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From throwing out the first pitch during a Boston Red Sox game at the iconic Fenway Park and Grammy Award-winning band Weezer rocking the night away at the San Francisco Armory to Neon Trees and Fitz & the Tantrums giving attendees a night to remember at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Red Hat Summit has shown we can bring the excitement and the entertainment to the agenda. In the age of social-distancing however, we can’t bring everyone together for a concert, but we can still show you a good time. This year, at Red Hat Summit 2021, we are going to be joined by several special guests - Ben Folds and Mick Ebeling! These sessions will be hosted by Red Hat solutions architect, Angela Andrews. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

You might know Joseph Gordon-Levitt for his award-winning acting roles, but he is also a director, screenwriter and entrepreneur. His acting career spans three decades, and ranges from television ("3rd Rock from The Sun") to arthouse ("Mysterious Skin," "Brick") to multiplex ("Inception," "500 Days of Summer," "Snowden"). He made his feature screenwriting and directorial debut with "Don Jon" (Independent Spirit Award nomination, Best First Screenplay). 

Gordon-Levitt is also the founder and acting CEO of the online creative platform, HITRECORD, a unique collaborative media platform. It has a growing worldwide community of more than 1 million users and empowers artists around the world to start their own creative projects and to invite others to collaborate with them. 

Over the years, HITRECORD’s "community-sourced" creative platform has published a number of books, produced award-winning campaigns for brands ranging from the ACLU to LG, toured live shows and screened short films at festivals like Sundance, BFI, TIFF and SXSW. Its first television show, "HITRECORD On TV," won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media. 

Through HITRECORD, Gordon-Levitt also hosts original live events that invite people - both online and in the room - to collaborate on creative projects together using its platform and mobile app. Most recently, he hosted HITRECORD Live Labs, a unique interactive experience that debuted over the course of two nights at Sundance 2020. 

In recent years, Gordon-Levitt has become a thought leader in exploring the relationship between technology and creativity, examining the unintended side effects of social media culture on our creative and mental wellbeing. Drawing from his own unique perspective as an artist, entrepreneur, and his years of experience in the spotlight of Hollywood, he delivers dynamic talks and presentations that shed light on internet culture, collaboration and creativity. 

Gordon-Levitt will be joining us for a Q&A session on Tues, Apr. 27, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. ET. 

Ben Folds

Ben Folds is an author, photographer, champion for arts education and music therapy funding in public schools and most notably, he is regarded as one of the major music influencers of his generation. He’s created an impressive body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums and numerous collaborative records. 

For more than a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras and currently serves as the first-ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. 

In addition to solo rock and orchestral touring, in the Fall of 2019, Folds released his first book "A Dream About Lightning Bugs," which debuted as a New York Times Best Seller, and is described as a collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life, and music. An avid photographer, Folds is a member of the prestigious Sony Artisans of Imagery, has worked as an assignment photo editor for National Geographic, and was featured in a mini-documentary by the Kennedy Center's Digital Project on his photographic work. 

An outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy funding in our nation's public schools, in 2016 Ben held the distinction as the only artist to appear at both US national political conventions advocating for arts education, has served for over five years as an active member of the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans For The Arts (AFTA), and serves on the Board of AFTA’s Arts Action Fund. 

He is also Chairman of the Arts Action Fund’s ArtsVote2020 national initiative to encourage voter engagement in the 2020 US elections, and to advocate for improving public policies for the arts and arts education. 

His last album, "So There," is a blend of pop songs and the song "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" rose to No. 1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts. Folds, who was on tour in Australia when the pandemic hit in early 2020, has been holed up in Sydney, writing new music for his next album, working on his second book, and doing live streams for his patrons on Patreon. In June 2020, he wrote and released a new single entitled "2020" on the turmoil of the first few months of the year.

Folds will take part in a Q&A session and will be taking song suggestions that he will perform on Tues, Apr. 27, 2021, at 2 p.m. ET. 

Mick Ebeling

Named by Fortune magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2019, a recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2014, and listed as one of the world’s most influential creative people on Ad Age’s The Creativity 50 in 2014, Mick Ebeling has sparked a movement of pragmatic, inspirational innovation. As a career producer and filmmaker, and now founder and CEO of Not Impossible, he harvests the power of technology and story to change the world.

Not Impossible, a multiple award-winning social innovation lab and production company, was founded on the premise that nothing is impossible. Ebeling’s mantra of "commit, then figure it out," allows him to convene a disparate team of hackers, doers, makers and thinkers to create devices that better the world by bringing accessibility for all. This unconventional approach brought to life a variety of initiatives including the EyeWriter, Project Daniel, Don’s Voice, and most recently, Music: Not Impossible. 

The project enabled a paraplegic street artist to draw once again, delivered 3D-printed arms to Sudanese amputees, gave a voice to an ALS patient who hadn’t spoken in 15 years, and wearables that enabled deaf and hearing people alike to feel the music in a "surround body" experience.

Beyond his work with his production company, Ebeling’s book, "Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done," recounts the life experiences that led to the founding of Not Impossible. Published in a multitude of languages, the book was hailed as "a unique and inspiring tale of brave abandon," by Nicholas Negroponte. He is on a mission to provide technology for the sake of humanity by tapping into a community of passionate and talented engineers, makers, idea generators and storytellers.

Ebeling will be joining us for a live Q&A on Wed, Apr. 28, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani is an Oscar-nominated writer and critically-acclaimed actor and comedian. He was recently seen in the romantic comedy, "The Lovebirds," released on Netflix, and coming up in the Marvel film, "The Eternals," set to be released in 2021. In 2017, he wrote and starred in "The Big Sick," which was nominated for an Oscar for Original Screenplay.

On the television side, Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, currently serve as executive producers on the Apple TV+ series "Little America," which was renewed for a second season ahead of its series debut on Jan. 17, 2020. He also reprised his starring role as Dinesh on the sixth and final season of the Emmy Award-winning HBO comedy series "Silicon Valley." He has also joined the cast of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show on Disney+. Most recently, Nanjiani and Gordon created the podcast, "Staying In with Emily and Kumail," while in quarantine. "Staying In" donated all proceeds to charities helping those affected by COVID-19.

Nanjiani will be taking part in a Q&A session on Wed. Apr. 28, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET

If you needed any extra motivation to register for Red Hat Summit 2021, this should be it! Beyond the entertainment, we have a packed agenda full of exciting keynotes, vision sessions and more. Our session catalog is now available so can start planning your experience. 


About the author

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.