Often introduced as the songstress from another planet, Anessa LaRae is a singer-songwriter of eclectic soul. As the oldest child of two military officers, she hails from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Born in Germany and raised all over the South, she relocated to Philadelphia in 2007. After over 11 years in the city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, Anessa happily considers herself a Philly transplant. Anessa’s true and permanent home, however, is in music and on the stage. Vocally rooted in jazz and soul, Ms. LaRae fuses infectious pop melodies with soulful rock driven music to create a sound as unique as she is. With the gift of melodies and the heart of a poet, she delivers musical messages of raw love, growth, and revolution.
Ben ‘Arsenal’ Schneible is a producer, DJ, arranger, band leader, percussionist, and entrepreneur. He is one of the co-founders of Worldtown as well as Elevate Sound Studios, an independent recording studio and education company.
As a DJ, Ben has played as far south as Florianopolis, Brazil and as far north as Montreal, Canada. His sound is closely tied to his interests and studies in international culture and folkloric music fused with modern electronic sounds.
As a producer, he has worked with master class percussionists and lead Worldtown Soundsystem to become one of Philadelphia's favorite live acts.
Gary Dann has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe playing drums for the Grammy-award winning hiphop pioneers Digable Planets and since 2005 has engineered, co-written, and co-produced music for one of the Planets’ founding member solo projects; Cee Knowledge and The Cosmic Funk Orchestra. In 2010 he also played drums for legendary hiphop duo Camp Lo. He has also played drums, engineered, co-written, and co-produced for the singer, Jaguar Wright, who famously sang with The Roots and Jay-Z for MTV unplugged.
In 2011, Dann opened The Boom Room Studio in Philadelphia as a home for his extended family of diverse artists to freely create.
Master percussionist Pablo Batista has performed, recorded and toured internationally for 30 years with some of the biggest stars in rhythm and blues, jazz, Latin, pop and gospel. These have included artists as diverse as Alicia Keys, Patti Labelle, Kirk Franklin, Jill Scott, Gerald Levert, Jeffrey Osborne, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass, Diane Reeves, Norman Brown, Manny Oquendo and Libre, Eddie Palmieri, and Musiq. A drummer of unusually diverse talents, he is highly regarded for his professionalism, tireless work ethic and ability to listen and integrate his playing into almost any style at the highest level of musicianship. He holds the rare distinction of having performed on Grammy-winning releases in jazz, R & B and gospel, but he has also been a guest with the Philadelphia Orchestra Percussion Ensemble.
A DJ and visual artist based in Philly, by way of Central Jersey and Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwafemi is perpetually inspired by beats and patterns. His DJ sets have been rocking dance floors for a solid decade with all types of vibes from that good funk to that classic boombap, to timeless reggae and dancehall, afrobeat and house music.
One of the founding members of Worldtown, alongside Ben Arsenal, he started with the intention of bringing fresh dance vibes from around the globe to connect people from everywhere to anywhere.
His visual art has grown in parallel to his music, emerging as the second half of his voice. He describes his media as pen and digital as often his creations involve a pen drawing and some kind of digital augmentation, but no matter what the creation, he is tapped into the rhythmic evolution of repetition and patterns. Repetition is his visual dialect. His prints have shown in art exhibits in Philadelphia, New York and California and his designs, showcased throughout the website, continue to travel the globe through an awesome variety of Worldtown apparel, posters and promotions.
Zeek Burse brings a fierce artistic dynamic to music, with a voice that captivates and draws stirring emotions while weaving through multiple genres of music. Honing a unique style that encompasses rock, soul, and jazz, his spark lights up the stage and the hearts of his listeners wherever he goes.
Zeek's performances have spanned the United States and various festivals including Firefly and SXSW; abroad he’s performed in Paris and in London, UK.
He was also the voice of the theme song "We Need Hope" on Italy's TV show "Carpool Karaoke." Seeing him perform live is definitely an experience not to be missed!
Dan Keller grew up internationally as a child of missionaries and started playing saxophone at the age of seven. By the age of 18 he had traveled to four continents and performed across Europe in a ska band. After returning to the US to study music in college, he began teaching music and DJing soon afterwards. He joined Worldtown in 2011 and currently serves as Music Director while performing on saxophone and EWI and producing original music.
Dan brings a physically explosive energy to the stage with the panache of a true hype man. His sax playing is electric and driving, with soulful narrative melodies that build into ecstatic crescendos. His hypnotic EWI lines grow from his lifelong love for electronic music and showcase his studies of Indian Carnatic theory and Western jazz.