2020 Performer Bios
A Puerto Rican and a Cambodian walk into a kitchen. The kitchen is your heart. The food is made with food. The food is sometimes poems. Either way you are fed. Adobo-Fish-Sauce is an active choice to celebrate in the face of bitterness. It is responding to “Go back to where you come from!” by bringing where they are from right to you. The duo fuses spoken word, cooking, intentionality, vulnerability, and joy to create a one of a kind experience that can’t be found in any kitchen or open mic.
“In Spanish there is a saying: ‘De musicos, poetas y locos todos tenemos un poco.’ This translates into something like: ‘We are all part musician and poet and just a little bit crazy.’ In my case, I believe I was blessed with an extra tablespoon of those three ingredients.” Andre Veloz
She is a singer, songwriter, painter and actor. She pursues each of these art forms with equal command – one might say abandon. She is an extraordinary vocalist who takes to the stage as if she owns it and, from the very first note, connects with the audience as if to say: “Come with me; let’s let it all out together.” Her name is Andre Veloz, and her surname (English translation: “fast”) bespeaks the daring of a woman who has plunged headlong into the male-dominated world of Dominican bachata, making no excuses and begging no quarter. Her oh-so-soulful voice – pure, sonorous and effortless – is tailor-made for this genre, popularly known as the “Dominican Blues.” That voice is at once plaintiff and sure, the hallmark of bluesy music everywhere; it says: “Yes, it hurts, but I will survive.”
Bread & Puppet Theater
The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood. More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants. Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people.
In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets. Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, a two day outdoor festival of puppetry shows, was presented annually through 1998.
Bread and Puppet is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.
An engaging, theatrical live performer, Ceschi Ramos has treated entire venues like a stage, viewing the middle of the audience or an empty barstool as good a place as any to perform a soul-baring folk song or tongue-twisting rap track. Ceschi once described himself in song as “a martyr at most… a failure at least” and said that, “In the eyes of history I’ll be no more than a leaf on a tree.” He knows what it is to suffer for his art and is aware that music exploring the ugliness and sorrow of the human condition will always exist on the fringes of a game dominated by disposable escapism and expensive publicists. Yet he still pours everything he has into his craft, and on any given night you can find him tracking vocals at his cousin’s New Haven studio, warmly greeting fans and friends at a dive bar merch booth or rapping double-time in Japan or Europe for audiences that often don’t speak his language, but are able to see the giant heart at the core of it all.
Christopher Paul Stelling
“Stelling is a troubadour in the truest sense. His songs find their roots in the storytelling methods of southern folk music. His virtuosic finger plucking guitar playing couples well with his commanding vocal style as he weaves the two around stellar songwriting that encompasses subjects near and dear to early American folk artists.” – NBC New York
Kaovanny, effortlessly communicates beauty, power, strength and independence in every performance. She has become known for her concerts where she creates sultry and captivating experiences.
In 2016, South America embraced her when she hit the ground running during a six city 10-day tour of Colombia ending with Medellin's Flower Festival, the nation's largest music festival. Kaovanny returned to her hometown, Boston, MA, where she was featured at the Beantown Jazz Festival, where many legends have graced the stage before her. In 2017 Kaovanny embarked on her second international tour in Brazil, South America where she performed in Ipatinga Live Jazz Festival.
Kaovanny’s Tres EP is a sneak peak of Kaovanny's range as an artist. Her bi-cultural influences are as loud and clear as her messages are. This latin/jazz, Hip Hop Fusion is Kaovanny's first shared body of work with her audience.
OOMPA is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids n’ them. She was named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch and her engaging, interactive performing style won her the Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year in 2019, following her 2018 Unsigned Artist of the Year victory among an unprecedented 12 total nominations. In a 2019 feature, WBUR’s the Artery describes the lyric-focused rapper as having a “natural tenderness with language” and calls her verses “funny...incisive and memorable.” Oompa showed this poetic prowess as the winner of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam and a finalist in the 2016 National Poetry Slam. With the release of her newest album, Cleo, Oompa has sold out the Sinclair and a number of other Boston venues. She has been featured by NPR, the Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, WGBH, digboston, and NBC 10 and is the recipient of the 2019 Brother Thomas Fellowship, enriching Boston and the world beyond with her work.
Prateek (pruh - TEEK) has been described as “Not just any guy with a guitar…” by The Boston Globe and perhaps that’s the best introduction to his music besides actually listening to it. The Boston-based artist recorded his debut EP, “Walking in My Sleep,” with only his guitar and two microphones in an attempt to emulate Bob Dylan’s early work. Since then, Prateek’s music has evolved to incorporate gritty electric guitars, silvery backing vocals, and lush strings, all draped around his own soulful, powerful voice. Prateek has been a Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalist and has been nominated for Singer-Songwriter of the Year at both the New England Music Awards and the Boston Music Awards. His music has been played on radio stations including Sirius XM, 98.9 WERS, and 92.5 The River. His most recent EP, "All You Do Is Drown," is available wherever digital music is sold or streamed.