“WaFoo,” which is made of two Japanese kanji-characters “Wa” and “Foo,” stands for “Winds of Japan” or “Japanese style.” The prototype of this music ensemble was formed in 2001 by four Japanese musicians, under the concept of “Beauty of the music across the East and the West.” After a numbers of performances praised by many audiences in New York area, in 2004, the ensemble added more talents to broaden the scope of artistry and became WaFoo.
WaFoo is not only a performance group but also a group of active award-winning composers with a variety of music careers and backgrounds, which makes this ensemble very unique. All the repertories of WaFoo are their compositions or new interpretations of Japanese folk music created under the one strong concept, “Blending Japanese philosophy, such as Zen, Shinto and Confucianism, into a variety of music styles to create lyrical, aesthetic and delightful sound for body and soul.”
Major Performances Include: Haruichiban Japanese Music Festival (Drom, Manhattan, Mar. 2008); White Plains Cherry Blossom Festival (White Plains, May 2005 ~ 2008); Nagasaki Hiroshima Reflections by SI OutLoud (Staten Island, Apr. 2005); Greenwich; SeptemberFest (Greenwich, CT, Sep. 2005); NYC Culture Fest 2004 at Battery Park (Manhattan, Oct. 2004); NYPL Concert Series (Staten Island, Queens, (2008 ~ 2009); Talent on the Terrace by Greenbelt Nature Center (Staten Island, 2008 ~ 2009); WaFoo Seasonal Concerts at St. Peter’s Church (Staten Island, 2005 ~ 2009).
Learn more about WaFoo at http://www.wafoo.info/
David Jones has been playing piano almost every day for the last 30 years in his home in St. George, that overlooks Curtis High School and, beyond that, New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. He comes from the avant garde wing of the great experiment, known as American Jazz. David played on the West Coast with bass clarinetist Patrick Wallace and the late drummer Joe Kelly in the group New Bay Ensemble, and on the east cast with Philadelphia-based group, Image. In his travels, from east coast to west and back again, David has enjoyed playing all kinds of music in every setting.
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Phyllis Forman, vocals; Jon Specter, guitar; Rick Peterson, bass guitar; Nat Seeley, drums. Queen Tipsy plays and writes an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, and rock songs. They have been performing together since 2002. They have received several grants from the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) for excellence in the arts. The group is currently recording their second CD.
Born in North Carolina and reared in Connecticut, LaDee Streeter's love affair with singing began in the church choir at a very early age. She was awed by her ability to 'touch' and inspire people through song. LaDee's singing style consists of Jazz, Blues, and R&B. She can also very effectively deliver dance tunes, selective contemporary hip-hop and pop, and the very near and dear to her heart, Gospel. Her voice embodies silky-smooth innocence, yet simultaneously evokes the sultriness of a seasoned veteran.
Since her arrival on the music scene, LaDee has performed many venues including nightclubs, restaurants, festivals, casinos, and television shows as a feature artist and background singer. International performing credits include 5-star hotels and nightclubs in Auckland, Osaka, Toyko, Belgium, Shanghai, Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, HoChiMinh City and Seoul. One special recording credit includes singing background for the legendary Stevie Wonder on his "Hotter Than July" album, particularly on "Happy Birthday" the revered song that was instrumental in making Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.
LaDee’s debut CD "Introducing…LaDee Streeter" was recorded 'live in California. "Songs in the Key of LaDee" is her sophomore project, which she co-produced. Plans are in the works to release these in a compilation CD through her newly formed joint company Ida Dee Vine Entertainment.
Whether it's an arena filled with thousands, or an intimate setting with just a few friends, as you witness LaDee's performances - be prepared to be entertained. Her audiences are truly important to her.
STRETTO VOCAL ENSEMBLE
Stretto Vocal Ensemble was formed in 1999 at Wagner College. The group specializes in jazz, gospel, and close harmony. Stretto is regularly featured on Wagner College Choir concerts and has appeared in venues all over the eastern United States. The group has performed at Wall-to-Wall Joni Mitchell at Symphony Space, for Jazz Vespers at St. Peter’s Church, Manhattan, and at Trinity Lutheran Church on Staten Island, at the National Arts Club, Gramercy Park, the College of Staten Island Arts Center and at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The ensemble recently took part in the 25th annual Celebration of the Life and Works of composer Alec Wilder in Manhattan, performed at a recent conference of the National Association of Colleges and Universities, gave a special performance for Seafarers and International House and shared a concert with the Salvatones and the Essence of Joy Singers in Manhattan. This June the group recorded an EP – Stretto Summer of 2012 – the beginnings of a long-range recording project. The ensemble is made up of outstanding undergraduates and alumni of Wagner College and is directed by Roger Wesby.
Stretto took part in the Staten Island JAZZ Festival in 2011, in collaboration with the UTA Vocal Workshop and is honored to have been invited back.