6th & Jazz: Jazz Icons

These shows are as entertaining as they are educational.

Available to: Orange + Osceola County Public Schools 6th graders
For more information, teachers may contact Scott Evans (scott.evans@ocps.net) for Orange County or Joseph D’Ambrosi (Joseph.Dambrosi@osceolaschools.net) for Osceola County.

Come discover the history of the music genre that became the soundtrack of a movement. 6th & Jazz is a 55 min show that takes you on a journey to explore the roots of jazz and the people that brought it to life. The show features compositions by jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dizzy Gillespie. Don’t miss out on a performance that’s filled with be bopping tunes, improvisation, audience interaction and dancing feet, come join us and experience all things jazz!

This past years 6th and Jazz program was developed and presented in collaboration with NEWorks Productions.

6th and Jazz Artists

Nolan Williams Jr. – Co-Creator/Conductor/MC

Nolan Williams, Jr. is best described as a creative force. An award-winning producer, artistic director, composer/lyricist, and cultural curator, the multi-hyphenate Williams has dedicated his professional career to the curation of works that illuminate issues of civil rights, social justice, and cultural curiosities. Through his company, NEWorks Productions, Williams has produced a body of work that includes choral/orchestral works premiered by major American orchestras; music for television; songwriting credits on two Grammy-nominated projects; arts and educational festivals produced in partnership with The Kennedy Center and Philadelphia’s Mann Center; cultural programming developed with the Smithsonian, U.S. State Department, and the Embassies of India, France and South Africa; video/documentary projects; artist collaborations with Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Leslie Odom, Jr., Natalie Cole, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Raul Esparza, Denyce Graves, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and, a slate of theatrical productions, including GRACE, his critically-acclaimed new musical which premiered last year at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Williams is also the Kennedy Center’s inaugural Social Practice Resident and a recipient of the Kennedy Center’s National Performing Arts Committee’s 2019 Arts Advocacy Award. For more information, visit nolanwilliamsjr.com.

Established in 2003, NEWorks Productions is one of the nation’s premier producers of inspirational-arts projects. Through our strategic collaborations with leading artists and institutions, we conceive and present music, concert events, theatrical productions, video documentaries, educational initiatives, art exhibitions, curatorial festivals, and other signature works that educate, commemorate, uplift, and inspire. For more information, visit NEWorksProductions.com

Carrie Crawford – Jazz Choreographer

Carrie Crawford started dancing at the age of 4. What started out as an effort to correct her extremely turned in legs without using braces ended up not only working, but becoming her lifelong passion. She grew up dancing in Greenville, SC and upon graduation moved immediately to Los Angeles where she was accepted into the Apprentice Program at The Performing Arts Center in Van Nuys. She trained very closely with some of the best in the industry: Joe Malone, Jackie Sleight, Jerry Evans, Terri Yates, Doug Caldwell, Michelle Elkin, and Mark Goodman just to name a few. Training so closely with choreographers of such different styles has given Carrie a great deal of versatility in her own choreography now. Known for her impeccable musicality, her style is a refreshing blend of very classic jazz and lyrical, but with a fresh, modern twist. Carrie always tries to stay current and exciting without ever abandoning her true love and respect for her roots. Carrie has been performing, teaching and choreographing professionally across the country for over 20 years. Now based in Orlando, FL and the mom of 2 incredible, young children, she continues to do so, while simultaneously running Crawford Jazz Project, a professional jazz dance company in the area.

Performance credits include: Lady Antebellum, Disney Channel, Beyonce, Ally McBeal, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Hollywood, and numerous live concerts, awards shows and musicals.

Cartier Williams – Featured Hoofer

Cartier kicked off Paris Fashion Week 2020 with a spectacular star turn for Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, the culmination of his 25-year ascendance to the stratosphere of tap superstardom. Williams, who hails from Washington, D.C., began his tap-dancing career at the age of four when his grandmother, Audrey Williams, taught him his first steps. Two years later, six-year-old Cartier won the Apollo Kids competition at the iconic Apollo Theater and became the youngest inductee in the Apollo Legends. Later that year Cartier danced at the Kennedy Center Honors alongside Robert Downey Jr. Mr. Williams studied at the prestigious Washington School of Ballet under the tutelage of Mary Day. At the age of ten, Cartier co-starred with tap royalty Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, and Dianne Walker in the International tour of Footnotes. Mr. Williams considers it a blessing that he danced and shared the stage with tap pioneers and masters Peg Leg Bates, The Nicholas Brothers, and Gregory Hines.

Casey Gulledge – Jazz Vocalist

Casey Gulledge is an entertainer with over 5 years of professional experience in the industry. Having worked at renowned theme parks in Orlando, including Walt Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney's Epcot, and SeaWorld, Casey has become a familiar face in the local entertainment scene. In fact, during his time in high school, Casey had the incredible opportunity to be part of the grand opening of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.Now, Casey finds himself in a surreal full circle moment this time as a featured singer at the very same venue that kickstarted his performing arts career. Casey would like to extend his gratitude to God, his wife Madisen and his parents Curtis and Shirica Gulledge for all the love and support.

Michelle Mailhot – Jazz Vocalist

Hailing originally from the Boston area, Michelle has been singing jazz for over 25 years. She’s had the pleasure of sharing the stage with luminaries such as Mel Tormé, Max Roach, Sheila Jordan, Liza Minelli, Bobby McFerrin and Billy Taylor. She’s recorded several albums, been a session singer for radio, TV and film: most recently on several seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Michelle has been a guest artist with the Orlando Philharmonic, the Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra and is constantly in demand as a vocalist with many ensembles throughout Florida and beyond.

As an educator Michelle is a professor at both Rollins and Valencia Colleges, and is an active adjudicator and clinician around the country.

Adonus Mabry – Jazz Dancer

Adonus Mabry (Choreographer/Performer) Credits: Nosferatu and Lenox Ave (Renaissance Theatre Company); Ain't Misbehavin' (Athens Theatre); Goodbye, Liam (Casey Tregeagle - Fringe Festival); Dragons and Fairies & Down the Rabbit Hole (Creative City Project); and Spamalot, Hairspray, Ragtime , & Aida (Encore! Performing Arts). He's passionaite about the Orlando arts community and continues to grow alongside it. Adonus is also a principal dancer for Crawford Jazz Project (CJP), an Orlando-based professional jazz company directed by Carrie Crawford. He's so excited to be participating in 6th & Jazz!

Kathy Guryan – Jazz Dancer

Kathy Guryan began dancing at the young age of two in her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina! She began taking dance seriously around the age of 13 while diving deep into her training in Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Musical Theater and Contemporary and her love of dance only grew from there. She graduated at the age of 17 from The Fine Arts Center in Greenville and immediately started to take steps towards becoming a professional dancer. In 2015, she began touring with DanceMakers Inc, where she got the opportunity to tour the country, assist incredible dance educators, and get her first real taste of the dance industry. At the end of the tour, she followed her dreams up to New York City, where she continued training as a part of the Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester.

Since moving to Orlando in 2017, she has been able to pursue a lifelong dream of working for the Walt Disney Company in shows across property. She has been an Equity chorus dancer in shows like Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, as well as Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, all at Disney’s Magic Kingdom! She currently an Equity Principal Dancer at Disney’s Festival of the Lion King, which is the only principal dancer role of its kind on property. She has also been gifted the opportunity to be Dance Captain of Crawford Jazz Project; a local jazz dance company here in Central Florida!