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the Juneteeth cast
Vanya Allen is a multi disciplined performance and visual artist based in Miami, Florida. For over 15 years she has used her art as a means of self expression and connecting with audiences of a broad range. Vanya is an actor, choreographer and singer with her own band, Vanya and The Bandoh. She currently works as Display Creator for Anthropologie and is a second-year architecture student.
J'VON BROWN (BARITONE), a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been singing for the last several years finding a passion for music after a football injury in his senior year of high school. J'von is a graduate of Indian River State College where he performed in various shows and ensembles. He has been a featured soloist in The Seven Last Words of Christ by Dubois, a soloist, and section leader of several community choirs along the south Florida region, has starred in musicals such as Man of La Mancha as well as operas including Die Fledermaus and Amahl and The Night Visitors, and has featured in a series of Hued Songs exhitions. He performed with the South Florida Symphony's production of Porgy and Bess, which toured in multiple cities around Florida in 2019. J'von is a recent graduate of the Undergraduate Music program at New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. Having competed, and won, in the Grady-Rayam Negro Spiritual Competition, he is the former male-ambassador of the prize for the year of 2020. He aspires to obtain a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and continue to share his talents on and offstage.
Aquil Charlton (he/him pronouns) uses his imagination to envision a more just world. As an electronic musician, he performs live improvisations and collaborates with other electronic musicians and visual artists to create immersive experiences. Since founding Mobile Music Box in 2016, Aquil teaches intergenerational groups how to make instruments from recycled materials to encourage more environmental consciousness -- particularly in communities of color. Additionally, he frequently engages the public in live music-making. A North Kenwood resident, Aquil is a teaching artist in his community and father to a young son with a passion for youth development.
Wilkie Ferguson is a native of Miami, Florida and a graduate of New World School of the Arts. He studied music and mathematics at Morehouse College, and majored in classical piano performance at Eastman School of Music. Wilkie’s first job out of college was with the faculty of the Boys’ Choir of Harlem as assistant director, piano accompanist and music theory instructor. As a performer, he was a part of the original broadway casts of the Tony Award winning The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, Motown the Musical, and Wonderland. and has toured with In the Heights; Hairspray; and Dreamgirls. Off broadway and regional shows include Cotton Club Parade at City Center and the world premieres of Sister Act and Ray Charles Live at Pasadena Playhouse.
Gentry George, born in Miami, Florida in 1990. At age eight he began studying with Linda Agyapong at the Community Book and Dance Academy. Gentry also trained with Sylvia Padron at Charles R. Drew Middle School, and with Vladimir Issaev at Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. He was a scholarship student at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, The Ailey School, and The Miami Conservatory’s Thomas Armour Youth Ballet. In 2008 he graduated from New World School of the Arts High School. In 2013 he founded Washington Heights NYC’s premiere dance company Zest Collective. In New York Zest has performed at SummerStage, The United Palace, Dixon Place, HarlemStage Gatehouse Theater, Ulster Performing Arts Center, The Wassaic Project, Jamaica Center for the Arts, Fort Tryon Park, and Marcus Garvey Park. In 2020 George relocated to South Florida and was appointed Rehearsal Director of Miami’s leading contemporary ensemble, the Peter London Global Dance Company. He now teaches at his Alma Mater New World School of the Arts (NWSA) in both the Dance and Musical Theatre Divisions.
Miriam King is a Miami native who is passionate about her artistry, and her ability to motivate and nurture the gifts within others. She is an alumna of the University of Central Florida's Theater Conservatory. King is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant and the founder of the E.V.E. Consulting Firm. She is dedicated to facilitating safe space-making and promoting cultural safety through professional and personal development coaching. In Miriam's words "The world awaits the potential in everyone to be awakened.... I can't wait to see what you become to the world as a result of who you are.”
Arsimmer McCoy is a Richmond Heights, Fl, native with 12+ years of experience in creative writing, theater performance, spoken word, education, & creative direction. McCoy holds a bachelors degree in english from Florida Memorial University. Arsimmer currently resides in Miami Gardens (Carol City), FL.
Originally from eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Thando majored in Music (Vocal Performance) with minors in Biology and Chemistry at Duke University. He was a Duke MasterCard Foundation Scholar and a UWC Davis Scholar, attending UWC Dilijan in Armenia from 2014-2016. In 2016, after receiving voice lessons from Susan Tilley (A.K.A. Susan Dunn) and David Heid, along with other music classes, e.g. piano and theory, as well being part of the Duke Chorale and Duke Operatic Theater (formerly known as Opera Workshop) Thando was inspired to pursue a major in Music, and this, he says, has been one of the best decisions of his life.
Jasmine Williams / The JAS Sound
The Jas Sound, a Florida native was born with a love for music. From the age of six music became a passion for The Jas Sound and she began performing at weddings, special events and competitions. As time progressed The Jas Sound desired to grow in music and education which led her to pursue a Vocal Performance music degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University. While in college The Jas Sound became a trained opera singer and after graduating The Jas Sound participated in multiple opera’s including South Florida Symphony ‘s “Porgy and Bess.”