2024 Performers and Artists
More about Walter
Professional saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, educator, arranger, mentor and music producer. Walter Chancellor has been a mainstay in the Twin Cities contemporary Jazz and R&B music scene for the past 25 years. After constant touring during his formative years he decided to relocate to musically successful Minneapolis from Des Moines, Iowa and lesson the necessity of so much traveling to perform. Not long after his arrival in Minneapolis, Walter performed and recorded with Prince, earning him a Double Platinum Record for his participation on Prince’s “Emancipation” CD in 1996. Additionally, Walter has performed, recorded and has shared the stage with such artists as Chaka Khan, Willie Nelson, Maceo Parker, Candy Dulfer, Chance Howard (Prince, Candy Dulfer & Brian Culbertson), Brown Mark Mazarati, Musiq Soulchild, Larry Graham, the late Louis Johnson, Cameo, The Pointer Sisters, Bobby Lyle, The Platters and Producer greats as Chris “Big Dog ”Davis, Andre Fischer and Jack Douglas just to name a few. For the past 25 years, Walter has been a mainstay, Walter has expertly taught Audio and Video Post Production for the “Institute of Production and Recording” (IPR) in Downtown Minneapolis and has since retired his 18yr stay there from 2002 -2020. He has been instrumental in the successful careers of many IPR Alumni that he personally taught and mentored. To give back to the Twin Cites community that has supported his creativity, Walter helped launch and is one of a few founding members of the Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project and After School program in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The program is designed to expose adults and children to Jazz Culture, technology, music history and gladly educates them about our great American art form, JAZZ and other multimedia art endeavors & opportunities. Earlier in 2022 Walter released his Smooth Jazz hit “Time 2 Chill” which was one of the most added Smooth Jazz releases to terrestrial and internet radio worldwide upon its release in May 2022 Walter has recently produced a new R&B single for Junior Giscome “Who’s Been Schoolin’ U?” released on October 7th, 2022 Currently Walter has Produced Holiday music for the incomparable Twin Cities Jazz Vocalist Thomasina Petrus here for the 2022 Holiday Season, “Mary Did You Know” A very soulful and heart-warming rendition of longtime Gaither Vocal Band member Mark Lowry.
More about Adrian
Adrian Davis is a native of Memphis, TN, with more than 18 years in music education. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Memphis, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Saint Thomas. He was Grammy Educator of the Year quarter-finalist in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and a 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalist. Davis is the Chair of Equity and Diversity for the Minnesota Music Educators Association, and an active member of the National Association for Music Educators. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association. He is a percussionist, pianist, and organist with his music production company, Divers Music. Davis, along with his wife, Tyona, and three children, Arielle, Tobias, and Allyse, reside in north Minneapolis, MN.
More about Melanie
Melanie DeMore has traveled the world, was a founding member of the Grammy nominated vocal ensemble Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and is constantly amazed by her life. But nothing is closer to her heart than bringing people together wherever she is to experience the healing power of music. Whether she’s performing solo, leading stick pounding workshops , doing residencies with choirs all over the country or teaching Sound Awareness to sixth graders, baby boomers, or senior citizens, one thing is certain: her mission is to make sure you unlock the key to experiencing yourself in all your Glory and return home with the very same excitement and passion for living that she herself has. When she comes your way, her energy will charge the very air you breathe like a meteor shower, so get ready to rise up! Learn more.
More about Suzette and Davente
Suzette Jornae Gilreath is a performing artist, choreographer, and student. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jornae is a virtuosic, versatile, and curious mover. She began her dance training at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artist, and TU Dance at the age of 16. She is classically trained in Ballet, Modern, and African, with experience in street-style Hip-hop, and Heels. As an alumni student from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Dance Program, she has been taught under the instruction of Carl Flink, Toni Pierce-Sands, Ananya ChatterJea, Erin Thompson. Through her dance training, she has obtained a greater understanding of the relationship dance has with the world, globally and internationally. Over the past five years, Jornae has gained professional dance experience by training and performing with Twin Cities-based companies Contempo Physical Dance and STRONGmovement. She has also performed works by Kenna Cottman, Sidra Bell, Gregory Maqoma, Leslie Parker, and Robert Moses. Her mission is to transform, inform, and inspire. Learn more.
More about Bill
Bill Jeter has a socially conscious art practice and works with a variety of different materials. Jeter is a resident artist at Homewood Studios – a gallery, studio for artists, and meeting space in North Minneapolis. Jeter has a multi-disciplined approach of working with 2D, 3D, and time-based forms that explore culture and history through investigation of symbols, stories, and language origins. This is done through fabrication of uniquely layered objects and selective printmaking of images and texts. Bill has many cultural, psychological, and philosophical interests. He is interested in chemistry and physics and is currently teaching himself about quantum physics. Jeter holds a BA in Art from Bates College in Maine and a MFA from MCAD in Minneapolis. Learn more.
More About Phillip
G. Phillip Shoultz, III is known for fostering community and inspiring action among people of all ages and abilities. He enjoys a multifaceted career as artist, educator, consultant, speaker and pastoral musician. Phillip is the associate artistic director of VocalEssence where his most visible impact is seen through his visionary leadership as founding conductor of the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age and through his engaging Take 5 with GPS daily livestream and series of instructional videos. Phillip serves Westwood Lutheran Church as Cantor for Music, Worship, and the Arts. He is the principal Host for Young People’s Concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra and frequently appears throughout the U.S. as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and consultant. Learn more.
More about VocalEssence
Singing has always been a community activity. For generations upon generations, people have come together in song to celebrate, mourn, praise, and inspire each other.
For nearly half a century, VocalEssence has been dedicated to keeping that essential human tradition alive. With exhilarating concert performances, ground-breaking educational programming, and tireless advocacy for choral music, VocalEssence has proven that singing together is still a relevant—and sometimes revolutionary—way to create community in today’s modern world. Learn more.