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. Learn more about her work at zenacarlota.com.
SHREE SHYAM DAS / DIRECTOR OF PERFORMANCE & PR
Shyam (“shee-yahm”) is a musician and wordsmith born and educated in Florida, raised in ashrams in the U.S. and in India, and molded in San Francisco and New York City. As writer and editor E.E. Bradman, he has worked for a long list of employers, including Rolling Stone, Bass Player, Premier Guitar, the City of New York, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Computer Shopper. Shyam’s adventures as a producer, percussionist, and Grammy-nominated bassist have taken him to five continents, and his resumé includes the California Shakespeare Theater, ALO, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Jai Uttal, Hamid Drake, the New Pickle Circus, Lincoln-Mercury, and many others. Stop by and say hello at adifferenttrip.com.
JULIANNE QUIMBY / INTERIM DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Julianne is a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz and a transplant to San Francisco. She is actively engaged with the Bay Area arts community and finds her involvement with the Red Poppy especially fulfilling. Julianne is interested in cross-cultural communications, art education, and cultural diplomacy. She is an avid traveler, and her love of culture, language, and art have brought her to many different countries around the globe.
LYNNE BILLIG / VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Lynne entered the music scene as an adult by taking a different path than most—through software development. After asking herself what she wanted to be when she “grew up,” she discovered her vocal niche in singing American jazz standards in the San Francisco Bay Area—a place full of generous, talented musicians who are open to providing newcomers with musical opportunities. Along with the harmonic progressions of these standards, Billig says she “particularly love[s] the lyrics in these works. They’re clever, literary, and…tell an emotional story that people of all ages and backgrounds can relate to.”
ELENA MENCARELLI / EXHIBITIONS CURATOR IN RESIDENCE
Elena is an artist, art critic, and curator with a master’s degree in visual art from the University of Bologna, Italy. Though she was born in Perugia, Italy, Elena has been shaped by her travels throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. She began curating exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia in 2014, first as the artistic director of Make Your Mark Art Gallery and then as a freelancer. Between 2014 and 2017, she organized and curated seven artistic projects in Italy and Australia. Literature, philosophy, and history, which feed her curiosity and enrich her work with an intense conceptual component, are important elements of her artistic practice and curatorial activities. www.elenamencarelli.com
JEREMY ALLEN / AV SPECIALIST
Jeremy 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
Piano tunings are generously donated by Brani Piano.