transplant, and the child of Trinidadian parents, who was born and raised in London, England. He attended the Newham Academy of Music (London), Guild Hall (London), Thurrock College of Music (Grays), and Goldsmiths University (London), but his true music education took place during his 24 years (and counting) stint with jazz alto saxophonist and McArthur genius Steve Coleman. Tidd has had the pleasure of working with a number of celebrated names, including Greg Osby, Vijay Iyer, Talib Kweli, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Meshell Ndegeocello, Common, Jill Scott, De La Soul, David Byrne, Frank Ocean and many others. In 2002, he released his critically acclaimed debut, “The Child of Troubled Times,” with the band Quite Sane. He has written works for everything from small ensembles to full orchestras such as The Buffalo Philharmonic. Tidd is a Grammy Award winner and has produced records for multi-platinum artists such as The Roots, Macy Grey, Zap Mama, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, and Jill Scott, and he’s composed scores for major film and television projects including Jay Z’s recent Paramount/BET docuseries, “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.” Tidd has taught at a number of prestigious institutions including NYU, The New School, the University of Chicago, UCLA, BANFF, Berklee, Engelsholm, The Pavarotti Center, Lincoln Center, The London South Bank and The Royal College of Music. He’s also is also a master lecturer at University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the creator/director of its Creative Music Program, Jazz Camp of Philadelphia. In addition, he’s the curator of Meet the Masters and of popular Philly concert series Sittin’ In, all at the prestigious Kimmel Center, where he currently serves as the Jazz Artistic Advisor.
Jay Wahl is the Producing Artistic Director at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. Along with curating and producing hundreds of shows each year, including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Christian McBride, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, and more. Wahl is also the creative force behind the biennial Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Since it’s inception, PIFA has grown to become one of the most innovative and high-profile art events in the city, featuring special projects from artists like Vijay Ayer, Amir ElSaffar, and Robert Glasper. Wahl also founded the Kimmel Center’s Jazz Residency Program – now in its 6th year. This program has commissioned and premiered new works from over 15 Philadelphian Jazz musicians in an effort to provide opportunities for local artists to create the future of Jazz. Wahl has a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and was a co-founder of Hidden City Philadelphia, an organization, and festival dedicated to helping Philadelphians explore the lesser-known spaces and histories of one of America’s oldest cities. He’s dedicated to finding innovative ways to produce high-caliber performances that delight, inspire, and challenge diverse audiences throughout the region.