Transcending Musical Genres
Vocalist | Composer | Percussionist
Valerie V. Gay is a recording/performing artist and thought leader. While a classically trained soprano, Val is an active performer (multi-instrumentalist and singer) across several genres, having performed in several small and large concert halls, including solo performances from churches across the country to Carnegie Hall. In 2021, Val began releasing singles from her first solo recording project “Re-Purposed + Re-Positioned” which is comprised of original music she’s written across a few musical genres.
Ruth Naomi Floyd
Composer | Flutist | Vocalist
A vocalist and composer, Ruth Naomi Floyd has created a discography dedicated to sacred jazz expression. She has been at the forefront of creating vocal jazz settings that express theology and justice for over 25 years. She leads her own multi-faceted ensemble and her recordings consist primarily of original compositions. Blessed with a soaring mezzo-soprano voice, critics praise Ruth’s music for its distinctive sound of progressive ensemble jazz that is rooted and grounded in a faith ethos, Ruth has been a presence and worker in areas of the arts and justice throughout her career.
Lauren Blackwell | Cello
Lauren Blackwell has been playing the cello for 14 years and has a B.M. in Cello Performance from the Wells School of Music at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She loves bringing classical, gospel, spirituals, and many more genres to diverse audiences to create spaces of healing, joy, and connection.
Zymir Brunson | Backing Vocals
Zymir Brunson is a Senior Bachelor of Science in Music at Temple University's Boyer College of Music. He serves as Co-Vice President for the Temple University Progressive NAACP. Along with his duties with the NAACP, Zymir is a former choir member of Temple Gospel Ministries, where he leads as the Student Music Director. Additionally, he was a former radio host for the university's student-run radio station, WHIP. He learned professional theater after spending four years at the New Freedom Theatre of Philadelphia. In his many musically related talents, Zymir has performed across the tristate area and beyond.
Iris BU | Piano
Yasan Chang | Backing Vocals
Yasan Chang is a well-rounded singer, songwriter, and recording artist. Classically trained by the great Ruth Naomi Floyd as a soprano since the age of five and currently singing reggae, jazz, and R&B. Although studying chemical engineering, she has pursued her passion for music by singing at various concerts and festivals. Grateful for a chance to sing along with Ruth Floyd and Valerie V Gay, Yasan is honored to lend her voice in this beautiful and authentic collaboration bringing this masterpiece to life.
Eunice China | Violin
Eunice began her violin studies at the age of four and she has continued performing ever since. Eunice graduated from Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance with a B.M. in Violin Performance. Eunice has performed at various venues including the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts and participated in ensembles that performed at the Lincoln Center, and at Carnegie Hall. Her overall goal is to foster a level of excellence that is imperative for the communities that she serves and to give glory to God while meaningfully uplifting and inspiring others.
Norma Hughes | Piano
Norma Jean Hughes is an accomplished musician, choral conductor, vocal stylist, pianist, as well as composer, and arranger. She has served in music ministry since the tender age of 5. With 30 years of experience as a music educator, her work promotes learning and inspiration for classroom and church settings. Norma provides educational, sacred, and secular, music workshops designed to enhance technique and performance presentation. Norma has prepared background vocals for numerous artists including Yolanda Adams, BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, Richard Smallwood, Aretha Franklin, Denise Graves, Angelique Kidjo, Melba Moore, Kathy Sledge, actor Terrance Howard, Kenny Rogers, The Chieftains Choir performances: 2011 BET Honors, 2015 Kennedy Center Honors honoring Cicely Tyson, A Soulful Christmas at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 85th Anniversary of the Schomburg Center in Harlem, Carnegie Hall, and Broadway to name a few.
Maria Marmarou | Drums
Maria Marmarou has been studying Jazz performance at Temple University for 4 years. She has performed with Mike Boone, Tim Warfield, Najwa Parkins, Christian Mccbride, and Terell Stafford to name a few. In her free time, she enjoys cycling and working out.
Erica McElveen | Drums
A native of Prince Georges County Maryland, Erica McElveen is an all-around musician. Affectionately known as E Mack, Erica continues to shock her audiences with her musical versatility. Erica graduated from Temple University in 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in Music Education concentrating on woodwind studies. She is an educator at The Philadelphia Charter School For The Arts and Sciences where she serves as the Arts Department Chair. Although E Mack plays multiple instruments, her first love is certainly the drum set! Her father had faith in her ability to play the drums at just 6 years old.
Elizabeth Steiner | Harp
Elizabeth Steiner enjoys a busy schedule as a freelance harpist in the Philadelphia area. She has most recently performed as principal harp with the Baltimore Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Orchestra 2001, Lancaster Symphony, Maryland Symphony, and second harp with the Sarasota Orchestra, among others. Elizabeth graduated in 2013 with a Master’s Degree in Harp Performance from the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. For her studies at Temple, Elizabeth was awarded the scholarship position of Academic Intern to study under Elizabeth Hainen, the Principal Harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Music degree in 2010 from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Yolanda Kondonassis.
Marisa Weber | Trumpet
Marisa Webster is a trumpeter, composer, and educator from Jacksonville, FL. She is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, received her bachelor’s degree in music from Florida State University, and a masters degree in Jazz Studies From Temple University. Marisa has had the great opportunity to perform in music venues and festivals around the country including Carnegie Hall, the Detroit Jazz Festival, and the Kennedy Center to name a few. Music education is also very important to Marisa. “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19 "That's the goal" says Marisa.
Egzi Yargici | Cello
Ezgi Yargici is an accomplished baroque and modern cellist as well as a successful teaching artist. She graduated from Bilkent University with a Bachelor's of Music Degree in Cello Performance and from Temple University with a Master's of Music Degree in both Cello Performance and String Pedagogy. Additionally, she has done professional studies at The Hartt School of Music.