Leslie Odom Jr. is an American actor and singer. He has performed on Broadway and in television and film, and has released two solo jazz albums. He is known for originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical Hamilton, a performance for which he won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album as a principal vocalist. His television roles included Sam Strickland in the musical series Smash (2012–2013). He is also the author of the forthcoming 2018 book Failing Up.
Over his 20-year career, Hugo has worked extensively as a writer, director, producer and editor of documentaries, TV shows and music films. Prior to “The Jazz Ambassadors,” Hugo recently directed a 4-part tru-crime series for Sky Italy and the BBC, in which he unravelled one of the most complex DNA murder investigations ever undertaken. He won a Peabody Award in 2012 for “Land Rush” (one of 7 Why Poverty? films), about land grabbing in Africa. And he received the Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary Award in 2003 for “A Normal Life” about post-war Kosovo. Hugo is half-American, half-English and lives in London with his half-Italian family.
Mick has produced and directed more than 100 and executive produced more than 600 documentary films for the cinema, television and DVD, covering areas including biography, history, science, politics, economics, religion, music and arts. His programs have won numerous international awards, including both US National and International Emmys. In 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Television Society “In recognition of an outstanding contribution to the furtherance of television.” He has been the Chief Executive & Creative Director of Antelope since 1990. Mick’s films include: “Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll” for American Masters, about one of gospel’s greatest innovators; “Africa Life: The Roll Back Malaria Concert,” a star-studded concert in West Africa to raise awareness and funds for malaria prevention; and “Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker” (as Exec Producer), which won numerous awards including an International Emmy.
Adriane Lentz-Smith is Associate Professor of History, African & African-American Studies and Gender, Sexaulity, & Feminist Studies at Duke University . The author of ‘Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I’ (Harvard 2009), she writes about modern U. S. history at the nexus of African-American history and the history of the U. S. and the world. She is currently writing a book on state violence and the remaking of white supremacy in the Reagan-Era Cold War. Lentz-Smith holds a BA in History from Harvard-Radcliffe and a PhD in History from Yale University.
Penny is L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities and Professor of History at Cornell University. She received her Ph.D. from the department of History, Columbia University in 1994. She is author of ‘Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War’, Harvard University Press, 2004, and ‘Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957’, Cornell University Press, 1997. She is a co-editor along with Manisha Sinha of ‘Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race, and Power in American History’, which includes, Penny M. Von Eschen, “Duke Ellington Plays Baghdad: Rethinking Hard and Soft Power from the Outside In,” Columbia University Press, 2007; and ‘American Studies: An Anthology’, Janice Radway, Kevin Gaines, Barry Shank, and Penny Von Eschen editors, Blackwell Press, January 2009. She co-curated “Jam Sessions: American’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World,” a photography exhibition on the jazz ambassador tours, with Meridian International Center, Washington D.C., that opened in April 2008, and toured globally as well as in the United States. She has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio discussing cultural diplomacy. She is currently finishing a book titled ‘Cold War Nostalgia: The Wages of Memory and the Rise of the Global Right’, (forthcoming Harvard University Press, 2019.)
Nse’s portfolio includes the Sri Lankan drama “House of My Fathers”, feature documentary “The Confession”, and three films directed by John Akomfrah: “The Stuart Hall Project”, “The Unfinished Conversation” and “Martin Luther King & The March On Washington”. Her work has been nominated at the Sundance Film Festival in Best Editing, Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize World Cinema Documentary categories as well as for the BAFTA Television Awards.
Andre’s narrative cinematography ranges from the critically acclaimed features such as “About Alex” and “Good Dick” to the highly controversial documentary “Stolen Seas”, which examines modern day Piracy off the coast of Somalia. His recent narrative work has teamed him up with Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard on “When You Find Me”, Ed Zwick and Jesse Zwick on “About Alex” and Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti on the “Envelope”. Andre has collaborated with notable clients such as Canon, Samsung, Nissan, Adidas and Nike on numerous commercials. Credits include the branded viral sensation “First Kiss”, which was seen by over 70 million people in less than week.
Vice President, Programming, WNET – Stephen oversees all national and local programming from WNET’s producing subsidiaries – THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group. These productions include: Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Secrets of the Dead, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Cyberchase, SundayArts, and Reel 13; documentary series featuring Henry Louis Gates Jr., Niall Ferguson, and Simon Schama; and numerous special projects like Shakespeare Uncovered, now in production for its third season.
Dewald studied film production at the Pretoria Film School in South Africa in the early 1980s. In 1985 he, with like-minded friends/filmmakers founded a non-profit cooperative, Free Filmmakers, with the specific aim of producing anti-apartheid films and educating previously disadvantaged people in film production. Over the last 32 years he has photographed more than 300 documentaries, many TV drama series and 9 feature films. Two films he photographed have been nominated for Oscars, three for Emmy’s (with two taking taking the top honor) as well as various other awards. Recent credits include “Martin Luther King & The March On Washington” and Sundance-selected “The Stuart Hall Project”, both directed John Akomfrah.
Julie has more than 25 years of experience overseeing the development, production and promotion of non- fiction programming. In her role as EP of Documentaries and Development at WNET, she oversaw production of the Sam Pollard-directed feature doc “The Talk” as well as multiple episodes of “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr.” Prior to WNET, Julie served as a producer for HBO Documentary Films overseeing all aspects of production including, budgets, schedules, crew hiring and management, and post production, on two documentary films broadcast in 2012. Julie was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for the short documentary film, “God is the Bigger Elvis.”