Zena is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and visual artist based in the Bay-Area. Her traditional background in Kora and West African harp has inspired her to combine her love of classical West African string music with Appalachian folk, Delta blues and soul to create narratives of memory and migration in the African Diaspora. An accomplished visual artist, Zena finds it a natural progression to apply in her own art the same themes of ritual and tradition found in West African music. As a fifth generation Bay-Area resident, she values the notion of longevity and sustainability in community, and sees the role of the Red Poppy as a vehicle for creativity and support for artists. She is currently producing new work for her first album and can be found at zenamusik.com.
Schuyler Karr is a bassist, composer and arts administrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be found performing with chamber orchestra One Found Sound, chamber jazz group The View From Bernal Hill, Darren Johnston’s Broken Shadows and with a large cast of other jazz, classical, and folk groups. Mr. Karr has served as Principal Bass for One Found Sound, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra. His community commitment is evidenced by dozens of educational performances and frequent participation in the Mission Arts & Performance Project.
Jen has been immersed in the visual arts since a young age, later going on to pursue a bachelors in studio art at UC Riverside. Although she eventually switched gears to language with a focus on Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, it became evident that art would continue to hold a certain significance in her life. Her ongoing interests in music, design, and culture led her to the discovery of the Red Poppy Art House, where she readily became a member of both the PR and hosting teams, as well as the Professional Development Track. Upon graduating from the Poppy’s internship program, Jen continues her relationship with the space through the management of PR and communications.
Nancy Appel started volunteering at the Red Poppy Art House in 2009, at long last answering the call for volunteers after several years of supporting the Poppy and local musicians as a dedicated audience member. She has assisted in each of the roles needed to make performance evenings run smoothly, working many evenings at the door and counter, as well as acting as host. Besides event volunteering, Nancy assists with weekly concessions runs, and coordinates the cadre of rotating concessions volunteers to make sure the Poppy is well stocked in necessities like ginger beer and hand soap. When not at the Red Poppy, Nancy works for the regional office of a national civil rights organization.
Jeremy Allen is a musician, educator, composer, and producer. He performs with a variety of Bay Area artists and is co-founder of the acclaimed pan Latin-American jazz group Quijeremá. With this multi-media arts ensemble, he has performed, toured and recorded, both nationally and internationally, since 2002. Allen is also an adept instructor in media arts, focusing on live sound, event production and audio-visual installations. Jeremy graduated in American Studies: Urban Education from UC Berkeley, and is the owner/engineer at Musiquito Studios, an independent recording studio and media production shop in Oakland, California. www.musiquito.com
Aleksandra Bril joined the Poppy Team since September 2013. By way of great luck, she stumbled upon the Poppy online. Upon first stepping through its red doors, she could not stop smiling. The unique spirit of the room was evident in the dim lights, the sound of the boiling kettle, and three long paintings covering a bare wall. She first started out as a PR intern and later applied for and became a member of PRESENCE, the Red Poppy Development Cohort, participation in which gifted her a new sense of direction to pursue socially-conscious arts engagement. Currently, she reports on events at and affiliated with the Poppy, writes articles for the blog, and is a participating host during performance programs.
Piano tunings are generously donated by Brani Piano.