Our Team

Our staff and board of directors are composed of some of Boston’s most excellent musicians, teaching artists, radio and technology experts, and arts professionals. As a collective, we aim to inspire young people by acting as positive role models through our dedication to music and youth development.

Board of Directors

Steven Snyder, President

Vice President of Marketing & Development, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Doug Brenhouse, Clerk

Business Executive/Entrepreneur 

Katia Canenguez Ph.D., Ed.M.

Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Michael Cohen

Vanessa Fazio

Business Affairs Manager, Mullen Advertising

Christiana Fischer, MBA

Adam Klein

Principal, Callanan & Klein Communications, Inc.

Gaby Perry

Senior Preferred Banker, First Republic Bank

Nikki Stewart

Vice President of Development, United South End Settlements

Administrative Staff

Artistic Staff

Nancy Lagro
Business Manager

Nancy Lagro, Business Manager, started with ZUMIX in February, 2007, and is responsible for office operations and assisting upper management with development of ZUMIX office support programs. Nancy has over 24 years of managerial experience as Vice President of Operations at American Computer, Inc. and as a Customer Service Representative at ComputerShare (formerly EquiServe).  Nancy received several customer service awards while working at ComputerShare.  Nancy also represented American Computer Group for five years with Executive Women International, both locally and at national conventions. 

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Jeremy Cohen
Percussion Instructor

Jeremy Cohen, Percussion Instructor, directs the African Drum & Dance Study in Ghana program at UMass Amherst, where he is Adjunct Professor of Music. A former middle school music director, he works with incarcerated youth through the non-profit Unlocking the Light. He is founder and director of ThisWorldMusic which partners with educational institutions and arts organizations to offer innovative, hands-on cultural learning experiences. Clients include: The Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Orchestra and school districts nationwide. He sits on the Young Audiences Board of Directors and has consulted for The School District of Philadelphia and The Center for Music National Service. He holds a B.A. from the University of California Berkeley and a M.M. from New England Conservatory and studied African music and dance in Ghana.

(617) 568-9777
Leo Colon
Guitar & Bass Instructor

Leo Colon, Guitar & Bass Instructor, was born in the Dominican Republic and started his musical education at the Conservatorio Nacional de Santo Domingo. After moving to Boston in 1995, he studied jazz improvisation with Charlie Banacos, Jay Weik and Steve Neil. In 1998, Leo led a jazz quartet featuring Martin Dalmasi on sax, and has been a member of the R&B/Funk/Raggae band “In the House” since 1999. In 2001, Leo joined the Christ Episcopal church in Hyde Park, as the musical director. He is also the Director of the Do Re Mi School of Music in Roxbury.  A multi instrumentalist, Leo founded the Diver City Band in 2001 along with Mario Aranda and the ZUMIX Guitar Ensemble in 2005. He has been teaching at ZUMIX since 1998 and privately, from his home studio, since 1990. Leo Enrolled at Berklee College of Music in the Spring of 2009 to pursue a Professional Music Degree.  www.leocolonmusic.com

(617) 568-9777
Marlene Del Rosario
Piano Instructor

Marlene Del Rosario, Piano Instructor, is a composer, vocalist and pianist. She leads The Marlene Jazz Ensemble and is a regular in the New England jazz circuit. Opening for world-renowned Cuban pianist, Omar Sosa at the 2008 Philippine International Jazz Festival, Marlene has also performed and appeared on television in the Philippines, Peru and in Boston.  She has entertained Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand as well as Filipino Presidents, Fidel Ramos and Cory Aquino, and recently, Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, Mayor Menino and local senators.  She is also Musical Director for the Citi Performing Arts Center's Celebrate Musical Theater Sing Out Loud Workshops. Other credits include representing her country and winning 2nd place at an international competition in Japan for her peace-themed composition, which was also performed for Pope John Paul II for an audience of over a million. Marlene was also musical director for several school musicals (Umana Barnes and the Park School), as well as ZUMIX’s Warmth program. Her discography includes a children’s Ballet album and two US-released CDs, including the latest, “Marlene LIVE with a Little Help from Her Friends”, which has garnered critical praise and is played in jazz stations nationally and in Canada. Marlene is a native of Manila, Philippines and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management Economics.  She moved to the US to pursue musical studies at the Berklee College of Music and has studied under Lazlo Gardony, Cheryl Bentyn, Livingston Taylor and Bob Gullotti.  www.marlenemusic.net

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Corey DePina
Youth Development and Performance Manager

Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager, grew up in Roxbury as a first generation American from a family of Cape Verdean immigrants. Now living in West Roxbury, Corey is an accomplished rapper and a skilled workshop and program facilitator. He performs and teaches all over the United States. He served on the Board for Critical Breakdown - one of Boston's biggest and longest running all-age open mics - and has done workshops on the history of hip hop as well as creative writing and performance. Corey studied for two years at Massachusetts Communication College and has completed many BEST Initiative youth worker trainings, including the Advanced Youth Workers Certificate program. Corey continues to share his passion of performance, social justice, hip hop, and education to help convey the important role music plays in both personal and community development. His current endeavor is fusion-conscious homemade lyrics to heavy Dubstep music to help spice up his creative writing and performance.

(617) 568-9777
Daniel Fox
Technical Director

Daniel FoxTechnical Director, is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and recording engineer. He co-designed and served as A/V Project Manager for the Zumix Firehouse and consults in studio construction, A/V hardware & software and recording techniques. He is an Avid Certified Pro Tools Instructor and member of the Audio Engineering Society.  He also has a BA in sociology from Vassar College and has worked as the Creative and Cultural Director at the Boys and Girls Club in Lynn.  As a producer/engineer Daniel has worked with Pepsi, Discovery, Audible.com, Sub Pop, the Foundation Movement, Debo Band, and comedian Zach Sherwin among others.  In 2008, Dan received the BEST Initiative's first annual Youthie Award for communication for his outstanding youth development work.  

www.wondersmithaudio.com

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Nick Grondin
Guitar Instructor

Nick Grondin, Guitar Instructor.  An experienced performer and award-winning composer, Nick Grondin has presented his music to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, including France, Germany and Spain. As a guitarist, he leads the Nick Grondin Group, a cutting-edge jazz quintet.  As a composer, Grondin creates works for both small and large jazz ensembles. His pieces for jazz orchestra have received awards such as the 2008 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award and 2007 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Extended Jazz Composition. They have been performed by the Crazy Big Band in Paris, France, the Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra in Boston, and Mac Jazz Big Band in St. Paul, MN. He leads and conducts the Nick Grondin Jazz Orchestra and is a Jazz Harmony Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. He also teaches Ear Training at Berklee College of Music. Nick Grondin received a Master of Music in Jazz Composition from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Frank Carlberg, Allan Chase, Ken Schaphorst, and Brad Shepik. He has participated in master classes with Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Holland, Jim McNeely and Ben Monder.  Before coming to Boston, Nick attended the Edim School of Modern Music in Paris, France and earned his Bachelors Degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. www.nickgrondin.com

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Laura Macias
Sprouts Coordinator & Piano Instructor

Laura Macias, Sprouts Coordinator & Piano Instructor, received her Bachelors in Music Composition and Theory from the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and her Masters in Music Composition from the Longy School of Music, where she was awarded the Nadia Boulanger scholarship.  In 2005 she was selected to be part of the European American Music Alliance, where she was awarded a scholarship to study composition at L'Ecole Normale in Paris, France.  In 2008, she completed the Kodaly Music Training at the New England Conservatory.  Laura is an active composer in the Boston area.  Her musical catalog includes compositions for chamber orchestra, art songs, chamber music and incidental music for the theatre.  Laura was recently selected as a composer to participate in the 2011 Vancouver International Art Song Institute.  Her music was also recently featured in concerts given by the Boston New Music Initiative ensemble.  Besides writing art music, Laura enjoys working with children.  Laura has been working to map a path for our youngest members to actively participate in group programs and to increase and deepen their involvement as they grow.  She has a strong belief in developing music fundamentals and her youthful personality makes learning fun.

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Ed Meradith
Piano Instructor

Ed Meradith, Piano Instructor, was born, raised, and educated in Nebraska (UNL.)  He has been a Boston area musician for over twenty years, and has been with Zumix for over six years as a piano teacher, collaborator, and co-director of the Divercity Band.  As a composer, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist, Ed’s CD credits are SWIM (2006), and the upcoming FREE GUM.  Ed has composed incidental music for several plays and composed “There it Goes Again” for the film All the Rage.  Ed’s other current projects include Choral Director for the YMCA Women’s Chorus (A Touch Of Class), and acoustic guitar and voice with Heaven Sent.  Ed has also taught music at the Boston Ballet summer program for the past five years. As a pianist, Ed played at the Ritz for many years, as well as the Boston Harbor Hotel and the Park Plaza.

myspace.com/edwardmeradith           www.cdbaby.com/cd/edwardmeradith2

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Madeleine Steczynski
Co-Founder and Executive Director

Madeleine Steczynski, Co-Founder and Executive Director, is an East Boston resident. She founded ZUMIX in 1991 in response to the worst year of violence in the City of Boston's history. Together with ZUMIX's Board of Directors and Youth Advisory Board, she has grown ZUMIX from a kitchen table project into a vital East Boston community institution. As an advocate for the arts, Madeleine has served on the Executive Committee for East Boston Healthy Boston Coalition; was one of the founding members of Cultural Connections, a three-year effort to integrate arts as part of a Sustainable Community initiative funded by The PEW Charitable Trust; and served as an Artistic Fellow for The Boston Foundation’s Arts and Audiences Initiative. She also served for three years as a Cultural Fellow for the New England Foundation for the Arts Building Communities through Culture Initiative, and as a Community Fellow for Eureka Communities Boston.

In 2006 ZUMIX was chosen as a Social Innovator for the Social Innovation Forum at MIT, the same year Madeleine was chosen by the East Boston Times Free Press as East Boston’s Woman of the Year. In 2007 Madeleine was nominated and participated in the Salzburg Global Seminar's Cultural Institutions Without Borders seminar in Austria; received the Canyon Ranch Be the Change Award at the Massachusetts Conference for Women; and was an advisor for the Music National Service Initiative in Washington D.C. In 2008 Madeleine spearheaded a development team in the acquisition and full renovation of an historic firehouse as a new home for ZUMIX.

In 2009 she successfully completed a $4.6 million dollar capital campaign and moved ZUMIX into its new home. In 2011 Madeleine started a 3-year learning journey as a prestigious Barr Fellow. In 2012, she was honored with a Berklee Urban Service Award.  Madeleine attended Boston College, the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts – Boston, and the Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University.

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Brandon Allen
Voice Instructor

Brandon Allen, Voice Instructor, was born and raised in the Bronx, NY, lived in San Antonio, TX for four and a half years, and is currently residing in East Boston. Brandon started singing at the early age of two and hasn't stopped since. A singer, songwriter, arranger, self-taught pianist, voice personality, and now voice instructor, Brandon likes to wear many hats. Brandon is a trained classical and contemporary musician with three years of classical/opera study at The University of Texas at San Antonio and a Music Business/Management Degree with a minor in Africana Studies from Berklee College of Music with an emphasis on R&B/Soul/Pop vocals as well as A Cappella. As a professional artist, he has shared the stage with The Boys Choir Of Harlem, Aretha Franklin, Kathleen Battle, Whitney Houston, Michael McDonald, Bootsy Collins, Bobby McFerrin, Patrice Rushen, Vox One, The Western Wind, North Shore (from "The Sing Off" Season 3), and many others. Brandon is the private voice instructor at Zumix and will begin teaching an A Cappella class at Umana/Barnes Middle School in East Boston in the fall of 2012. He is learning to play drums and bass, and is recording and arranging on the John Hanifin & Thee Band Project.

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Michael Moore
Percussion Instructor

Michael Moore, Percussion Instructor, received his B.A. in Percussion Performance/African-American Music from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Outside of ZUMIX, Michael is currently the Percussion Director/Arranger at King Philip High School in Wrentham, MA as well
as the Percussion Director/Arranger for the Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps from Nashua, NH. Michael has a versatile performance background including jazz, hip-hop, world music, orchestral, rudimental/marching settings. Michael has also had the pleasure of teaching several award-winning ensembles including the Dartmouth High School Percussion Ensemble, King Philip High School Percussion Ensemble, and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Michael also enjoys freelance arranging and performing in his spare time.

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Brian Paulding
Brass Instructor

Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor, is a music enthusiast with passion for and experience in many diverse aspects of the music industry. A seasoned performer and dedicated educator, he is committed to fostering children's talents and love for music through the music they listen to and enjoy. Brian graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Entrepreneurial Music Business/Management and an Africana Studies minor in 2011, and currently plays trombone with several reggae and hip-hop bands including Endangered Speeches, Toussaint the Liberator, and Shango Axe. He has performed at Sugarloaf Reggae Festival (ME), Beantown Jazz Fest, Cocoa Beach Reggae Festival (FL), and the Blue Note (NYC), and has had the opportunity to share the stage with Burt Bacharach, Fred Wesley, Everton Blender, and Oddisee. Brian now lives in Jamaica Plain where he writes and records his original music. In addition to trombone and trumpet, Brian also plays a bit of keyboards and percussion.

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Ramsel Gonzalez
Program Manager

Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager, joined the ZUMIX team in 2012. As Program Manager, he facilitates ZUMIX's Rock Ed classes and manages the Adventures in Music program and supports ZUMIX's teaching artists. In addition to Rock Ed, Ramsel also assists our Business Manager with bookkeeping and accounting tasks. Ramsel is a ZUMIX alumnus and hopes that through the work he is doing at ZUMIX now, he will be able to give future generations of students the same amazing experience he had as a student. In his spare time, Ramsel enjoys playing guitar, writing music, and attending not nearly as many concerts as he wishes he could.

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Jenny Shulman
Director of Operations

Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations, joined Zumix in 2012 after 3 years of working as a Program Advisor for an international volunteering organization.  For the last 6 years, she worked in many developing countries, establishing community-based service learning programs for volunteer educators, health providers, and care workers.  She also developed and implemented a cross-cultural training curriculum for volunteers, conducted capacity-building workshops, and was responsible for organizational growth and change.  
For her Master’s Degree, Jenny worked with the civil organization, Acortar Distancias in Guadalajara, Mexico, teaching theatre and improvisation to at-risk youth.  Jenny previously worked as a casting director in New York City for 7 years, casting independent films, music videos, commercials, and voice-overs.  Jenny holds an MA in International Development from La Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara and University of Sussex, Roehampton in London and a BFA in Drama with a concentration in Directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She has lived and worked in Thailand, Mexico, London, Ghana, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Mongolia, and Nepal.

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Renee Marrone
Assistant Sprouts Coordinator

Renee Marrone, Assistant Sprouts Coordinator, began as a ZUMIX participant at the age of 12 and throughout her 7 years there she was involved in many programs such as Vocal Group, Theatre, Songwriting, Radio, and Piano and Voice lessons. Since graduating from ZUMIX in 2009, Renee has spent time as a youth staff member for Sprouts, Theatre, and Songwriting programs. Renee graduated from Boston Arts Academy high school, focusing on theatre. She graduated from Lesley University in May of 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and plans to further her education with a focus on Music Therapy. As an East Boston native, Renee is very passionate about giving back to her community, especially its youngest members. Renee enjoys working with children and is extremely excited to be working with the ZUMIX Sprouts. When she’s not working with the kids of East Boston, you may find Renee looking for sharks at the New England Aquarium.

Jeeyoon Kim
Events Associate

Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate, joined the ZUMIX team in 2014 as an AmeriCorps Mass Promise Fellow. Jeeyoon was previously a Program Assistant at Emerson College's Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Web Director for WERS 88.9FM, and Community Manager for Allston Pudding. Jeeyoon holds a BA in Print & Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College. She is also a graduate of both Health Resources in Action's BEST Youth Worker Certificate Training and the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. She grew up somewhere in the crossroads of Ohio, Virginia, and Florida and now happily calls East Boston, MA home.

 

Jeeyoon's favorite album is Lucky Leaves by Krill.

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Brittany Thomas
Radio Station Manager

Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager, is interested in how creative media can help youth connect to the people and places around them. Brittany joined ZUMIX in 2014 as the Youth & Community Radio AmeriCorps VISTA, working on capacity-building preparations for ZUMIX Radio’s transition from an online stream to a Low Power FM broadcast frequency. Brittany’s interest in youth development began during her involvement in the Community Friends mentorship program in Middlebury, Vermont. Brittany also developed youth leadership programming in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she helped grow an educational garden at Puerto Pibes, providing cultural and educational opportunities to underserved rural youth. As a fellow of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Media and Art for Public Service initiative, Brittany facilitated collaborative multi-media production representative of its high school creators. She is also a graduate of Health Resources in Action’s BEST Youth Worker Certificate Training. Brittany grew up in New Hampshire, graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in International Politics and Economics, and credits playing ‘On Top of Spaghetti’ at her first piano recital for her bravery today.

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Sissy Castrogiovanni
Vocal Instructor

Sissy Castrogiovanni, Vocal Instructor, is a Sicilian singer and composer. In her much acclaimed album "intra Lu Munnu", she explores connections between contemporary jazz and Sicilian folk music. Sissy started singing and composing on piano at the age of five. In 2005, she started her official musical training in Italy, studying voice technique, jazz improvisation, piano, and percussion. Sissy has been awarded a scholarship from Berklee College of Music three times where she specialized in Jazz Composition and Mediterranean Studies. In 2011, she was awarded a full-scholarship and was invited to join the Mediterranean Music Institute (Berklee Valencia, Spain). Sissy has toured extensively throughout Europe, the United States, and South America. During her time at Berklee she had the opportunity to collaborate with several world renowned artists such as jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette (Keith Jarrett, Miles Davis, John Coltrane etc.) - 10 times Grammy Award winning, Bobby McFerrin – producer/composer Patrice Rushen – 7 times Latin Grammy Award winning, Javier Limon. Currently Sissy collaborates with many artists for projects in the areas of performance, recording projects and educational workshops. She is a member of "Sung Deep", an international 7-piece A Capella ensemble lead by singer Joey Blake with which Sissy collaborates since 2010. Their homonym album Sung Deep was released in 2014.

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Kramer Gibson
Bass Instructor

Kramer Gibson, Bass Instructor, has been fascinated by music since a very young age, when his mother sang to him and his dad played him music by the bands Led Zeppelin, The Police, James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, and Cake. While attending Berklee College of Music, he studied Music Education, a major that afforded him the opportunity to study several instruments. Although he started his musical career as a drummer, Kramer has performed in the Boston College Marching band as a sousaphone player, served as the principal timpanist in the Berklee Contemporary String Orchestra, and now regularly performs as a bassist, horn player, pianist and singer. After graduating from Berklee, Kramer was the music teacher at Match Community Day, a charter elementary school in Jamaica Plain. The thing that he likes most about playing music is being able to communicate with others without words. When he is not teaching or playing music, Kramer teaches English and studies Portuguese and French. He is a nerd who loves to learn. You can hear his music at kramermusician.com.

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Kassandra Otero
Radio Instructor & Mentor

Kassandra Otero, Radio Instructor & Mentor, is a ZUMIX alumnus who first participated in ZUMIX's Street Program in 2007. She enjoyed making music, but after taking the Radio Active class, she fell completely in love with being on the air. She has taken classes at Bunker Hill Community College and is currently studying Audio Production at the New England Institute of Art. In addition to co-teaching ZUMIX's Radio Active class, she engineers the show "Boston Seniors Count," mentors new youth shows, and hosts her own show, "Total Underground."

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Richie Carvalho
Radio Production Assistant

Richie Carvalho, Radio Production Assistant, has been putting the "rad" in radio since 2006, when he first started taking programs at ZUMIX. He has taken Radio Journalism and Radio Drama, and continues to host his own show, "Zone Out." He currently mentors several youth shows and makes sure that pre-recorded shows stream on ZUMIX Radio during times when ZUMIX is closed. Richie is a graduate of The Connecticut School of Broadcasting. In his free time, Richie enjoys karaoke!

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Anni Leff
Development Associate

Anni Leff, Development Associate, joined the ZUMIX staff in 2015. Anni’s own personal experience with music and the powerful role it played in shaping her young life led her to ZUMIX, where she works to support the organization’s Development efforts. Anni’s background in supporting youth-focused non-profits includes her time as Operations Manager and then Admissions Manager at the Acera School in Winchester, MA. Her love of the arts stems from her brilliant and devoted elementary school music teachers, to summers spent at Interlochen Arts Camp, through her years at Skidmore College where she performed with as many vocal ensembles, theater troupes, and bands as she could manage. Anni currently music directs the professional a cappella group Sweet Caroline, sees as much live music as she can afford, and continues to believe deeply in the irreplaceable role of arts in our communities.

 

Anni's favorite album is The Firewatcher's Daughter by Brandi Carlile.

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Jazmin Bernabel
Latin Dance Instructor

Jazmin Bernabel, Latin Dance Instructor, joined ZUMIX as the Latin Dance Instructor for Con la Corriente in January 2015. She graduated from Regis College in 2009, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. There she started her own Latin Dance team that still exists on campus today. She became the youth coordinator for Hyde Square Task Force for their award-winning Ritmo en Accion dance troupe in 2010. Besides working with ZUMIX and Hyde Square, she also teaches dance as a part of the Learn Through Dance program to kids at the Kennedy Elementary School. She is currently attending UMass Boston in the Exercise and Health Science program, seeking to pursue a career as a Physical Therapist. In her spare time she enjoys watching movies, reading, and biking.

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Kelly Baker
Director of Development

 

Kelly Baker, Director of Development, joined the ZUMIX team in 2015.  Kelly has worked for youth development non-profits for the last 5 years. Before that, Kelly worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, writing case studies for use in the MBA classroom. 

Outside of work, Kelly is a Funding Panel Member at Haymarket's People Fund, an anti-racist and multi-cultural foundation that is committed to strengthening the movement for social justice in New England. Additionally, she mentors a young man in foster care through Silver Lining Mentoring. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Skidmore College. She was born and raised in Boston.

 

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Omar Sosa
Administrative Assistant

Omar Sosa started coming to ZUMIX as a participant in 1999 at the age of 6. He started off taking guitar lessons with Leo and then continued to participate in more and more programs including Diversity Band, Street Program, The ZUMIX Vocal Choir, The ZUMIX Jazz Ensemble, and various other programs throughout the years. Through his involvement with ZUMIX and the Berklee City Music Programs he was awarded a full tuition scholarship in 2011 to attend Berklee College of Music and graduated from there in 2015 with a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Composition. He is now working at ZUMIX as an Administrative Assistand and Teaching Artist, and continuing to gig throughout the Boston area with various bands including his own 7-piece band, Pangea.

 

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Lucas Mulder
Zoom In Program Coordinator

Lucas Mulder, Zoom In Program Coordinator, joined ZUMIX in 2015. He coordinates ZUMIX's video production programming. Outside of ZUMIX, Lucas is a commercial and editorial photographer based in Boston, MA. He comes to this after working internationally for a wide range of NGO and non-profit clients, large and small. His work focuses on bringing-to-light connections between people with like-minded passions and causes. His approach to photography is collaborative and looks to strengthen community wherever possible.

 

Education and mentoring young photographers are important aspects of Lucas's practice. He is an active volunteer in several youth-focused organizations where he helps coordinate photo and video projects with participants. He also sits on the board of Voces de Cambio, an all-girls after-school photography program in Guatemala.

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Scott Mizrachi
Volunteer Coordinator

Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator, began his involvement with ZUMIX through an internship during the spring of 2016. After becoming immersed in the programming and development realms of the organization, he subsequently decided to apply for a position through Americorps VISTA. Scott graduated from UMass Boston with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, focusing his studies on creative expression in contemporary urban communities. During his time at UMass, Scott worked with a group of peers to design and implement an after school arts and music program at the Walter Denney Youth Center in Dorchester, MA.
Originally moving from his home town of Cherry Hill, New Jersey to study guitar performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he has since shifted his energies toward bringing people together for a common good through the transformational power of music. Scott believes that musical ability is intrinsic to all human beings and has recently been working with colleagues to develop an innovative approach to music education through collaborative improvisation called Music as a Second Language (MSL).

 
Sarah Saydun
MPF Pathways Coordinator

Sarah comes to ZUMIX with a BA in Human Services and International Affairs from Northeastern University, and over four years of experience working in positive youth development. She has lived and worked in India, where she strengthened international aid efforts in a small town; Paris, where she led the expansion of a Boston-based grassroots social entrepreneurship and youth development organization; and Boston, helping develop a hip hop program for teens in Cambridge and teaching self-defense and healthy life skills to young women in Dorchester. Sarah is driven by the amazing things teens can do when given the opportunity to find their own voice. Her own experience with the power of music began when her freshman year English teacher gave her a mixed CD of his favorite Pixies songs, and you can probably find her making mixed CDs for her own students in her spare time.

Avi Salloway
Live Sound Service Coordinator

Avi Salloway is a musician, activist, and educator based in Cambridge, MA. He grew up learning music directly from American folk legends, Pete and John Seeger, and from an early age, was exposed to the power of music to bring people together. This concept resonates deeply with Avi and has lead him to use music as a kinetic form of expression, connecting people around the globe. He is the bandleader and principle songwriter for Billy Wylder. From 2013-16 Avi toured worldwide with Bombino, the Tuareg guitar virtuoso from Niger, Africa. Since graduating from the University of Vermont in 2007, Avi has co-written, produced, and recorded on 11 albums and performed over 1000 concerts in 25 countries around the world, including performances at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Montreal Jazz Fest, Newport Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. He has also collaborated and performed with renowned artists including Jack Johnson, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Low Anthem, and Pete Seeger.

 

Avi serves as the Global Ambassador for Heartbeat, the Jerusalem based non-profit organization that unites Israeli and Palestinian youth musicians to develop critical awareness and harness music’s power to transform conflict. While working in the Middle East, he facilitated music workshops, writing, and recording projects and then established Heartbeat’s international touring platform, activating tens of thousands of new allies across North America and Europe. He believes in the power of music, art, and education to help create an equitable, just world and is proud to be a part of the Zumix family.

 

www.billywylder.com (617) 568-9777 x118 avi [dot] salloway [at] zumix [dot] org

 

Rene Dongo
Radio Program Coordinator

 

Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator, joined ZUMIX in 2017. As a filmmaker, media maker and teaching artist he has found the intersection of community and youth arts education to be a pivotal step to helping young people grow and find their voice in the communities they live and learn in. At ZUMIX he works to support community and youth produced radio programming.

 

Outside of ZUMIX Rene has worked as a teaching artist for the ICA’s Fast Forward video program which offers a year long program dedicated to serving teens interested in filmmaking and also at the Urbano Project as part of a duo of teaching artists focused on crafting radio pieces centered on spoken word poetry inspired by the community of Egleston Square. He is a graduate of Emerson College and is currently working on creating more work using different mediums between radio and video production. 

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Magdalena Abrego
Teaching Artist

Magdalena Abrego is a musician, composer, and educator based in Somerville, MA. After coming across a Duke Ellington CD at a local library, Magdalena's curiousity eventually led her to study jazz at the Regional Center for the Arts, a performing arts magnet high school in Connecticut. Upon graduation, she accepted a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music's B.M. Performance program where she studied privately with Mick Goodrick, Amanda Monaco, Sheryl Bailey, Kim Perlak, Tim Miller, and David Tronzo. In addition, she received a number of awards while studying at Berklee, including the William Leavitt Guitar Department Award and the Berklee Urban Service Award. Since graduating summa cum laude in 2015, she has been involved with a number of arts education nonprofit organizations including ZUMIX, The Conservatory Lab Charter School, Girls Rock Campaign Boston, and Midori & Friends NYC.

 

While actively refining her approach to music education, she has also made continuing her own education a priority. In 2016, Magdalena was the recipient of a TD Canada Trust Music Fellowship in Jazz. Through this fellowship, she participated in the Jazz and Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where she studied under the direction of Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey. In addition to maintaining an active career as a performer, Magdalena has recorded a number of jazz projects in various studios, including Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut. At Banff's Luscar Studio, she had the privilege of recording with jazz drummer Kendrick Scott at a session led by legendary producer James Farber. In 2017, Magdalena received a scholarship to study at the New England Conservatory of Music and is currently pursuing her M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation. Her most recent project is leading a quartet that performs her original compositions as well as arrangements of music by the likes of Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, and others. You can catch her playing at venues across the area, from Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge to Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn.

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