ADF is fortunate to have some of the finest dance musicians in the country on its roster. These individuals form a group of generous, inspired, and accomplished dance artists that are the foundation of the ADF community. They serve as guides and mentors, inspiring students to attain new levels of artistry and physicality. After a summer spent working side by side in the studio, seeing performances together, and dialoguing with one another, students and teachers often forge relationships that last long after the festival is over. We invite you to read about each of our musicians below.
A rock and roll piano and keyboard player, Jefferson accompanies classes using percussion, flute, electronics, electric percussion, and many piano styles. He is the bandleader of the Jazzphibians and has performed with Fort Worth’s Hip Pocket Theatre, Jubilee Theatre, and Sojourner Truth Players. He is a former accompanist at Fort Worth Ballet, Boston Ballet, and White Mountain Summer Dance Festival and has been accompanist at North Carolina School of the Arts since 1992. BalletClassMusicforFree.com
Photo Credit: Grant Halverson
Natalie Gilbert is a pianist, accompanist, composer, and teacher and was ADF Music Director from 1981 to 2011. In addition to her work as a musician, Natalie is a nationally certified massage therapist and body worker licensed in the state of North Carolina and has a private practice as well as being an independent contractor at Duke Diet and Fitness Center. In 2012, she travelled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she studied Thai Yoga Massage. She incorporates these methods into her table massage. She has taught middle school music at the Carolina Friends School in Durham and has an active piano teaching studio with students of all ages, emphasizing improvisation and all styles of music. She also has students at the NC School of Science and Math. She currently plays for dance classes at Duke University and for the Carolina Ballet summer dance intensive. She has been music coordinator at The Ohio State University Department of Dance and is a founding board member of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance. Her music degrees are from Oberlin (BA) and Ohio State University (MA). As a composer and accompanist living in New York City for 16 years, she freelanced as a cocktail pianist and worked extensively with dancers as well as being on the faculty of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Dance Department. In 2008, her featured interview was published in The Body Eclectic: Evolving Practices in Dance Training, edited by Melanie Bales and Rebecca Nettl-Fiol. She has composed music for choreographers including Liz Lerman, Dan Wagoner, Ze’eva Cohen, Sally Hess, Linda Tarnay, Jessica Fogel, Peter Goss, and Viola Farber. In addition, she has been on the faculty of the C.I.D. in Paris and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Natalie was also part of ADF/Korea in 1990 through 1992. She currently has five CDs of music for dancers for sale. All are available in the ADF store. www.nataliegilbert.com. Two online interviews are available here and here.
John Hanks is a percussionist, pianist, and composer using acoustic and electronic instruments living in Durham, NC. He has been on ADF faculty since 1984 and has attended ADF Seoul in 1990-1991 and ADF Henan, China, in 2012 and 2014. He is Music Director for the Duke University Dance Program and a freelance drummer/percussionist performing with many jazz, classical, musical theater, rock/blues, and contemporary music groups and invenues throughout North Carolina. He has released three CDs of music for dance, Here Come the Drums, Drumjazz, and Percussion Jams.
Andy Hasenpflug (Director OF MUSICIANS)
ADF Music Director Andrew Hasenpflug has accumulated an extensive list of credits in dance, theater, jazz, rock, classical, patriotic, and commercial venues. These include the US Air Force Band, Denver Contemporary Dance Co., Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide, Equity Library Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and jingles for Kroger food stores and Hoolihan’s restaurants. He has worked as a dance accompanist at the American Dance Festival, the Doug Varone summer intensive, the American Colleges of Dance Festival, Slippery Rock University, Henan Normal University (China), Columbia College Chicago, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the University of Cincinnati, Helander and Co., Kim Robards Dance, the University of Colorado, SUNY Purchase, Marymount College, and the Lou Conte Studios. He has composed for such artists as Rosie Hererra, the Seldoms, Dance Alloy, LabCo, Ursula Payne, Amy Chavasse, TopToToe Butoh, Tom Truss, Jennifer Keller, Zephyr Dance Company, The Overture Academy Cincinnati, Helander and Co., and the University of Cincinnati. His teaching credits include the University of Cincinnati, Columbia College Chicago, and Slippery Rock University. He has recorded with the United States Air Force Band, Rick Lisak Band, Sylvain Acher and Fabien, Divide by Pi, and Hasenproject, as well as creating an ongoing group of solo recordings. Mr. Hasenpflug currently resides in Slippery Rock, PA, where he freelances and works as the music director for the dance department of Slippery Rock University. Find him on SoundCloud at
Photo credit: He Buzhi
Tom Kanthak has spent nearly 50 years in the music, dance, and arts education scene in Minneapolis. He was a founding member of the faculty at the Minnesota Center for Arts Education as a dance musician, dance educator, and aesthetics teacher.
Currently, he is semi-retired as a part-time substitute teacher at Edina High School and member of the Double Bass section of the Golden Valley Orchestra. He has been a member of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance since 1990 and served as their Vice-President and first recipient of the Louis Horst Award for Distinguished Service in Dance and Music. This is Tom’s second go-around at ADF.
John Osburn hears sound as a painter sees color, paying particular attention to the texture and shading of each element within his work. He not only listens to how his sounds thread in and out of each other but also focuses on how they are affected by the space in which they resonate. Rather than creating music, Osburn focuses on creating a sound environment in which to immerse his audience. The complicated, diverse relationships music and dance share provide a playground from which Osburn conceives his sound scores. Sourcing from his eclectic background in Western music, African drumming, and Sonic Arts studies, Osburn creates a unique musical blend which floods out of his speakers in an evocative array of frequencies. Osburn has composed for artists such as Jesse Zaritt, Olivier Tarpaga, Jennifer Eccher, Sandy Mathern-Smith, Big Rig Dance Collective, and Out on a Limb Dance Company and is a core collaborator for Atlanta-based company, T. Lang Dance.
Claudia Howard Queen
Claudia Howard Queen uses piano, percussion, voice, mandolin, and electronic instruments to create sophisticated, uplifting, visceral music for dance. She has collaborated with over 250 dance instructors in NYC and Chicago professional studios, in universities throughout the US, and internationally in Ireland, Taiwan, and China. Her music scores for dance have been performed throughout the US, Ireland, England, Uruguay, and Taiwan. Her many awards include three Fulbright Specialist Awards to Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, three National Endowment for the Arts Awards, two Meet-the-Composer Awards, and a fellowship from the University of North Texas Institute for the Advancement of the Arts (IAA). She performs internationally with the Taiwanese Improvisational Dance Company Ku & Dancers. She holds an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Currently Associate Professor of Music for Dance at the University of North Texas, she teaches Music for Dancers, Dance Improvisation/Choreography, and Composer/Choreographer Collaboration and trains dance musicians. She has been at ADF since 2006 and has played at the ADF Henan, China, in 2011 and 2014.
Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston-Salem State University and currently teaches at Guilford College in the Music Department. Rorie is an accompanist in the UNC Greensboro Dance Department. He is the founder of the dynamic bands Africa Unplugged and The Afro-Soul Trio. Rorie is also a musician in various professional ensembles, with which he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two presidential inauguration celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.
Tim Russell lives at the confluence of the aural and the visual. He has been called “The premier composer for Modern Dance in Milwaukee” (Shepherd Express), and a “thrilling show within the show” (DanceTabs). He recently departed his role as the Music Director of the Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee to pursue an MFA in Music Improvisation at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Tim is an extremely active performer/composer; his work is almost exclusively created within the context of choreography and improvisation. He was the co-founder of Hyperlocal MKE, a Music and Dance improvisation series in Milwaukee. Along with Tim’s longtime collaboration with the Gerald Casel Dance Company, his audio has shared the stage with a vast array of choreographic artists such as Li Chiao Ping, Maria Gillespie, Danceworks, Liz Sexe, Wildspace Dance, and Danceworks. This has brought Tim and his music all across the country, from the Judson Church in New York City to ODC in San Francisco. Hear and see more at www.avoidancepolicy.com
Percussionist, musician, and former musical director for the African American Dance Ensemble, Khalid Saleem has lived, worked, and studied in the Ivory Coast and worked and studied with Rose Marie Guiraud, Babatunde Olatunji of Nigeria, Ladji Camara of Guinea, Titos Sampa of Zaire, Les Ballet Africains, and the National Dance Company of Guinea. Khalid has been on faculty in the Dance Department at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, since 1994. Khalid was very active during The College at Brockport’s annual diversity conference and was invited to present African percussion workshops in Salvador, Brazil in November 2008. Khalid’s latest International cultural exchange travels took him to Haiti in January 2011, traveling with SUNY Oswego’s Psychology Department as a consultant, teacher and musician. He performed at the August 2011 National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, Sankofa, and the African Dance and Drum Ensemble at The College at Brockport. He is the recipient of the Greater Rochester Cultural Arts recognition award, November 2011. Khalid also participated in Konkoran’s 2011 annual conference in Washington, DC, where Chuck Davis and Melvin Deale were honored. He has been on the ADF faculty since 1985.
Dean Sharp is a prolific creative percussionist, guitarist, composer, sound designer, producer, and remixer. This will be d#’s third season at ADF. He has scored for and/or worked with a strikingly diverse array of creative artists that include Leah Cox, Jesse Zaritt, Paul Matteson, Cori Kresge, Sandra Mathern-Smith, Melissa Toogood, Peter Kyle, Daniel Squire, Vanessa Anspaugh, Maria Simpson, Amii LeGendre, Stuart Singer, Susan Osberg, Gun Lund, ZVIDANCE, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Faye Driscoll, Cori Olinghouse, Juliette Mapp, Nicole Smith, and Peggy Florin. As a live soundscapist and improvisor he has worked on pieces by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane (Continous RePlay), Merce Cunningham (Field Dances), Dance Across Borders, Peter Kyle Dance, and Jack Ferver, among others. He has been the recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, DCAC, and the QCA, and his work has been on exhibit at the London Art Fair, the Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art, the Venice Art Fair, ARCO 07, the OPTICA festival, the Hessel Museum, and Denison University. Multimedia collaborations and commissioned composition works have included the Deep Listening Foundation, Stephen Vitiello, Nam June Paik, Tom Moore (scribbleheads), Art after Science, and Sandra Mathern-Smith/Denison University. As a producer/composer and remixer, he runs ELBO PROJEKT ROOM studio, where he has “pushed the envelope” for projects with Indian flutist Steve Gorn, cellist Stephanie Winters, klezmer/world artist Zoe B. Zak, SWATI, guitar virtuosos Walter Parks and Mike Bagetta, bassist John Davey, and indie entrepreneurs Rachael Sage, Jane Siberry, and Melissa Ferrick, among many others. He has offered and/or played master classes and workshops in the SUNY university system, the New School, Skidmore College, Simons Rock College, Unison Arts Center, Poughkeepsie Day School, the Salisbury School, the Berkshire School, the Omega Institute, and New York Live Arts. Presently Dean does workshops with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and New York Live Arts and resides on staff at Bard College as musician/composer/soundscapist for their dance department in collaboration with the Trisha Brown Dance Company. www.soundcloud.com/diggamag
Photo Credit: Tim Moser
Ken Ray Wilemon
Percussionist, painter, and music-maker based in Durham, NC, Ken Ray Willemon has accompanied dance at Texas Christian University, University of Texas, Connecticut College, Hollins University, various ACDFAs, the White Mountain Summer Dance Festival, and the 2012 ADF China in Xinxiang. He is currently on staff at Meredith College, NC School of the Arts, and Duke University. ADF faculty long time.