Chamber Music Columbus Presents a
Musical Celebration of Black History Month
OUR DISTINGUISHED PANELISTS
Dr. Mark Lomax II, D.M.A.
Dr. Mark Lomax II, of Columbus, is a critically acclaimed composer, recording artist, drummer, activist, and educator. A highly sought-after lecturer, Lomax specializes in the socio-political, and spiritual aspects of African American art music, race, and using the arts to build community. These ideas are documented in his TED Talk Activating “The Transformative Power Of Trust”, and his weekly COVID-inspired Youtube show, “Drumversations.”
Lomax adamantly declares that “there has never been a time in his life that music was not a part of me.” Heavily influenced by his father, a pastor, and mother, a composer of gospel music, Lomax was introduced to gospel and jazz at an early age. He continued his study of gospel music with Dr. Raymond Wise, founder of the Center for the Gospel Arts.
Lomax has toured with the Delfeayo Marsalis Sextet and worked with notable artists such as Clark Terry, Marlon Jordan, Azar Lawrence, Bennie Maupin, Billy Harper, Nicholas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, and Wessel Anderson, among others. Jazz Times says Lomax’s “forceful drumming would have made Elvin Jones proud.” He has also been a resident artist with the Cincinnati Symphony (2019), Denison University (2017), and has presented the 400 across the country at various colleges, universities, art and community organizations.
Dr. Lomax holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree in composition from The Ohio State University. His myriad experiences have allowed him to create a unique blend of styles in his music. Whether he’s interpreting the Negro Spiritual through jazz, arranging gospel music for a symphony orchestra, or performing his original works, his music is relevant, probing, and inspiring. For more information visit MarkLomaxII.com
Dr. Janise White
Founder, Director and pianist – Afro American Chamber Music Society Orchestra
Professor White served as tenured Music Professor with the Los Angeles Community College District for over two decades. A child prodigy, she began piano studies at Mills College at age 4 and recorded at age 9. White is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (B. Music, piano); Oberlin Conservatory (Artist Diploma Studies); University of Southern California (M. Music, piano); and Cal State University, Hayward (Choral Credential). She studied conducting with Dr. Denis DeCoteau.
Her piano teachers were Adolph Baller (San Francisco Conservatory of Music); Francis Walker, (Oberlin Conservatory) sister of Pulitzer Prize Winner, Dr. George T. Walker and Daniel Pollack (University of Southern California). She has appeared as soloist with orchestras on the west coast and concertized as recitalist in London, France, Canada, Virgin Islands and for radio and television.
Dr. White researches works by Black composers, creates and publishes orchestrations for AACMSO’s Black Symphonist Concerts. White is listed in “American Black Women in the Arts and Social Sciences” by Dr. Ora Williams, “Brass Music of Black Composers” by Aaron Horne, “The Magic of Music” by Leroy Hurte, “The Bibliography of Black Music and the Greenwood Encyclopedia” by Dr. Dominique Rene de Lerma.
Conductor, Afro American Chamber Music Society Orchestra
Mr. Womack teaches in the Music Teaching & Learning Department at the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton School of Music and was previously Assistant Director of the USC Trojan Marching Band. He also serves as Instrumental Music at Foshay Learning School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan and a Master degree in Music Education from the University of Southern California.
PBS recently featured Mr. Womack in an inspiring mini-documentary called “The Jazz Ticket”, which follows the journey of a promising Foshay music student preparing to audition for the Berklee College of Music. Mr. Womack and his students have made multiple national television appearances and were featured in the premiere episode of the Queen Latifah Show performing with Grammy Award-winner, Alicia Keys. Under Mr. Womack’s direction, the Foshay Jazz Ensemble recently performed in Paris, France as American Ambassadors.
Learn more about AACMSO at AACMSorchestra.org
Lady Jess, née Jessica McJunkins
Artistic Director and Concert Master, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra.
Lady Jess performs in NYC and LA. In addition to her work as Artistic Director of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, LJ leads the Baltimore-based Soulful Symphony, is a soloing member of Beyoncé K Carter’s band, and contracts strings in New York and Los Angeles.
Artists credits include collaborations with Stevie Wonder, The Roots, J.Lo, Max Richter, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Diana Ross, Spike Lee, One Direction, Terence Blanchard, Jay Z, Solange and more. TV credits include The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with The Roots, Saturday Night Live, and more.
Recent projects include the Emmy-nominated documentary Homecoming with accompanying live album, the On The Run II Tour with Beyonce and Jay-Z, recording and arranging strings while on tour with the Carters for the Grammy-nominated joint album Everything is Love, and recently released soundtracks to Disney’s The Lion King with Hans Zimmer. As a session musician in Los Angeles, she can also be heard on the soundtrack of Charlie’s Angels, It II and more. While in LA, LJ also performs with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra, most recently for performances of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Disney Pixar’s Coco live.
She made her solo debut at Disney Hall (Los Angeles) in collaboration with Nicole Miller, for and by, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as part of a festival curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She is a guest panelist and speaker at the League of American Orchestras, and Sphinx Organization.
More information: LadyJessMusic.com UPchamberorchestra.org/
Dr. Shawn Wallace
Musician, Professor, Social Commentator
Dr. Shawn ‘Thunder’ Wallace is a versatile performer, recording artist, composer, clinician and arranger, skilled in jazz music and equally comfortable with classical, contemporary Christian and gospel music. He has been seen and heard nationally on CBS, BET, NBC and NPR. In addition to receiving recognition from many newspapers and publications including Billboard and Contemporary Christian Music Magazine, he is a winner of Downbeat magazine’s Outstanding Soloist award. He has released eight CDs, is a multi-instrumentalist (saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, bass, and guitar), and is the leader of Doctor Thunder Quartet (Live Streamed Concerts 2nd Thursdays @ 7pm).
Dr. Wallace is the director of Jazz Studies and associate professor of jazz saxophone at The Ohio State University. He is also the minister of music and worship arts at Second Baptist Church. At Ohio State, he leads The Ohio Jaztet (jazz faculty group), The Ohio Show Band (commercial music ensemble) and The University Jazz Ensemble (Ohio State’s top big band). Dr. Wallace is a Vandoren Artist and endorses Gary Sugal Mouthpieces and Gemeinhardt musical instruments.
Thunder appeared in the 2017 movie Miles Ahead and has authored two books; How to Improvise over Chord Changes (Hal Leonard, 2018) and Hot Licks: 365 Transcribed Licks for Treble Clef and Bass Clef (self published e-book, 2020). A 2nd e-book is in the works which will present over 50 jazz etudes written over the chord changes to selected jazz standards. He recently released his first classical album (Doctor Thunder Plays the Commissioned Works of Marcel Mule, 2020). Dr. Wallace tours frequently with The Count Basie Orchestra and also regularly performs with The Columbus Jazz Orchestra.
Doctor Thunder has a podcast/ interview series on YouTube (Conversations with Doctor Thunder) with over 113 episodes (Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Victor Wooten, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and growing and a weekly live stream (Thunder’s Thoughts). He is very active on social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Tumblr, SoundCloud) and has a bi-weekly program with TK Coleman (Thunder & TK). Thunder also has a monthly program with Ike Ogiamien (Getting $h1t Done) which streams live on Ike’s YouTube and Facebook page.
For more information visit his website, DoctorThunderMusic.com
Fellow, Chamber Music Connection
Alex Palmer is a cellist from the New Albany/Gahanna Area. He is a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High. Alex plans to study Music Education as well as Cello performance in University. Alex has taught in several classroom environments, including The Ohio State University’s Morning Strings summer program with Dr. Robert Gillespie. He also assisted Kevin Dengel and Jana Ross in the direction of his school’s Freshman Orchestra.
In his free time, he also teaches private cello and violin lessons and has participated in a wide variety of orchestral ensembles including CMC and Columbus Cultural Orchestra, where he has the role of Concertmaster. During his time at CMC, Alex has developed a deeper love for chamber music.
Alex is a CMC Fellow with a concentration in string pedagogy for the 2020-2021 season. He currently studies cello privately with Wendy Morton, Assistant Principal cellist for the Columbus Symphony.
Learn more about Chamber Music Connection at CMconnection.org
We are grateful for the support of these organizations.