MODERN WARRIOR LIVE
Modern Warrior LIVE is a theatrical performance about one veteran’s experience when returning to civilian life and his recovery from trauma. Narrated by co-creator Staff Sergeant Jaymes Poling, who spent three years in Afghanistan as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division, this autobiographical production details Poling’s time in the military and his subsequent transition back home.
Through a tapestry of Jaymes’s story, as well as performances led by Modern Warrior LIVE co-creator Dominick Farinacci along with a cast of world-class artists in multiple genres, the production shares a personal and emotional journey of the challenges of military service and the hurdles veterans face when transitioning back home. This performance leads to a heightened awareness of the psychological weight of war, as well as the challenges faced post war, and the potential for positive growth.
Modern Warrior LIVE is a thought-provoking and empowering production that brings together a compelling story of personal growth with dynamic musical performances. In just one year, the show has been presented over 40 times across theaters, mental health conferences, high schools, trauma centers and veteran organizations throughout the country. Modern Warrior LIVE has recently been featured on national broadcasts of Fox and Friends and NPR’s Here and Now.
The mission of Modern Warrior LIVE is to build bridges between veteran and civilian communities through live performances, collaborative workshops, the sharing of veteran stories and discussions. Highlighting stories of post-traumatic growth, Modern Warrior LIVE works to de-stigmatize our veterans by focusing on the shared human experience, while providing hope and a deeper understanding across communities.
“One of the most moving, touching experiences regarding war that I’ve felt since returning from Vietnam 46 years ago!”
– Facebook post from an attendee
“Having lost my son to suicide, this performance brought me peace.”
– Instagram post from an attendee
“Modern Warrior reminds veterans they are not victims and can use their experiences to grow and make significant contributions to society.”
–Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2001-2005)
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Jaymes Poling grew up in Warren, Ohio and enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina as an infantryman. During his eight years with the division, he spent 3 years fighting in Afghanistan as a Machine Gunner, and Squad Leader.
Upon returning to Ohio at the age of 26, Jaymes was bothered by the narrative surrounding of Combat Veterans. While dealing with his own memories of war, loss of friends, and sense of solitude, Jaymes began to find the potential for growth that comes with adversity. Through education, writing, and public speaking, Jaymes came to recognize the universality of his journey.
Jaymes graduated with a finance degree from John Carroll University in 2018, and now speaks across the country while partnering with veteran organizations to start conversations and connect our communities.
Trumpeter Dominick Farinacci graduated from The Juilliard School in 2005. During his career, he has performed in more than 120 cities in 14 countries. Music icon Quincy Jones says of Dominick’s accomplishments in performance, recording, education & advocacy, “This kid is 360 degrees!”. In 2014, he was appointed to a 3-year residency as inaugural Global Ambassador to Jazz at Lincoln Center by Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis. The role was created to adopt and integrate music performance for collaborative cultural exchange. He was a speaker at the 2014 TEDMED Conference in Washington D.C.
Dominick has been successful bringing music into the community through Arts & Wellness and Education. He is a featured performer for the Cleveland Clinic, an academic hospital, in Cleveland, Ohio and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. He organized the first jazz performance for patients in Abu Dhabi, with the Cleveland Clinic and the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation. For Dominick, music and health are synonymous. Recently, he organized discussions through music for patient-doctor communication with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.
Dominick has been a leading advocate in music education, most recently at the Community College Association of America in D.C. He served as Music Consultant to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, and is Artist in Residence at the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. Recently, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expanded his work throughout the region.
His recent recording “Short Stories” was produced by four-time Grammy Award winning producer Tommy LiPuma.