Mutual Mentorship for Musicians

building new paradigms of mentorship


Guggenheim Fellow, USA Fellow, Doris Duke Artist, multilingual vocalist-composer-multi-instrumentalist-dancer Jen Shyu was born in Peoria, Illinois, to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrants. She’s produced eight albums, performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Theater of Korea, Rubin Museum, and is a Fulbright scholar speaking 10 languages. 

{Zero Grasses: Ritual for the Losses} is a coming-of-age story born from the sudden death of her father and a visit to a fertility clinic. Weaving together music, monologue and video projection, Jen Shyu traces the threads of her life to explore the painful terrain of expectation, ambition, racism, sexism, legacy, and love.

One of the most creative vocalists in contemporary improvised music” (The Nation)


Miriam Elhajli is a folk singer, composer-improviser, and musicologist whose work is influenced by the rich musical traditions of her Venezuelan, Moroccan and North American heritage. ​

Elhajli currently lives in New York City where she performs and works as a researcher at The Association for Cultural Equity founded by Alan Lomax. Elhajli’s debut LP “Observations” was released this spring on her independent label Numina Records. Elhajli’s sophomore album “The Uncertainty of Signs” was released 2/22/22. 

Miriam Elhajli will be performing works from her latest record “The Uncertainty of Signs” released this February on Numina Records as well as new music from an upcoming punk project alongside Cedric Easton (drums), Tyrone Allen (upright bass) & special guests. 

A haunting voice” – The New York Times


Monnette’s music reflects her diverse exposure and love of varied genres. Monnette’s first recording was with the group Sounds of Liberation with Byard Lancaster and Khan Jamal. This group has released a current CD called Unreleased on Dogtown records with Brewerytown Beats. Her initial CD’s as a leader were recorded for Steeplechase records staying within the instrumental jazz genre with straight ahead, funky grooves on guitar and an occasional sultry vocal styling. Later CD’s on MSM-Records and Discograph reflect a more eclectic blend of traditional and contemporary jazz, soul and poetry. Monnette plays bass as well as lead guitar, drums and various African string and/ percussion instruments. She is a prolific composer and songwriter/poet who has  to scored and or arranged for various ensemble configurations.


Mobile since her birth in Singapore, musician and composer Caroline Davis covers diverse musical styles. Recent albums include My Tree’s Where The Grace Is and Portals: Volume 1. She won Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll Rising Star Saxophonist (2018) and was listed in Downbeat’s Readers Poll (2021). Davis has played with Lee Konitz, The Femme Jam, Matt Mitchell, Terry Riley, Sara Serpa, and Billy Kaye. She has been in residence at MacDowell and awarded Jerome Hill, CMA, and NYFA grants. Her compositions integrate science and music, influenced by her Ph.D. Davis is an advocate for gender equity (The New School) and abolition. Portals is an immersive sound and haptic experience, drawing upon the idea of grief and mourning as textural entities. The music offers snippets of poetry (written by Davis during the aftermath of her father’s unexpected transition) alongside music that challenges expectations. These tensions create an immersive, improvisatory experience for understanding not only Davis’ grief, but our collective mourning.

Caroline improvises with a balance of passion and polish that younger horn players often lack” – Downbeat Magazine


The nomadic spirit of this exciting drummer, producer and composer lives in her jazz and hip-hop-infused music. Romarna’s irrepressible energy can be heard on ‘Inherently Political’, a super-charged sonic assault on racism that had her crowned New Name of the Week by Jamz Supernova, and ‘25 Songs For My 25th Birthday’, her kaleidoscopic debut featuring Tomeka Reid, Sumi Tonooka and Lady Sanity. With international performances alongside Billy Childs, Courtney Pine and Denys Baptiste and mentors of the calibre of Gary Crosby, Terri Lyne Carrington and Neal Smith, Romarna stands on the shoulder of giants and is beating a path forward that is very much her own.

“Her perspective is refreshing, and it’s amazing to see her work begin to unfold” ~ Lancaster Jazz