Joining the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn are the following fine performers and musicians:
Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus
Artistic Director and Conductor
BCC is a neighborhood based group of singers who have been performing in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene neighborhoods for over thirty-five years. We employ professional vocal and instrumental soloists for our performances. Our music ranges from works in the great choral tradition, to Gilbert and Sullivan, to settings of hymns and spirituals, to contemporary music.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Aaron Williams holds a B.S. in Music Education in Choral Music from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and a Masters in Music Education from Queens College. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he was a music teacher at Portage North Junior High School, Director of the choir at Portage Congregational Church in Portage, Michigan, and Artistic Director of the Kalamazoo Male Chorus in Kalamazoo, Michigan. While teaching in Michigan, he also conducted musical theater productions and major choral works. He moved to New York City in 1980 and began a career as a free-lance singer in the Greater New York area. He has worked as a singer, accompanist, conductor and composer/arranger. He is presently accompanist for the Lafayette Avenue Inspirational Ensemble and Artistic Director of The Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus. Mr. Williams' work with The Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus has included Mendelssohn's Elijah, Schubert's Mass in G, Rossini'sStabat Mater, Faure's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Coronation Mass and Regina Coeli, Handel's Messiah, Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and Trial By Jury, and many other traditional and contemporary works.
Band Leader (16-Piece Jazz band)
Matt Podd is a pianist, composer, arranger, music director, and band leader based in Brooklyn, NY. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College. As a pianist Matt specializes in jazz, gospel, pop, musical theatre, and choral accompaniment. He has appeared on stage with some of New York City's finest musicians at Town Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Symphony Space, the 92nd Street Y, Rockwood Music Hall, and Shapeshifter Lab.
He has also worked behind the scenes as an arranger and orchestrator for such world-class acts as the Boston Pops, The New York Pops Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt, Reneé Fleming, Kurt Elling, the Young People's Chorus of NYC, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Time for Three, to name a few.
His arrangements have been heard across America and throughout the world including performances at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, P.B.S. the White House, Caramoor Music Festival, the 92nd Street Y, Symphony Space, and beyond.
Jamal Jackson Dance Company
The mission of Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC) is to translate the creative vision of Artistic Director Jamal Jackson into choreography and educational tools for use in performances, workshops and community outreach that will teach people about the connection between African and American cultures.
Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC) was founded in 2004 with the purpose of fusing various traditional African dance styles with Modern and Hip Hop techniques and diverse contemporary music styles in order to create a new, unique technique that is relevant to a multifarious community of Americans. The movement and storylines of JJDC choreography focus on redefining ideas of community and blurring divisive lines, while still celebrating the beauty of individual cultures. Jackson has a strong desire to not only entertain and educate an audience, but to pass on dance to people of all ages, which he does through regular dance workshops throughout the year. In keeping with the strong mission, the company has worked on youth outreach programs with Berean Baptist Church youth drum line, Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, and Leadership Prep Ocean Hill. The dancers of JJDC have donated their time to working with the students and choreographers to impart dance training, as well as discipline, professionalism, work ethic and self-confidence.
Jackson Dance Company has established a strong presence in and out of New York City, performing year round in festivals, self-produced shows, community outreach programs and private events. The company’s work has been presented at venues including: Mark Morris Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, NYC Summerstage Concert Series, DanceNow Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Battery Downtown Dance Festival, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brown University, The Brooklyn Museum, Equality Now’s 20th Anniversary, Big Range Festival in Austin, TX, The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, and Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, NY.
Ms. Cumberbatch is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She is the daughter of the great baritone saxophonist, Harold Cumberbatch. He named her Donna Lynn after Miles Davis' composition, "Donna Lee", made famous by Charlie Parker. The stage was set for her musical voyage. Tulivu is a name taken from Tanzania which translates to peaceful, tranquil and serene.
Ms. Cumberbatch studied music formally at Manhattan Community College and Herbert H. Lehman College. Informally she listened and learned first and foremost from her mother as well as from her mentors, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and other masters.
She has worked extensively with trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe (formally Hannibal Peterson) as the featured vocalist. She has performed two of his symphonies, "Children of the Fire" and "Flames of South Africa". She has also performed his suite, "Fannie Lou Hamer" with the Kronos Quartet and his ensemble piece , "Love Poems to God" with dancer/choreographer, Dianne McIntyre. Other artists with whom Ms. Cumberbatch has worked with are: John Hicks, The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Donald Smith, Onaje-Allan Gumbs, Anthony Wonsey, Diedre Murray, Winard Harper, Stanley Banks, Curtis Lundy, Lonnie Plaxico, Steve Wilson, Andy Bey and Romero Lubambo to name a few. She currently works with her own Magnificent Trio as well as freelance with the Ray Abrams Big Band, The Baritone Saxophones, The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and other artists. Ms. Cumberbatch has toured extensively in such places as the Caribbean, Europe, Russia Canada, Japan and the United States of America, and has won numerous awards for her outstanding performances in the entertainment field. The awards were given to her by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, the Brooklyn Borough President's Office, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office the Fresh Fruit Festival and the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium.