Meet the Stars of Alphabet Rockers!


KAITLIN MCGAW is the founder, producer and lead singer for Alphabet Rockers. A Harvard University Graduate in Afro-American Studies, Kaitlin has dedicated her career to  designing high-quality music and movement based learning experiences. With three award-winning albums, engaging school assemblies, music and movement based Common Core curriculum, and an engaging iPhone app for the Alphabet Rockers learning platform, Kaitlin shows no sign of slowing down. She is currently producing the web series for Alphabet Rockers, and continues to give back to the community as a featured educator at conferences on arts and movement integrated learning for elementary school. Along with co-writer Tommy Shepherd, Kaitlin has been commissioned to write songs for kids for fitness and wellness programs, and was recognized by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest as a finalist for the song, “Dynamite.” Kaitlin is a teaching artist who serves over 600 students a year in the greater Bay Area, focusing on preschool (2-4), TK-2nd grades. Prior to Alphabet Rockers, Kaitlin worked for the San Francisco GRAMMY organization, Blue Bear School of Music, served as Vice President for West Coast Songwriters, and was a featured writer for Electronic Musician. 
TOMMY SHEPHERD is a professional actor, playwright, b-boy, rapper, drummer, and beatboxer, known and respected for his work as a songwriter and performer with Alphabet Rockers as well as professional theater and music stages (Campo Santo, Intersection for the Arts, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Antique Naked Soul). Tommy (aka Emcee Soulati) is a co-founder of the live hip hop collective Felonious (feloniouslive.com), who perform throughout the world and also and create original, theatrical productions. He and his wife Anna are proud parents to “Lil T” – star of Shape Rap and Dynamite music videos. As an Alphabet Rockers teaching artist, Tommy brings beatboxing and hip hop theater workshops to classrooms around the world, teaching students grades 2-12. Tommy is Alphabet Rockers musical director, composing the musical textures of our performances, and weaving the lyrics, music, and sounds together for your ears.
STEFANIE LIANG is the art director and Alphabet Rockers beatboxer, singer, visual artist and game-maker. In addition to performing with Alphabet Rockers, Stef is a graphic designer, crafter, event producer, and art director. She left her hometown Boston to study Cultural Anthropology and Graphic Design at the University of Michigan, where she performed with a multicultural a cappella group, an interactive theatre troupe and the university children’s theatre. As a Rocker, Stef has designed the Alphabet Rockers iPhone app, the Back to School: The Remix CD, and the graphics on the website. Arts & crafts ideas on our activities page are inspired by Stefanie’s creativity. Dig in and have fun!

 

 

+ new performers!

Alphabet Rockers is expanding! Meet some of the additional faces you will see at our shows and through our music and educational programs.

GENDELL HING-HERNANDEZ

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GENDELL HING-HERNANDEZ joins Alphabet Rockers for stage productions “The New Kid in School: Bullying Prevention” and “Eat the Rainbow: Nutrition,” as well as select live productions in the Bay Area. He has been a teaching artist for Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, Word for Word, TheatreWorks, SF Shakes, and Cal Shakes. He has been seen in such productions as: Food Stories with Word For Word, Around the World in 80 Days with San Jose Rep, House On Mango Street with Teatro Vision, Show Up with New Pickle Circus, The Gate of Heaven with The Old Globe, The Possum Play with Shotgun Players, and Much Ado About Nothing with Shakespeare at Stinson. Gendell has been a company member of Theater of Yugen and The Red Ladder Theatre Company and is also a veteran collaborator of Felonious One Love Hip Hop, with whom he acted in and directed Beatbox: A Raparetta for the Bay Area and New York Hip-Hop theatre festivals.

DJ WONWAY 

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Wonway Posibul (Juan Amador) is an emcee, deejay, actor, and culture cultivator. When not onstage or composing for professional theater around the Bay Area (“Daylighting” – Shotgun Players, “Chasing Mehserle” – Campo Santo/Intersection for the Arts, “Block by Block” – de Young), Juan tours the country with Latin Soul Brothers as a deejay and produces radio shows such as Thinkbeat radio. Since 2013, Wonway has brought the elements of hip hop to Alphabet Rockers as a DJ and emcee.

 

 

CARLOS AGUIRRE

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Carlos Aguirre (emcee/beatboxer) has been performing both as an actor and hip­hop artist in the Bay Area for over fourteen years. He is part of the musical group Felonious and has performed with The Roots, Eryka Badu, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Blackalicious, Jurassic Five, L.L. Cool J, and George Clinton among others. Carlos appeared most recently in The Magic Theatre’s 2012 world premiere of Bruja by Luis Alfaro. He also appears regularly at Intersection for the Arts with world­renowned theatre company Campo Santo (where he premiered his beatbox, rap and spoken word adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart). Carlos shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at risk environments throughout the Bay Area. He most recently taught a class in Literacy through Poetry and Songwriting at two correctional facilities in the Bay Area where he also used his vocal percussion workshops to help ESL students improve diction and clarity. He is currently working with STAGEWRITE, a literacy through theatre program which works in various schools through out the SFUSD. His work has helped many different students from various demographics gain skills to better express themselves.

 

 

behind the scenes:

EDUCATIONAL ADVISOR – Mariah Rankine-Landers

MariahLanders-Educational Advisor to Alphabet RockersMariah Rankine-Landers is Alphabet Rockers Educational Advisor, designing curriculum and play-based learning activities for the classroom and home environments. She helps link our lyrics, messages and stories to Common Core and current educational standards. Mariah is a former Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher of 10 years. Mariah holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in Equity and Social Justice in Education from SFSU. She now works for Alameda County Office of Ed as an Integrated Learning Specialist in supporting the goals of Arts Education.

 

 

MANAGEMENT AND BOOKING – Rebecca Alison, Little Cloud Management

littlecloudAlphabet Rockers is proud to work with Little Cloud Management for bookings and management. Rebecca Alison helps build our connections with companies, schools, and community events. Her company, Little Cloud Management, also works with artists including The Not-Its, The Pop-Ups, and Randy Kaplan. Rebecca is a curator of music for kids and families, reviewing recordings on  the site Kids Can Groove.

 

 

 

WEB SERIES DIRECTOR – Julio Salcedo

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Los Angeles-based filmmaker and director Julio Salcedo joined the Alphabet Rockers production team in 2013, with the hit music video for “Dynamite,” a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. He has helped shape the pilot screenplays for the Alphabet Rockers TV series, as well as directed the short films for “The New Kid in School” and “You Can Write,” produced by Amy Saetang. IMDB Credits

 

 

 

STAGE DIRECTOR – Dan Wolf

DanWolf_AlphabetRockersPlaywright, actor, rapper, writer, director, content producer and educator, Dan Wolf helps Alphabet Rockers create high-quality shows for the family audience. His artistic work crosses artistic and cultural borders to combine conventional theater styles with the themes, language, music, history and aesthetics of the Hip-Hop generation. Dan is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Hip Hop music and theater collective Felonious and a resident artist at Intersection for the Arts. Dan is also the Creative Content Producer for 3200 Stories, an online publication of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, where he creates original content that instigates new ways of cultural exploration and expression. Read more about his critically acclaimed plays on his site.

 

CHOREOGRAPHY – Keith Pinto

Keith Pinto - Alphabet Rockers ChoreographerKeith Pinto is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, rapper, musician, and educator, currently teaching at San Jose State University. An educator of dancers of all ages, Keith worked with the Alphabet Rockers to design moves that preschool children could mirror while creating a dynamic stage show for the larger audience. He is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. He toured Europe and North America with Fame the Musical. Keith is a co-founder of the hip hop band Felonious, performing in the Bay Area, LA, Chicago, and Germany, as well as shows with Black Eyed Peas, De La Soul, LL Cool J, The Roots, Pato Banton, and Erykah Badu. With Felonious, Mr. Pinto choreographed and performed the role of Zack in Beatbox: A Raparetta, developed at San Jose Rep’s New America Playwrights Festival and produced in San Francisco, Oakland, the New York Hip Hop Theater Festival, and Hamburg Germany. 

ARTS EDUCATION PARTNERS

Alphabet Rockers and its teaching artists are proud to partner with the finest arts education organizations in the Bay Area. Programming and artist-in-residence packages can be scheduled directly with organizations such as Young AudiencesYouth in Arts, and LEAP: Imagination in Learning. Alphabet Rockers is also a fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts, a 501c3.

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MEMBERSHIPS

Alphabet Rockers are members of the following organizations: The Recording Academy [co-chairing the Family Music Group in San Francisco], National Kindergarten Alliance, Children’s Music Network, West Coast Songwriters, California Kindergarten Association, Teaching Artists Guild, Southern California Kindergarten Association.

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CKA Member

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