Celebration: Discover The Arts! Artists

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Meet Our Artists & Instructors 

Keelan Jones - KeyNote SPeaker | Bassist | Concert Musical Arrangement

Keelan Jones - Keynote Speaker and Musical ArrangementIn 1987, after having spent seven years of his life surrounded by a musically talented family, Mrs. Darlene Jones felt that it was time for her youngest son, Keelan Jones, to nourish his latent talent music. His mother’s encouragement materialized in her purchase of his first snare. According to Keelan, “after picking up the sticks and playing on my first snare, I never wanted to stop playing.”

Keelan began to aggressively study the technique of playing drums, learning the fundamental rudiments necessary to take his playing to a different level.  At the age of eleven, Keelan added the bass guitar to his repertoire and has continued to play routinely, with his opportunities expanding to live and studio recording sessions, outdoor concerts, plays, television programs, tours and any other venue where music is heard.

Keelan's musical resume includes: Paula Cole, Chinbat Batmunkh (of Mongolia), Otis Clay, Deleon Richards, Kim Stratton, Bill Dickens, Mavis Staples, Mike Stern (Columbia College in house) and many more.

Lee England Jr. - Soul Violinist | Special Guest Musician 

Lee England, Jr. never imagined an introduction to string instruments as a child would foreshadow his future as a nationally-recognized instrumentalist. At six years old, he was immediately drawn to the violin and rushed home to tell his parents he wanted one. Although it gained his interest, the classically trained violinist admits he almost stepped in the path of his own destiny.

“Two weeks later, my parents bought me a violin, I played it once and told my pops I quit because I thought it was broken,” he confesses. “What father wants their child to quit at anything? So, my dad said ‘Sure you can quit, but you have to practice 15 minutes a day’. Clearly, he outsmarted me and I eventually forgot I wanted to quit and fell in love with playing it.”

The only violinist to appear on Diddy’s Making the Band on MTV and the representative of the Jordan Brand earned a B.S. in music business, a B.A. in music performance and a B.A. in music education from Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, Illinois.

DR. JACQUELINE WILSON - PROFESSOR | BASSONIST | PERFORMER | 

Wilson, Dr. Jacqueline.jpg Dr. Wilson is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she teaching applied basoon, written and aural theory, and world music. Dr. Wilson is involved with area ensembles including the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and the La Crosse SymphonyOrchestra. She has also performed with the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra, the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, the Chippewa Valley Symphoney Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and the Northwest Bach Festival. 

Dr. Wilson holds a Doctor of Musical AArts degree n Basoon Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. She is also a graduate of Boston University's College of Fine Arts and Eastern Washington University. Check out Dr. Wilson's work! 

CAROLE SPELIC - LECTURER | ARTIST | 

Wilson, Dr. Jacqueline.jpg Carole Spelic grew up in a remarkably creative household. Her father (an art teacher) and her mother (amusic teacher) encouraged all of their children to try almost anything that interested them; an encouragment that culminated in an eclectic skills set that she brings to the UW-Platteville community. 

She attended (and graduated) from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where she earned a Bachelors degree in fine arts and a botany minor. After taking time to travel, Carole proceeded to earn both her MA and MFA from the State University of New York at Albany. After moving to Manhattan, New York City, she worked as assistant coordinator for a University-based Studio Art program, she becmae immersed in the art scene and stayed in New York for 17 years. Carole relocated to Wisconsin in early 2000, and has worked at UW-Platteville since 2008. She loves teaching Art Survey and studio classes, as well as helping students find opportunities with community engagement. Carole is also a member of a band named Point Five

BENNY "LIL BENNY" RAMOS - DRUMMER | PIANIST | MUSIC PRODUCER

Benny Ramos was born, raised, and lives in Kenosha, WI. He started playing drums at the age of 4 years old..and started giging professionally at the age of 13. At age 17, Benny started learning piano and started gigging within a year. At age 19, he started producing music for local artists. Now, much of his professional work is done in the Chicagoland area. He believes his true purpose is in music production. 
When asked about something he is proud of: 
"A goal that I'm proud of...I've always wanted to work outside of the US! So it was an amazing experience to tour Central America last year! I had the opportunity to do concerts, give music clinics and just share my gift with so many great people"

Final Message: 
As much as I believe in pushing toward success and looking for that "big break"...I also believe that everybody has their time of success!

KARI LEITING - DANCE INSTRUCTOR | EDUCAOR| DOCTORAL CANDIDATE: BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY

Kari began with various forms of dance at the age of four. This love of dance led to teaching in Chicago and Minnesota. While teaching dance, she discovered her interest in Latin dance. Kari moved to Albuquerque in 2009 to start the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of New Mexico. She has enjoyed the fact that the Latin dance community is so much broader in Albuquerque than in the Midwest. Kari began working with the ABQ Latin Dance Festival in 2010 when she volunteered to help monitor classes and her involvement has increased each year since.

Kari has more than 10 years of experience in dance in struction and is looking forward to working with students at Discover The Arts! 

Michael "Sketch Artist" WhitE - ARTIST|Lyricist|Poet|

Michael White, also known as “ Sketch Artist”, is a lyricist from Waukegan, IL who has passion for music as well as ministry. He began writing/rapping in 1991 at the age of 8, when his family lived in Columbus, Ohio for several years.  During that time he, along with two buddies, formed a group called “P.S. or Prepared Souljas” in 1991.

His main inspirations to write at a young age came from many classic Christian artists including: Carmen, DC Talk, ETW, SFC, Stephen Wiley, and more.  In understanding his ability to use words, he dedicated his gift to God, and began honing his craft as a lyricist who spits biblical content with a creative, yet, controversial, and unapologetic approach. He writes his lyrics as if he is writing a story.  With a strong love for reading books, he truly enjoys manipulating words and phrases.  “In writing Christian content, people assume it’s going to be corny…I aim to smash that assumption with every pen stroke” Sketch says.

While the name “Sketch Artist” may be common, it is still very significant to him for a few reasons: 1) he aims to paint mental pictures with his lyrical content; 2.) He ‘s been an artist for 24 years, and is currently working on his master’s degree in Illustration. In addition to writing, he has also produced many of his recent songs, and would love to begin writing, and producing for others in the near future.

JAH LIV - POET|LYRICIST|PLAYWRITE|VISIONARY

 Jah Liv aka LIV hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His first projects were in the early days of HipHop with groups such as D DOUBLE L and Black Market. After becoming disenfranchised with the direction of HipHop he dominated the Spoken Word/Poetry scene becoming Pittsburgh's Steel City Slam Champion. After years of touring, this Universal Prophet makes his triumphant return to HipHop displaying his own esoteric style, which was born in Harlem, New York. LIV has shared the state with A-list Artists such as Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, and Capleton. 

JAMES ENGLISH III - PIANIST|PRODUCER|SONGWRITER|CEO|POET|

After his mother sat him on an organ bench at the age of 2 years old and began teaching him the notes of the keyboard James has spent over 30 years of his life surrounding himself with artists and musicians who not only poured into him, but also held him accountable for understanding the incredible power & importance of music in everyday life.

Utilizing his abilities in rap, spoken word, & music production, he is known for his transparency, his loud laugh, sense of humor, and head-on approach to life.  You can always find him using his personal victories and defeats to encourage those he comes in contact with to find their place in the kingdom, fully utilize their skills & passions, and understand that there is no distance too far for God's redeeming power to travel.
James is married to Sonia English, has a black lab named Jazz, serves as the youth worship leader for over 200 young people at Journey Church in Kenosha WI, and is one of the founders of FHG Studios.

JONATHAN "JONPRAXIS" BROWN - EDUCATOR|DRUMMER|PIANIST|GUITARIST|VOCALIST|WRITER|PRODUCER|COACH

Jon, the Co-Founder of FHG Studios, is also known as JonPraxis.  He chose that name a both a declaration to the world and as a reminder for himself. Praxis is defined as "practical application of an area of learning." So when you see JonPraxis it is a declaration that Jon practically applies his faith, and it is also an imperative reminding Jon to continue to do so.

He is a musician that knows he is blessed to possess musical ability, and even more so to have people around him that are dedicated to excellence. He loves to help people achieve their goals, personally, professionally, spiritually, and musically. Even as a child, he was nicknamed "The Professor" because of his profound desire to teach and explain. It is in his DNA to learn and to teach, and for this reason he has grown in his interest of session coaching and writing, and less on actual performance.

Jon desires to up lift and empower youth through his gifts of teaching and helping, and through this, he believes he is fulfilling his purpose in life. Jon is married to his wife Rebecca Brown, is father to Marcus Brown (Son) and Alexandria (Alex) Brown (daughter) and serves as the Pre-College Coordinator at University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

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