We are very excited to have this year’s Gala program hosted by Julie James, an award-winning vocalist, theatre performer, voice-over artist and radio personality. Julie is a Program Director at Sirius XM, curating all the music for the On Broadway and Metropolitan Opera Radio stations. She is celebrating 10 years as host of “Broadway Names with Julie James,” where she takes her listeners on the town, backstage and into the studio for fun, lively conversations with the biggest and best of Broadway and beyond, including Hugh Jackman, Julie Andrews, Sting, Kristin Chenoweth, Rita Moreno, Neil Patrick Harris, Carole King, Bryan Cranston, Patti LuPone, Barry Manilow, Shirley Jones, Idina Menzel, Daniel Radcliffe and many others.
Julie has also performed internationally, recently playing sold-out engagements at New York City’s venerable 54 Below and singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park for a stadium of 34,000. She has appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Goodspeed Opera House, Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, The Rainbow Room, and Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre. She has also appeared in concert in Kazakhstan for its President and headlined at New York’s famed Central Park Summerstage.
Julie has hosted hundreds of events, on Broadway and across America, covers many red carpets including 10 years of the TONY Awards, and is now often called upon as an on-camera theatre expert for NBC, CBS, Fox’s “Good Day New York”, Google, NY1 and AOL/Build. Julie’s personality, stage presence and vocal style brought her to SiriusXM Radio, where her voice is heard by millions each day as a host and on voiceovers, jingles and parody songs for various channels including the “The Howard Stern Show.” As a dedicated ally, Julie is thrilled to be a part of the National LGBTQ Task Force Gala and applauds the honorees as well as all those contributing to moving us forward with equality for ALL!
We are thrilled to welcome Yoli Mayor to the stage! Yoli has been singing since she was two years old. A Cuban-American Miami native, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter has found her own voice, which is often reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, Etta James and many other soulful icons. Her inspiring performances made her a standout favorite and propelled her through to the semifinals of America’s Got Talent in 2017. Yoli is currently hard-at-work on an EP, on which she will share her passion for music, honesty and heart in song. She wants music to make people feel something: “My favorite reaction from an audience is to be in tears, usually with me.”
After her American Idol journey she became a very successful recording artist and released three full-length albums. She’s had eight Top 20 Adult Contemporary hits and four #1 Dance hits across various Billboard charts. Her #1 club hit, a remake of the Freda Payne classic “Band of Gold,” was included on Billboard’s “Top 50 Dance Songs of the Decade” list. She’s also made history as being the only recording artist to score a #1 Christmas song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart three years in a row.
Most recently she was seen at the 2016 finale of American Idol, which was watched by around 13 million viewers. At the finale she sang her hugely successful 2004 single “8th World Wonder,” along with additional solo and group performances with other American Idol favorites.
Prepare to be wowed by the choreography of Ray Sullivan. Ray has performed works by more than fifty choreographers in North America, South America, Asia and Europe.
This internationally acclaimed, award-winning artist has choreographed 48 world premieres in the USA and internationally, and danced 5 years with el Ballet Contemporáneo del Teatro San Martín in Argentina. He created Sullivan Technique of Contemporary Movement and holds a BFA in Dance from State University of New York at Purchase. In New York he also trained in the Martha Graham and José Limón Techniques at the Paul Taylor School, the Joffrey Ballet School, the David Howard School and Broadway Dance Center.
Locally, he taught for four years on faculty at Miami City Ballet School, was the artistic director of Miami Contemporary Dance Company for 15 years, and choreographed the Golem of Havana in Miami. Currently, he is co-creator and Artistic Director of TANGO OUT, with a special focus on Queer Tango. He tours internationally, choreographing, teaching master classes and lecturing on dance and engaging art for social change.
We are very excited to welcome DJ Cesar Hernandez to the Gala as the DJ of the Gala After Party! An internationally renowned DJ born in Venezuela and currently based in Miami, his talent and originality on the decks have given him industry acclaim and international recognition.
An active part of the LGBTQ community, he has spun many pride events and shared the stage with other well-known performers, and he can often be found entertaining the crowd at Palace Bar. From the latest trends to ambient, crossover and circuit, he has his own unique sound and style. Don’t miss his debut set for the Task Force Gala, 10:30pm to midnight in Sparkle West. Until then, you can enjoy his original mixes at soundcloud.com/xcesarhernandez.