James G. Evans
Hip-Hop Artist and Educator

James G Evans is an Artist, Record Executive, and co-founder of DEF ED, a hip-hop-based education program that successfully ran in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years in schools, libraries, and juvenile detention centers, and was awarded a “G.O.L.D.I.E. Award” in 2004 for “Outstanding Performance” by the San Francisco Bay area Guardian.  James also organized over 50 successful events for the Sisterz of the Underground hip-hop collective that was chosen as “Best Hip-Hop Monthly Event” by the San Francisco Bay Area Guardian in 2001. Evans also has 16 + years of working in the music industry designing and implementing marketing and promotion plans for independent recording artists.

Rogelio Gazga
Video Production

Rogelio Gazga, ("Ro") a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, has an extensive broadcast background. His wide mix of expertise stems from hands-on experience working as an award-winning news photographer and editor with Telemundo and NBC News Departments and Creative Services Departments, as well as Network Television work on Univision shows including Control, Despierta America, Don Francisco, and Christina.  Rogelio is co-owner of SPI Creative / SPI-tv Media Group, a full-service video production agency he launched in 1994.

Ugochi Nwaogwugwu
Multidisciplinary Artist

Ugochi, also affectionately known as the “African Buttafly,” is an internationally renowned singer/songwriter/poet/activist/teacher/playwright/ racial healing practitioner and founder of Spirit Speaks, Inc. She is also a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the Recording Academy/Grammys Chicago Chapter. Ugochi has created an original pan-African poetry form called #Ikepoem, paying homage to her Igbo family of Nigeria as well as her black African cousins throughout the diaspora. She has been featured on WTTWs Wild Chicago and Artbeat Chicago, WXRT, and WGN Morning Show, as well as performed with acclaimed artists such as Common, Malik Yusef, J. Ivy, Eric Benet, Michael McDermott, Edwin McCain, Maxi Priest, Umphreys McGee, and most recently John Legend and Femi Kuti. 

 

Ramon "ETC" Norwood
Multidisciplinary Artist

Ramon “Radius” Norwood, Producer/Artist/Photographer is a self-proclaimed “Jazzcatt with a drum machine.” He describes his style as improvisational aesthetics; expressing his reality within the moment through a variety of tempos, textures, and multicolored soundscapes. Radius’ music creatively blends his South Side Chicago Roots and nomadic lifestyle, within various cultures and realms of electronic, hip-hop, house, and jazz music. He is the founder of ETC Records and has rocked alongside many noteworthy artists including Anderson Paak, Jrocc, DJ Shadow, The Gritz Band (Erykah Badu), and many more.

Charles (Thrills) Bryant
Hip-Hop Artist and Educator

Chicago Hip-Hop artist “Thrills” was raised in Evanston and graduated from San Diego City College in California. He began his musical journey at an early age, and like most kids, he played various sports to keep himself off the streets. His parents were a great influence by encouraging him to stay in school and work hard toward his goals.  After serving four years in the Navy, including being a Gulf War veteran, he decided to remain in California and develop his musical career.  In 2004, he was part of a documentary called, “Rhyme Spitters” about underground rap battles.  Today, Thrills is working with producer Phil “Absurdbeats” Alexander, and putting out music on his own label, Mayday Hillman Inc.