Our Team


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Nicolas DeGrazia
Artistic Director

Nicolas DeGrazia is a six-time Emmy award-winning writer, producer, and director.  He is the co-founder and Creative Director of Bitter Jester Studios, a television/web content production company with clients including Nike, United Airlines, the American Medical Association, the US Postal Service, and Ravinia.  Nicolas is also a James Beard Award nominee, a sketch comedian with The Comic Thread (Best Group: LA Comedy Festival, Audience Choice: Chicago Fringe Fest), has a sandwich named after him(!), and is the Founder and Producer of the Bitter Jester Battle of the Bands, which he also Co-Emcees.

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Daniel D. Drake
Executive Director

Daniel began his tenure with the Battle of the Bands when he was the Production Manager for the 2010 Battle of the Bands Grand Finale. He instantly fell in love with the event and continued acting as Production and Stage Manager for the event until 2016 when he founded The Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts with Nic, when he became the Executive Director for the Foundation. Daniel continues his role as Production Manager for the Battle of the Bands Program. Daniel is a freelance Stage Manager and Production Manager for live theatre in Chicago and additional information can be found at DanielDDrake.com.


Becca Gonet
Operations Manager
Bitter Jester Foundation

Becca Gonet was first brought onto Bitter Jester in 2013 as a production assistant for Battle of the Bands. Since then she has contributed her considerable talents to the organization as an operations manager. She has worked in arts administration and production roles with a focus on theater and music since moving to Chicago in 2011. Becca is also a team member at Threadless where she works closely with designers and artists to help realize and implement their ideas. 


Aaron Cody
Assistant Production Manager
Battle of the Bands

Aaron Cody is a former competitor and current team member of Bitter Jester Battle of the Bands. In 2015, he returned to volunteer and has since been brought on as an assistant production manager. He is dedicated to sharing the many opportunities afforded to him as a young music student with emerging artists. Aaron continues to study and share his joy of music through his roles in arts administration and music education.


Interested in joining our team? Click here to send us an email!