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Opera Singer

Meet the Staff

Artists

Haley Bender-James, Program Associate

Haley Bender-James smiles. She wears a jean jacket over a black tshirt. Seen from the chest up.

Haley is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She is a young professional with a Master's in Public Health. Knowing that public health has many layers, Haley is aware that artistry is a significant factor in the mental health of many individuals. She has a passion for organizing and has held many positions that utilize those skills. As an undergraduate at Jackson State University, Haley became a media team leader for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. She was also a charter member and historian for the Healthcare Administration Association. She enjoys networking and finding new talent to introduce to Rhythm Visions Production Company. She is a fan of many different arts. She directed and was the executive producer of several short films and documentaries during high school. Haley is detail-oriented and has strong communication skills. She is also committed to promoting the overall health of minorities in all capacities.

Avery Collins, Program Associate

Avery Collins smiles. He wears a burgundy tshirt and silver chain. Seen from the chest up in front of a gray wall.

Avery Collins, the host of the Open Mic Nite Series Rhymez & Rhythm, is an actor, playwright, and director in the DMV area. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, he has a strong tie to urban culture and stories "from the streets". He brands himself as a Hip-Hop theater artist, as Hip-Hop and Theater are both mediums of storytelling. While attending the University of Maryland, from which he graduated in 2016, he began merging these two passions into what he realized was called Hip-Hop Theater. Since the beginning, he has performed in and written various Hip-Hop Theater productions, including his most recent work, My Free Sun with Renita Martin.

Niree Collins, Production Associate

Niree Collins smiles. She wears a black spaghetti tank top, a gold chain, and watch. Brown glasses adorn her face.

Being born and raised in Baltimore has shaped who Niree is as an artist. She loves telling stories about and bringing awareness to young Black children struggling due to no fault of their own. Niree's work addresses issues that forever impact our children's lives, including mass incarceration, welfare, and zoning. She is here to be a part of the change one heart at a time. Through her work at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Kennedy Center, Young Playwrights Theater, and F.R.E.S.H.H. Inc., Niree has been able to use her directing, playwriting, and teaching skills to not only tell these stories but also teach children how to create their own paths.

Melba Davis, Community Engagement Specialist

Melba Davis smiles. She is seen from the shoulders up. She wears silver wire-framed glasses and a white headband. She is standing in front of greenery.

Melba Davis, an accomplished professional with extensive experience in event planning and management, brings her passion for the arts and unwavering commitment to community engagement to the forefront. From overseeing the operations of the iconic jazz club Blues Alley to managing the legendary comedy club the DC Improv, Melba has consistently demonstrated her dedication to creating exceptional experiences. ​

 

Her proven track record includes successful management and training of teams, adept negotiation of contracts, and seamless coordination of events for various clients. Beyond her corporate roles, Melba wears the hat of the owner of "Easy Bein Green," a jewelry brand that celebrates the Afro-pop aesthetic and strives to foster community through artistic communication.

 

Melba's skills extend beyond the professional realm, reflecting her compassionate nature. She has dedicated over four years to volunteering with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, where her efforts have included fostering over 30 dogs. This unique blend of professional expertise and community involvement underscores Melba's commitment to curating impactful experiences in both the arts and local communities.

Jasmine Pittman, Studio Manager

Jasmine Pittman is smiling with mouth open. She is holding a black hat onto her head as if to stop it from blowing away. She wears a striped sweater beneath a plain jacket. Her portrait is black and white juxtaposed with a blue brick background.

Jasmine Nicole is a trained vocalist, music educator, songwriter, experienced vocal producer, audio
engineer, and business owner. With over 20 years of singing experience and more than ten years in music education and audio production, she has dedicated her life’s work to the sonic beauty of music.

 

Jasmine’s musical abilities have allowed her to travel and sing domestically, within several parts of the United States, and internationally before audiences that numbered in the thousands. Throughout the years, her musical gifts have been continuously crafted through singing in several gospel groups, studying, and performing classical music, jazz music, conducting, and choral composition. Her
academic journey culminated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.

 

More recently, the love of music, vocal production, and teaching led her to form her own business, All in
One Voice. Now, Jasmine works as the CEO, lead educator, and lead engineer for AiOV, whose
mission is to enhance and develop the natural vocal abilities of passionate singers through education and specialized vocal training. She focuses on leveraging her teaching expertise, vocal performance training, and overall love of music to educate, equip, and empower Creatives everywhere through song.

Ty Velines, Digital Media Associate

Ty Velines smirks. They wear a white and blue striped shirt with a mandarin collar. Circular glasses adorn their face. Seen from chest up in front of a white background.

Tyasia Velines is a musician, actor, and IT Specialist from Baltimore, MD. They started in both the arts and STEM at a young age, participating in musicals while attending a STEM program during their middle school years in the Baltimore area. They attended Baltimore School for the Arts for Vocal Performance before venturing to the University of Maryland for Landscape Architecture. Their love for theater, music, and the arts led them back into the world of theatre in college, and they graduated with their degree in Theater Performance.

 

Their work has been seen across the DMV area since 2015, beginning with Stage Kiss at Round House Theatre. While acting, they worked as a Desktop Analyst for the University of Maryland, where they served 140-plus clients across campus. Since its beginning, they have been chosen as the premier DJ of the Rhymez and Rhythmz Open Mic and are excited to see it continue to grow. They are currently working to balance their passions and utilize their gifts to their full ability.

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