Two Year Rotating Musician Chair
In our desire to provide the musicians on our roster a voice in the leadership of the Treme Artists Collective, we have established a permanent position on the Board of Directors which will be filled by a musician from the New Orleans traditional jazz/brass band street community. The individual who fills this position will be selected by the Board of Directors, and will serve in the capacity of a board member for two years. Please meet the musician who fills the seat for 2021-2022.
Jerel Ford was born and raised in Central City area of New Orleans. From a young age he began second line dancing, eventually joining the Young Men Olympians Benevolent Association as a dancer. He had to evacuate the city during Katrina, but upon returning he founded the Free Spirit Brass Band in 2008, in which he performs on bass drum and percussion. He has been a masking Indian for thirteen years with Golden Arrow, Wild Mohican, Golden Blade and Uptown Warriors tribes. He intends to start his own tribe in the next few years. Jerel embodies the spirit of many of New Orleans’ most important cultural traditions.
Meet our Founding Members
Darryl Durham, Director of Arts and Community Engagement for Anna’s Place NOLA, is a native of Greensboro, NC. His formal studies were with Robert Listokin, North Carolina School of the Arts, High School Diploma in Music Performance; Ignatius Gennusa, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Bachelor of Music Degree; and Ethan Sloan, Boston University, Master of Music Degree. It was while a student in Boston that Mr. Durham began utilizing the arts as a means of educating youth about African-American history and culture. This experience developed his interest in arts administration which led to a job as Program Director of “Project SEARCH” of The Boston Conservatory. From the conservatory he moved on to the Harlem School of the Arts where he served as Executive Director for 7 years. Mr. Durham is a recipient of the Miles M. Young Award, the Music Assistance Scholarship of the New York Philharmonic, a two-time recipient of the Director’s Award from Boston University and a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. In addition to his work as an administrator, Mr. Durham has traveled the world as a professional clarinetist performing with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, ALEA III Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Boston College Chamber Music Ensemble. Mr. Durham founded Anna’s Arts for Kids in 2010 , renamed Anna’s Place NOLA in 2016, as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty which effects many of the youth he serves and was the recipient of the 2012 Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana Angel Award.
Yulene Velásquez is a Venezuelan professional singer, music educator and conductor. She has performed internationally as a member of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and has worked with world renowned composers such as John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov. In 2010 she moved to the United States to earn her Masters degree in Music at the University of Florida. Yulene moved to New Orleans in 2013 and since then she has worked with Make Music NOLA, the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts and Anna's Place NOLA. She is currently teaching Spanish at Tulane University and is a PhD student in Music Education at Louisiana State University.