Welcome to “Living Legacies,” a podcast that celebrates the voices and stories of individuals around the Pacific Northwest, produced by Northwest Folklife and Jack Straw Cultural Center. In celebration of 50 years of Northwest Folklife, the Living Legacies series honors local culture bearers who inspire and perpetuate arts, culture, and traditions.
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. He has gained popularity in the United States with his songs “Seattle Sweetie” and “Irony on 23rd” and continues to share the Shona culture through his music today.
Episode 3: Maurice Rouman
In episode 3, we speak with Maurice Rouman, master artist of the Egyptian oud. He began playing at age 6 in Alexandria and 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 2: Melba Ayco
The second episode highlights Melba Ayco, founder and Artistic Director of Northwest Tap Connection. Melba Ayco 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 1: Vivian Williams
The first episode highlights Vivian Williams, fiddler and co-founder of Northwest Folklife. Vivian 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. Throughout the episode, audiences can hear recordings of Vivian playing from the newly digitized reel-to-reel recordings from the late 1970s and 1980s.
Introducing the Living Legacies Podcast
Introducing the Living Legacies Podcast by Northwest Folklife and Jack Straw Cultural Center