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Monday, November 15, 2021
Moderated by Benjamin Cefkin, PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at UC Boulder
Tou SaiK Lee is a community based Hip Hop artist, storyteller and spoken word poet from St. Paul, Minnesota. He founded Street Stops and Mountain Tops which connects teaching artists and organizers from the U.S. to work with Hmong students in villages and orphanages of Southeast Asia. Lee received the Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship in 2016 to focus on research of the Hmong diaspora including communities in Vietnam, Australia, China and Thailand in how Hmong use traditional and contemporary arts as effective ways to revitalize culture. He released his first Hmong language Hip Hop album titled Ntiaj Teb Koom Tes – Unified Worldwide Summer of 2021. Lee has developed an arts based curriculum titled UCL Unified Creative Learning as an educational tool with his album for students to be engaged with Hmong cultural identity with The DIAL Group. Tou SaiK is currently a graduate student in the Master’s program of Southeast Asian Studies at UW Madison with a focus on artistic approaches to support ethnic studies curriculum and indigenous identity of Southeast Asia. Tou SaiK was selected as a featured speaker by TEDx Minneapolis in 2021 about his current initiatives. http://www.tousaikunites.com/
Monique Brooks Roberts is a violinist hailing from Louisville, KY. She recently relocated to Denver, CO from the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, and is intent on making her mark in the soul/jazz fusion circuit with her sultry and soulful violin work. Monique graduated in 2005 from Eastern Kentucky University studying with Dr. Eun Hwan Bai and Jeremy Mulholland. Monique’s first solo album, Free, was released on January 31, 2020 and debuted at #12 on the iTunes R&B/Soul Charts. Monique joins Rajdulari and Kerrie Joy on The SIP Podcast, where they pour out their “hearts, talk all the mess, discuss systemic injustice, and explore love and relationships, and so much more.” The SIP Podcast is “the Black girl’s guide to healing.” https://www.moniquebrooksroberts.com/
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Moderated by Dr. Carla Aguilar, Professor and Director of Music Education at MSU Denver
Joyce McCall was appointed to the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2018. Her research centers on issues of race, class, and culture, and culturally relevant pedagogy. She has presented sessions and research at the American Educators Research Association, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the National Association for Music Education, and the Society for Music Teacher Education, and published articles in the Journal of Music Teacher Education and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association News.
McCall has proudly served as a clarinetist and saxophonist in the United States Army Bands from 1999 to 2013. During her service, she was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Previous assignments include the 151st Army Band in Montgomery, Alabama; the 41st Army Band in Jackson, Mississippi; the 36th Infantry Division Band in Austin, Texas; and the 108th Army Band in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women.
Thursday, April 15 at 4:00 pm MST
Moderated by Dr. Michael Benitez, VP for Diversity and Inclusion at MSU Denver
Dr. (h.c.) DJ Kuttin Kandi is a “People’s Hip Hop DJ Scholar” who was born and raised in Queens, NY and is widely regarded as one of the most legendary and accomplished womxn DJs in the world. Kandi is a disabled Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Queer, Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer for over 25 years. In 2018, DJ Kuttin Kandi was titled a Global Hip Hop and Cultural Ambassador by Next Level’s Meridian International Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She is a Site Manager for Next Level; Co-Founder of the People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation and the University for Justice and Liberation (UJL); Member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon; Co-Founder and DJ for the Hip Hop group Anomolies; Co-Founder of the NY monthly open mic “Guerrilla Words,” Co-Founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop, Co-Founder and Board Member of the DJ Coalition- Freedom Sound DJ’s, and Founder, Editor and Host of the podcast Hip Hop Bruha. DJ Kuttin Kandi received an Honorary Doctorate in Pinayism for her endless dedication to radical sisterhood, critical praxis, and transformative solidarity.
Livestreamed on Monday, March 29
Moderated by MB Krueger, Director of Choral Activities at MSU Denver
The Resistance Revival Chorus (RRC) is a collective of more than 60 womxn, and non-binary singers, who join together to breathe joy and song into the resistance, and to uplift and center womxn’s voices. Chorus members are touring musicians, film and television actors, Broadway performers, solo recording artists, gospel singers, political activists, educators, filmmakers, artists, and more, representing a multitude of identities, professions, creative backgrounds, and activist causes. We center womxn in music, and address how historically marginalized womxn have been in the music industry. The great artist and activist Harry Belafonte once said, “when the movement is strong, the music is strong” and we attempt to live up to that call. The RRC calls for justice and equity for womxn across racial, ethnic, economic, sexual identity and religious lines. We aim to be intersectional in our feminism and reveal that all social justice issues overlap heavily with womxn’s issues; to harness the collective power of womxn to help change the world; to celebrate each other through song; to embrace Toi Dericotte’s idea of “joy as an act of resistance.” Resistance Revival Chorus Website
Livestreamed on Wednesday, February 17
With special guests Eman Alexander, Johnaye Kendrick, and Shane Endsley
Moderated by Dr. Elizabeth McLean Macy, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology
This conversation and roundtable discussion with Oscar nominee, six-time Grammy-winner and 2018 USA Fellow trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard on February 17, 2021, was a collaboration with the 2021 MSU Denver Virtual Jazz Celebration (celebrating “Jazz, Art, and Education in the Heart of Downtown Denver”) and the 38th Annual Black World Conference (sponsored by the MSU Denver Department of Africana Studies). This keynote conversation about music and activism was moderated by Dr. Elizabeth McLean Macy, with special guests Eman Alexander, Johnaye Kendrick, and Shane Endsley.
Moderated by Dr. Chalane E. Lechuga, Associate Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Faculty Fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at MSU Denver
Livestreamed February 3, 2021
Olmeca is a Hip Hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar who has been featured on BBC London, Complex Magazine, Noisey, Huffington Post, NPR, Democracy Now, and CNN Latino. His music has been featured on various documentaries including PBS’ “Independent Lens”, and “Two Americans,” a documentary about the immigration issues in Arizona. He has written music for TV shows including “Sons of Anarchy”, “CHANCE” on HULU, and “The Mayans” on FX.
Olmeca grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca’s music in their classrooms. A 2019/2020 Kennedy Center Artist Fellow, Olmeca is currently faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Interdisciplinary Gender and Ethnic Studies Department teaching Latin American History, Latinx in the U.S., and Hip Hop courses.
Moderated by Michael Benitez, PhD, VP for Diversity and Inclusion
Livestreamed November 12, 2020
Aisha Fukushima is a Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist.’ Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a hip hop project spanning 20 countries and four continents, amplifying universal efforts for freedom and justice. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman who has lectured and performed around the world. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured on Oprah Magazine, TEDx, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, and Tour highlights include performing in Nepal, speaking with the President of Estonia about the power of music to create change, and sharing stages with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Emory Douglas (Black Panthers), KRS-One, Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, The Isley Brothers, and M1 (Dead Prez). As a public speaker, Fukushima links themes of hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism and cultural activism with live musical performance. She was the first non-Native person to deliver a keynote address at Montana’s 2012 Schools of Promise Conference for Indigenous youth and has presented at Stanford University, Yale Law School, Duke University, the National Conference On Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS) conferences, among others.
Moderated by Elizabeth McLean Macy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology
Livestreamed October 28, 2020
Bruce Sunpie Barnes is a New Orleans musician, book author and ethnographic photographer. Sunpie is a 17-year member of the Black Men of Labor Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Big Chief of the Northside Skull and Bones Gang (One of the oldest existing Afro-Creole carnival groups in New Orleans), and the band leader of the popular New Orleans musical group Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots. His latest book and CD project is entitled Le Kèr Creole ( The Creole Heart) which he co-authored with Rachel Breunlin and Leroy Etienne. A former National Park Service Ranger, photographer, former high school biology teacher (30 year), former college football All-American, and former NFL football player (Kansas City Chiefs), Sunpie Barnes’ many careers have taken him far and wide. He has traveled to over 53 countries playing his own style of what he calls Afro-Louisiana music, incorporating blues, zydeco, creole jazz, gospel, work songs, Caribbean and African influenced rhythms and melodies. He is a multi-instrumentalist, mastering accordion, harmonica, and piano along with rubboard, talking drum, and djembe. Bruce Sunpie Barnes on Spotify, Article from The Atlantic
Moderated by IPutu Tangkas Adi Hiranmayena, MA, Affiliate Faculty in Music
Livestreamed October 15, 2020
Described as “jarocho punk”, the aural landscape transmitted by ¡Aparato! bridges the terrestrial with the ethereal: earthbound concerns meet the means to transcend, through sound and imagery; a here, now and a somewhere else, something better, both at once. This is a science fiction soundtrack for tomorrow’s Raza, “the people,” time travelers and visionaries. ¡Aparato! embodies the narratives and struggles of the world’s migratory people: Cat (Nancy Méndez) is of Mixtec and Zapotec heritage from indigenous Oaxaca to Anaheim, California. El Tejarocho (Alexandro D. Hernández) was raised between Los Angeles, the Texas-Mexican border and rural Michoacán, México. ¡Aparato! has achieved critical acclaim on NPR’s All Things Considered, NPR’s Top 100 Songs of 2016, OC Weekly, Austin Chronicle and Smithsonian Folkways. ¡Aparato! has performed for audiences at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Latin Alternative Music Conference, Grand Performances (Los Angeles), including national and international tours. Their music continues to draw upon their vision of punk-futurism grounded in the instrumentation of their Mexican and Central American ancestors.
Moderated by Brandon Matthews, DMA, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras
Livestreamed October 1, 2020
The Dream Unfinished is an activist orchestra. Its mission is to use classical music as a platform to engage audiences in dialogues surrounding social and racial justice. The Dream Unfinished is an orchestra that looks and sounds like New York City. TDU’s 2020 season The Red, White and Blues will use classical music to spark dialogues on voting rights and voter suppression, and promote greater civic engagement throughout NYC. thedreamunfinished.org
Moderated by Michael Benitez, PhD, VP for Diversity and Inclusion
Livestreamed September 9, 2020
Taína Asili is a New York based Puerto Rican singer, filmmaker and activist carrying on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her music combines powerful vocals carrying themes of social justice with an energetic fusion of Afro-Latin, reggae and rock. For over 20 years she has brought the music of love and resistance to venues across the globe – From the Women’s March on Washington to Carnegie Hall to the main stage of San Francisco. After the 2016 election, a bigger audience has caught up to the artist Huffington Post named one of “12 Freedom Fighting Bands to Get you Through the Trump Years.” Her protest songs “No Es Mi Presidente” and “Freedom,” inspired by social movements against white supremacy, mass incarceration, and police violence, have been lauded by the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard. Taína Asili’s music exudes strength of spirit, and inspires audiences to dance to the rhythm of rebellion. tainaasili.com