regular guest artists

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Christopher L. Huggins

Choreographer

Christopher L. Huggins is a visionary dance innovator. He is an Alvin Ailey disciple and historian, developing multilayered storytelling through dance. Christopher attended Purchase University, the Julliard School, and was a merit scholar at the Ailey School. He’s a former soloist of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Aterballetto of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

 

His work is rooted in research that memorializes our darkest history: this is found in his ballet THE LIST, a story about the systemic genocide of a Jewish family and those in concentration camps, and in his ballet NEW FRUIT, inspired by Nina Simone’s music, documents terror lynching.


Through his dance initiative, he provides access to emerging dancers and choreographers to study abroad with him. He works around the globe and held residencies at over 25 universities and colleges.
Christopher is a multi-award winner, including the 2021 Guggenheim Award Winner for Choreography, two Alvin Ailey Awards from Black Theater Alliance, a Walt Disney Diversity award, a Critics Choice award, and silver medalist of the International Dance Competition in Seoul, Korea. In addition, he holds the distinction of being “repetiteur” of Mr. Ailey’s ballets. Learn more about Christopher’s artistry here. Christopher wants his work to heal, entertain, and inspire mankind as he continues his dance legacy.

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Millicent Johnnie

Choreographer

Millicent Johnnie is Chief Executive Officer of Millicent Johnnie Films LLC and Chief Visionary Producer of 319 Productions. She is also a choreographer and collaborator with Mondo Bizarro. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, she received both her BFA and MFA in dance at Florida State University.


She toured as resident choreographer and rehearsal director of the Urban Bush Women in New York City, and served as a choreographer for the New York City Opera, US Cultural Ambassadors of Music, The Krannert Performance Arts Center, Grammy Award-winner Bill Summers, Los Hombres Caliente, and notable directors Peter Sellars, Rhodessa Jones, and Chey Yew, to name a few.


Millicent’s choreography has been featured by Cleo Parker-Robinson Dance, Hubbard Street II, The Alternate ROOTS Cultural Tour (Uprooted: The Katrina Project) and ESPN. Her work has been presented at venues such as Danspace Project, DANCENOW NYC, Dance Harlem, Joyce Soho, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, The Yard at Lincoln Center, International Association for Blacks in Dance Conference (2000-02), and The New Orleans Jazz Dance Project. Johnnie teaches on the dance faculty at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.


 

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Deloise Chagas Lima

Music Director

Collaborative pianist Deloise Chagas Lima is a native of Curitiba, Brazil. She joined the College of Music keyboard faculty at Florida State University in the fall of 2005. During the summer months she has been a member of the artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center since the summer of 2008, and in 2013 she implemented a new collaborative piano program at this festival. Prior to teaching in the United States, Dr. Lima was on the faculty of the School of Music and Fine Arts of Parana for over twenty years, teaching collaborative piano and chamber music.


As a sought-after collaborative pianist and orchestral keyboardist, she has performed extensively throughout the US, Europe, and South America with many distinguished artists, including Frank Almond, Sydney Outlaw, David Pittsinger, Paul Edmund Davis, Ian Clarke, Steve Cohen, Bill Ludwig, Joe Luloff, Marianne Gedigian, Amy Porter, Bill Preucil, and Alex Klein, among others. She also performs regularly with her husband, oboist Eric Ohlsson. In Brazil, she was the pianist of the Minas Gerais Symphony for two seasons and was a soloist with that orchestra and the Curitiba Chamber Orchestra. She was appointed principal keyboardist of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra in 2015 and she is also an official accompanist for the Florida Flute Association. She is the music director for An Evening of Music and Dance, a yearly collaboration with the Tallahassee Ballet and the College of Music at Florida State University.


She received the Bachelor of Piano Performance from the School of Music and Fine Arts of Parana, Brazil, a Performance Certificate in piano from Trinity College of Music, London, and is an Associate of the Royal College of Music in organ performance. Following her early studies, Lima received the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Literature from University of Notre Dame du Lac and the Doctor of Musical Arts from Florida State University.



 

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Leon Anderson, Jr.

Conductor

Leon Anderson, Jr., is Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at FSU. His musical experience includes that of a classical and jazz percussionist, educator, clinician, and composer. Mr. Anderson earned the B.A. degree in Music Education at Louisiana Tech University and the M.A. degree in Percussion Performance at Southeastern Louisiana University. Mr. Anderson currently teaches drum set, jazz ensembles, jazz combo, and jazz history at the FSU College of Music.


In 1997, Mr. Anderson was a featured soloist with The Marcus Roberts Trio’s performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, and he was the selected drummer for the “Great Saxophone Legends” concert at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, featuring Jimmy Heath, David Sanchez, Javon Jackson and
Red Holloway.


Anderson also has performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in the roles of drummer and percussionist. Additionally, he has performed with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra with the Ellis Marsalis Trio; National Orchestra de France with the Marcus Roberts Trio conducted by Seiji Ozawa; Umbria Jazz Festival, Perugia, Italy; Ingolstadt Jazztage in Ingolstadt Bavaria; Switzerland Jazz Festival in Basel, Switzerland; North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Ascona Jazz Festival in Ascona, Switzerland.  


His professional collaborations include performances with numerous artists: David Sanchez, Red Holloway, Donald Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Mike Wolf, Judy Collins, Henry Mancini, Victor Goines, and many others.
Anderson has also been featured in a review of the jazz composition “Afro Blue” for the text Teaching Music Through Jazz (December 2007) and an article entitled “JazzEd Scene” by Steve MacQueen, published in Research and Review (Vol. XIV, No. III, Fall, 2004). He also occupies the drum chair in The Jazz Orchestra at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Florida.


At FSU, Anderson continues to implement innovative ways in an effort to enhance and expand the Jazz Program. Since its inception, the program has grown exponentially and yielded numerous successful students, many of whom have solidified careers nationally in Jazz performance and education.
 

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Dr. Alexander Jiménez

Conductor

Alexander Jiménez serves as Professor of Conducting, Director of Orchestral Activities, and String Area Coordinator at the Florida State University College of Music. Prior to his appointment at FSU in 2000, Jiménez served on the faculties of San Francisco State University and Palm Beach Atlantic University. Under his direction, the FSU orchestral studies program has expanded and been recognized as one of the leading orchestral studies programs in the country. Dr. Jiménez has recorded on the Naxos, Neos, Canadian Broadcasting Ovation, and Mark labels. Deeply committed to music by living composers, Dr. Jiménez has had fruitful and long-term collaborations with such eminent composers as Ellen Taafe Zwilich and the late Ladisalv Kubik, as well as working with Anthony Iannaccone, Krzysztof Penderecki, Martin Bresnick, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Harold Schiffman, Louis Andriessen, and Georg Friedrich Haas. The University Symphony Orchestra has appeared as a featured orchestra for the College Orchestra Directors National Conference and the American String Teachers Association National Conference, and the University Philharmonia has performed at the Southeast Conference of the Music Educators National Conference (now the National Association for Music Education).

 

The national PBS broadcast of Zwilich’s Peanuts’ Gallery® featuring the University Symphony Orchestra was named outstanding performance of 2007 by the National Educational Television Association.

Active as a guest conductor and clinician, Jiménez has conducted extensively in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, including with the Brno Philharmonic (Czech Republic) and the Israel Netanya Chamber Orchestra. In 2022, Dr. Jiménez will lead the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in a recording of works by Anthony Iannaccone. Deeply devoted to music education, he serves as international ambassador for the European Festival of Music for Young People in Belgium and serves as Festival Orchestra Director and Artistic Consultant for the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Dr. Jiménez has been the recipient of University Teaching Awards in 2006 and 2018, The Transformation Through Teaching Award, and the Guardian of the Flame Award which is given to an outstanding faculty mentor. Dr. Jiménez is a past president of the College Orchestra Directors Association and served as music director of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras from 2000-2017.