Welcome to the Living Legacies Podcast, a podcast that celebrates the voices and stories of individuals around the Pacific Northwest, produced by the Northwest Folklife and Jack Straw Cultural Center. In celebration of 50 years of Northwest Folklife, this podcast series honors local culture bearers who inspire and perpetuate arts, culture, and traditions.
EPISODE 1: VIVIAN WILLIAMS
Vivian Williams is a master fiddler and co-founder of Northwest Folklife. She is recognized as a master of Celtic, old-time, and bluegrass-style fiddling. She is also one of the very first folklorists of regional music through her recording company, Voyager Records. Alongside her late husband, Phil Williams, Vivian co-founded the Northwest Folklife Festival in 1971.
EPISODE 2: MELBA AYCO
Melba Ayco, Founder and Artistic Director of Northwest Tap Connection, is a Gullah-Geechee and Creole storyteller, tap dance historian, and choreographer. Born in a small town on the north shores of New Orleans, she describes her life as a three-part harmony: born into segregation, survived integration, and enlightenment through cultural diversity. Her life commitment is to define and share the African American experience through the performing arts.
EPISODE 3: Maurice Rouman
Maurice Rouman is a master artist of the Egyptian oud. Maurice began playing at age 6 in Alexandria. By the time he was 12, he was performing publicly. His musical studies took him from the University of Egypt to Milan, Italy. Since coming to Seattle in 1983, Maurice has continued his music, both playing and teaching classical Egyptian songs, and composing.
EPISODE 4: Draze
Draze (aka Dumisani Maraire, Jr) is the latest member of a premier musical family of Zimbabwe to emerge as a high-profile U.S. artist. He is the son of the Dumisani Maraire, Sr. and Lora (Sukutai) Chiorah-Dye, and the younger brother of Chiwoniso. All were key figures in the Zimbabwean music diaspora. Like Chiwoniso, Draze is being celebrated for the way in which he modernizes the mbira and marimba while infusing new spirit in contemporary music performance. Draze was raised in the Central District in Seattle and fell in love with Hip Hop at an early age. Draze has gained popularity in the United States with his songs “Seattle Sweeties” and “Irony on 23rd” and continues to share the Shona culture through his music today.