David Kreuter, AFA Board Chair, is the founder and president of VM Resources Ltd., a technology consulting and education firm specializing in mainframe computers. Aside from running a successful consulting firm which takes him to all parts of the U.S. and Canada, David has always been an avid avant jazz fan and has earned a Masters of Music. From seeing the jazz greats in Manhattan lofts in the 1970's to be being a constant supporter of the Vision Festival for the past 10 years David is proud to be part of the Vision Festival's board of directors to support the musicians that make this the best avant jazz festival in the world. He looks forward to bringing more jazz innovators into the fold and promoting the Vision Festival to a wider spectrum of people.
Harold X. Connolly, AFA Board Member, is currently a partner in the long-established (1994) New York based marketing research firm of Insightful Research which has conducted research on behalf of numerous major local corporations and institutions. In addition to his business background, Hal has written widely on socioeconomic issues in such publications as Commonweal, Intellect, The New York Times, Urban Affairs Quarterly, et al., and has appeared at forums sponsored by the National Commission for Manpower Policy, the New York City Planning Commission, Brooklyn College, the New Muse Community Museum of Brooklyn, Iona College, and Rutgers University. He is the author of “A Ghetto Grows in Brooklyn”, a history of African Americans in Brooklyn from earliest times to 1970 (NYU Press, 1976). His undergraduate degree is from Fordham University and he has a Ph.D. from New York University. He has taught/lectured at Pace University, the New School, and MIT.
Jo-Wood Brown, AFA Board Secretary, is a NYC based painter / installation and multimedia artist. Ms. Wood-Brown has exhibited widely in galleries and in site-specific installations throughout the US and in Europe. Recent venues include: Inner City Sketches video at The Vision Festival, Roulette, Brooklyn 2012, Apkallu at the Bring to Light Festival, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 2011; Inner City Studio installation on Broadway, NYC 2011; Artist Exchange International exhibitions in Berlin, Wuppertal, Belfast and New York City; Collaborations and installations with musicians, dancers, and filmmakers, Arts for Art, NYC; Public installation, Metropolitan Museum, NYC; Galleries: Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art, NYC; Edward Thorp Gallery, NYC; Fairs: Koln Art Fair, Germany. In addition to her work with AFA, she founded Artist Exchange International, promoting international dialogue in contemporary art & society amongst artists in different cities and countries.
Patricia Ali, AFA Board Treasurer.
Patricia Nicholson Parker is the Founder and AFA Board Member. She is a dancer, poet and organizer of movement, music and causes, working within the aesthetic of free jazz. Since 1975 she has been performing, creating, presenting and organizing performances. In 1981, Ms. Nicholson Parker choreographed and organized A Thousand Cranes Peace Opera with 1000 children at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. In the 80’s as a response to lack of visibility of Free Jazz, she helped organize the Sound Unity Festivals and in the 90’s founded the Improvisor Collective and then Arts for Art and the Vision Festival. She was awarded producer of the year 3-times by JJA and has won the CMA/ASCAP Award for adventurous programming. She just completed 20 Years of Vision to high acclaim.
Todd Nicholson is the Executive Director and AFA Board member. He is a mainstay of the downtown New York hardjazz scene. He has performed with Billy Bang, Roy Campbell, Eddie Gale, Frank Lowe, William Parker, James Spaulding, and Steve Swell, among others. His work with the legendary violinist, Mr. Bang, is especially notable for its longevity: Nicholson has been a core member of Bang's ensembles for the past six years. He has appeared in a variety of settings throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, including the Vision Festival (NYC), the Rochester Jazz Festival, the Other Minds Festival (San Francisco), Tampere Jazz Happening (Tampere, Finland), Sons d'Hiver (Paris), the Ottawa Jazz Festival and the Full Moon Festival (Mangetsu sai) in Miyajima, Japan (the island off the coast of Hiroshima). He has collaborated with numerous dancers, most recently Carmen deLavallade and Gus Solomons jr. at Symphony Space. He also leads his own group, the Otic Band/Ensemble.
Jeffrey Cohen, AFA Board Member, retired and moved to Taos, New Mexico in 2008, after 28 years as an executive in the investment business. From 1997 to 2008, he was a Principal at Stone Point Capital, a manager of private equity funds dedicated to investments in the insurance and financial services industries. While at Stone Point he participated in investments in a number of property/casualty, life insurance and insurance distribution companies. Before joining Stone Point, Jeffrey was an equity research analyst following the property/casualty and life insurance industries at a number of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Paine Webber. He was ranked as the best stock-picker among property/casualty insurance analysts by The Wall Street Journal for his 1994 and 1996 recommendations, and was voted onto the Institutional Investor All American Research Team from 1987 to 1992. Jeffrey has been attending free jazz concerts since the loft jazz scene in the 1970s. He hosts a radio program on a local station, KNCE FM, called “dead jazz stars radio”. Jeffrey has an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a B.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts. He was also a PhD candidate in linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied with Noam Chomsky.
Pat Wilkins, AFA Board Member.
Fred Moten, AFA Board Member, teaches courses and conducts research in black studies, performance studies, poetics and critical theory. He is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press, 2003); Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2009); B. Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010); The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014), which was a poetry finalist for the National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the California Book Award for poetry; The Little Edges (Wesleyan University Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016). Moten is also co-author, with Stefano Harney, of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2013) and, with Wu Tsang, of Who touched me? (If I Can’t Dance, I Don't Want to be Part of Your Revolution, 2016). His current projects include two critical texts, consent not to be a single being (forthcoming from Duke University Press) and Hesitant Sociology: Blackness and Poetry, which extend his study of black art and social life. Moten is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
William Parker, founding member of AFA Board, was born and raised in the Bronx, and has been living in the Lower East Side since 1975. He has been a key figure in the NY creative jazz scene. Renowned as a composer, bassist and multi-instrumentalist, Parker is also an educator and a author. William Parker is prolific recording artist, with over 150 recorded albums and countless celebrated stage appearances. In the “70s and 80’s he was a key figure in organizing artist run festivals and music series. The Sound Unity Festival and Stork Records are 2 examples. These efforts served as an inspiration and guide for the Vision Festival. Musica Jazz in Italy, named him musician of the year in 2007 and in 2013, he received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
Whit Dickey, is a founding board member and the first important donor for Arts for Art and the Vision Festival. It was his vision that helped make the festival a reality. He is also a uniquely gifted drummer who was an important member of the David S. Ware Quartet and the Matthew Shipp trio. As a leader, he has composed and collaborated with important Free Jazz artists such as Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Mat Maneri, Joe Morris and Kirk Knuffke.