William Eckhart Kohler
Kohler is an intrepid gallery goer and has relationships with many gallery dealers, so that, where possible, dealers may join in the conversation, bringing further perspective to the art on view. Kohler has been painting for 35 years and exhibiting professionally since the 80s, has taught painting, drawing and art history at various schools including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Indiana University. This experience serves as a basis for looking at the contemporary art on view and has given Kohler an easy and approachable manner. Kohler also writes on art for the Huffington Post, his Painting Lives! Blog and Art Pulse magazine.
Rosa Berland is an art historian of modern art based in New York City and Long Island. She has served as an assistant curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and worked at the Guggenheim Museum as well as the Frick Collection. She is the author of a number of academic book chapters and articles including work on Oskar Kokoschka’s early literary and visual practice. She is currently writing a monograph on the American artist Edward E. Boccia in cooperation with the artist’s trust. She obtained her MA in Fine Art History at the University of Toronto, and her BA with Honors in Art History & European History from Pennsylvania State University. Her specializations include Expressionism in art and literature, the history of collecting, and the development of regional modernism in the Americas.
A career-long journalist, Norman holds a political science degree from Yale University and a master of studies in law from Yale Law School, but he credits architectural historian Vincent Scully for inspiring him to explore and examine cities. Born in Brooklyn and a returnee to the borough in 1991, Norman began in 2000 to lead energetic, electic tours around numerous Brooklyn neighborhoods, expanding his repertoire each year (and even dipping into Queens and Manhattan). He continues to work as a journalist, focusing on Brooklyn, notably the borough’s decade-long development controversy, about which he writes the comprehensive, critical Atlantic Yards Report blog.
Kenny Berger is a native of Brooklyn and has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene since the mid 1960’s as a baritone saxophonist, composer, arranger, teacher, and historian. He has played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Mercer Ellington, Gil Evans, Toshiko Akyoshi, Duke Pearson and Dizzy Gillespie big bands and in small and medium sized groups led by Lee Konitz, Julius Hemphill, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Previte and Ned Rothenberg to name a few. He was baritone saxophonist and staff arranger for the National Jazz Ensemble, which was the first of the jazz repertory ensembles that are so widespread today. He holds an M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University and was a founding member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. He has taught jazz history, arranging and composition at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, William Paterson University, SUNY Purchase, New Jersey City University and The New School.
Chris Jentsch is a Brooklyn-based composer, bandleader, and guitarist working primarily in jazz and contemporary improvisational forms. Since 1999, his main ensemble is Jentsch Group. He has performed at leading NYC venues, and received numerous grants as a composer. As a bandleader and sideman, Jentsch has performed with such diverse musical personalities as George Russell, John Cage, Maria Schneider, and Chris Wood. He is featured in Scott Yanow’s book The Great Jazz Guitarists. Jentsch has released four CDs as a leader and has received critical acclaim for his recordings and performances. Fractured Pop, a CD/DVD production featuring his jazz quartet is due to be released in early 2015. Jentsch attended the Berklee College of Music and has liberal arts and jazz guitar degrees from Gettysburg College, the New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Composition from the University of Miami in 1999 and is published by the University of Northern Colorado Press, Advance Music, and Fleur de Son Records. Dr. Jentsch is an adjunct associate professor of music history at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island.
Michael Conklin is an active jazz scholar, cultural historian, and writer who specializes in jazz history and American music, music of the antebellum South, the Harlem Renaissance, and issues of race and class. He is presently pursuing his doctoral studies (D.Litt) at Drew University. This interdisciplinary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree allows him to focus on the intersections of American 19th and 20th century literature and black, American music (jazz). Michael’s dissertation, Uptown Gumbo: The Impact of the Blues and Jazz on the 1920′s Harlem Literary Tradition, examines the relationship between the artistic movements of Jazz Age Harlem in addition to the racial and socio-cultural implications at these crossroads. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Master’s degree in Jazz History and Research and had the pleasure of studying with such luminaries as Lewis Porter and Henry Martin. His thesis, an examination of the divergent piano styles of Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, was entitled The Poet and The Priest. Unsurprisingly, Michael’s spend the majority of his time teaching and writing; his essays can be found in publications by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, Salem Press, Scarecrow Press, University of Michigan Press, ABC CLIO/Greenwood Press and SAGE Publications.
Sean griffin is a doctoral candidate in History at the City University of New York Graduate Center. His research interests lie in 19th century history, and include slavery and antislavery, labor, African-American, and urban history. He has previously worked in history education at the New-York Historical Society and the American Social History Project, and is a contributor to the NYC Landmarks 50 preservation project. His current project looks at the relationship between the labor movement, land reform, and antislavery politics in the decades before the Civil War.