Director: Stefan Verna

Movement inspires all of Stefan Verna’s creations; ‘Poeticizing our pain’ describes both his process and the impact he seeks with his filmmaking. Stefan started dancing in his late teens and later got involved in theatre before dedicating his professional life to cinema. His deep interest in Afro Culture, Politics and Dance fuels his body of work.

A graduate of Concordia University's Film Production program, Stefan Verna has been active in the film community as a Director, Scriptwriter, Director of Photography and Video Instructor to marginalized youth. As a director he has explored various filmmaking forms: documentary, fiction, music videos and dance films.  His camera work has taken him to Nunavik, Cuba, France, Haiti, Mexico and the U.S and has been shown on various Canadian networks such as CBC TV, APTN, Canal D, Canal Evasion and Télé-Quebec.  
He is a founding member of Black on Black Films, a collective of Black filmmakers in Quebec and has been lecturing around the world about the history & aesthetics of Black Cinema for the last 5 years.  His films have been showcased in International film festivals: Ice Storm Cabaret (2000), Chocolate City (2003), Poetry in Motion (2004), Diversidad: a Roadtrip to Deconstruct Diner (2011), Drawing Blank (2012), Equation of Imagination (2015), MONtreal: Jazz Stories (2018), Metamorph (2020). He is presently completing his second documentary feature called NOMAD’S LAND: a Documentary Rhyme, directing NIGHT WATCHES US at the NFB and in developing a feature film ON THIN ICE with Loaded Pictures.


Writer/Performer/Producer: Tawhida Tanya Evanson

Tawhida Tanya Evanson is a poet, author, performer, producer and Ashiq. Her poetry collections include Bothism (2017) and Nouveau Griot (2018), and her debut novel Book of Wings (2021) won the 2022 CAM/Blue Metropolis New Contribution Prize. Her French autotranslation Livre des ailes (2023) is fresh from Marchand de feuilles. With a twenty-five-year practice in oral poetry and music, she performs internationally and has released several studio albums and videopoems including the upcoming 2024 Afrofuturist concert film CYANO SUN SUITE. She is president of the Quebec Writers' Federation and produces interarts events as Mother Tongue Media. Born and based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal of afro-Antiguan and Québécoise origin, she moonlights as a whirling dervish.


Jean-Michel Frédéric – Keys

Jean-Michel Frédéric is a producer, musician and songwriter who has worked with different musical acts such as Nomadic Massive, Malika Tirolien, Planet Giza, Malia Laura and many others. He holds a bachelor degree in Piano Jazz Performance from Université de Montreal.


Erik Hove – Saxophone

Erik Hove is an alto saxophonist who plays a wide variety of jazz, improvised, and contemporary music. Born in Vancouver, he has lived in Montreal and New York, attending McGill University as well as studying with Greg Osby. While in New York, he formed the turntable-jazz group Soundclash, which won the Montreal OFF festival's Francois Marcaurelle prize and released a disc with Effendi records. He also heads various trios and quartets. His latest project, the Erik Hove Chamber Ensemble, is a musical hybrid drawing from jazz, hip-hop, contemporary classical and electro-acoustic music. The 10-piece ensemble consists of a jazz rhythm section and a small contemporary chamber ensemble, and blends group and solo improvisation with rigorous conceptual contemporary writing. The group’s debut, Saturated Colour, received rave reviews from local and international press. Their follow-up, Polygon, was released on Inner Circle Records to equal critical acclaim. He has played with many local and international artists, including the Juno-winning Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra, Anna Webber's Montreal People, John Hollenbeck’s L”OFF Carte Blanche, the Effendi Jazzlab, the Kalmunity Jazz Project, Gary Schwartz’s Lettingo, Adrian Vedady, Susie Arioli, and Malika Tirolien.

Mark Haynes – Bass

Mark Haynes is an American-born bassist, songwriter and composer. Known Internationally through his tenure as a songwriter and session musician at Flyte Tyme Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collaborating with hit-makers Jimmy “Jam” Harris and Terry Lewis, Haynes is featured on two Platinum and three Gold albums with Janet Jackson, Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight, as well as soundtracks for the Hollywood motion pictures Money Train and Mo’ Money, for which he co-wrote “Brother Will”. Haynes has performed on stages around the globe as a member of the Grammy Awardwinning ensemble The Sounds of Blackness (Royal Albert Hall, Montreux Jazz Festival, and Brazil’s Free Jazz Festival, where he share the stage with Stevie Wonder), and has also performed at the ASCAP Awards for (Ashford & Simpson) and in the 1996 Olympics (Salt & Pepa). Haynes continues to collaborate with with many artists around the globe, including Nomadic Massive, Malika Tirolien, The International Choir of Prague, Tanya Evanson, Les Sympathiques. Pavel Jany of Ticket to Brasil and Switzerland’s Soulplay.

Jahsun – Drums

A self-taught drummer/band leader, Jahsun has over thirty years of professional experience and has influenced many young drummers and musicians in Montreal. Specializing in reggae, jazz-hop, funk, R&B, soul and hip-hop, he hastoured across Canada, U.S, Caribbean, India and China performing at international festivals, concert venues and as a studio session musician. In 2003, he founded the Kalmunity Vibe Collective, a premiere platform for artistic expression, artist development and networking based on improvised music comprising a group of over 100 artists.

Elli Miller Maboungou – Percussion

Elli Miller Maboungou was born into our company, learning to beat the drum before he could walk, with Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, growing up in the studio. He is the most recent “memory” of the company, having played with the great drum-masters. This has helped him perfect his own style and drumbeat. Elli has already participated in several shows across the globe and conducted percussion workshops for young people across Canada. He has been playing for African dance classes and performing here and abroad for many years. He recently formed his own Afro-jazz group Jazzamboka and continues to be the regular percussionist for several well-known Montreal bands. Jazzamboka won the Stingray Award for Best Music Composition at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2017.

Kaie Kellough – Guest Poet

Kaie Kellough is a novelist, poet, and sound performer. His work emerges at a crossroads of social engagement and formal experiment. From western Canada, he lives in Montréal and maintains a strong relationship with the Caribbean, with roots in Guyana, South America. His books include Magnetic Equator (poetry, McClelland and Stewart, 2019), and Dominoes at the Crossroads (short fiction, Véhicule, 2020). His novel Accordéon was shortlisted for the Amazon/Walrus Foundation Fist Novel Award. Kaie’s work has been recognized by the Manitoba Book Awards, the League of Canadian Poets, and Carte Blanche Magazine. Kaie’s vocal performance, recorded audio, and electronic narrative explore migration and the suspension of arrival. Since 2011 hehas created mixed media compositions with saxophonist and synthesist Jason Sharp. Kaie’s work has traveled internationally, notably to festivals in the UK, Australia, and continental Europe. He continues to craft new passages.