WHO WE ARE
Marika Hughes (Co-Founder and
Co-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). 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. marikahughes.com
Tanya Kalmanovitch (Co-Founder and
Co-Director) is a Canadian violist,
ethnomusicologist, and author known for her breadth of inquiry and restless sense of adventure. Trained at the Juilliard School, her work as a violist bridges classical, jazz and experimental improvised music and has been profiled in Jazz Times, DownBeat, and the New York Times. She is an Associate Professor at Mannes College at The New School, Affiliated Faculty at the Tishman Environment and Design Centre, and a faculty member at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Tanya’s uncommonly diverse interests converge in the fields of improvisation, social entrepreneurship, and social action with projects that explore the provocative cultural geography of locations around the world. Based in Brooklyn, her layered artistic research practice has been rewarded with extended residencies in India, Ireland, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Siberia. She is currently touring her one-woman show Tar Sands Songbook, a live performance that uses music and storytelling to examine our personal relationships to oil and climate change. Her work on Tar Sands Songbook was recognized with a nomination to the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, and her being named as one of the Grist 50 Fixers, a diverse group of innovators with solutions to climate change. tanyakalmanovitch.com/
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 expe-rience in the local scene in Washington D.C. and after high school, 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 influ-ences, 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 is a graduate of Emerson College
where she studied Theatre and Political Communication and was a Creative Pro-ducing Fellow at ArtsEmerson. Previously, Willa was the Rupert T. Barber Memorial Theatre Scholar and President of her class
at Davidson College. She's served as
a Collegiate Ambassador to the BSO,
a costume assistant on Showtime/Fox21’s
Homeland, and since 2016 has worked
for Pomegranate Arts, an independent
production company dedicated to the
development of international performing arts projects. Willa has worked extensively on Taylor Mac’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. She has managed projects domestically and internationally at The Melbourne Festival,
LIFT (Barbican Centre), Montclair Film Fest-ival, Theatre at the Ace Hotel, and The
Curran Theater, among many others. Willa
has a background as a teaching artist, specifically developing acting and story-telling workshops for young people and elders in a variety of settings ranging from public schools to city halls. As an intern for Without Margins, a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to expanding acc-
ess to the literary arts for those isolated by the challenges of addiction recovery, tra-uma, poverty, and mental illness — Willa co-lead free, collaborative writing workshops aimed to foster community and give voice to the systematically silenced.