The Soul Nerds
Jeanette Berry-Lead Singer, Founder, Writer, Creator of We Are Soul Nerds
Vocalist, Songwriter, Educator and Transmedia content creator, Jeanette has her sights on impacting all facets of the arts and art education. Jeanettes' skills for her first love, music, were honed at Philadelphia's, The University of the Arts, where she earned her Bachelors in Music. In May, Jeanette graduated with her Masters in Humanities with a concentration in Transmedia storytelling. She also got hired as the Director of Commercial Music-Vocal. She directed the Hip Hop ensemble Mode III, Gospel Choir, Songwriting Collective and Hip Hop Collective. Along with these, she taught private voice lessons and advises the ProMusic Majors. She has sung bacgkround for Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tshidi Manye, Selloane Nkhela and Ben Folds. She has been featured on numerous hip hop albums, including Homeboy Sandman's newest release, Hallways, on the Vinyl release. She is now back in New York teaching privately.
Chris Berry-Background Vocals, Co-Creator of We Are Soul Nerds
Christopher Berry is a native New Yorker that now resides in the lovely sunshine state. Christopher is Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida A&M University. Mr. Berry is also the Assistant Coordinator for Kennedy Center American College Theatre’s Irene Ryan Acting Competition for Region 4. Mr. Berry also serves as the Assistant Treasurer for the Black Theatre Network. Mr. Berry received his BFA in Professional Theatre from North Carolina A&T State University and his MFA from Brown University/Trinity Rep. He is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. Mr. Berry’s selected credits include: Coriolanus, Four little Girls... Birmingham 1963, The First Noel (workshop), A Christmas Carol, twelfth night, Threepenny Opera and others.
Anwar Marshall-Drummer, Arranger
Interested in music very early on, Anwar began playing drums at age 6. Soon thereafter, he took drum lessons and studied music theory at the Settlement School of Music. Anwar went on to attend the High School for Creative and Performing Arts where he studied with Carl Mattola and Kevin Rodgers. It was here that he decided he wanted to play Jazz music professionally. After high school, Anwar attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa. where he studied with Joe Nero and Eric Johnson. During his time there, Anwar was a member of the Z Big Band, Rick Kerber Tribute Ensemble and the Transfusion Ensemble. Also, Anwar was fortunate enough to be tutored by drummer Byron Landham, and was able to act as a substitute for him at Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus in their world famous house band with Sid Simmons and Mike Boone. Anwar has been fortunate enough to collaborate with musicians such as Dave Douglas, Orrin Evans, Tim Warfield, Duane Eubanks, Jaleel Shaw, Robert Glasper, Dwayne Burno, Joel Frahm, Steve Mckie, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Adam Blackstone, and John Swana. Currently, Anwar is a co-leader with Josh Lawrence and Jason Fraticeli with a ten-piece ensemble called the Fresh Cut Orchestra. They have been fortunate enough to play semi regularly at the Painted Bride Art Center and the Kimmel Center. Anwar has also recently teamed up with Micah Forsyth to form a production team called DYAD.
A professional piano, organ and keyboard player living in Chadds Ford PA, Dave Mattock divides his time between playing in several groups, freelancing, and teaching. Dave is a member of the faculty at Camden County College and University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches piano, ensembles, theory, jazz history, business of music, and introductory music classes. He is the founder and owner of the Mattock School of Music in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. An active performer, Dave currently works with All about me, The Tap Room Trio, Soul Purpose, Jeanette Berry and the Soul Nerds, and Apparatus. Dave can also be found freelancing around Philadelphia in various solo, duet and trio jazz gigs. Dave received his Bachelors degree in Jazz Performance from Temple University, and his Masters degree in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers University.
Soulful, Sweet and Eclectic with a twist of jazz would best describe Elle.Morris’ voice. Elle.Morris has been amazing audiences with her exceptional voice since a very young age. As a native of the DMV area, Ms. Morris attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC to study voice where she was classically trained in various vocal genres such as gospel, opera, jazz, etc. One of her greatest accomplishments during that time was being recognized on Fox 5 News DC as the next Denyce Graves, who was a former student of Elle’s vocal teacher, Edward Jackson. After completing high school, Elle relocated to Philadelphia where she attended the University of the Arts and received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance.
After college Elle joined the Philadelphia Opera Company for a few years, but she does not limit herself to boxes. She is also quite accomplished in many musical genres. She has worked with and shared the stage with numerous American national recording artists such as Carol Riddick, Jaguar Wright, Robin Thicke and Eric Roberson, to name a few. Elle’s stage performances are captivating and engaging and always leaves you spellbound. Her goal is to “take you on a musical journey to escape to a whole new experience.”
Ian Rafalak-Bass Player, Arranger, Musical Director
Ian Rafalak is a bassist, producer and educator from Philadelphia, PA and the musical director of Jeanette Berry and the Soul Nerds. His unique sound on the bass stems from his studies with world-renowned bassist Gerald Veasley, classical guitar studies with Pablo Cohen, and his time in Ghana studying traditional West African rhythms. He has worked as a session musician and producer for countless artists including music that was used on the VH1 show Single Ladies. When not playing with the Soul Nerds he teaches music/audio at Camden County College and is an in demand musician in the Philly scene, playing with groups such as Trinidelphia and Leana Song.
Andre Webb-Background Singer
Andre' Webb is from Baltimore, MD. It is there he joined the wonderfuliciousness known as JB and the Soul Nerds while attending the University of the Arts. His allegiance to love is unshakable. Andre knows music heals and thanks the Soul Nerds for coming together. Much love to my 20Somethings family. There is so much for us to do. It is time.