Cécile McLorin Salvant is a composer, singer and visual artist. The late Jessye Norman described her as “a unique voice supported by an intelligence and full-fledged musicality, which light up every note she sings”. Cécile has developed a passion for storytelling and finding the connections between vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the world, theatre, jazz and baroque music. She is an eclectic curator, unearthing rarely recorded, forgotten songs with strong narratives, interesting power dynamics, unexpected twists, and humour. Cécile won the Thelonious Monk competition in 2010. She has received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album for three consecutive albums: The Window, Dreams and Daggers and For One To Love. In 2020, she received the MacArthur fellowship and the Doris Duke Artist Award. Cécile had her debut Nonesuch records release Ghost Song in 2022; the album went on to receive two Grammy nominations. Mélusine, an album mostly sung in French, along with Occitan, English, and Haitian Kreyòl, was released on 24 March 2023.
Dan Tepfer has earned an international reputation as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging innovation, individuality and drive—one “who refuses to set himself limits” (France’s Télérama). Born in Paris to American parents, Dan has recorded and performed around the world with some of the leading lights in jazz and classical music, from Lee Konitz to Renée Fleming, and released 11 albums of his own in solo, duo and trio formats. He earned global acclaim for his 2011 release Goldberg Variations / Variations, a disc that sees him performing J. S. Bach’s masterpiece as well as improvising upon it to “elegant, thoughtful and thrilling” effect (New York magazine). His 2019 video album Natural Machines stands as one of his most ingeniously forward-minded yet, finding him exploring in real time the intersection between science and art, coding and improvisation, digital algorithms and the rhythms of the heart. His 2023 return to Bach, Inventions / Reinventions became a best-seller, spending two weeks in the #1 spot on the Billboard Classical Charts. During the global pandemic, Dan dived headlong into live-streaming, performing close to 200 online concerts. As part of this effort, he pioneered ultra-low-latency audio technology enabling him to perform live through the internet with musicians in separate locations, culminating in the development of his own app: FarPlay.
Thomas Enhco, born in Paris in 1988, is a pianist and composer of jazz and classical music. Since training at the CMDL and the Paris National Conservatory, he has achieved international recognition, recording for Verve, Deutsche Grammophon and Sony Music, and performing around the world at jazz festivals in Tokyo, Montréal, Vienna, Montreux, Istanbul and New York, and concert halls such as the Philharmonie de Paris, Bordeaux Opéra, Brussels Flagey, La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Salzburg Mozarteum, Théâtre du Châtelet, Beijing Concert Hall, Kyoto Concert Hall and Sapporo Kitara Hall. His most recent album releases include Thirty, which includes his own piano concerto (Sony Classical, 2019), Bach Mirror (Sony Classical, 2021), Funambules in duo with virtuoso percussionist Vassilena Serafimova (Deutsche Grammophon, 2016), Feathers (Verve, 2015) and Fireflies with his jazz trio (Label Bleu, 2012). As a jazz pianist, Thomas performs both solo and in ensembles, including a duet with trumpeter David Enhco, his brother. His unique improvisations of jazz standards, pop songs and melodies by great classical composers, as well as his own compositions, are universally praised by audiences and critics. Since 2013, Thomas has been supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation.
Piers Playfair is the Artistic Director of the 23Arts Initiative, which he founded with his wife Lucy in 2011. The 23Arts Initiative is a US-based non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting world-class performing artists and programmes. 23Arts has a history of presenting year-round artist residencies, community outreach, educational visits and both pop-up style as well as traditional concert hall performances spanning across countless unique locations and venues. Featuring internationally recognised artists across all genres with a focus on classical, jazz, gospel, and blues, the mission of 23Arts is to provide a platform for the creation of new forward-thinking and ground-breaking independent productions.
Piers' work at 23Arts has included the curation of programmes and major productions for multiple venues and festivals, including the Fisher Center at Bard; the Kings Theatre, Brooklyn; the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx; and, The New Generation Festival, Florence.
Together with Max Fane and Roger Granville, Frankie Parham co-founded The New Generation Festival, a music, theatre and opera festival that showcased emerging talent, in Florence, Italy and partnered with the 23Arts Initiative. They also established Andermatt Music and co-founded Mascarade Opera, an Italian charitable foundation which runs a performance and training programme in collaboration with Teatro La Fenice in Venice designed for the career development of the world’s most promising young singers and répétiteurs. Frankie read Classics and Russian at the University of Oxford after which he studied Law at both SOAS and BPP University in London and qualified as a solicitor with White & Case LLP