Bunny Book Group
Paul Pesco is an American session guitarist, singer-songwriter, film score composer, and music producer.
After beginning in the music business as a rehearsal technician at S.I.R. Studios in New York, Paul soon found himself playing guitar on Madonna’s self-titled debut album. Throughout the 80s, he was known as one of the go-to session musicians for a host of high-profile artists and has since played with Steve Winwood, Annie Lennox, Chaka Kahn, Al Green, Joan Baez, The System, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, among others. He was the lead guitarist and musical director for Hall & Oates and later toured with Hall’s solo band. In 2001, he served as the musical director and guitarist for Jennifer Lopez.
Andrew Atkinson is a drummer who draws on the beats of his native Jamaica, the percolating rhythms of his childhood home Miami, and the world of jazz that has beckoned and captivated him in all his travels. Known for his gusto and versatility, he has performed on the 2002 Warped Tour with reggae-ska band The Monjees and opened for James Brown at the 2002 Sunfest. He has also performed gigs with Randy Brecker, Gregory Porter, Oz Noy, Arturo Sandoval, Danilio Perez, and Donald Harrison.
Andrew performed as the drummer/percussionist for three seasons of America’s Got Talent. In 2022, he arranged and recorded the drums for the critically acclaimed MJ: The Musical after previously playing on Hamilton and Ain’t Too Proud.
The Nu Haven Kapelye Klezmer Trio is a subgroup of Southern New England’s largest, sassiest, and saxiest Klezmer ensemble. Featuring a blend of big band and Klezmer traditions, the Kapelye plays joyous and foot-tapping arrangements of Klezmer and Yiddish music from Eastern Europe and other locales.
This afternoon’s edition of the Nu Haven Kapelye Klezmer Trio features Dana Astmann on accordion, Will Bartlett on clarinet, and David Chevan on bass.
Dana Astmann is a musical director and pianist who has worked with A Broken Umbrella Theatre, New Haven Theater Company, Yale Cabaret, and Jerusalem Musical Theater Company.
Will Bartlett has over twenty-five years experience as a professional musician and music educator. He has performed with Frank Foster, Lee Konitz, Slide Hampton and Roswell Rudd among others. He is a founding member of the Afro-Semitic Experience and leads his own group, Joy Spring as well as the Will Bartlett Ensemble.
Dr. David Chevan splits his time between teaching, composing, arranging, and performing music professionally. As a composer, Chevan explores the intersection between vernacular cultural music practice and jazz. His compositions and arrangements include music for the Afro-Semitic Experience, a group that merges Jewish and African American musical traditions, the Nu Haven Kapelye, and writing for voice. With the Afro-Semitic Experience he has brought people together to experience the nexus of music, spirituality, and culture in worship spaces, clubs, colleges and at jazz festivals across the United States. He is proud to have served on the board of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation for over 25 years.
Virtuosic pianist Michael King is a Chicago native who began playing drums in his local church band when he was four years old and by the age of 14, came to play piano and organ. Michael is an alumni of Lincoln Park High School and the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory. He was selected to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute and The Ravinia Jazz Scholars program on merit scholarships. In 2021, he won the renowned Luminarts Cultural Foundation’s Jazz Fellowship.
Michael has performed with Bobby Watson, Kevin Eubanks, Dave Liebman, Gary Bartz, Billy Hart, Joel Frahm, Rufus Reid, & Antonio Hart, among others. Currently, Michael is touring internationally with DeeDee Bridgewater, Robin Eubanks, Theo Croker’s DVRK FUNK, Soul Understated, & Marcus Printup.
Tod Hedrick showcases seventeenth-century French music and sonatas by J.S. Bach and Handel, with an interest in unaccompanied repertoire for the viol, including free improvisation, mixture of Renaissance and Baroque music with contemporary folk, and courtly dance music.
Andromeda Turre was raised in a family of Jazz musicians and draws from the genre as both a vocalist and composer. As part of the Jazz community, she was privileged to benefit from the tutelage of icons such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach and Wynton Marsalis.
She studied Theater at The Boston Conservatory and Vocal Performance at the esteemed Berklee College of Music. She was the last Raelette to sing background vocals for Ray Charles before starring in Woody Allen’s Murder Mystery Blues off-Broadway. In Japan, she reigned as “Queen of the Blues” at Tokyo Disney for nearly two years. While there, she produced her first album, Introducing Andromeda Turre, and toured in over 17 countries across Asia and Europe.
Over the last ten years she has performed as a background vocalist on Saturday Night Live and worked with Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Lopez, and Michael Buble. Her original compositions have been used in film, television, and video games. She composed the score and 13 original songs for Lena: Lessons from a Lady, a musical about the life of Lena Horne at Baltimore Center Stage.
Andromeda founded Growing Up Jazz to offer an often-neglected view of American history and an opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion through the arts.
In 2022, she served as Artistic Director for Central Park’s premier Juneteenth Celebration, in addition to curating the music for the national tour of Aquila Theater’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. She hosts her own radio show, Growing Up Jazz, on SiriusXM on the Real Jazz channel every Saturday and Sunday from 11am-5pm EST.
Andre “Chez” Lewis is a pianist, music director, arranger, orchestrator, and music instructor from Detroit, MI currently based in Brooklyn, NY. As a musician, Chez specializes in playing the jazz styles of Harlem Stride to Modern Bebop, Traditional Gospel, Blues, and R&B.
Chez’s career has bridged multiple genres of music including gospel, jazz, and R&B. To date, Chez has worked with several Broadway productions, including Memphis, Motown, Dreamgirls, and Holler If You Hear Me. He has worked with Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, several off Broadway productions, and many jazz and R&B artists including Vivian Green, Chantae Cann, Chester Gregory, and Abiah.
He is the recipient of the 2013 “Rising Star Award” at the 41st annual Audelco Awards For Excellence In Black Theatre and the 2018 “Leroy Applin’s Young Lions Award” at the 19th annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival.
Sonny Step is an R&B/Soul artist from Philadelphia and based in New York City. As a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and writer, he regularly plays with top acts such as Rihanna, Shawn Mendes, Solange Knowles, and Diplo. As a leader, he tours nationally with his own group and is a founding member and leader of the internationally renowned party band, The Hudson Horns.
Charlotte Malin is a violinist, violist, singer/songwriter, teacher, and healer guiding people into direct, communal, and transformational encounters with music based in Northampton, MA. Her offerings and projects include embodied classical concerts called Bach In Your Body, sound healing journeys, vocal improvisation workshops & song circles, and compositional sound projects for dance, film, and podcasts. She is currently working on her first full album of original music, Welcome Home. Malin currently serves as the Viola Instructor at Amherst College.
As a classically-trained violin and viola player, Malin holds cum laude performance degrees from New England Conservatory and Northwestern University. She has collaborated closely with Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, and Kim Kashkashian, and has performed throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Additionally, she has held positions as Principal Viola of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Hartford Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, and the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County WI.