Artistic Director of Proyecto Teatro
A native of Mexico City, Luis moved to Austin at a very young age and flourished artistically under the tutorship of his mother; a trained dancer from the prestigious Bellas Artes in Mexico. Luis trained in a variety of artistic disciplines throughout his childhood leading to a concentration in visual arts and music. Years later at the age of 16, due to his talent and dedication, Luis landed his first professional role as co-founder and scenic director of ProyectoTeatro, Austin's leading Spanish-language theater company. Continuing to excel at a rapid rate, he moved up department by department until finally taking helm of ProyectoTeatro in 2007 as Artistic and Executive director; being 21 years of age. Luis has directed over 30 productions, and has had the opportunity to travel to New York City, Mexico, Panama, and Thailand. In 2011 he received the MACC Emerging talent award. His multi-faceted interest in the arts led him to partner with Ballet East in the 2012 summer production of “Hear Me, See Me”, which sparked him to hone his artistry in dance again.
JESSICA ZAMARRIPA, BS, MS
Founder and Artistic Director of The Laredo School of Contemporary Dance
Founding Artistic Director of Nudo Piedi Contemporary Dance Company and Laredo School of Contemporary Dance in Laredo, TX, Ms. Zamarripa is an educator, teacher and choreographer. She is also a part-time Kinesiology Instructor at Texas A&M International University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Dance from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a minor in Fitness & Sports from TAMIU. She is currently applying for doctoral study in dance at Texas Woman’s University.
During her undergraduate years as a dance student, she had the opportunity to train with UT faculty Lyn Wiltshire, David Justin, Andrea Beckham, Kent DeSpain, Mary Chase, Yacov Sharir, and Holly Williams, as well as guest artists from internationally-renowned dance companies from the US, Brazil, and Mexico. She also had the privilege of performing with Ballet East Dance Company under the direction of Rodolfo Mendez, and train with notable teachers and professional dancers such as Francisco Gella, Gina Patterson, Danny Herman, Melissa Villarrreal, and Sharon Marroquin.
In 2008, Jessica moved to Laredo and ever since has strived to secure a reputable place for dance in the community. The last five years have been pivotal moments of her dance career as she has founded both a dance company and dance school, taught dance workshops at UT-PanAm and UT-El Paso, toured Mexico as part of Red Norte Festival de Danza Contemporanea, and most recently receiving her Ballet Teacher Certification from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Moscow.
ZELL MILLER III
Writer, Actor, Poet, Spoken Word Artist
An interdisciplinary theater artist based out of Austin, Tx., Zell Miller III, was the only performance artist selected for 10-1 grant where he was teamed with a City Council person to create an art project in one of the cities 10 districts. He is a company member of Xenogia Spoken Word Collective, HydePark Theater, and the Vortex Theater. He is a board member with The Vortex Rep. Theater. He is an award winning playwright/actor/director. His written many critically acclaimed stage plays such as “My child, my child, my alien child”, The Evidence of Silence Broken, and many others. Zell has worked with youth for over 25 years from youth offenders, to youth to youth living at an international boarding school, and all stops in between. He has been on two slam poetry teams representing Austin, Tx. He was the Artistic Director for The Cipher an organization that worked with youth fro age 15 to 21. He was the Artistic Director of Uprise! Productions. He has been published in Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy. He was selected as the “The Best Writer” by the Austin Chronicle in 2004. Zell continues to work with youth and produce his award winning self-penned original stage plays. He was awarded by the Ace After School program for best instructor in 2007 for his work with youth. Zell has worked and taught workshops nationally and locally.
Songwriter & Musician
Dan is a self taught multi-instrumentalist with a special emphasis on classical guitar & ukulele, and has been playing since his preteens. His unique approach to musical catharsis ranges from surreal & somber, gracious & peaceful, to whimsical and profound, but always resonates with a thoroughly illusive yet captivating & imaginative composure. His particular affinity for finger picking, major chord variations, as well as alternate tunings, spans a lifetime, overlaps genres, and blends together in mind boggling harmony, to create a fascinating panacea of musical depth for any open minded listener to enjoy!
"The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself"
-Ludvig van Beethoven-
"I believe that music is a force in itself. It is there and it needs an outlet, a medium. In a way, we are just the medium"
-Maynard James Keenan
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it it impossible to be silent"
"It's easy to plan any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play iteself"
-Johann Sebastian Bach
Founder & Program Director, Austin Soundwaves
Patrick Slevin serves as Program Director for Austin Soundwaves, a free, high quality music education program inspired by El Sistema. As Program Director, Patrick shapes the educational and musical vision for the program, conducts its orchestras, teaches sectionals and private lessons, and assists in areas related to development, communications, and program evaluation.
Since founding Austin Soundwaves in 2011, Patrick has grown and developed the program to serve over 100 students in grades 3-11 at three sites in East Austin, Texas. He received degrees in Music and Urban Studies from Northwestern University and subsequently completed the Sistema Fellows Program at NEC. Patrick has taught in more than ten El Sistema programs both in the United States and in Venezuela, and he has conducted the Austin Youth Orchestra as well as the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.
Patrick has worked for The Center for Study of Art and Community, The Center for Civic Engagement at Northwestern University, and the Alexandria (VA) Commission for the Arts. He is a founding board member and chairs the governance committee for the National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs and volunteers with the Austin-based arts advocacy organization, MindPOP. He performs regularly with the Bravos Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Round Rock Symphony, and he has performed with orchestra and in festivals around the country, including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Illinois Philharmonic, Texas Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Castleton Music Festival.
Actor, Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Writer, Performing Artist
Born Jeffery Johnson Jr., Da'Shade grew up on Austin's east side. As a teenager, he was mentored by Zell Miller III, a social worker and performance artist, who encouraged Jeff to develop his artistic nature. Now entering his second decade as a writer, performer and social advocate in his own right, Da'Shade continues to earn awards and notoriety throughout the United States. He also continues to promote positive change in his local community, primarily through the non-profit social services agencies Lifeworks and Southwest Key.
Da'shade has developed a small but growing following in a wide variety of performance venues, including:
- as a founding member and 1/2 of the up-and-coming socially conscious hip hop group, Blacklisted Individuals, along with Snyp.
- as a founding member of Austin's Xenogia Spoken Word Collective, along with playwright and poet, Zell Miller III.
- a multiple time member of the Austin Poetry Slam team, earning the title of grand champion three times- more than any other poet.
- a long time instructor and performer for Austin based, Foundation Stage Combat and UPRISE productions.
- and most recently as the founder and CEO of Cry Havoc Action Choreography, an Austin based stage combat performance troupe.
Blacklisted Individuals is a socially conscious rap duo from Austin, TX. Blacklisted was founded in 2003 and consists of Da'shade and fellow Austin rapper Snyp, who have been performing together since 1998. They are most notable for their top 5 finish on Famecast's 2007 hip hop stage, and performed on the finals stage. They also recently released their first album, Rallying the Wolves. Blacklisted Individuals tours regularly throughout Texas and the southwest.
A 5 time member (and 3 time champion) of the Austin Poetry Slam team, Da'shade is a 2 time team finalist at the National Poetry Slam (2003 & 2008), with the team finishing 3rd both years. In 2003, he also made the individual finals at NPS, finishing with a ranking of 9th in the U.S. In 2007, Da'Shade represented Austin at the Individual World Poetry Slam, and took 8th in the nation.
In addition, he has featured at many venues throughout the U.S., including Chicago's Green Mill, The Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City, and throughout central Texas, including the Hip Hop Theater Explosion.
In 2004, a yet to be released documentary was filmed about the National Poetry Slam in St. Louis. This film featured Da'Shade and other notable members of the national slam scene including Celena Glenn, Tony Jackson, Anis Mojgani, Zell Miller III, and Andy Buck.
- Blacklisted Individuals (EP)
- Rallying the Wolves