NationSwell Evening Celebration
We’re taking the inspiration and energy from the daytime NationSwell Summit programming to our Evening Celebration, a chance to not only have an unforgettable experience with performances throughout the evening, but a special opportunity to mingle, lounge and connect with fellow leaders at the historic Chelsea Factory in NYC.

As part of the evening celebration, we will be supporting our cultural partner, the Chelsea Factory, in their mission to help and support artists in NYC navigate beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evening Celebration Performers

Juilliard Jazz
Félix Lemerle is a jazz guitarist and composer living in Brooklyn. After graduating from the CRR de Paris with a Degree in Jazz and Improvised Music, he moved to NYC as a Fulbright Scholar to complete his Master in Jazz Performance at CUNY Queens College, followed by an Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School. A highly in-demand guitarist, Félix has performed internationally in venues and festivals.

Jayla Chee is a New York based bass player originally from Belmont, California in the Bay Area. At age 21, she is currently finishing an undergraduate degree at the Juilliard School studying with Ben Wolfe, Billy Drummond, and Gerald Cannon. Since moving to New York she has quickly became engrained into the scene and performs both as a sideman and a band leader.

Ekep Nkwelle is a 23-year-old, Cameroonian-American, jazz vocalist in New York. Born in Washington, DC, she has trained at the world-renowned institutes of Duke Ellington High School of the Arts, Howard University (BA), and The Juilliard School (MM). She is also fondly recognized for her role in Howard University’s premier vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue, where she was the lead soloist for her four years. She has also been a part of several jazz festivals and events.
Soul Science Lab
Soul Science Lab (SSL) is a music and multimedia duo powered by Chen Lo and Asante Amin. The two are storytellers who inspire the future. SSL is dedicated to creating a celebrated body of work and cultivating the next generation of iconic artists. The duo’s current projects include Soundtrack ’63, Make a Joyful Noize (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), and The Renaissance Mixtape (commissioned by the Apollo Theater). SSL has released three studio albums: Footprints, The Visitor: Alter Destiny, and Plan for Paradise. SSL has also developed a culturally responsive education platform for music creatives and educators at Soul Science University—just call them innovative Afro-futuristic griots.
Alphonso Horne and the Gotham Kings
Gotham Kings is a high energy immersive jazz experience! Two-time Grammy nominated trumpeter, Alphonso Horne has put together an all star band that weaves the sound of New Orleans, Funk, Jazz, and Hip Hop to bring a celebratory spirit that uplifts every room they play.

Horne has also performed in several Tony- Award winning Broadway shows including “After Midnight” and “Shuffle Along” featuring guest artists Fantasia Barrino, Dulé Hill, Toni Braxton, Audra McDonald, Savion Glover and many more. Alphonso can also be seen on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and in the upcoming jazz biopic, “BOLDEN”.

Individually, members of the Gotham Kings have compiled a diverse resume of collaborations with top artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, The Colbert Show and more!
Hope Boykin
Two time “Bessie Award” winner, Hope Boykin was an original member of Complexions, danced with Philadanco, and completed 20 years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Hope has choreographed for numerous dance companies and has created three works for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Hope serves as Artistic Advisor for Dance Education for the Kennedy Center and Artistic Lead for the Kennedy Center Dance Lab. She is Artist-In-Residence at USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and was advisor for the Howard University Department of Dance for their 2021 spring semester. She is currently a 2022-23 Fellow of The Center for Ballet and the Arts.

Hope continues to build on her work, as a writer and filmmaker; blending her words and cadence as the foundation of her developing movement-language.
Michelle Dorrance
Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based in New York City. Led by artistic director Michelle Dorrance, the company supports dancers and musicians who embody and push the dynamic range that tap dance has to offer. The company’s mission is to engage with audiences on a musical and emotional level, and to share the complex history and powerful legacy of this Black American art form through performance and education. The company’s inaugural performance garnered a Bessie Award for “blasting open our notions of tap” and the company continues its passionate commitment to expanding the audience of tap dance, an original American art form.

Founded in 2011 by artistic director and 2015 MacArthur Fellow, Michelle Dorrance, the company has received countless accolades, rave reviews and performed for packed houses at venues.