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Spotlight Artists

Music for Autism (M4A) introduced the selection of Spotlight Artists each year to recognize extraordinarily talented and gifted musicians who have made a significant commitment to supporting the work of M4A and aided in the charity's expansion.
2024: Adam Sadberry

Adam is an exceptionally talented, instructive, and generous performer and has delighted our audiences since his first virtual performance with us in 2021. We are thrilled to announce him as Music for Autism’s 2024 Spotlight Artist! Music for Autism names one Spotlight Artist annually. It is our singular distinction to an artist of extraordinary musicianship […]

2023: Thayne Jasperson

Music for Autism is thrilled to announce we have named Broadway star Thayne Jasperson as our 2023 Spotlight Artist. Thayne is an exceptionally talented and generous performer, having delighted our audiences both with in-person and virtual events. “We are delighted to recognize Thayne as our 2023 Spotlight Artist!” expressed Music for Autism’s US Founder, Dr. […]

2022: Candace Marie Chien

Candace Marie Chien is our 2022 Spotlight Artist! “Music for Autism’s message resonates with me as a performer, teacher, and human who lives on the spectrum,” says Candace, who connected with us in 2019. Since then, Candace Marie Chien has dazzled our audiences with three incredible solo, duo, and group performances. “Music has always been […]

2021: CJ Pawlikowsi and Kasie Gasparini

Music for Autism has named Broadway stars and frequent songwriting partners, Kasie Gasparini and CJ Pawlikowski as our 2021 Spotlight Artists. These exceptionally talented young artists have performed with Music for Autism both at our in-person, interactive concerts, as well as on our live-streamed, virtual ones. They have delighted our audiences at each concert and […]

2020: Fair Trade Trio

Mission-Driven Artists Create Exciting, Accessible Performances Music for Autism is delighted to announce that we have named Fair Trade Trio as our 2020 Spotlight Artists. This exceptional group of young musicians has mesmerized our audiences since their first performance with us in 2017. We have had the pleasure of having them perform several interactive concerts […]

2019: Dianne Fraser

A long history of advocacy for Music for Autism Dianne Fraser is an indispensable part of our Music for Autism Family and we could not be more thrilled to name her our 2019 Spotlight Artist. As Ryan Gardner, Artist Coordinator said, “Dianne Fraser has a long history as an advocate and performer for Music for […]

2018: Chad Lefkowitz-Brown

Chad Lefkowitz-Brown is a fan favorite at Music for Autism! He has performed with us in multiple venues over several years and we are honored he continues to join us. He told us that, “performing with Music for Autism has been such a wonderful and fulfilling experience! It’s an amazing organization doing really important work, […]

2017: Kiku Collins & David Gibson

Kiku and David are absolutely thrilled to not only have the honor of performing for Music For Autism, but the opportunity to share in the goal of a safe space for families to enjoy the gift of music. Music is a worldwide language, and knows no boundaries. Gifts are meant for giving, receiving and sharing, […]

2016: Marisa Kennedy
  • Actress

Marisa Kennedy is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She is currently in Matilda at the Shubert Theatre – ensemble, covers Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Wormwood. She was in the National Tour of Billy Elliot as their assistant dance captain. As a dancer, she was named Top 10 […]

2015: Joe Iconis

Joe Iconis is a writer and performer. He is a creature of Manhattan and can frequently be spotted banging away on a dirty old piano. His songs are featured on Season 2 of NBC’s Smash. A composer – lyricist – bookwriter, he has authored the musicals Be More Chill, Annie Golden: Bounty Hunter, Yo!, Bloodsong […]

2014: Sonny Paladino
  • Piano

Sonny Paladino: Broadway (Assistant Conductor/Keys): Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Elliot, Grease, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Keyboards: Guys and Dolls, Mama Mia, Promises, Promises, Addams Family, Women on the Verge. Music Supervisor for Disney’s High School Musical (Milan/Italy tour.) 1st National Tours: Disney’s High School Musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Grease. Work with Alicia […]

2013: John Arthur Greene

John Arthur Greene currently performs eight times a week in Broadway’s Matilda and recently starred as Riff in the recent Broadway revival of West Side Story. In addition, he has an active cabaret and night club performance track record at such esteemed venues as 54 Below, Joe’s Pub and the Metropolitan Room. Press BroadwayWorld.com “Music […]

2012: WindSync
  • Wind Ensemble

Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” WindSync —a winner of the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh International Competition — is a fresh and energetic wind quintet thrilling audiences nationwide with their unique approach to classical music. These five virtuoso players specialize in creative, engaging, and interactive concerts that inspire audiences of […]

2011: Suzy Perelman
  • Violin

Violinist Suzy Perelman began her study of the violin at age 6 in the Philadelphia public schools. For college Suzy attended the Cleveland Institute of Music (Bachelor of Music, 1994), Case Western Reserve University (Bachelor of Science in Music Education, 1995), and Carnegie Mellon University (Master of Music, 1998). Her teachers were Linda Cerone, Bernie […]

2010: Ryan Gardner
  • Trumpet

Dr. Ryan Gardner is currently the Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Oklahoma State University. Originally from Santa Monica, California, Dr. Gardner received his Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music with highest distinction, his Master of Music from Rice University – Shepherd School of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the […]

2009: Jade Simmons
  • Piano

Known for her musical creativity and electrifying stage presence, pianist Jade Simmons is committed to expanding the boundaries of Classical music. Though her affinity is for the rhythmic and percussive repertoire of 20th and 21st century composers, Jade offers a diverse mix of repertoire from the classics to the cutting edge. In 2006, she became […]

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