Ruth & Stephen Hendel (Executive Producers) conceived and produced the musical FELA!, which ran on Broadway, London's Royal National Theater, and on tour all over the world. Ruth has been involved as a co-producer in many Tony Award winning Broadway shows. Stephen is the executive producer of Alex Gibney's documentary, Finding Fela (2014), and Ruth and Steve are executive producers of Saul Williams' film, Neptune Frost (2022). Last spring, the Hendels presented A Walk on the Moon at George Street Playhouse. Additional upcoming productions include Monsoon Wedding (Qatar, November 2022; St. Ann’s Warehouse, Spring 2023), and The Devil's Arithmetic.
Steven Saporta (Producer). Perhaps the phrase “talent catalyst” best sums up the role that Steven Saporta has played over his rich and diverse career. As such, Blackstar Symphony represents a kind of crowning achievement of his decades-long journey as manager, creative confidant, entrepreneur, producer, music business innovator, and consultant. Nurtured in the New York art underground, Saporta’s career has been guided from the outset by a sensibility that has always compelled him to seek out, develop, and present the kind of new and alternative art and artists that resonate far beyond their emergence. He was one of the earliest pioneers of the transformative role that video would play in promoting music, serving as Executive Producer of four major concert television specials and countless groundbreaking clips that succeeded in launching or re-inventing the careers of Whitney Houston, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, Run-DMC, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Sting, and the Highwaymen, which brought together country music icons Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings.
Margaret Selby (Co-Producer and Booking Agent) is the founder and President of Selby Artists Management and Selby Creative Productions. Cultivating exceptional talent, Selby manages the careers of leading choreographers, dance companies, and theatrical events, booking tours and performances at major venues and festivals around the world, and securing special television appearances, commercial opportunities, sponsorships, and custom-made corporate events. Selby produced the first off-Broadway hip hop musical, Jam on the Groove with the Rock Steady Crew, earning a Drama Desk Nomination and touring internationally to Japan, Singapore, and Europe with the support of a Calvin Klein sponsorship. She toured the Broadway Tony award-winning production of Fela! across the United States, to London’s Sadler’s Wells, and The Holland Festival. A special concert version of Fela! was subsequently featured at the Adelaide Festival, the Auckland Festival, Kennedy Center, Central Park, Saratoga Performing Arts, House of Blues Boston and continues to tour today.
As a filmmaker, Selby earned a Peabody for Everybody Dance Now and two Emmy Awards for her special Two by Dove on PBS’ Great Performances: Dance in America. She produced and directed Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens – A Life in Animation. Selby procured the financing and secured the participation of Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, John Lassiter, Ron Howard, and Matt Groening, among others. Selby is thrilled to be working with Donny McCaslin on Blackstar Symphony and looks forward to bringing it to audiences around the globe.
Jack Gulick (Line Producer) is a Grammy-winning producer who for almost three decades has worked in documentary, concert film, and live comedy and music specials. After earning his BFA in Film and Television from New York University, he produced the documentaries Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story (2019), Bastards of the Party: the History of the LA Street Gangs (2005) for HBO, Finding Fela: Chronicling the life of Musician Fela Kuti (2014) directed by Alex Gibney, and The World According to RZA (2004).
He also produced Blood Brothers: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2000), Smashing Pumpkins: If All Goes Wrong (2008), Basic Black: The Lewis Black Story (2010) for EPIX, Hit the Lights: The Making of Metallica Through the Never (2014) for & home video, and Dancemaker (1998) with Choreographer Paul Taylor, and the filmed concerts Lightning in a Bottle (2004) directed by Anton Fuqua, All Access: Front Row. Backstage. Live! (2001) for IMAX, Dave Matthews Band: The Central Park Concert (2003) for AOL, Andraé Crouch: Live in Los Angeles (2011) for PBS, Steve Miller Band: Live from Chicago (2008) for PBS, Boz Scaggs: Greatest Hits Live (2004) for PBS, Audioslave: Live in Cuba (2005) for MTV & Home Video, Show: A Night in the Life of Matchbox Twenty (2004) for HDNET & Home Video, Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black (2009) for EPIX & Home Video, among others.