Jazz at the Ballroom

The festival is excited to present a creative program by the Jazz at the Ballroom organization, which has presented special programs on the Great American Songbook at the country’s most respected venues such as the Kennedy Center, Skirball Cultural Center, Lobero Theatre, and at New York City’s famed Birdland.  Jazz at the Ballroom is committed to keeping the American Songbook and swinging, classic jazz thriving, sharing this extraordinary American art form with the greater public and providing audiences with one-of-a-kind experiences.

Jazz at the Ballroom will feature a lineup of rising stars led by the extraordinary jazz pianist Konrad Paszkudzki and featuring bassist Dylan Shamat, vocalist Olivia Chindamo, pianist/vocalist Champian Fulton, vocalist Vanessa Perea, vocalist Wyatt Michael, trombonist Rob Edwards, saxophonist Adrian Cunningham, and more.

Purchase Main Stage Seating HERE

At this year's festival, the Jazz at the Ballroom Ensemble will include the following:  

Konrad Paszkudzki

Jazz Pianist and Artistic Director, Jazz at the Ballroom

Called by Jazz Times, “a rising star pianist,” Australian-Polish Konrad Paszkudzki began his career at the age of 15 when he went to university in Perth. He finished his undergraduate degree at 18 and quickly established a reputation as a leading jazzman in Australia—including becoming the first pianist to win the James Morrison Scholarship in 2008. It was James Morrison who said of Konrad, “To put it simply, he is Jazz!”

After relocating to the United States in 2009, Konrad received his master’s degree at the University of Miami and went on to play with the likes of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Jeff Hamilton Trio before moving to New York to lead the house trio at New York’s 54 Below. In 2013, Konrad joined the John Pizzarelli Quartet. Since then, Konrad’s 1000+ performances with Pizzarelli have taken him on extensive tours of Asia, Brazil, Canada, and Europe and the greatest jazz clubs, concert halls, and venues around the world, including New York’s Café Carlyle, Bemelman’s, Birdland, The Blue Note, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center,  Dizzy’s Club CocaCola, DC’s Blues Alley,  The Palm Beach Colony, Jazz Alley, The Venetian Room, The Montreal Jazz Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Ronnie Scotts.

Olivia Chindamo

Jazz Vocalist

Olivia Chindamo, an Australian-born and New York City-based jazz vocalist, boasts a unique voice that effortlessly carries stories and melodies with exceptional integrity, honesty, and musicianship. Recognized for her technical vocal control, textural versatility, and scatting prowess, Chindamo's musicianship merges elements from the old and new. Graduating as a Master of Music in 2021 from The Juilliard School, she carved history as the institution's first-ever jazz voice graduate student.

With an ardent love for improvisation, Olivia's musical journey harmonizes an expanding knowledge of jazz history with her contemporary sensibilities, showcasing impressive technique control and versatile textures. She's performed extensively in renowned New York venues such as the Kennedy Center, Dizzy’s Club, The Lincoln Center, and Birdland Jazz Club, alongside international tours, including her recent European tour. Acknowledged for her contributions as a jazz division representative and Gluck Fellowship leader at Juilliard, she was honored with the Joseph W. Polisi prize for "Artist as Citizen."

Before relocating to Brooklyn, Chindamo earned the 2016 Bell Award as Australia’s best young jazz artist. Her move to New York has solidified her reputation as one of the most promising young singers in the scene.

Champian Fulton

Jazz Pianist and Vocalist

Born in Oklahoma, Champian is considered one of the most gifted pure Jazz musicians of her generation. She grew up with music in the home; her mother and father (Jazz trumpeter and educator Stephen Fulton) recognized her fascination with music at an early age. The presence of her father’s musician friends, including Clark Terry and Major Holley, inspired her to focus on Jazz. Her first paid musical engagement was with her own band at Clark Terry’s 75th Birthday Party; she was 10 years old. Since then, her piano and voice skills have been recognized by peers and critics as distinctive and sophisticated.

This young woman from Oklahoma captivates audiences in New York’s finest Jazz rooms and in concert halls around the world. Recognized as a Rising Jazz Star by the Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll, Champian was also named Pianist and Vocalist of 2019 by Hot House Magazines Readers Poll. Her “galvanizing presence” (the New Yorker) and her alluring musical presentation have made her “a charming young steward of the mainstream Jazz tradition.” (The New York Times)

Adrian Cunningham


New York-based and Australian-born Adrian Cunningham is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, and world traveler. With fluent command of the saxophones, clarinet, and flute, he is one of the finest multi-instrumentalists in jazz today.

In a career spanning two decades and counting, the “down under sax star” (Wall St Journal) has performed alongside luminaries such as Jon Batiste, Chris Potter, and Wynton Marsalis, and has appeared as a soloist in some of the world’s great stages including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Blue Note (New York and Toyko), Stravinsky Auditorium (Montreux Jazz Festival) and the Sydney Opera House.

Adrian is the recipient of the Hot House Saxophone Award (NYC), and his band Professor Cunningham and His Old School, is the winner of international band competition World Jam, (Madrid) and Best Band award at Harlem Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania).

Adrian’s discography as a leader is too numerous to be listed, however, his most acclaimed recordings within the last decade include Jazz Speak (w/Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Ted Rosenthal) and Play Lerner and Loewe (w/Fred Hersh trio, Randy Brecker), both of which broke the top 20 in the national jazz charts.

Vanessa Perea

Jazz Vocalist

Vanessa Perea is a NYC-based jazz vocalist and recording artist. She received her Bachelors in Music, education, from New Jersey City University. Vanessa has performed with numerous bands throughout NY and NJ and has led her band at NYC’s finest jazz clubs including Smalls, Mezzrow, Dizzy’s, Swing 46, and The Django. She has performed with world-renowned musicians such as George Cables, Dwayne Burno, Emmet Cohen, John Lee, Yotam Silberstein, Pasquale Grasso, Adam Birnbaum, Joe Magnarelli, Akiko Tsuruga, Jerry Weldon, Robert Edwards, Sharel Cassidy, Michael Dease, Alex Smith (accompanist to Lady Gaga), and member of the vocal duo group The Ladybugs with whom she traveled to China to perform at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Shanghai.

She has recorded four albums as a leader and co-leader: Play Date (2019) (previously Soulful Days), Home Life (2021), It Had To Be You (2022), and This Is The Moment (La Reserve, 2023). Vanessa has also appeared as a featured vocalist on albums such as Sabor a Mi by Tony Glausi, Songs We Love, Vol. 1 by The Ladybugs, Living Room 1 by Martina DaSilva, The Feeling of Romance by Russell Hall, Swingin’ The Holidays by Radam Schwartz, and Swift Kick by Andrew Swift. Vanessa currently lives in NJ and can be seen performing around NYC and NJ, including some residencies.

Wyatt Michael

Jazz Vocalist

Wyatt Michael brings the swing and style of the jazz standards and the Great American Songbook to his generation. He has grown up listening to and loving the songs of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, and numerous other icons in the genre. Appreciating their unique tone, diction, and phrasing, Wyatt Michael wants to see that style live on.

After only two years of full-time singing, Wyatt was featured on season 21 of the reality television show, “The Voice” where he turned the chairs of both Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande during the Blind Auditions stage.  Wyatt gained invaluable experience from the coaches before ultimately being eliminated during the battle rounds.

Robert Edwards


ROBERT EDWARDS is a jazz trombonist and bandleader in New York City. Born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, his schooling at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts exposed him to trombone giants Wycliffe Gordon and Bill Watrous, who helped peek his imagination of what’s possible on trombone.  After graduating from New Jersey City University in 2008, he obtained his master’s degree at The Juilliard School in 2010, where he studied with Steve Turre.

Robert won the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival’s Curtis Fuller Low Brass/Trombone Competition, where he was awarded a performance slot on the Main Stage. Other professional highlights include tours with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band and Roy Hargrove’s Big Band and performing at the Village Vanguard with the Village Vanguard Orchestra for a week. Robert plays the lead trombone in the Steven Feifke Big Band, Eyal Vilner, Glenn Crytzer Orchestra, and the Danny Jonokuchi Big Band. Robert also composes, arranges, and sings with his 10-piece big band at notable clubs such as Birdland Jazz Club, the Django, and Swing 46. The Robert Edwards Quintet has performed regularly at the legendary Smalls Jazz Club for five years.  He has five records under his name as a leader and co-leader. “Play Date” (2019), “Home Life” (2021), and “It Had To Be You” (2022) were made with frequent collaborator and vocalist Vanessa Perea. “Sound Business” (2010) and “Upswing” (2023) are recorded solely as a leader.

Dylan Shamat


Dylan Shamat is a bassist, composer, and educator based in New York City, where he studied at the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School. He performs regularly with Lea DeLaria, Allan Harris, Tony Desare, Cyrille Aimee, the Konrad Paszkudzki trio, and countless others, as well as in the off-Broadway production Sleep No More. He can be heard on the Cyrille Aimee album ‘Live’ (2018) as well as several recordings by the Konrad Paszkudzki Trio on the Venus record label. Since 2016, Dylan has performed pops concerts with many major North American orchestras, including the Houston Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has worked with current jazz legends including Peter Bernstein, Terrell Stafford, Dick Oats, and Janis Siegel. Dylan maintains an active teaching schedule through masterclasses for musicians of all ages across the United States.

(Dylan Shamat incredible solo begins at 5:55)