Sunday, September 7, 2008

Arts and Entertainment


Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson is a Staten Island native who has taken a new road to musical success. Ingrid started her career hoping to work on Broadway but after an epiphany she had after 9/11 she decided to change her focus. Taking the unconventional route to stardom Ingrid decided to find her place in the music industry without the assistance of a record label.

She self released an album and created her own MySpace page featuring her music. As fate would have it the tunes on her MySpace page were heard by a company associated with the television show "Grey's Anatomy". Not long afterwards one of her singles was featured on the "Grey's Anatomy" soundtrack and Old Navy used her track "The Way I Am" for one of its commercials.

Some of the proceeds from her single and new album "Be OK" will be donated to Stand Up For a Cure. Within the next few months she will be opening at Madison Square Garden for Dave Matthews Band at the Stand Up for a Cure Concert, touring with Jason Mraz in Europe and then headlining her own tour throughout the United States including a stop in her hometown of Staten Island.

Ingrid's Website (including a sample of her music)

Ingrid's MySpace Page


Jonathan Russell

Jonathan Russell is not your typical 13-year-old. Russell, a Suzuki trained violinist has toured in Hungary with Bohem Ragtime Jazz Band and in the spring of 2008 received a special award from the U.S. Embassy for his role as a cultural ambassador.

Jonathan's love affair with the violin began at only 18 months old when he was shown a picture of a violin. By the time he was seven he was playing in New York City nightclubs, usually with traditional or Dixieland ensembles. When he was nine he performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In 2005 he won Best Improvisation for string players under 13 in the American String Teachers Association's Alternative Styles competition. He became the youngest jazz musician ever invited to play in a master class at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2006. He was recently invited to perform with Wynton Marsalis as a part of Lincoln Center's Nursery Swing Series. He also will make his European Debut soon at the Bohem Ragtime and Jazz Festival in Hungary. Jonathon has already released two CD's.

In addition to learning his music by ear Jonathon also reads and writes his own music. He can easily adapt to most forms of Jazz but prefers the Traditional, Dixieland and Swing genres.

Jonathon is currently a seventh grader at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan and enjoys, as most kids his age, playing video games in his spare time.

Jonathon Russell online


Amy Neswald

Amy Neswald is a writer and director. Her first screenplay, Toast, won Fearless Production's screenplay contest in 2001. In 2005 she won the Screenwriter's Challenge, beating our 336 other writers. She is a resident director of The Working Artist Theater Project.

Since 2005 she has written a number of other feature length and short screenplays and has started her own production company, The Famous Nesdini Sisters Productions. Her company is dedicated to the development and promotion of unique female voices in theater, film and television.

Ms. Neswald currently has a several screenplays, essays and films out and is currently in pre-production for her latest project, "Solitare" about an alcoholic minister who marries for money and finds solace in the card game.

Ms. Neswald believes that an interesting person makes interesting art and hopes to continue what she is doing for as long as she can.

Read more about Amy


Christopher Geo

Nineteen-year-old Christopher Georgetti, an aspiring singer, songwriter and actor, has dreamed of being a performer all his life. When he was in the fourth grade he developed his love for music by playing the alto saxophone in his elementary school band. Since then he has performed for a number of bands and choirs. He is able to play the Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Guitar, Piano, and Various Percussion Instruments.

Despite his immense instrumental talents his main focus is on his voice. Christopher currently attends the Mason Gross School of Arts. At the school he is training to be an opera singer and is studying Vocal Performance.

He has performed in many productions which include The Who's Tommy (Captain Walker), Hot Mikado (Nanki-Poo), The Wiz (The Lion), The Pirates of Penzance (Major-General Stanley), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Master Nick Cricker/Deputy), Papermill Playhouse's New Voices Concert 2006 (Ensemble), and made his opera debut as Cochenille in The Tales of Hoffmann. Christopher recently made his NJPAC debut this July as Ben Franklin in 1776. In 2005 and 2006 he was nominated by Papermill Playhouse's Rising Star Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayals as Major-General Stanley and The Lion.

Christopher aspires to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House. When he is not in rehearsals or studying, he enjoys writing music and poetry.

Read more about Christopher.



Jay Greenberg

The world was first introduced to Jay Greenberg in 2004 when Julliard professor Samuel Zyman discussed the then 13-year-old's musical and composing talents during an interview with "60 Minutes". Zyman highly praised Greenberg saying that Greenberg's potential placed him in the company of Mozart, Medelssohn and Saint-Saens.

Greenberg was born in 1991 in Connecticut and began playing the cello at the age of 3. He later taught himself how to play the piano and began taking lessons in theory and composition when he was seven; by the age of ten he enrolled as a scholarship student in both the college and pre-college divisions of the Julliard School of Music.

Overall Greenberg has written over 100 pieces of music including solo piano pieces, sonatas and symphonies. As a 16-year-old Greenberg has achieved a series of musical "firsts". He is the youngest composer to ever sign exclusive contracts with IMG Artists and Sony Classical. His first CD, which was released on August 15, 2006 includes his Symphony NO. 5 featuring the London Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Jose Serebrier), and his Quintet for Strings performed by the Julliard Sting Quartet and cellist Darrett Adkins.

Greenberg's works have already been played by orchestras across the United States including the Pittsburgh and New Haven Symphony Orchestras and he recently completed a tour through South Korea. His Quintet for Strings has been performed at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. He also recently was commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke's to write a one movement violin concerto for Joshua Bell. This concerto premiered at Carnegie Hall on October 28, 2007.

Currently his most famous piece is his Overture to 9/11. This symphony received first prize in the composition competition at the Julliard pre-college division in 2003; he won ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers awards in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Jay Greenberg's website.