Staff

Giovanni Russonello

Giovanni Russonello co-founder + editor-in-chief

Giovanni is a co-founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic who covers jazz for the New York Times. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop’s concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, where he edited the daily student newspaper and was involved in the successful movement to demand a degree program in African-American studies. Reach Giovanni at [email protected] Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

Luke Stewart

Luke Stewart co-founder, director of presenting + avant music editor

Luke Stewart is a DC/NYC-based musician and organizer of important musical presentations. He also has a presence in the national and international professional music community. He was profiled in the Washington Post in early 2017 as “holding down the jazz scene,” selected as “Best Musical Omnivore” in the Washington City Paper’s 2017 “Best of DC,” chosen as “Jazz Artist of the Year” for 2017 in the District Now, and in the 2014 People Issue of the Washington City Paper as a “Jazz Revolutionary,” citing his multi-faceted cultural activities throughout DC. In DC his regular ensembles include experimental jazz trio Heart of the Ghost, Low Ways Quartet featuring guitarist Anthony Pirog, and experimental rock duo Blacks’ Myths.  As a solo artist, he has been compiling a series of improvisational sound structures for Upright Bass and Amplifier. As a scholar/performer, he has performed and lectured at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Medgar Evers College, George Mason University, Wayne State University, University of Montana, New Mexico State University, and the University of South Carolina. He holds a BA in International Studies and a BA in Audio Production from American University, and an MA in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship from the New School. Reach Luke at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @lukeostewart.

Jamie Sandel

Jamie Sandel managing director

Jamie is a musician and creative producer based in Northwest DC. He was raised in Silver Spring, MD by theater artists who dedicated their careers to social change, and who helped him understood that art is both personal and political. Jamie taught himself videography to evangelize the power of live music, and thinks like a musician even when he’s behind a lens. The same goes for setting up a microphone, creating graphical media, presenting a concert, or writing — each of which have become important elements of his work. Jamie has played bass with Misfit Marti, Bartees Strange, Rahiem Supreme, and others; he plays violin with Sarah Hughes’ Zara, Eli and the Waltz, and in LMB, his duo with hornist Abe Mamet. He collaborates often with T.L. Benton of Mecca Filmworks as a cameraman and producer. Reach Jamie at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wjsandel.



Kelsye Adams

Kelsye Adams presenting associate

Advocacy is her artistry. Kelsye has been an organizer since 2016 during her tenure in college. She first started as a finance intern through VCU at the Democratic Party of Virginia, later becoming Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s The Way Ahead PAC Finance Director. From there she began helping the very cultured organization Long Live GoGo here in Washington, DC and helped curate its Moechella platform utilizing gogo music as the intersection of politics and culture. Kelsye also serves on the U ST Neighborhood Association and is a board member for The Live Movement National/Howard chapter. Kelsye completed the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Georgetown University in 2021. Kelsye was brought on as a team member of DC Vote in January of 2022 as DC Vote’s Program Director. Kelsye plans to continue the utilization of the culture to create innovative pragmatic programming both locally and nationally to amplify the need for DC Statehood. She believes the time is NOW for DC to become the 51st state of the United States. Kelsye, our new managing associate is nothing new to the CapitalBop team as she was brought on board in 2021 for NEXTfest as Program Manager. Kelsye plans to continue to utilize her many attributes to help DC remain Chocolate City and keep it’s true culture.



Jackson Sinnenberg listings editor

Jackson Sinnenberg is an Associate Producer for SiriusXM and a freelance writer. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, JazzTimes, Downbeat, NPR Music, NPR.org, the Washington City Paper, On Tap/District Fray Magazine and the blog of Smithsonian Folkways Records. He previously covered the city’s music scene for WGTB, Georgetown University’s radio station, where he was a show host, writer, and columnist. He graduated from Georgetown with a bachelor’s degree in American Musical Culture. Reach Jackson at [email protected] Read him at sinnenbergmusic.com. Follow him at @sinnenbergmusic.

Jana La Sorte

Jana La Sorte development director

Jana La Sorte is a creative strategist who has led and/or supported development efforts for established organizations including Urban Bush Women, 651 ARTS, Harlem Stage and Bailey’s Cafe and for emerging arts organizations including Harlem Derby and Well-Read Black Girl. A former jazz musician and jazz radio DJ, she created the industry’s popular annual Ask the Experts professional development series and has worked with the DC Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Standard, Motema Music, Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers and many other global jazz organizations. A National Arts Strategies fellow, she advises arts and social impact organizations through her agency Ambassadora, consulting with clients on all aspects of their organizational growth. She teaches entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is passionate about cultural and political organizing. She curates and produces jazz and culture events in her spare time. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her at www.facebook.com/askambassadora.

Sadie Gronigan

Sadie Gronigan development assistant

Sadie Gronigan is CapitalBop’s development assistant. She has a background in music and entertainment journalism, music composition, arts organization, and performance. Sadie is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she earned her degree in Music Industry. While pursuing her degree, she worked with The Church Studio in Tulsa, OK, co-founded OSU’s Music Industry Association, pioneered the Singer Songwriter Guild at Oklahoma State, and was a staff writer for the O’Collegian Media Group. Sadie is new to Washington D.C., and hopes to further her career in the industry through music journalism and arts management. Reach Sadie at [email protected]

Lauren Honesty

Lauren Honesty staff videographer

Lauren is a videographer, editor, and visual content creator. She is the Video Marketing & Production Manager for a home renovation company in the DMV. She also maintains a passion projects business and regularly creates content for non-profit organizations with a focus on music and social justice. She graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Follow her Instagram at @laurenhonesty.

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Board of directors

Sara Donnelly • Maxx Myrick • Gloria Nauden • John Hedden • Theo George • Giovanni Russonello
Not pictured: Tony Haywood • Jon Hart • Luke Stewart


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