Cultural diplomat Dave Huxtable loves language and espouses language learning for the sheer pleasure it brings. Throughout his life, he has mastered ten languages…so far. He challenges the notions that learning a language is difficult and that it requires special talent. Did you know that learning a foreign language will change the physical structure of your brain? Dave champions foreign language training for improved global understanding, neurological health, and optimum cognitive function.
Miguel Angel Aldrete is a local Entrepreneur, Author, and Philanthropist. Miguel is also a Senior at Olympian High School who has been inspiring students to take action for over a decade. Since the age of 8 he has written and published two books, started his non-profit “Kids 4 Our World” and organized city-wide and International volunteering campaigns. Miguel continues spreading his message that anyone can make a difference regardless of how young they might be.
Malesha Jessie Taylor has sung with the greatest symphony orchestras around the country in genres ranging from Opera to Jazz to Experimental. Her groundbreaking “Guerilla Opera”, a series of impromptu face to face engagements with local Brooklynites in bodegas, buses and barbershops, was so powerful and successful that it was brought to San Diego in 2016. Malesha now uses her celebrity from the world of performance to evoke social change through the arts.
From his earliest years, Dr. Van Stone was self-taught, ravenously devouring any book he could find. Earning a degree in Physics from Oxford, he initially worked in Gamma Ray Astronomy. Then, studying Calligraphy for the next 20 years, he becoming the recognized expert on Paleography. His Book entitled 2012 traces the ancient Maya prophecies through their hieroglyphs, and investigates what the Maya really said about the end of the world, what would happen, and when.
Jean Isaacs’ choreography has been performed in 8 countries, winning awards and critical acclaim from theater critics, universities, and arts foundations. Co-founder of the San Diego Dance Alliance, Isaacs’ work has been commissioned by the San Diego Opera, the La Jolla Playhouse, and other nationally recognized venues. Having taught choreography for 25 years at UCSD, Ms. Isaacs now directs the San Diego Dance Theater where she works with the region’s most talented and accomplished young dancers.
Jessie Chang has been a phenomenon since age 10. With a Bachelor’s at 19 and Master’s at 21, she has accumulated over 30 top honors at competitions around the world. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall, in a 28,000-person stadium, or locally at the San Diego Symphony, Ms. Chang dazzles audiences with her commanding technique, and mesmerizes them with her charm and personality. Come hear how this mother of two looks at life, success and the future.
Victor Navone started with classical art training, then added self-study, lots of hard work, and a year abroad in France. The result: he has now worked on over 10 Disney/Pixar feature animated films, and received several awards along the way. He has also worked on multiple video game projects, and has a viral video to his credit. What drives this guitar-playing, French-speaking yoga dad and husband in search of excellence. He’ll tell us.
Jahja Ling is the only conductor of Chinese descent to serve as Musical Director of a major US orchestra, directing the San Diego Symphony for 13 years. During his tenure, he revitalized San Diego’s symphony culture and effected the orchestra’s first ever Carnegie Hall appearance. With degrees from both Juilliard and Yale, he founded two Youth Symphony Orchestras and has performed for Queen Elizabeth II. Now retired, he teaches and inspires young musicians in great musical traditions.