Born in Chattanooga and now based in Johnson City, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past.
Accompanied interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band, her eclectic influences span decades, finding inspiration in old-time music, alternative rock, folk, country, and blues.
Our Native Daughters, her recent collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago), has delivered a full-length album produced by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell, Songs of Our Native Daughters (out now on Smithsonian Folkways). NPR described the opening track, Black Myself, written by Amythyst, as “the simmering defiance of self-respect in the face of racism.” The supergroup will hit the road in July with a series of special dates that include performances at Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture as well as the Newport Folk Festival. Most recently, the group has been nominated for Duo/Group of the Year at the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards.
Amythyst regularly tours the United Kingdom and has performed at Celtic Connections, Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in the U.S. and has shined at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and opening for artists such as the Indigo Girls, Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons, Old Crow Medicine Show, First Aid Kit, Darrell Scott, and Tim O’Brien.
Provocative and fierce, Amythyst’s ability to cross boundaries is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable.
Matt is the chef/partner of the critically-acclaimed barbecue restaurant Pig Beach located in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Matt first earned his BBQ chops during his time working on America’s highly competitive barbecue teams, Salty Rinse, receiving 2nd place medal for Whole Hog in 2015 and 1st Place for Best Sauce at the annual Memphis in May World Championship. Prior to opening his own restaurants, Matt was the Chef de Cuisine of Del Posto and during is tenure, the restaurant received a coveted four-star review from the New York Times, and the Relais & Chateaux distinction. Raised in the small upstate New York town of New Hartford in an extremely tight-knit Italian-American-Lebanese family where he began his culinary training at a very young age by rolling meatballs and house-made pasta with his nona.
Today, Matt is a frequent guest chef on The Today Show and has appeared on NBC’s The Chew and DirecTV’s Fantasty Zone.
Chef Jose Salazar was born in Colombia South America and was raised in Queens NY. Chef Salazar got his start in restaurants as a bartender and waiter at some of New York’s hottest establishments- among them, Donatella Arpia’s Bellini restaurant. Although the front of the house is where he started, it was the kitchen that really caught his eye. This prompted him to enroll in the culinary program at the New York Restaurant School. Upon graduating in 2001 he landed an internship with famed Chef Jean George Vongerichten at his namesake restaurant; Jean George. After completing the internship, he went on to work with some of New York’s most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, including Geoffrey Zacharian of Town, Josh De’ Chellis of Sumile, and Eric and Bruce Bromberg of Blue Ribbon. However, it was Jose’s four years working with Chef Thomas Keller that made the most palpable impression on his cooking philosophies. In 2003 Jose was hired as chef de partie to be a part of the opening staff of the highly acclaimed Per-Se restaurant. Then in 2006, he was instrumental in the opening of another of Chef Keller’s projects; Bouchon Bakery, where he became the Executive Sous-Chef.
In 2008, Chef Salazar took his knowledge and experience to Cincinnati Ohio, where he was tapped to be the Executive Chef of The historical Cincinnatian Hotel and Palace restaurant. It’s there that Jose was able to hone his style of cooking, incorporating the ingredients and techniques of the Americas, Europe, and Japan. Since his arrival to the Queen City, Jose has received many favorable reviews, including 5 stars (the highest rating) from Polly Campbell of The Cincinnati Enquirer. He’s also garnered national attention- In 2011 Food and Wine magazine awarded him the title of people’s choice “Best New Chef”.
In December of 2013 Chef Salazar and his wife Ann opened Salazar, their much-anticipated restaurant in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. Immediately after opening it was clear that Salazar was going to be an instant hit. Their modern bistro is packed nightly with diners eating foods such as duck rillettes, fried oyster sliders, rib-eye steaks, and veal tongue al’a plancha. This little forty-five seater, while just around three years old is recognized as one of the best in the city by the dining public and critics alike.
In August of 2015, Jose and Ann opened Mita’s, a 135 seat restaurant located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. This restaurant features the food and drinks of Spain and Latin America with a formal but laid back design. In just a year and a half Mita’s has already set it’s self apart with wonderful food, service, and ambiance. It has received praise from countless publications, both locally and nationally. Chef Salazar and Mita’s have received nominations for “Best Chef”, Great Lakes from the prestigious James Beard Foundation in 2016 and 2017.
Chef Salazar is currently in the process of opening up a new eatery this summer (2019) called Goose and Elder.
Los Angeles, based Michael Voltaggio is the chef of the former ink.well concept, as well as Sack Sandwiches at LAX’s Tom Bradley International. Beginning his career at the age of 15, Michael earned the prestigious Greenbrier apprenticeship at age 19 and went on to helm the kitchens at Dry Creek Kitchen and The Bazaar by José Andrés. Celebrated for having reinterpreted a new class of finer dining at ink. – which received the title of GQ’s “Best New Restaurant in America” 2011 – Michael has been recognized as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2013, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef, and hosted the Travel Channel series.