I believe that the past lives on today, it is a part of the here and now. Each person has his own ancestral inheritance of values and culture that he must share—just like a river cannot reject what flows in from its headwaters. Connecting with our ancestors helps us to understand who we are and where we come from. The soul—the ancestral root—is so deep that it can change the destiny of its descendants. Music connects to that root, and so, to our ancestors. It is with this humble beginning that I accept the call of my family’s ancestors to share our music.
I play music to heal myself and inspire people to think about human life. When I perform, I use a very simple setting and typically perform alone. Wearing clothing that connects me to my ancestors and singing in my mother tongue, Changana, my music brings images, sounds, and rhythms that are unfamiliar to many Americans but at the same time feel familiar. My performances—whether in a home, on a festival stage, or in a coffee shop—always feel very intimate. My messages come from my childhood, philosophy of life, and from memories I didn’t even know I had. I love the process of musical creation with others, especially working with children and teaching them to explore, play, and discover themselves in music. I dream that one day, the music of our ancestors will be known and appreciated widely, not only known as “world music” but treasured, protected, and taught as valuable art.