Meet Our Judges & Musician

Yuka Petz, Book & Print Artist

Yuka Petz received her MFA in Book Arts & Printmaking at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Her major areas of focus are bookbinding and papermaking, utilizing various printmaking methods. She has also recently begun bringing her background in book and paper arts into the worlds of programming and interactive objects, asking where these mediums intersect and how they might meaningfully engage each other.

Yuka studied papermaking at the Awagami Factory in Japan and at Dieu Donne Papermill in New York City. She has taught English and bookbinding in Japan and in the U.S, and served on the Board of Directors at Seattle Center for Book Arts in Seattle, Washington. Her books have been exhibited internationally and in the U.S., and are in the permanent collections of several university and public library special collections.

She has a deeply ingrained wanderlust thanks to her mother, who worked as a flight attendant for over thirty years. While living in such varied places as Honolulu, Virginia, Rhode Island, Arikawa (a small town on a remote Japanese island), Brooklyn, Seattle, and Philadelphia, Yuka has sought out numerous bookmaking and papermaking communities. Before beginning her graduate studies, she spent half a year travelling in South America, connecting with other bookmakers and fine artists in Argentina, Paraguay and Peru. She also made sure to take two weeks to spend in a hammock, on the coast of Ecuador. She currently lives and works in New Orleans.

Dominic Giunta, CEO of IDIYA

Dominic Giunta is an active member of the maker community with background in carpentry, construction, and auto repair. His passions include auto racing and restoration. He is an active member of the Swamp Shack Maniacs, 24 hours of Lemons race team and you can see every year at the Monster Jam racing his #13 Punisher Demolition Racer. Domenic has strong experience in Business Development supported by his professional career and education earning a BS in Marketing from the University of South Florida along with an MBA from Louisiana State University. 

Susan Larson, host of the Reading Life

Before becoming the host of The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune from 1988-2009. She is the vice president for literary programming of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, she serves on the board of directors of the New Orleans Public Library, and she is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community.

A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Larson is the author of The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans. You’ll probably run into her in a local bookstore or library, and she’ll be happy to suggest something you should read. She thinks New Orleans is the best literary town in the world, and she reads about a book a day.

Kevin Johnson, Art Director at Pelican Publishing

Kevin Johnson worked as a graphic designer for Magnolia Marketing Company, The Slidell Sentry News, and Hammond Daily Star in Hammond,  as well as local, national and international clients. His skills as a graphic designer/typesetter have been utilized by Pelican Publishing Company since 2004 and he was recently named Art Director for the prestigious Louisiana publishing house. Johnson has self published his own comic books and has appeared at several comic-book and science-fiction conventions across southern Louisiana.

Johnson studied Visual Arts and Graphic Design at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana receiving a B.A. in Visual Arts. He has lived in southern Louisiana his entire life and currently resides in Metairie.

Musician: Lloyd Daly & The Vince Michael Band

Lloyd started out in the garage with a piano his mother bought. He started with an upright piano and he soon heard his Uncle Joe play blues and boogie woogie on the piano. This inspired Lloyd to suddenly want to be a musician. Later on Lloyd heard 2 neighbourhood children play the piano and was very impressed. One was Jimmy who could read music very well and played ” Hello Dolly”. But the one who really caught Lloyds attention was Albert who could play “Mercy Mercy” by Cannonball Adderley and soon Lloyd was asking Albert to teach him the song. Lloyd was fascinated when he went to see Albert and saw a piano, drums, and other musical instruments. This was the first time Lloyd had ever seen a drum set.

Later Lloyd was to meet and be influenced by many other musicians such as The Neville Brothers and Sheba, the drummer for Professor Longhair, who gave Lloyd their blessing to go ahead and become a piano player.

What set Lloyd apart was his fascination of guitar playing which he incorporated into his piano playing style. Listening to his grandfather play the accordion and his father play the harmonica, gave him an appreciation for Cajun, blues, and zydeco music.

These early influences shaped his music into the original blues style it is today. While at Xavier College in New Orleans, Lloyd met Al and Vincent who gave him an appreciation of rock and New Orleans funk music which greatly influenced Lloyd’s musical style throughout his career.

This band has a unique blend of cultural and diverse influences that can be found only in New Orleans.

Lloyd is also one of the co-founders of Bamboula 2000, a multi- award winning band in the category of world music. Bamboula 2000 have won 3 Big Easy Awards over the years. Lloyd continues to play keyboard with Bamboula 2000 at least once or twice per month at a variety of gigs including the upcoming New Orleans JazzFest 2008 that is being held the last week in April and the first week in May, 2008.

Lloyd also had a hand in giving local hip hop artists a start in New Orleans being an enginer and producer. Lloyd has also matured and expanded in his musical compositions by studying under legendary composer Roger Dickinson. Lloyd is a well known composer and arranger in New Orleans, scoring music for such plays as The Vagina Monologues of New Orleans, Origins of Life, 13 Lessons, and Trying to Find my Way Back Home.

Origins of Life won a Big Easy award on February 18, 2008 for best ethnic dance performance (African) in which Lloyd’s song Ocean, included in this press kit, was the music that played during the dance.


Lloyd Daly: vocals and keyboard
Vincent Dabne: percussion
Michael Brown: lead guitars
Al Gonzalzles: bass guitar
Rene Ezel : drums

Visit his official website for more information and samples.