Jocelyn Zelasko, Voice
Detroit-based soprano, Jocelyn Zelasko, is celebrated as an insightful performer with a captivating stage presence. She has performed chamber music, opera, and art song throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. She is the vocalist and founding member of ensembles Juxtatonal and Whoopknox.
Zelasko’s career began in the classical realm, but her passion for making complex vocal music accessible to audiences through authentic storytelling led her to pursue new music. As an advocate for the creation of new works, Zelasko originated the title role of 100 year old photographer, Pat Sturn, in the new mixed media chamber opera, Pat & Emilia (Smallman/Gervais/Sievers-Hunt) which toured extensively in Canada and the Great Lakes region from 2015 – 2018. She has also commissioned 14 composers including Daniel Felsenfeld, Marti Epstein, and David Smooke to explore their respective perspectives on relevance.
Zelasko’s scholarly pursuits focus on fostering musical identity and embodying empathy through song. After her riveting lecture performance on Eleanor Smith’s social protest songs, she was invited to contribute a book chapter on her research, development, and embodiment of the social protestors in Smith’s, Hull House Songs. The book and accompanied recordings are scheduled for publication in 2019.
She received bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and economics from Oakland University and a master’s degree in music from the University of Iowa.
For more information, visit her website: www.jocelynzelasko.com.
Thom Monks, Percussion
Thom Monks is an active freelance drummer, percussionist, and teacher in the Detroit Metro area. He has worked actively as a musician since his first professional gig at 14. Performing has taken Thom many places across the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, and Chicago. He plays in many different venues from local bars, to churches, collegiate stages, theatres, festivals, and even Detroit's Orchestra Hall.
Thom is also a member of Rela Percussion combining music from around the world with jazz and art music sensibilities. Drawing from training in classical percussion and jazz studies, they also bring influences from experiences in African, Arabic, Caribbean, and Indian music. Rela Percussion is committed to global influences, experimental sounds, and solid groove.
He holds Bachelor's Degrees in percussion performance and music education from Central Michigan University.
For more information, visit his website: www.thommonks.com.