Malcolm Jackson, a Jacksonville native, is a self-taught photographer who works under the moniker Malc Jax. During his adolescent years Malcolm spent the majority of his time in neighborhoods on the north and east side of Jacksonville. At the age of five Malcolm started running track and field with the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU). He continued to compete in the sport until the age of 15 when injuries prevented him from further competition.
It was around this time when Malcolm set his track shoes aside and picked up his first camera. Malcolm explored the world of photography as a coping mechanism for depression. Being behind the camera and getting lost in the world he was shooting was an escape for Malcolm. For the most part, Malcolm’s battle with depression is behind him but photography is still a therapeutic release.
Henry Rollins is a punk rock icon. This is largely a result of his tenure as vocalist in Black Flag, a California based hardcore punk band. Rollins was active in Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. During his years in Black Flag, Rollins formed a reputation for his tenacity to tour, his unrelenting work ethic, and the raw energy with which he performed.
Less than a year after the disbanding of Black Flag, Rollins formed the Rollins Band and returned to the microphone. Rollins led the band with the belief that you give the the audience everything you’ve got. The band was active from 1987 until 1997, then again in 1999 until 2003. The Rollins Band reunited in 2006 for several live performances but have since gone on to an indefinite hiatus.
Rollins started acting in 1985 and he has appeared in, or done voice over work for, a long repertoire of movies, television series, and video games. He has also hosted several television series, including History‘s “10 Things You Don’t Know About,” National Geographic‘s “Animal Underworld,” and IFC‘s “The Henry Rollins Show.” Not being one to turn down work, Rollins also hosts a radio show on KCRW, a public radio station, and a podcast titled “Henry & Heidi.”
Mark Amerika is an artist, theorist, novelist, and Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado. He holds a Masters in Fine Art (MFA) in Creative Writing from Brown University (1997). Amerika has exhibited his art in many international venues, including: the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, USA), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, USA), the Denver Art Museum (Denver, USA), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, England), ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), La Biennale de Montreal (Montreal, Canada), and the Museum of the Moving Image (New York, USA).
Baking began as a hobby for Calli Marie when she was 15 years old after she watched an episode of Food Network’s “Giada at Home” on television. At the age of 18, Calli enrolled in the culinary program at The Art Institute of Jacksonville. Calli attended classes during the day and in the evenings she worked as an overnight baker at a chain bakery and sandwich shop.
Calli’s formal education was complemented with the practical experience she received while working for several large scale production kitchens, including working as the Kitchen Manager at the Sulzbacher Center. There, Calli and her team prepared and served meals to approximately 500 homeless individuals, three times a day.
While Calli appreciated the real world experience she gained through her employment, she knew her passion was for baking. She eventually transitioned to working as a baker at several local Jacksonville businesses. With her hands kneading dough Calli finally fed her passion for baking.
Andre Gruber is an illustrator, painter, and musician. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Andre relocated to the United States at the age of 10 and settled in Jacksonville, Florida. Andre was a student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts from 2003 through 2007, where he studied Visual Arts. He never graduated, however, due to being deported back to South America in 2007.
After being deported from the United States Andre spent nearly two years living in his native country of Venezuela. He continued his pursuit of the arts by attending a music conservatory in Caracas for one semester. There Andre learned basic music theory and how to read music. While living in Venezuela Andre worked full-time as a private English and guitar instructor.
Andre returned to Jacksonville in 2009. In 2011 he founded Rum & Duck LLC. His company has published 6 issues of “LUST/APE Magazine” and produced 9 animated shorts. Rum & Duck LLC is also the avenue that Andre uses to record and release music. Paul Heumann, Charlie Shuck, Owen Sikes and Abigail Gruber comprise the publishing team at Rum & Duck LLC.
According to the League of American Orchestras, fewer than two percent (2%) of professional classical musicians in the United States are African-American. The 2010 Census, which is the most recent Census survey, showed that individuals who identify as African-American represent roughly thirteen percent (13%) of the US population. The disheartening statistic related to the number of African-Americans professionally involved in classical music is one of the motivators that led to the founding of the Ritz Chamber Players.
Founded in 2002 by Terrance Patterson, the Ritz Chamber Players stopped charging admission to their concerts in 2013. Their 2016-2017 season, which begins on October 21, 2016, marks their 15th anniversary as an organization. The name Ritz Chamber Players pays homage to The Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum, which celebrates the rich legacy of the African-American community that has thrived in Jacksonville, Florida’s LaVilla district for more than 100 years.