WHO WE ARE
Marika Hughes (Founder and Director) is a native New Yorker, a cellist, singer, and a storyteller on The Moth. She grew up in a musical family - Marika’s grandfather was the great cellist Emanuel Feuermann, and her parents owned a jazz club,Burgundy, on the Upper West Side. As children, she and her younger brother were both regulars on Sesame Street, and went to the beloved Manhattan Country School. Marika continued her education in the double degree program at Barnard College and the Juilliard School, graduating with BAs in political science and cello performance, respectively. Marika has worked with Whitney Houston, Lou Reed, Anthony Braxton, David Byrne, Adele, Henry Threadgill, D’Angelo, Anaïs Mitchell, Stew,
Idina Menzel and Taylor Mac, among many others. She was a founding member of the Bay Area-based bands 2 Foot Yard (Two Foot Yard, Tzadik 2003 & Borrowed Arms, Yard Work, 2008) and Red Pocket (Thick, Tzadik 2004). And she is a master teacher and director for Young Arts. Marika has self-released three albums: The Simplest Thing (2011), Afterlife Music Radio (2011) and New York Nostalgia (2016). She happily leads her bands Bottom Heavy and The New String Quartet on extended tours of NYC.
Marika lives in the countryside of Kings County.
Rashaan Carter grew up in the Washington D.C. area. It was there, with the nurturing of his father, a saxophonist, and his mother, a jazz radio programmer, Rashaan forged an interest in music. After stints with various instruments, the bass became the voice for his musical expression. Rashaan worked and gained experience in the local scene in Washington D.C. and after high school, he moved to New York City to attend the New School University. At the New School, Rashaan studied with Buster Williams and Reggie Workman. While attending the New School he also began to work with many of the faculty including Joe Chambers and Jimmy Owens, among others. Since moving to New York Rashaan has become entrenched in the jazz scene and has worked with Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller and Louis Hayes, Wallace Roney, David Murray, Ravi Coltrane, Geri Allen, Henry Threadgill, Marc Cary, Cindy Blackman, Doug and Jean Carn, Antoine Roney, Sonny Simmons, and many more. He's also studied with one of his prime influences, Ron Carter. Rashaan regularly performs with a myriad of artists in and outside of New York and can be found on various recordings as well.
Willa Folmar is a theatremaker and photographer. She’s been making plays for 25 years. Sometimes she’s in them, creates things for them, writes them or directs them. Other times she keeps everybody on tour alive and in good spirits. Willa studied Political Communication and Theatre at Davidson and Emerson Colleges. She’s been an Ambassador for the BSO, Dramaturgical Costume Assistant on Showtime/Fox21’s Homeland, and a teaching artist for Writers Without Margins, a Boston non-profit expanding access to the literary arts. Since 2016, Willa’s worked extensively on Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which has taken the company to The Melbourne Festival, CAP UCLA, Berliner Festspiele, The Curran SF, ITA, and everywhere in between. She's since collaborated with Nature’s Darlings as the Associate Director of Taylor Mac and Matt Ray’s The Hang and as Assistant Director of Bark of Millions. Through Pomegrante Arts, Willa worked with artists including Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Bassem Youssef. She's also collaborated on projects for the Under the Radar and Onassis Festivals. Willa is interested in the ephemeral, the spectacle and the durational.