Festival Five Records was started in the year 2000 with three ideas in mind: one, we would make music that could be enjoyed by children and grown-ups together; two, we would try to reflect the sounds and stories of our varied and glorious neighborhoods; and three, do our best along the way to inspire people of all ages to make their own music.
Pauline Jean is a Haitian-American performing artist and humanitarian, PAULINE JEAN, is a captivating vocalist whose distinctive contralto and rousing melodies have caught the attention of audiences both young and old. Jean brings a refreshing sound to today’s music; creating an erudite blend of worldly jazz that draws from her Creole roots and integrates modern and traditional inflections. She has received considerable press globally from leading media publications such as DownBeat, Jazzwise, All About Jazz, World Music Report, and many more. Jean has been featured as a performer and bandleader at numerous prestigious festivals around the globe and has appeared in Barbados, The Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Haiti, Israel, Lebanon, Nevis Island, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the US Virgin Islands. She has also collaborated with esteemed literary
artist, Edwidge Danticat, and distinguished performers Denis Matsuev, Emeline Michel, and Wyclef Jean, among others. Her latest CD, NWAYO, was praised as “an amalgam of pure jazz vocalization steeped in Caribbean rhythm and soul” by AllAboutJazz.com and “extraordinary musicianship” by the World Music Report. Jean is featured on Grammy-winning artist Dan Zanes’ tribute album to blues icon Lead Belly on Smithsonian Folkways. Jean shares her perspectives on music and life as a musician through teaching private students and workshops for singers on all levels in the US and abroad. She travels to Haiti annually with a group of musicians, as part of the Experience Ayiti mission, to provide aid, master classes, free concerts, and instrument distribution throughout different regions of the island. Jean is a graduate from Berklee College of Music and an Artist-In-Residence with the Conservatory Lab Charter School’s, El Sistema music program in Boston. For more information about Jean, go to www.paulinejean.com.
Colin Brooks was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He asked for and received his first drumset as a Christmas gift at the age of 7. He set about learning how to play by constant practice, jamming with his guitar playing father, and listening to and watching all of the drummers he saw on MTV back when they actually showed videos. He started his first proper band The Numbskulz at the age of 13 and turned professional by performing at all-ages local punk rock shows. He played in “too many different bands to remember” throughout high school in Little Rock, until shortly after graduating, he accepted touring jobs with the groups 2 Minutes Hate and Ho-Hum. After driving around the United States in a beat up vans for the better part of 5 years, he decided to move to Brooklyn in 1998 when a friend told him about an audition for a band called Skeleton Key. Since then, he has performed with many different local acts and singer-songwriters. He met Dan Zanes in 2004 and has been traveling the world drumming ever since.
Sonia de los Santos was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and since 2007 has been touring the world, singing in English and Spanish, playing guitar, mandolin, and jarana, and lighting up the stage with Grammy Award winning group Dan Zanes And Friends. In 2015 she released her first solo family music album titled Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island a collection of songs that reflect her experiences growing up in Mexico, moving to another country, learning about other cultures, and in the process, feeling closer to her own heritage. This unique collection of old and new songs is a personal, and yet universal, musical story from this soulful and important new voice in family music, and the messages of joyful community music making and cultural bridge building will inspire and excite children and grown ups of all backgrounds. To learn more about Sonia and her first solo family album, visit her website: soniadelossantosmusic.com
Elena Moon Park is a musician and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Oak Ridge, TN, she studied anthropology and ethnomusicology at Northwestern University and completed her M.A. in Urban Policy from The New School in New York. Before moving to NYC, Elena served as a development consultant for grassroots social justice organizations on the south and west sides of Chicago. Today, she manages programs for Found Sound Nation, including the OneBeat international music exchange, and actively engages in outreach with youth arts groups across the United States. In 2012 Elena released Rabbit Days and Dumplings, an album for families featuring folk and children’s music from East Asia. Elena still finds the time to play fiddle, trumpet, mandolin, and sing with Dan Zanes and Friends on stages worldwide. rabbitdays.com
Yoshi Yaki Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Yoshi began to play jazz bass at age of 20. Over the next few years, he emerged as a sought-after accompanist, with regular appearances at jazz clubs in Tokyo. In 1996, he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, where he was given Outstanding Performer Award. After graduation, he was on the tour for two years with the National Tour Company of the Tony Awarded musical Fosse, . Yoshi currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and plays and tours with various groups in the city. He has appeared in several major New York venues and well known clubs such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Blue Note, Knitting Factory, and many more. Yoshi is featured on most of the Dan Zanes and Friends Albums including the Grammy award winning Catch that Train! as well as After Hours (Chihiro Yamanaka) which won the 23rd Japan Gold Disc Award for Jazz Album of the Year.