The Exceptional Performance Award was presented to Shamen Balasooriya for her achievements as an outstanding Flutist. Shamen graduated from Bravo Medical Magnet High School at the age of 18. She has played the flute since she was eight years old under the guidance of her father and then Buddy Collette who introduced her to Jazz music. She has worked with many Jazz greats such as Richard Simon, Buddy Collette, Ann Paterson, Sam Most, Jerry Higgins and Hubert Laws. She won first place in the NANM National competition in Detroit. Apart from being a flutist, she plays sports, tutors young children and volunteers at a senior center.