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                                          Harry Schnipper is an author, producer, lecturer, educator and presenter of nightly nightclub entertainment. He is the                                             owner/operator of Blues Alley Jazz, located in our Nation’s Capital and which is America’s oldest, continuously                                                         operating jazz supper club. Over the course of many decades he has perfected the art of curating his nightclub                                                       calendar while simultaneously fulfilling the role of his own non-profit jazz music education organization. Mr.                                                             Schnipper has utilized both platforms to promote a jazz music agenda that includes strategic partnerships with some                                           of the city’s most well-known institutions.

                                          Mr. Schnipper produces, presents or promotes at least one act, artist or event every day, somewhere each day of the                                             year. In Washington, DC he has pioneered programming in partnership with every embassy, every institution and every                                           university from the Smithsonian Institution to the Embassy of Japan to Howard University. In addition to presenting       performances he has pioneered programmed by creating the first-ever embassy jazz series, the Jazz Appreciation Month’s BIG BAND JAM! event every April and the Ella Fitzgerald international vocal competition to promote young and emerging jazz vocalists.

Mr. Schnipper is an annual contributor to JazzEd magazine and an in- demand lecturer teaching on the subject of the business of music. He has taught at many music schools and conservatories across America, the annual Jazz Education Network Conference and at the National Press Club where he is a member.

 

 

                                           Ken Avis  is a musician, writer and broadcaster. Raised in the UK, Ken has been based in the DC area since 1996. He                                                performs with the award-winning world-jazz quartet Veronneau. The band tours in Europe and the US and have three                                            commercially and critically acclaimed CD releases.

                                           Ken proposed and co-curated with a week-long festival of Brazilian music, workshops, and film which earned a                                                        National Endowment for the Arts award. He co-produced a film documentary Bossa Nova about DC’s Charlie Byrd                                                  Trio, and wrote the play “Bossa Fever!” (2015) exploring the explosion of Brazilian bossa nova music in the early                                                      1960’s He is currently working on a movie Anacostia Delta, which spotlights the impact of DC guitarists Danny Gatton                                            and Roy Buchanan. Ken is the on-air host for two weekly music radio programs on WERA 96.7FM and is a                                                                contributing writer to Jazz Journal (UK), Capitalbop, Baltimore Jazz Alliance Newsletter, Washington Post and Jazz Times. He is a regular speaker at DC Music Salon and delivered a TEDx talk on improvisation in 2017. He also lectures on the Strathmore Professional Development for Musicians program and serves as a mentor to their Artists in Residence musicians.

 

 

                                            Blake Biles is a retired partner with substantial experience as an environmental attorney, including five years with                                                 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and over 30 years in private practice. Over the course of his career, he                                             provided a full range of services to a variety of clients encompassing all types of environmental legal matters:                                                         counseling, transactions, rulemakings, compliance audits, and both enforcement and appellate litigation. Mr. Biles                                                   has particular experience in matters involving the regulation of, and potential liabilities associated with, chemicals                                                 and other commercial products. At EPA from 1975 to 1980, Mr. Biles was an attorney in the Office of Enforcement,                                                   and in the Office of General Counsel. Thereafter, he was the first Director of the new-chemicals review program in the                                             Office of Toxic Substances. Mr. Biles has long provided pro bono services to low-income and other vulnerable                                                           populations, including representation of tenants to preserve affordable housing; work for AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly (including Chair of the LCE Board of Directors); service on the Neighborhood Legal Services Program Board of Directors (including current Chair of the NLSP Board of Directors); representation of homeless individuals, persons seeking social security disability benefits, and residents of substandard nursing homes; and advocacy for mentally-ill persons in institutional settings, including prisons. The DC Bar has recognized Mr. Biles as Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

 

 

                                              Edward Fisher is a consummate educator having served several decades teaching in the classroom and as an                                                         education administrator. His training and teaching, including two Masters degrees, concentrated in history and                                                         administration. He is most proud of his many years with the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He also served in                                                     numerous leadership positions in professional and community organizations which include Vice President at the                                                     Education Licensure Commission and President of the DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men.

                                              In his retirement, he continues to serve on civic groups and councils promoting quality education for youth. He is on                                               the board of Directors for the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, the HD Woodson                                                         STEM Board, and the Ward 7 Education Council. A life-long member of the Alfred Street Baptist Church, he is                                                           actively involved with the Men’s Group, Homeless Outreach, Brother’s Keeper and the HBCU College Fair.

 

 

                                               Lynn Veronneau is a vocalist, radio broadcaster, band leader and performance coach. Ms. Veronneau has                                                                  performed in Europe and North America, leading her band VERONNEAU to win multiple awards and Top 10 chart                                                    status in jazz and world music categories.

                                               She is a mentor to Strathmore Music Center’s prestigious Artists in Residence program and has been a panelist                                                      and speaker on the issue of women in music. Ms. Veronneau performs in her native French as well as English,                                                        Spanish and Portuguese.

 

 

 

 

                                                   Andrew Rossi is a proud parent of a Blues Alley Youth Orchestra musician. When not searching for a

                                                   parking space in Georgetown, Andrew is a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health. His expertise is in                                                        the area of brain systems underlying sensory and cognitive behavior. He applies this background as a research                                                        administrator at the National Institute of Mental Health where he directs a program that supports basic research                                                    on multiple aspects of cognition, with an emphasis on higher cognitive functions and reward systems. A                                                                    transplant to the DC region from the San Francisco bay area, Andrew was introduced to jazz by

                                                   accident when he was assigned to the music library as a work-study student in college. He has been a jazz fan                                                       ever since. Andrew received a PH.D. in Neuroscience from Brown University and a B.A. from the University of                                                           California, Berkeley.

 

 

 

 

Christine Kharazian is a concert violinist, a graduate of the Komitas State Conservatory and the Tchaikovsky Advanced School of Music in Yerevan. She studied violin with Prof. Edward Dayan, a pupil of David Oistrakh.Her early performance experience includes 5 years with the Armenian National Opera’s Symphony  as a member of the first violins, and with the Sharakan Ensemble of Ancient and Medieval Music of Armenian TV and Radio, as a soloist.
Christine is an active performer. She is well versed in many styles of music from classical to jazz. She enjoys exploring culturally different styles of violin playing from Balkan folk to Brazilian choro. As a classical performer she has performed in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Hall, Dumbarton House, Library of Congress and various Embassies in Washington, among other venues.
Christine is an experienced educator. An alumna of the Inspired Teaching Institute, she teaches at Sidwell Friends School, and is Washington Performing Arts teaching artist for the Capitol Strings program. She led the String Orchestra program at Fillmore Arts Center for many years until it’s closure in 2021.

Christine is also the author and presenter of a series of interactive programs in music education offered to students of the District’s public and charter schools. Currently she serves as a Chair of Student Activities at Friday Morning Music Club, coordinating concert series for young aspiring musicians.

Dr. Fleischer was born in Washington, DC, in the first half of the last century. Blues Alley opened in 1965 when he was a senior in high school and his early memories of the venue centered around sneaking dates in and trying to remain unobtrusive. He listened avidly to Felix Grant and Charlie Byrd as an alternative to the disappointing Washington Senators.

 

He attended Duke University, majoring in philosophy and history, then Creighton University Medical School. After medical internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia,  he completed cardiology fellowship at the University of Vermont.  He practiced interventional cardiology first in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he was the chief, and finally in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where he and his wife Pam lived for the past 20 years.  

 

He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology, and an overseas Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He also is boarded in echocardiography, interventional cardiology, and electrophysiology.

 
He moved back to DC a year ago to be nearer to his children and grandchildren and is back again haunting Blues Alley.  

 

Dr. Albert Sam is a vascular surgeon in the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute in northern Virginia.  Born and raised in New Orleans playing the trumpet as a child, he has had a lifelong love an affinity for all music – particularly jazz. His youngest son Miles currently is a guitar student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and is a member of the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra as well as being an alumnus of the Blues Alley Summer program.

 

After graduating from Morehouse College and the Duke University School of Medicine, he completed a vascular and endovascular surgery fellowship at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. He entered private practice in Baton Rouge, LA, where he served as the Chief of Vascular Surgery at Baton Rouge General Hospital. He joined Tulane Medical School as an associate professor of surgery and Chief of Vascular and Endovascular surgery at the Tulane Heart & Vascular Institute in New Orleans. During this time he served as Tulane’s board chair of the Gulf South Quality Network - a clinically integrated, population health centered, physician network of nine member hospitals and 1,600 physicians in Louisiana overseeing processes to improve quality and safety.

 

In addition to becoming one of the first physicians nationally to be board certified in general surgery, vascular surgery and endovascular medicine, he has served as a principal investigator for numerous national and international vascular clinical trials.

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Blues Alley Jazz Society Board of Directors

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