We all know the Kollaboration showcase would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, fans, and of course, our performers, judges, and emcee. This year, we’re lucky to not only have 12 amazing finalists, we also have three special guest performers as well as five judges.

Guest Performers

Lil Crazed

Lil Crazed

Presenting Lil Crazed, a rapper from Minnesota whose roots in hip-hop started with writing poetry at fourteen. His unique mixes of hip-hop and R&B have allowed Lil Crazed to perform all over the world, expanding his fan base across the globe with his video views reaching the millions.

In order to manage his exploding career, Crazed put together a team of individuals whose passion for music matched his. With their help, he formed King In Disguise Entertainment, LLC – a company specializing in artist management and event/concert promotion.

Lil Crazed recently dropped his newest mixtape To Whom It May Concern. This Saturday he joins 2012 winner Jun Sung Ahn and Jargon Dyonisis as a guest performer at our 2013 showcase, supporting Kollaboration as an artist with a Cambodian background.

Jargon Dyonisis

Jargon

Chicago’s very own Jargon emerged on the music scene at the age of 12, attending breakdancing competitions with older friends, and by the age of 17, he was competing in rap battles. Jargon wowed the crowds with his witty off-the-top freestyles and comedic punchlines on stage, which soon became the basis for his songs in the recording studio. Jargon’s sophomore mixtape, Price of Fame just dropped in June, and he’s already back in the studio working on tracks for his next album, set to drop in 2014.

Jargon has performed all over North America and Europe and now has his sights set on Asia. Of Filipino/Chinese descent, he is supporting the Kollaboration showcase this weekend as a guest performer.

See his YouTube videos here: http://www.youtube.com/Grind2Five

Jun Sung Ahn

Jun Sung Ahn

Last year’s winner Jun Sung Ahn returns to the Kollaboration Chicago stage as a guest performer this weekend. Born in Korea, Jun Sung began playing the violin in the 5th grade after moving to the U.S. As Jun Sung discovered his talent as a violinist, he quickly improved and went on to win various competitions, including earning the spot of top violinist in the state of New Jersey and 9th in the entire Eastern division. His music ranges from pop to classical to jazz, and his videos have reached the millions.

See his reflections of winning last year’s show here.

Judges

Beverly Kim

Beverly Kim

Chef extraordinaire Beverly Kim won the first time ever Last Chance Kitchen and finished 4th place overall on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Season 9. With the influence of her mother’s cooking and an AAS in Culinary Arts from Kendall College, Beverly worked at some of Chicago’s premiere restaurants and hotels. Beverly’s culinary style is modern Asian cuisine that incorporates many locally grown products. Kollaboration Chicago is excited to welcome Beverly as a first time guest judge for our annual showcase and we are honored to have her achievements represent the passion of the Chicago Asian American community.

Josephine Lee

Josephine Lee

As President and Artistic Director of the Chicago’s Children Choir, Josephine Lee served on the board of judges during the 2012 Kollaboration Chicago Auditions. Josephine returns as a member for the 2013 guest judge panel. In her 14 years at CCC, Josephine has solidified long-standing partnerships with Chicago’s renowned arts institutions, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, and Ravinia Festival, and has expanded the Choir’s artistic breadth through celebrated collaborations with the finest theater and dance organizations. Kollaboration Chicago values Josephine’s impeccable resume and eye for talent at this year’s show.

Manny Garcia

Manny Garcia

Pianist/singer/songwriter Manny Garcia is a triple threat in the music industry. Born and raised in Chicago, Manny has lived in many other cities but always feels at home right here in Chicago. At shows, Manny is sometimes joined by his band members, which include a guitar/saxophonist, bass/keyboardist, and drummer. Manny describes his music as the child of funk, jazz, soul, neo-soul, disco, and pop. He currently has two albums released.

Although he is the the youngest judge, Manny can recognize the passion and dedication of musical and performing arts talent, being one himself. We’re lucky to have him join us at our 2013 showcase.

Mandy Calara

Mandy Calara

As the founder and CEO of Forever Yogurt, Mandy Calara opened one of the first self-serve frozen yogurt franchises in Chicago. When he and Ahmad Yimaz started the company in Chicago, the concept of self-service frozen yogurt had not yet existed in the area. Forever Yogurt is now one of the most successful fro-yo businesses in the Midwest.

Adding to the self-serve frozen yogurt concept, Forever Yogurt has demonstrated other unique ideas like the Froth Bar (hot chocolate), which have led to award winning results and success for not only Mandy and Ahmad but their franchisees.

Mandy Calara joins the other guest judges this year at the Kollaboration Chicago showcase.

Nancy To

Nancy To

A native Chicagoan, Nancy To won the 2012 Miss Illinois, United States pageant. Her role allowed her to empower young women to pursue careers in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Nancy is also a science/health teacher, currently at Josephinum Academy in Chicago. Kollaboration is excited to have Nancy joins us as a guest judge at our 2013 showcase this weekend.

Host

Ilmoon Jo

Ilmoon Jo

Radio talk show producer and host, Ilmoon Jo joins us this year as the Kollaboration Chicago showcase host. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ilmoon is currently a DJ at Chicago Radio Korea. Kollaboration is excited to have Ilmoon Jo as this year’s host as he is sure to get the crowd going at our 2013 showcase!