Brandi Pace is a musician and educator based in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the founder and executive director of Decolonizing the Music Room, a nonprofit with a mission of centering BBIA (Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian) voices, knowledge, and experiences in music education. A singer and multi-instrumentalist, her musical work is predominantly in American roots music and jazz.
Jake Blount is an award-winning old-time banjoist, fiddler, singer and scholar based in Washington, DC. Blount specializes in the music of Black and Native American communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of Ithaca, NY. He has shared his music and research at the Smithsonian Institution, the Old Songs Folk Festival, and Berklee School of Music, as well as numerous other venues and institutions.
Was born in Ghana and lives in the Hudson Valley. He studied Ethnomusicology and Biology at Vassar College. He studied Jazz Improvisation and Non-Western musical forms at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. He has been immersed in a lifelong exploration of traditional and modern musical forms and technologies of the African diaspora and beyond. He is also a storyteller and educator with a specialty in social emotional learning and conflict mediation. He has worked and collaborated with Jack DeJohnette, Natalie Merchant, John Hall among others.
With our 2020 Fall Catskill Conversations, the Ashokan Center invites the local and global community to experience four diverse and interconnected discussions on nature, history, music, and art.