Open A Door - Garden Players & The Scooches In Concert Artists

The Scooches Artist Bios

Nick Russo

guitar/banjo/resonator/composer/co-band leader

Nick Russo leads the charge as bandleader and composer. Russo plays guitar, banjo, and resonator and has appeared on ''Good Morning America'' as well as the Sam Mendes film, Away We Go, and was a sideman with the greats - Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles and Sonny Dallas. Russo had the honor to jam with Sir Paul McCartney while performing at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s home, regularly accompanies Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste and recently performed for actor/comedian/composer Jim Dale in Jon Weber’s band.  

Betina Hershey

voice/guitar/composer/co-band leader

Appears as principle dancer in featured films Disney's Enchanted and Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts. Hershey performed on international and national tours of Broadway shows such as West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, The Fantasticks and Pump Boys & Dinettes.

As a songwriter, Hershey performed live on WFUV, played with Fast Folk at The Bottom Line, C-Note, workshopped songs at Jack Hardy’s Monday night gatherings and BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop.

Betina directs Garden Players, her own music theater program for children and young adults in Forest Hills, Queens. She writes an original musical every year, published by Beat By Beat Press and performed all over the world. 

Miles Griffith


His non-traditional use of the voice as a percussive instrument, combined with an uncanny harmonic sense has made him a prime choice. He is a composer and has performed with Max Roach, Reggie Workman, T.S. Monk, Barry Harris and others. He played the lead role in Wynton Marsalis’ jazz oratorio ”Blood On The Fields,” which premiered at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. 

Facebook: (Miles Griffith)


Harvey Wirht


Harvey has performed alongside Grammy Award artist Angelique Kidjo, appeared on the Jay Leno Show, the Late how with David Letterman, the NAACP awards, Good Morning America, and the Peace Ball for the Inauguration of President Obama. He has also performed at the Kora Awards with Best East African Artist Winner Eric Wainaina and Lionel Loueke. He tours internationally with renowned world music artists, and with his own musical projects. 

Angie Workman

Gospel Vocals

Angela Workman is known as the Funk Balladtress. She has sung throughout the world with Ray Charles, Ben E. King, Patti La Belle, B.B. King, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Gospel performances include singing with International Choir of Harlem, NYC Rescue Mission, Redeemer Baptist Church NYC, and at Rockefeller Center. You can hear her on TV, Film, albums such as Prince’s “Soul Psychedelic”, Eminem’s “Infinity” and many more. Her original global infused compositions and standard renditions are full of soul. Her goal is to change the world one note at a time.


— Additional Scooches you can find on our upcoming and past albums:

Rashaan Salaam 

(Trombone / Rapper Name: Rashcash

My entire background is originally from an island in the Caribbean known as Trinidad & Tobago. I was initially influenced by calypso and soca music, my people's’ culture. My first real taste of the Jazz Scene was participating in the Essentially Ellington National Jazz Competition. That was my first time being around hundreds of musicians from many different backgrounds and cultures who all played so well, and was a huge inspiration to bring me to where I am now, currently attending the Juilliard School.

Rashcash Album on Spotify: 

David Pleasant

gullah-Geechee percussionist and composer 

David Pleasant, is a trailblazer in the Early African inspired music and movement of Gullah-Geechee culture. Referred to as, ''A true griot who captivates audiences with performances that bridge African polyrhythms and quantum physics'', Pleasant's work spans the range.

He has worked with artist such as, Audra Mc Donald, Wynton Marsalis, Urban Bush Women, Cecil Taylor, and others. As a featured artist and/or composer for ABC News, Nickelodeon, TED Talks, Nightline and similar projects, Pleasant engages an international scope for Gullah-Geechee culture.

Ted Talk:

Emiliano Valerio 


is a highly regarded musician who studied Afro-Cuban percussion at La Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, Cuba before further  training with Puerto Rican jazz great Giovanni Hidalgo. He also founded Nueva Siembra, a 15-piece Latin band, composed Jackson Heights Suite, for string quartet, was musical director/percussionist/guitarist for the OBIE Award winning Off-Broadway show Tap Dogs, and is a tabla disciple of virtuoso Pandit Samir Chatterjee.

Russell Hall 


Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Russell Hall began his journey as an actor from the tender age of 3. Performing in Jamaican adaptations of popular musicals to serious prose, he was destined to take the stage. Everything changed when he migrated to the United States in 2007. Under the tutelage of The Commodores, he discovered the bridge between the world of drama and the world of music. He progressed quickly from the electric bass to the double bass through the rigorous programs of The Dillard Center for the Arts and The Juilliard School. Now, he is revered as one of the most in demand artist in New York City, performing with some of the biggest names in music, dance and film. His work is featured on the Grammy nominated album “My Favorite Things” by Joey Alexander, “Motherless Brooklyn”, a film by Edward Norton which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Score, and HBO’s “Masterclass Series” which feature Wynton Marsalis as a master teacher which was nominated for an Emmy. Russell’s own work has been acknowledged with prestige in some of the most renowned venues and festivals around the world such as The Appel Room, The St. Lucia Jazz Festival, The Apollo, The Marciac Jazz Festival and many more. His most recent album, “The Feeling Of Romance”, is available on all platforms.