Women's FEST 2017 Entertainers
Sweet Baby J’ai
Sweet Baby J’ai is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and actress who has toured the world with her distinctive sound. Although J'ai is known for her energetic stage presence and powerful vocals, some critics describe her as a "jazz singer," others a "blues singer” but all agree that this versatile soulful, singer-songwriter is a "storyteller". She tackles diverse social issues, lost and found love, and pays tribute to those who have inspired her and the art form. Talented both as a vocalist and musician, she takes unconventional instruments, the washboard and spoons, and claims them as her own special sound. She has shared the stage with such luminaries as Melissa Etheridge, Herbie Hancock, and Etta James.The last time she appeared at FEST she rocked the hall and blew the roof off!
Karen Williams is one of today's hottest comedy stars, known for her quick repartee, insightful commentary, audience rapport, and sheer likeability! She is a comic craft master, a gifted actor, a multitalented writer, and an inspirational lecturer, whose HaHA Institute attracts clients from the public and private sectors. Armed with her "healing with humor" philosophy, Karen is a modern-day alchemist and motivational humorist, whose audiences revel in her cathartic laughter and whose peers consider her a comic's comic! Curve Magazine calls Karen Williams "...a laugh riot!" The Sydney Morning Herald proclaims that Karen Williams is "ferociously funny, with perfect pace, timing and structure."
Gina Yashere was born and raised in London UK, of Nigerian parents. She’s been a stand-up comic and TV star in the UK for several years now, She broke onto the American comedy scene on Last Comic Standing, where she made it to the finals. She was named one of the top 10 rising talents by the Hollywood Reporter. She’s the only British comic ever to appear on Def Comedy Jam; she’s been on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central, and a Showtime one hour standup special. She performs, non-stop, all over the world.
Tret Fure is an acclaimed singer/songwriter and iconic women’s music star with 15 albums and CDs over her 46 year career. In the early 80s, Tret explored the blossoming genre known as women’s music.” She recorded with and produced some of the best of women’s music including the legendary Meg & Cris at Carnegie Hall (1983). She worked as a duo with Cris Williamson throughout the 90s, producing, engineering,and releasing three CDs together. Now, after seven acoustic releases on her own label, Tomboy Girl Records, she has re-established herself in the folk world, winning awards nation-wide.
Julie Wheeler is a comic and singer who performed as a Lounge Lizard for years in Provincetown, MA, and at universities and festivals. She performed improv and went on to produce, and star as Elvis in Viva Las Vegas, the Musical in NYC with Maggie Moore (The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love), which led to an Elvis performance on TV’s The L Word. In NYC, she has starred in theatre, performed internationally and starred in Lee Breuer’s Obie Award winning play Epidog. Recently she’s been touring with her one-woman show, Beach Blanket Babylon. She sings, tells jokes, and entertains like crazy!
Regina Sayles is a dynamic singer/songwriter who blends various genres such as pop, jazz, soul and country. In April 2013, Regina released a live acoustic album titled, The Ann Street Session, with some awesome musicians. She currently has teamed up with singer/songwriter Christian Porter and formed the duo Porter and Sayles. They released their debut all original album in 2016.
Viki Dee has a musical career spanning more than 25 years, and a busy Delaware and Maryland performing schedule. Viki has long called Rehoboth Beach home base. She’s been featured at Rehoboth's popular annual Jazz Fest, composed music for television shows, and draws huge crowds wherever she performs.
DJ Nan is best-known for keeping everyone on their feet and dancing the night away. With DJ Nan mixing the music, the party never ends! Nan has been spinning her DJ magic and producing large-scale women’s events for over 15 years. She is the owner of the event space Java Jukebox.
Fay Jacobs is an author and “sit-down comic,” who has been barnstorming the East coast, including a gig on an Olivia cruise, with her hilarious show Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay. The show is based on Jacobs’ five published books, her hilarious columns in Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, the fight against aging and for marriage equality. Now she’s taking on the topic of preserving our historic, hilarious, and very lesbian culture.
Stacey Fearheiley (Two or Three Things I know for Sure) is an award-winning actor/director who has appeared in numerous leading roles in theatres on the East Coast. She has participated in Women’s FEST before, in productions of The Vagina Monologues and Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. This time Stacey brings her exquisite comic timing and powerful dramatic insight to an extraordinary tale by lesbian author Dorothy Allison.
Donna Deitch is a film and television director and producer best known for her iconic 1986 film Desert Hearts. The film was one of the first film releases to depict a lesbian love story positively and respectfully. Deitch also directed the mini-series The Women of Brewster Place with Oprah Winfrey. She has directed numerous TV dramas including NYPD Blue, ER, Murder One, and Law and Order: SVU. She will be at Women's FEST to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Desert Hearts.
Beth is a musician and community educator. She grew up the New York Metro area, and moved to Michigan at the age of 38. Nearing 60, Beth has had brain cancer twice. She is no stranger to illness…or to healing. Beth was trained as a singer, and operates her guitar in support of her voice. She has used music to teach at schools and community centers in both New York and Michigan.