ISHMAEL WALLACE is a composer, pianist, baritone, concert presenter, community animator, vocal coach, and workshop leader. With his sister, Vita Wallace, he co-founded and co-directs What a Neighborhood! – a series of concerts and workshops celebrating the Creative Spirit among their neighbors in West Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Manhattan Valley. What a Neighborhood!, which was founded in 2013, has helped local composers from a variety of backgrounds to realize cherished dreams. In his many activities, Ishmael’s concern is to walk with the creative germ from darkness into light. Ancient stories have been a major influence, and Ishmael has often led workshops on mythology; he was also deeply affected by participation in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition of Buddhism from 2001 to 2014. His opera, The Mountain and the Valley, will receive its premiere in November.