Our Brothers In the Performing Arts

James Kroener
Past Master of the Lodge

W:. James Kroener has worked in a variety of positions in Theatre and Magic. He served as Illusion Manager for Siegfried and Roy Present: Darren Romeo and has also worked as a consultant for magicians like Elliot Zimet, David Schwartz, and Ben Nemser. He has appeared in original productions at The Smithsonian Discovery Theatre, The Atlantic Theater Company, and The City College of New York. His own work has been performed at La Mama Etc, The Rich Forum, The National Theater (DC), and The Magic Castle.

James has directed productions of Boston Marriage, Much Ado About Nothing, Strictly Dishonorable, and Topdog/Underdog. He served as assistant director for Bob Cline's productions of Gypsy, Sweet Charity, Jesus Christ Superstar, and In The Heights at Montclair Operetta Club.

James received his BA in Theater & Speech (With Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) at The City College of New York, where he was also the recipient of the Bessie Spector Award for Excellence in Directing. James is also a graduate of the Atlantic Acting School.

Marko Gazic
Past Master of the Lodge

W:. Marko Gazic has been working as a professional musician since his mid-20s.  He leads a swing band, Sly Blue (you can visit the band's website by clicking on the following address: www.slybluemusic.com), and the band holds the honor of being the only band to play on the Bell Podium of the New York Stock Exchange.  Among other successes, they have toured and have a loyal following of swing dancer friends and fans.  

Also, W:. Marko has students and freelances within the traditional jazz scene and other styles, including country, bluegrass, rock, as well as traditional Croatian music.

Alex LaSalle
Past Master of the Lodge

W:. Alex LaSalle is the musical director, lead vocalist, buleador, primo, güiro for the Bomba band Alma Moyo. Alex also performs with Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nueva Yorquino, Grammy-nominated Los Pleneros de la 21, and other accomplished Caribbean music groups.

Desmar Guevara Santiago

Bro. Desmar is a composer, producer, music and sound designer, arranger and keyboardist who champions new music idioms in such mediums of art as musical theater, film scoring, and Latin jazz. He studied at the Escuela Libre de Musica in Puerto Rico, The Conservatory of Puerto Rico, and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

His recent theatrical scores, Game Over, a Latino musical theater adaptation of The Book of Job, The Exchange, Betsy, Pregones Theater's The Red Rose/La Rosa Roja, won him multiple ACE and HOLA awards.

Michael Wilner

Bro. Michael "Spike" Wilner is a pianist, who, in 1986, entered into the first class of the, now legendary, New School For Social Research's Jazz and Contemporary Music Program. To listen to a recording of him in live performance, click here.

Just recently, Bro. Spike launched the record label SmallsLIVE which focuses on high quality audio recordings of performances from Smalls Jazz Club. With 16 diverse and exciting titles currently availabe and 4 more for release by 2011, SmallsLIVE anticpates a production of 1 project per month. Spike's own project - Spike Wilner, Solo Piano: Live At Smalls, just received a glowing review in The New York Times Art & Leisure. It is available here: www.smallslive.com

Emanuel Gibson

Bro. Emanuel Gibson is an American singer-songwriter, acoustic, folk rock and blues musician who has been performing in support of his recently released EP, Lover's Lane, a record that has garnered raves. Bro. Gibson spent months developing a sound that he felt he could enjoy playing.

He credits his major musical influences to Bob Dylan, George Harisson and Jimi Hendrix. Despite the music being an influence, the most impactful influence on Gibson's music has been Edgar Allan Poe.

Ron Prokopez

Bro. Ron Prokopez is a trombone player and vocalist for the Salsa Dura band La Excelencia which has recently returned to the city after extensive touring abroad. Brother Prokopez has been hard at work recording his new album to be released this year. To view their website & stay up-to-date with their tour dates click here.