Karen Weliky

A Musician’s Education

As he was relaxing on the beach at sunset, beer in hand, Gerardo Calderon Garcia was startled when a stranger approached. After a short conversation, the stranger

Sankar Raman

Exploring Heritage Through Music

From her childhood, Keiko Araki knew what Taiko drums were. But it wasn’t until she moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2004 and became involved with Portland Taiko that  

Karen Weliky

Pushing Boundaries Through Music

Raúl Gómez Rojas spent his youth learning the violin. Almost every day, he practiced the instrument in his hometown in Costa Rica. Then, at age 24, he found himself

Karen Weliky

After Many Moves, The Music Still Plays

Ainur Zabenova vividly remembers her first violin audition at 7 years old: “The window was open and it was a beautiful sunny day with a little breeze.  

Karen Weliky

Becoming and Never Looking Back

“I always knew I was a hands-on person. I liked taking things apart and putting them back together,” says Fiaindratovo Manavihare, explaining how he approaches

Bala

Composing a New Life

A few years into his engineering career at Intel, Balamurali Balu, who goes by Bala, wondered, “Is this really what I want to be doing for the next 30 years […]

Sankar Raman

From the Old, Comes Something New

Some of Yumi Torimaru’s earliest memories are of flying through the streets of Nara, Japan, on her bicycle, focused more on how fast she could go than

Karen Weliky

Seffarine: Blending Cultures into Music

Lamiae Naki first remembers singing for someone when she was six years old. It was Friday, the holy day of Islam, with shops closed and families home together

John Rudoff

Making Peace With an Endless Search

“When I was younger, I was afraid of missing out,” Jasnam Daya Singh remembers. “I felt like I had to rush against the clock and compete.

Sankar Raman

Two Homes, One Life of Music

“Mount St Helen’s reminds me of Mount Fuji,” says Fumino Ando, comparing her two beloved homes, “And Mount Fuji reminds me of Mount St Helen’s.”

Kim Oanh Nguyen

I Never Thought That Could Be Me

Joe Kye fell in love with music in elementary school. But becoming a career musician was never on the table. After arriving in the U.S.

Sankar Raman

And The Quartet Played On

“Outside the monster raged with flaming nostrils. But inside there was tranquility. The melancholy notes of Albinoni’s adagio drifted into every corner of the room,

Sankar Raman

When I’m Playing, I’m Just Heat

The first time Denzel Mendoza came out as undocumented he was on stage in front of a crowd of strangers.  That night, he didn’t just play his trombone, 

Sankar Raman

From Homeless to a Grammy Award Win

For Denzel Mendoza, music has been what ties his life together. Mendoza was born in Singapore in 1996 and the family moved to the U.S. a few years later for […]