People: Our Leadership


JAZZ HOUSE KiDS board memebers

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS board and advisors join special guest Diana Krall at the RALPH PUCCI 4th Annual Jazz Set with host Christian McBride.

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Board of Directors

Board Chair

Terry Woodard, Board Chair
Global Private Bank Vice Chair, JP Morgan Chase

Melissa Walker - President + Founder of JAZZ HOUSE KiDS

Melissa Walker, Founder & President, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS


Christian McBride - Artistic Director at JAZZ HOUSE KiDS

Christian McBrideArtistic Director
GRAMMY Award-Winning Bassist, Bandleader & Educator


Sandra Smith, Secretary
Executive Director, Regulatory Affairs, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

Janelle Anderson
Chief Strategy Officer, Century Therapeutics

Susan Korones Gifford
Freelance Writer and Editor

Neal Lazar
President, Manhattan Mechanical

Janet Shapiro
President, Brandenburg Productions

Cecile Sutherland
Founder & President, Cedas Home Care Services, LLC

Martin Melilli
Market President – Commercial, TD Bank

Through JAZZ HOUSE KiDS , they are developing some of the country’s most promising young musicians by providing them with world class educational and performance opportunities. Their students consistently impress, not only because of their musical abilities, but also because of their focus, presence and commitment to quality. JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, besides having a great name, is doing much more than educating musicians – they are developing cultural leaders. Something we desperately need at this time.”

~ Wynton Marsalis says of Melissa and Christian’s work



  • Hilary Apicella
  • Philip Byrd
  • Rose Cali
  • Holly English
  • Chris Gifford
  • James Johnson
  • Margarethe Laurenzi
  • Lee Mergner
  • Ruthie Perretti
  • Ralph Pucci
  • Donald Savoy
  • Fred Smagorinsky
  • Wayne Winborne
  • John Zweig


  • Ondine Landa Abramson
  • James Bolin
  • Jason DeSalvo
  • Andrew Ellis
  • Nick Miceli
  • Charlie Sample
  • Roseann Shaiman