Margo Buchanan is an actress, director and playwright who has also taught professionals, children and college students in Chicago and Kentucky. In Chicago, she learned sign language, taught acting at The Center on Deafness, and won grants to teach acting to deaf children in the city schools—experiences that led to her 1994 appearance in the feature film Miracle on 34th Street, where she interpreted for and acted with Lord Richard Attenborough. As a member of Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild she has performed in regional theatres around the U.S., at the Kennedy Center and in the Jerusalem Festival in Israel. She now serves as the Arts Facilitator at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Lexington, Kentucky.
Lorne Dechtenberg is Artistic Director and Conductor of The Bluegrass Opera. He holds degrees in music from the University of Houston and the University of Kentucky (including the Doctor of Musical Arts from UK). An award-winning composer, singer, and pianist, Dechtenberg's original works have been performed across the U.S. and Europe. He and his Honeymoon Symphony were chronicled in the PBS documentary Composer at Work (which airs periodically on KET and KET-KY), and the original cast album of his oratorio King of Glory has been released globally through Amazon.com and other online outlets. In the non-classical world, Dechtenberg has appeared on hundreds of stages and had the privilege of collaborating with artists ranging from the late Clarence Clemons (of the E Street Band) to Oscar-winning writer Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and Tony-winning Broadway producer Stuart Ostrow (Pippin, 1776). He has been featured in settings ranging from piano bars to opera houses, and from fundraising galas to Academy Awards pre-show concerts. His works are published by Kiss on Ellipse Music (BMI), and he is represented internationally by Upbeat Arts.
Jon Dittert took his first drum lesson at age 4 and has been playing ever since. He studied English at the University of Dayton (B.A. 2004), where he was the only non-music major to complete a juried music recital. He has performed with many fantastic musicians, including Graham Breedlove, Bobby Streng, Eric Suttman, Sarah Bauer, Dawn DeKrell, Jonathan Webb, Tom Cool, and DJ Rice. He currently teaches at the Drum Center of Lexington and performs with several bands and musical theater companies in the greater Lexington area. Jon is also a talented guitarist and occasionally steps out from behind the drums to expand our musical palette. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing strategy games, and hanging out with his wife, Jamie.
Mari Anne Jayme, LSP, has served in New Thought/Centers for Spiritual Living communities since 2003, having been a founding member, Practitioner, and former music director of Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago. She has performed and presented workshops at CSL’s Asilomar Conference, CSL Teen Camp, Columbus CSL, Denver CSL, San Jose CSL, New Thought Ministries of Portland, The Launching Pad, Triangle CSL, and Ahava CSL. Her work as a musician spans from teaching college voice students to singing in jazz clubs and performing worldwide on U.S. military bases with Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band. She currently lives in Lexington and enjoys serving the Ahava community.
Justin Norris was born in Richmond, Ky, and raised in Lexington. His earliest music experience involved singing with his family's traveling gospel group "The Norris singers", at age 5. Inspired by the greats of gospel and R&B, this is where is love of song truly came alive. Upon moving to Lexington, Justin became involved in School choirs and musical theatre. To date he has performed in more than 30 local community and professional productions, private events and other engagements; including work with Actors guild of Lexington, Diana Evans Dance Studio, UK opera, Studio Players, Woodford Theatre, and KCTC Summerfest at the arboretum. By day, Justin is the kitchen manager of the nonprofit meal service Moveable Feast.
Kim D'Amato is a songwriter and vocalist with an eclectic range of influences, from Joni Mitchell to Dee-Lite. She started with a love of music, a need to write, and a dream of being Pat Benatar that carried over from childhood, and stepped tentatively up to the mic 10 years ago. Since then she has grown more accustomed to the spotlight, performing around Elizabethtown, Louisville, Lexington and Nashville. Her previous band, Mamakitty Southwood, released a CD called Surely You Jest in 2009. Most recently, she has been collaborating with 2 other songwriters in a group called 3 on the Floor.
Raleigh is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Kentucky. He frequently fills in on keyboards at Ahava and is always a welcome addition tp the band.
Jeff is our very talented and very appreciated "sound guy." He makes us all sound good.