With over twenty years experience playing music, Emily Jones has established herself as both a competent performer and teacher. In 2010, the Princess Theatre made Ms. Jones an artist-in-residence. They have invited her to perform in various functions, as well as, direct a workshop in association with Camp Princess, the Girls’ Guitar Camp.
Emily holds a Master’s in Music from The University of Arizona, under the guitar instruction of Thomas Patterson, and a Bachelor’s in Music from William Carey University with master teacher, Dr. Miroslav Loncar. She has won top prizes in several competitions including the Portland Guitar Festival and MTNA regional collegiate artist competition. Most recently, Emily has begun to perform on the mandolin, her first instrument. She also plays with guitarist, Phil Weaver, in a duo called, Zapatos Perdidos and in the full group begun by Phil Weaver, Classical-Blues Cabaret. Upon the request of many, Emily will be recording a solo cd in the very near future.
Her career is quite diverse. In addition to being full time Box Office Manager at the Princess Theater, she teaches at The Studio of Fine Arts at First Baptist Church, Decatur, AL and maintains an active performing schedule.
A powerful guitarist who can play fast and muscular or deep, down and dirty Delta blues, Microwave Dave began his musical career in the mid-60s. Formed in 1989, Microwave Dave & the Nukes have played with notables Jerry 'Boogie' McCain and Bo Diddley. They maintain a constant touring schedule with regular gigs in all states of the Deep South, as well as performances throughout the United Sates and abroad. The band has released a number of CDs, including Down South Nukin’ (2006); American Peasant (2004); Atomic Electric (2003); Wouldn’t Lay My Guitar Down (2000); Goodnight, Dear (1995) and Gotta Get a Cadillac (1991).
Twenty years of performances in the U.S and Europe and seven albums-with more on the way-have helped Microwave Dave & The Nukes establish a wide multinational audience. Venues vary from French soccer stadiums to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, from blues cruises on the Big Red Boat to neighborhood saloons, but the thousands of shows delivered by the band all reflect one core element: the heritage blues music enjoys as a lifter of spirits.
As Microwave Dave puts it: "Blues is America's first-and still best-self-help program." Dave's solo credits include American Peasant (2004), recorded live at the Kaffeeklatsch in Huntsville. His radio show Talkin' the Blues With Microwave Dave airs weekly on public radio stations WLRH and WJAB in Huntsville. Recently Dave and the Nukes performed live on the NPR show "Whad'Ya Know" and brought down the house. At the beginning of 2011, author Stephen King praised the band in Entertainment Weekly, stating “that electric slide guitar will change your way of life.”
Jacob Frank began his study of the violin at the age of 10. In high school, Jacob won several music awards, including first place of the Eunice Hoffmeister Award, and the Decatur Music club award for 2 years. He also played in the Huntsville Youth Symphony, and was concertmaster his senior year. He has studied the violin with instructors such as Alberto Jaffe, Viljar Weimann, and Achim Gerber. He went on to study the violin in college, and sat as concertmaster of the Bob Jones University Orchestra, where he attended school. During his senior year in college, he won the Commencement Contest in the string category. Because of his love for the violin, he desires to instill in his students that same passion and desire for the violin. Since graduating from Bob Jones University in 2006, Jacob has been teaching the 3rd grade violin programs with the Huntsville Symphony School, and teaching privately. Presently, Mr. Frank is the conductor of the Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra, Decatur Youth Chamber Orchestra, as well as conductor and string coach of the beginning and intermediate orchestras, Apollo and Solaris, under the Decatur Youth Orchestra. In Huntsville, he is the conductor of the Philharmonia orchestra of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra program, and conductor of the Horizon Orchestra, which is a beginning adult orchestra. He also enjoys performing in weddings and receptions, and playing as a 2nd violinist in the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
INGRID VON SPAKOVSKY
Ingrid von Spakovsky has a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois where her teachers included Joel Shapiro, William Heiles, and Soulima Stravinsky. She also received a scholarship to study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with Heinz Scholtz.
Ms. von Spakovsky is on the music faculty at UAHuntsville and as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music has an extensive private studio. She is a member of the Classical Blues Cabaret with classical guitarist, Phil Weaver and blues guitarist Dave Gallagher which has performed at Birmingham City Stages, the City Lights and Stars Concert Series, and the W.C. Handy festival for several years. Ms. von Spakovsky is also the pianist for the guitar/piano duo Consonare which has toured throughout the United States and England and has played at New York City’s North River Concert Series, Hofstra University’s International Concert Series, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Vanderbilt University, Birmingham City Stages, the Nonsuch Guitar Society in London and the York Arts Center in York, England where the duo was interviewed on BBC radio.
Consonare’s CD on the ACA Digital label won rave reviews in Fanfare Magazine and 20th Century Guitar and was broadcast on Peach State Public Radio, WABE Atlanta, WNYC New York City and Philadelphia’s Temple Public Radio where Consonare was interviewed on the show “Crossover”.
Trumpeter Ken Watters is a Summit recording artist with five CDs to date released internationally on the label, all of which spent time in the top 50 on the jazz or world music charts. He is also endorsed by the Jupiter Musical Instrument Company (as a performing artist/clinician) & SESAC & SACEM affiliated jazz composer.
He has performed, recorded and/or toured with Carlos Santana, Frank Sinatra, Wyclef Jean, Marc Anthony, Natalie Cole, The Fifth Dimension, Petula Clarke, Eartha Kitt, Harry Connick Jr, TLC, Kelis, Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Blue Bland, Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Little Milton, Clarence Carter, Spoonful James, to name a few & Ken left his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama at 17 years of age to attend Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan) for his final year of high school, immediately after which he began attending the University of North Texas. He later continued his formal studies at Manhattan School of Music, The Banff Centre (Canada) & has studied privately with Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Jack Walrath & Kenny Wheeler. He won first place in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition, has been a recipient of several Downbeat Magazine Music Awards, & his music has been featured widely on several National Public Radio programs.
Ken regularly performs and records all over North, Central & South America, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Morocco, Japan, and throughout the Caribbean.
Watters & his wife Pamela, a professional pastel artist, now make their home in Mentone, Alabama.
Classical guitarist Phil Weaver has been performing for over 30 years, in the United States and abroad. He was the first guitarist to be awarded an individual artist's fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and is one of the few classical musicians on the Music Achievers roster at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. With the goal of making classical music accessible to an ever-widening audience, Phil has created a series of cabaret-style concerts in collaboration with a variety of artists from dancers to visual artists to fellow musicians steeped in different musical genres. Their recent concert at Decatur's historic Princess Theatre was so successful they were booked for the next season before they left the building.
Phil Weaver is the founder and artistic director of the City Lights and Stars Series for Burritt Museum in Huntsville, an extremely popular outdoor concert series that presents nationally and regionally renowned artists. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he directs the guitar program.