Consilience Productions
About Consilience

con*sil"i*ence, n: from the latin, consilere, formed from con,"with," and "salire," to leap; an interlocking of explanations of cause and effect between disciplines. An act of concurrence; coherence; jumping together.



Vinson Valega Head Shot

Vinson Valega - Executive Director

Vinson grew up in a musical family near Washington, D.C., studying classical piano from age seven until switching to the drums when he was 12. He played drums for three years in the All-County Jazz Ensemble during high school and subsequently held the drum chair in the University of Pennsylvania Big Band during college. After graduating from UPENN with a B.A. in Economics, Vinson moved to New York City in the early 90's to study music at the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan, where he studied with Marvin "Smitty" Smith (of The Tonight Show Band), Vernel Fournier, and Norm Freeman (of the New York Philharmonic).

Vinson has performed in many clubs in the New York Metropolitan area, including the Blue Note, Smoke, 55 Bar, Birdland, Jazz Gallery, Smalls, Cornelia Street Cafe, Cleopatra's Needle, and Trumpets of Montclair, NJ. An avid composer, Vinson also teaches privately and served on the staff of the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California from 1999-2001. He has toured throughout North America and Europe with his groups and others, and he appears on Matthew Fries' CD, Song For Today (TCB) and the Ganz Brother's release, First Steps (Extravaganza). Vinson also has four CDs out as a leader, Live@147, Consilience, Awake, and Biophilia.

In addition, Vinson has also worked with or played alongside with many of the great musicians in jazz, such as Grover Washington, Jr., Dakota Staton, Clarke Terry, James Williams, Donald Brown, Harold Mabern, Jr., Jamil Nasser, Ron McClure, Bob Mintzer, Russell Malone, Peter Bernstein, Mark Turner, Terell Stafford, Eric Alexander, Jim Rotundi, David Hazeltine, Joel Frahm, Dena DeRose, and Vincent Herring, and Candido Camero, among others.

Read Profile of Vinson & Consilience from the Astoria Times (Queens, NY) .pdf

Chris Bacas Head Shot

Chris Bacas - President


Chris began his career at age fifteen as a sideman with a club band in York, PA, and after attending North Texas State, he began his jazz performance career in earnest. Beginning in 1983, Chris played in the Glen Miller Band, The Tommy Dorsey Band, the Artie Shaw Band, and Buddy Rich's legendary Big Band until Rich's passing in 1987.

Over the past twenty years, Chris has appeared at festivals all over the world, including the Nice, North Sea, Cork, Santiago, Montreal, Moers Texaco, Annapolis, JVC New York, and Central PA Jazz Festivals. He has performed in Copenhagen at the Tivoli Gardens; in Los Angeles at The Hollywood Bowl and LA's Comedy Store; in New York's Blue Note and Birdland; at Chicago's Jazz Showcase; and in Washington D.C. at Blues Alley and One Step Down.

Chris was a member of the Smithsonian's Jazz Masterworks Orchestra under conductors David Baker and Gunther Schuller. The orchestra's concert series was broadcast on NPR, and a CD sampler was released in 1996. In 1999 Chris was soloist on both flute and saxophone in the Mary Lou Williams' "Mass" (which was performed and recorded in the National Cathedral) and also toured Russia and Siberia with a group of Russian and American musicians.

Since 1989, Chris has appeared on over thirty recordings, including three ("Two Choices," "Leave a Message," and "Exits") as leader/co-leader. Since moving to Brooklyn, NY, in 1999, Chris has performed and recorded with Stefan Bauer, The Sound Assembly, and Christoph Sweitzer. In 2004, he attended Brooklyn College on a full tuition scholarship and received a saxophone performance degree with honors.

Chris teaches privately and has been on the staff at Towson State University in Baltimore, MD.

Joe Fitzgerald Head Shot

Joe Fitzgerald - Secretary

Based in New York since 1991, Joe has established strong ties across the entire spectrum of the jazz community and its many cross-pollinations with classical, popular, country and multiple ethnic music. He has toured worldwide and performed in many of the most prominent concert halls and jazz clubs, including Carnegie Hall & the Moscow Conservatory, and The Blue Note & Smoke Jazz Clubs in New York, to name only a few. He has also performed in festivals around the world, including the Newport, JVC New York, Montreal, Pori, and North Sea jazz festivals.

Some of the artists he has recorded with and or shared the stage with include, Alan Dawson, James Williams, Frank Wess, Bill Pierce, Ken Peplowski, Gene Bertoncini, John Bunch, Bill Easley, Billy Kilson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jim Black, Matt Munisteri, Bruce Barth, Jon Davis, George Schuller, amongst many others.

Joe is also an active educator teaching at the Bass Collective, as well as, privately throughout the New York Metropolitan Area.

Dan Rosenberg Head Shot

Dan Rosenberg - Treasurer

Dan Rosenberg is a community activist in North Fork, California, a small town in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. He is a past President of the Board of Directors at the California Vipassana Meditation Center and is the current Board President of the North Fork Community Development Council. He was instrumental in starting a community center and a local currency in addition to working on several economic development programs including the ongoing redevelopment of a 135 acre abandoned lumber mill site. He loves collaboration and bringing about positive changes that didn’t seem possible.

Dan has a passion for playing music and has done so for most of his life. He played trombone throughout his childhood and then in college big bands. In 1998 he moved to North Fork, where he found it awkward jamming with a community of musicians playing mandolins, banjos, guitars and fiddles. So, in 2003 he took up guitar and currently enjoys singing, songwriting and pickin’ with friends.

In his professional career, Dan is an educational planning consultant with Maas Companies, Inc. In his job, he assists community colleges in planning future instructional programs with a focus on identifying and funding future facilities needs. He is dedicated to expanding accessibility to post-secondary education for underserved populations in California and the Nation.

In 2000, Dan won the Democratic Party nomination for US Congress from the 19th District in California. He lost to the incumbent in the general election garnering 32% of the vote.


Pianist and vocalist Matt Ray has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for more than a decade. He has performed with many great artists, and at just about every venue in town including Smoke, the Jazz Standard, Small's, Birdland, the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Mercury Lounge, The Living Room, The Bitter End, and the Knitting Factory. In his years as a professional musician Matt has worked with a diverse group of musicians including jazz artists Joe Lovano, Jeremy Pelt, Anita O'Day, Bobby Hutcherson, Allan Harris, and Marcus Belgrave; rock and pop artists Paul Brill, The Flying Change, and Danielia Cotton; and theater artists like Taylor Mac and the Citizens Band. He has worked as a pianist, music director and arranger, vocalist, and producer. In addition, Matt Ray has released two albums as a leader, each on the Consolidated Artists Productions (CAP) label. Both albums climbed the jazz radio airplay charts, with We Got It! (2001) reaching #12 and Lost In New York (2006) rising to #25.

Jazz has taken Matt all over the world, too, including leading the Matt Ray Trio on a tour of the Caribbean and Central America as part of the U.S. Dept. of State's Jazz Ambassadors program. The trio was subsequently invited by Secretary of State Madeline Albright to represent the Jazz Ambassadors program at the White House Conference on Culture and Diplomacy. Over the years, Matt has entertained for many notable people, including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Oprah Winfrey. In 1999, Matt was honored as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. In recent years Matt's performances have taken him to Beijing, Tokyo, and London.

As a committed educator, Matt leads seminars that introduce jazz music to New york schoolchildren through the Jazz Discovery Program, in addition to teaching privately.

Adam Roberts Head Shot

Adam Roberts


Adam Roberts is the Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, based in Washington, DC. He is a Founding Director of the organization, which was started in 2002 to bring the UK-based Born Free Foundation’s message of compassionate conservation to the American public. He began his animal protection and conservation career in Washington in 1991.

In addition to directing the Born Free USA office, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN), a global coalition working on wildlife trade issues under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Adam is also a Founding Director and Member of the Board of Humane USA, a political action committee that works to raise funds for candidates for public office who have strong positions in favor of animal protection.

In 2003, Adam founded The $10 Club, a charity created to fund poverty alleviation projects in developing countries. To date, the organization has supported work in more than 60 countries, providing over $250,000 in grant money. He lives in Washington with his wife, Stephanie, daughters Bella (16) and Mia (6), two dogs, four cats, and two guinea pigs.

Adam Roberts Head Shot

Ian Condry


Ian Condry is associate professor of Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's the author of "Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization" (2006, Duke University Press, published in Japanese, 2009, NTT Publications). His forthcoming book "The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan's Media Success Story" will be published early 2013.

He also founded and organizes the MIT/Harvard Cool Japan Research, which explores the cultural connections, dangerous distortions, and critical potential of popular culture through seminars, conferences, and artistic events.


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Consilience Productions
7915 35th Avenue, #3B
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(917) 604-8809