Lela Aisha Jones

Movement Artist / Choreographer / Vocalist

Lela Aisha Jones is a movement performance artist and embodied researcher that engages in artistic inquiry. LAJ is also a vocalist and community-grounded organizer/curator that collaborates across worlds of practice. For her elegantly daring offerings, LAJ has earned a New York Dance and Performance | Bessie nomination, Leeway Transformation Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Her most recent artistic engagements and projects include a feature film and virtual ceremony titled "Revivals of Blackness" (2021) curated/commissioned by David Bradley for World Cafe Live (in collaboration with Aidan Un, Luke O'Reilly, and Alex Shaw), "Olney Embrace Project Revival Walks" (2020/2021) commissioned by Ambrose Liu for Olney Culture Lab, commissioned work titled "we all gon’ die into revivals" for Red Clay Dance in Chicago, IL (2021), co-artistic director of "Modupue | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project" (2019) in partnership with Intercultural Journeys, commissioned work titled "Grounds that Shout...and others merely shaking" (2019) for Philadelphia Contemporary | Sacred Spaces and curated by Reggie Wilson, commissioned work titled "Plight Release and the Diasporic Body" (2019) for the African American Museum of Philadelphia presented by James Claiborne and Temple University’s "Reflection : Response" curated by Merion Soto, and as a performer/researcher in nia love's "g(1)host | Undercurrents" (2019) at Gibney Dance NYC. LAJ serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Brownbody, a St. Paul Minnesota-based Ice/Stage dance company, where she restaged with Christine King an excerpt from the famed Jawole Zollar and Urban Bush Women work "Walking with Pearl : Southern Diaries : Anybody Here," on ice, with a cast of black figure skaters. The work was dedicated to the life and research of Dr. Pearl Primus. LAJ earned a B.S. at University of Florida, an M.F.A. at Florida State University, a Ph.D. at Texas Woman’s University, and is the Director of Dance at Bryn Mawr College. LAJ was born and raised in the wonderful Tallahassee (old fields), FL and is based in Philadelphia, PA.

Luke Carlos O'Reilly

Pianist / Composer

Luke Carlos O’Reilly is an award-winning pianist and composer that has had a passion for music since the early age of 4. He is most heavily influenced by Jazz, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Latin Jazz, Hip-Hop and Classical music. Before the age of 17, Luke had been given the opportunity to play with the likes of Clark Terry, Joshua Redman, Walter Blanding, and Steve Turre. After graduating from Lexington High School in Massachusetts, Luke moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend Esther Boyer School of Music at Temple University on an academic and music scholarship. There he studied under Terrell Stafford, Mulgrew Miller, Bruce Barth and many other world-renowned jazz educators. Before graduating in 2004, Luke had fully immersed himself on the Philadelphia jazz and r&b scenes, as well as made a name for himself on the nearby New York scene. After graduating, he recorded and/or toured with Curtis Fuller, Dave Valentin, Billy Paul, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Fred Wesley, Red Holloway, Steve Turre, Musiq Soulchild, Carol Riddick, K’naan and many others. Luke has released 3 albums as a leader; ’Living In The Now’ (2011), ‘3 Suites’ (2013) and most recently, ’I Too, Sing America: A Black Man’s Diary’ (2021). Between the 3 albums, he has recorded over 20 original songs. Recently, in 2017-2018, Luke was chosen to be an Artist-in-Residence for Philadelphia’s prestigious Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently a teacher for the Kimmel Center, as well as the University of The Arts (Philadelphia).

Alex Shaw

Percussionist / Composer / Vocalist

Alex Shaw is a Philadelphia-based percussionist, sound artist/composer, cultural producer, and arts educator working in the field for over twenty years. Intercultural, interdisciplinary collaborations and compositions merging diverse percussion traditions, vocal textures, field recordings, and digital imagination encompass his current artistic focus. He is the director of renowned Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil, and was a section leader in the award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra for over a decade, sharing stages with Zakir Hussain, Rennie Harris, and Yacouba Sissoko among others. Alex has produced dozens of public performances and cultural programs including Consciência Negra: The Legacy of Black Consciousness in Brazil, a 3-day symposium at Swarthmore College in 2016 that culminated with his original interdisciplinary production, The Mandinga Experiment, in homage to Capoeira Angola and its legacy of cultural resistance. He is a faculty member at University of the Arts, the former Artistic Director for Intercultural Journeys (2014-2020), and Co-Director of Modupúe | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project. Alex is also a founding board member and lead teaching artist for World Cafe Live’s education programs since 2008. He has received several competitive artist grants and an Emerging Legacy Award at the UPenn MLK Commemorative Symposium for Social Justice. Some of his teachers include Randy Gloss, Kahlil Cummings, Eduardo Santos, Nani Agbeli, Bernardo Aguiar, and Mestre Cobra Mansa, among many others. Alex holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MFA in World Percussion from the California Institute of the Arts.

Aidan Un


Aidan Un is a French-Korean-American filmmaker and photographer based in West Philadelphia. He works primarily in the genre of documentary and is interested in questions of culture, place, and identity. Recent works include Sisters of the Soil (2021), a short documentary film made in collaboration with Raishad Momar about a Black-owned bookshop in Philadelphia; The Ancestors Live (2020), a feature-length documentary about Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble; video and photo documentation of Modupúe | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project, a community-embedded exploration of the city's rich and diverse expressions of Yoruba-rooted traditions and culture. His work has been featured at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Mustard Seed Festival, The Outlet Dance Project Festival, New Urban Film Festival, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Blackstar Film Festival. Aidan is also a member of traditional Korean percussion group URIOL and of the Philadelphia chapter of FICA (Fundação Internacional de Capoeira Angola/International Capoeira Angola Foundation).