Meet the Artists
Sammy Rae & The Friends
Complete with a rhythm section, two saxophones, keyboards, and plenty of percussion, Sammy Rae & The Friends have delivered their high-energy, spirited and unrestrained shows to sold-out audiences around the US and Europe. Fronted by Connecticut native singer/songwriter Sammy Rae, The Friends flourish in any spotlight with a camaraderie, palpable chemistry, and unique sound rooted in classic rock, folk, and funk and sprinkled with soul and jazz. For the digital stage, they perform their hits ‘Denim Jacket’, ‘Jackie Onassis’ and ‘Let’s Throw A Party’.
Sammy Rae, C-bass Chiriboga, Will Leet, James Quinlan, Kellon Reese, Debbie Tjong, Max Zooi
Learn more about Sammy Rae & The Friends
The West End Wizbangers
The West End Wizbangers began as a trio in the summer of 2020. With their saxophone, accordion, and drums, they started outdoor musical parades to bring joy to the community amid the pandemic. They have expanded to six jazz players to perform a jazz version of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and a West End Wizbanger original for The Bushnell.
Maxx Meether, Dan Mac-Holt, Nathan Edwards, Dan Rice, Akin Hobson, Sarah Uyar
Storrs A Cappella
This group of singers originally began performing together at E.O. Smith High School in 2010. While some members have left Connecticut to pursue a variety of careers from financial advising to video game design to fashion photography, they have remained close and continue to practice their craft. They staged a reunion to perform “What A Wonderful World” for the Local Arts Stage.
Patrick Belanger, Joe Mohrbacher, Chester Allan Martin, Bibi Mama, Labib Fasihuddin, Ellen Yang
Stafford Handbell Society, Wildring HandBell Ensemble, St. Luke Lutheran Church Handbells
Members from three different renowned handbell groups create a beautiful chorus of sound as the largest group to perform on the local arts stage with nearly 40 musicians participating. Musical director of The Stafford Handbell Society, Phillip Lanier, conducts the bell ringers with the help of assistant director, Neesa Hart. The SHS is internationally known for its performances and is one of the largest handbell communities in the United States. These dedicated and passionate musicians perform a set of Holiday tunes and two different medleys with songs you're sure to recognize!
Learn more about The Stafford Handbell Society and its partners.
Phillip Lanier, Neesa Hart, Gina Marie Williams, Jennifer See, Constance Tyler, Katie Kennedy, Lucy, Wendy Luikart, Marquis Hodgson, Thomas Lanier, James Pryor, Brian Lamb, Taylor Keith, Anthony Bongolan, Mary DeLeon, Cooper Shaw, Kim Whitehead, Larry Berdensey, Carolyn Krake, Laurie Crawford, Alice Carter, Peter Keefe, Betty Caruso, Debbie Burgess, Christopher Derjue, Daniel Derjue, Logan Dame, Grace Eldridge, Maddie Jolly
Orquesta La Yuqueña
Orquesta La Yunqueña was formed in 2010 in Meriden, Connecticut and has since become one of the premier salsa bands in New England. They frequently perform around Greater Hartford, lighting up stages, festivals and weddings. The thirteen members specialize in Salsa Gorda, covering songs from artists like Bobby Valentine, Cano Estremera, Hector Lavoe, Frankie Ruiz. Salsa at its best, “Nuestro Orgullo!”. The group performs “Lluvia (Agua Que Cae Del Cielo)” for the Local Arts Stage.
Learn more about Orquesta La Yunqueña.
Luis Torres, Nate Rodriguez, Hector Rodriguez, Damion Curtis, Robert Torres, Alvaro Maldonado, Tito Planas, Brian Wallace, Drew Ploud, Marcos Torres, Manolo Mairena, Luis Rene Robles
The POSSM at Hartbeat Music Festival
The Hartbeat Music Festival is a free, day-long celebration of local and regional music, hands-on music activities, and local food along the Connecticut River. Now in its fourth year, festival co-organizer Earl Henrichon allowed The Bushnell to capture his band, ‘Professors of Sweet, Sweet Music’ aka ‘The POSSM’, for the Local Arts Stage. The band is well-known for their energetic and eclectic originals, becoming 3-time Best of Hartford Winners. They perform their original song, ‘Tidal Wave’, for the Local Arts Stage.
Learn more about The POSSM.
Earl Henrichon, Jeremy Haddad, Craig Huntington, Dave Counterman, Bryon Verdone, Ben Paden
Sonia Plumb Dance Company
Since reforming in 2012, Sonia Plumb Dance Company has reached over 9,000 audience members of all ages and abilities in the Greater Hartford region. Through a multi-pronged approach to programming, SPDC reaches beyond the arts community with a diverse repertoire that reflects upon larger societal issues through performances, classes, workshops, community outreach, arts integration residencies and collaborations with musicians and composers, artists and actors, puppeteers, poets and professors.
Sonia Plumb and her dancers perform on the projection-mapped architecture on the Bushnell lobby wall and beyond, creating a fusion of classical and contemporary movement.
Learn more about the Sonia Plumb Dance Company.
Sonia Plumb, Savana Jones, Rachel Calabrese, Brian Syms, Jr., Julia Maranzano, Jaydin Dejesus
Air Temple Arts
Formed in 2013, Air Temple Arts has become the number one studio in Connecticut to learn circus arts. Youth and adults learn aerial silks, trapeze, juggling, lyra, handstands, and more in their Woodbridge studio. They have choreographed and performed a new variety piece in collaboration with The Bushnell.
Learn more about Air Temple Arts.
Stacey Strange, Nicholas Strange, Jillian Marchenko, Kate Gonzales, Dani Bobbi Lee, Holly Gilligan
Savana Jones is a Hartford native with many years of experience as a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She is the founder and director of “Rhythms in Color,” a current company member of “Dimensional Dance,” and has been performing in the outdoor production of "Night Fall" since 2016. Jones brought six of her students together to dance and paint on the walls of The Bushnell.
Olivia, age 6; Nathan, age 4; Malcolm, age 7; Dre’Anna, age 7; Isabel, age 12; Elijah, age 13
In 2006, a group of bboys/breakdancers who regularly performed in the Greater Hartford area came together to create the United Outkast Crew. Today, UOK designs events that bring people together to experience music and dance. For The Bushnell Local Arts Stage, they present an immersive break battle in Heaven Skate Park, along with Tang Sauce’s local hit, ‘That’s funk right there’ and graffiti art by Taris ‘Poptart’ Clemons.
John “Tang Sauce” Manselle-Young, Randorn “Tiger” Luangpraseuth, Taris “Poptart” Clemons, John Paul “JP” Henares, Henry “Savage” Olivo, Nic Fortenbach
Hartt Voices is an ensemble dedicated to inspiring audiences by creating intimate, yet dynamic and engaging performances, focusing on a wide range of repertoire from 16th-century polyphony through contemporary works. Members come from a variety of different cultural, academic, and musical backgrounds which represents the breadth that the University of Hartford has to offer. The choir is led by Anthony Trecek-King, Hartt School Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities. The choir performs 'Let's Walk Together' by Paul Smith, conducted by Anthony Trecek-King, Hartt School Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities.
Learn more about Hartt Voices under the Vocal Performance tab.
Miles Wilson-Toliver, Zac Burns,
Nic Daniel Charles, Rachel Corliss
, Rhiannon Elliott
, Hannah Goldreich,
Alexander Hartofelis, Madison Holmes
Grace Mittleman, Zach Reggio,
Ram Tysoe, Abby White,
, Yingying Xia, Yumeng Xing
RiseUp Group / CT Murals
RiseUP is a Connecticut non-profit founded in 2015 to beautify communities through inclusive and accessible public art. The organization has created over 75 mural and place-making projects throughout Connecticut, working with over 40 local artists, partnering with hundreds of communities and organizations and hosting over 1,000 volunteer artists per year. RiseUp supports artists, cities, other nonprofits, companies, and local community members in making their mural projects come to life. Six RiseUp artists create a variety of pieces for the Local Arts Stage, ranging from a mosaic of Egyptian Queen Aten Nefertiti to an original portrait of historic singer Marian Anderson.
Learn more about RiseUp Group.
Ben Keller, Corey Pane, Jillian Goeler, Deka Henry, Michael Rice, Jaii Marc Renee
The University of Connecticut's Digital Media & Design program in the School of Fine Arts provides innovative instruction across seven concentrations; 3D animation, motion design & animation, game design, web / interactive media design, digital media business strategies, film/video production, and digital culture.
A class of film and animation students taught by The Bushnell’s Ryan Glista present two unique performances; internationally recognized Blues group the Jake Kulak Band, and a Meditative Love Story with UConn student dancers. Watch as The Bushnell is illuminated with a unique blend of 2D animation and live performance!
Learn more about UConn Digital Media & Design.
Nicole Bottone, Trinity Caban, Jason Chan, Le Duy, Parker McKenzie, Lauren Platt, Heather Rutishauser, Jin Liu, Luiza Printes Dos Santos, Zahra Sadeghi, Zahra Zare, Julie McKenna
Jake Kulak, Anthony Lippo, Kenneth Lippo, Jeremy Peck, Luiza Printes Dos Santos, Julie McKenna
Since 2001, the Conn-Men have brought some of the best all-male a capella to Connecticut and beyond. They’ve performed at the White House, the Connecticut Governor’s Mansion, UConn Athletic events and even opened for Pentatonix and the Yale Whiffenpoofs. Led by Chester Martin, this group of alums reunited to perform the classic American parlor song ‘Hard Times Come Again No More’ by Stephen Foster, arranged by Eclipse 6.
Learn more about the Conn-Men.
Samuel Beckwith, Patrick Belanger, Tyler Campbell, Benjamin Cantor, John Gerrity, Thomas Jordan, Nicholas Kuell, Will Leet, Chester Martin, Sean May, Ryan Paul, Samuel Smith
The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy
Performed at the Aetna Theater in Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum for over a decade, the Nutcracker Suite & Spicy is a rousing contemporary spin on the classic holiday ballet. Created and choreographed by Carolyn Paine, the critically acclaimed production fuses ballet, contemporary, hip hop, breakdancing, jazz, tap, ballroom and acrobatics, featuring a dynamic ensemble cast of Greater Hartford talent.
Learn more about The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy.
Tyler Brown, Kayleigh Crocetto, Meghan Crocetto, Sam Flook, Jazmin Hall, Tatyana Johnson, John “Tang Sauce” Manselle-Young, Brennan Paine, Carolyn Paine, Fred Rosado, Lyndsay Rysedorph, Alex Zarlengo