Alina Bloomgarden, was originating producer of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Lincoln Center Reel to Real series and Director of Visitors Services for 23 years, where she received the Directors Emeriti Award for outstanding achievement. Proposing that jazz had a rightful place at America’s preeminent performing arts center, she invited Wynton Marsalis to participate as Artistic Advisor, the same role he how has for MOTI. She produced the first critically- acclaimed seasons of Jazz at Lincoln Center, which led to the establishment of jazz as a separate and equal constituent. It has now become her life’s work to galvanize the community of musicians as a force for encouragement and hope in criminal justice.
Leroy Frazer, Jr. served 38 years as a prosecutor in New York City. His first 33 years were under the legendary late Robert M. Morgenthau, as Bureau Chief, Executive Assistant District Attorney for External Affairs and First Assistant District Attorney. He spent four years on the Executive Staff of Cyrus Vance and then became Chief of Staff in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office first under the late District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson and then the Honorable Eric Gonzalez. He recently founded Leroy Frazer Jr. Consulting Inc. to advise public and private entities in areas of public safety reform and strategic initiatives.
Jonathan is an engineer specializing in the design of waterfronts around the world. His projects in New York have included many of the piers in Hudson River Park and the reconstruction of the Rockaways Boardwalk after Superstorm Sandy. He has played trumpet since the 4th grade, and continues to study classical and jazz, playing for his own enjoyment and the occasional entertainment of others.
Candace Leeds has had decades of experience working in leadership roles in both the corporate and nonprofit arenas, specializing in branding, marketing PR and philanthropy. Most recently she has been consulting with the Ronald McDonald House of NY and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. She spent twenty years as VP of Public Affairs at Loews Corporation and over a decade as Executive VP at two major PR firms, the Rowland Company (absorbed by Saatchi and Saatchi) and the PR arm of Grey Advertising.
Judy Gray is a Music Educator and Singer. She taught at the High School of Music & Art and LaGuardia HS for over two decades and many of her students are now well-known musicians and artists. She also served as Assistant Principal of Creative and Performing Arts at Columbus HS in The Bronx, and Supervisor of Music for NYC Summer Schools, and designed and administered after school programs on the Middle and High School levels. As program advisor for MOTI, she designed the Blues curriculum and also taught with MOTI in the prisons.
James Browne is a NYC native who has been engaged in music related activity for more than 40 years. He has worn the hats of radio broadcaster (WBGO, WBAI, Sirius Satellite), has owned, operated or managed NYC music venues (Sweet Basil, Sweet Rhythm) served as personal manager for artists such as vocalist, Claudia Acuna, pianists Renee Rosnes and Andrew Hill, legendary drummer Louis Hayes and many others. He has produced numerous concerts and live events on NYC and international stages. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Jazz Gallery and the charitable Cheswatyr Foundation.
Arturo O'farrill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. An avid supporter of all the Arts, Arturo has performed with Ballet Hispanico, Ron Brown’s Evidence Dance company, and the Malpaso Dance Company, for whom he has written two ballets. Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album CUBA: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition as well as the 2016 Latin Grammy Award (his fifth Grammy) for Best Latin Jazz Recording. In addition, his composition “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia-Tribute to Chico and Bebo also received the Best Instrumental Composition Grammy in 2018.
Ted Poretz is a partner in the law firm Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman. He has a broad range of experience in civil litigation, white collar defense and regulatory defense in the securities industry, and in internal investigations. He started as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and became Assistant Commissioner-Trials of the New York City Police Department where he presided over disciplinary trials of NYPD officers and other personnel and rendered decisions reviewed by the Police Commissioner and the courts.
Judy Stewart is CEO of Creative Sense, Inc.; a management consulting company that has specialized in developing profit enhancing growth strategies for over 50 consumer brands. For the past several years, she has served as the Executive Business Consultant to Hanky Panky, Ltd; the International fashion lingerie brand. Previously, she was the Creator and CEO of Kids R Us/Babies R Us , which grew sales to close to $1 Billion and the President of August Max, a national women’s sportswear special store chain.
Travis Mock is Of Counsel to Pincus Law LLC, a litigation boutique specializing in business litigation, employment litigation, and employment negotiation. He has served as pro bono outside general counsel to a large regional nonprofit and as a founding board member for a non-profit music startup. For many years, Travis led the New York City Bar Association’s Chamber Music Committee, hosting an annual series of classical-music concerts for lawyers and other amateur musicians.