Information on Interviews

The 240 interviews conducted for this project are listed below alphabetically, by musicians’ surnames or stage names. For a list of interviews by geographic location, see the Index page.

All interviews were conducted remotely via video-conferencing technology, between August and November 2020. Some interviews contain audio/video distortions due to internet connectivity challenges.

Interview with José Alfredo, Chicago, Illinois

José Alfredo Guerrero is an educator and musician who grew up in Chicago’s La Villita.  A graduate of DePaul University’s School of Music, he is a member of Madera Once, a band that pays tribute to Mexican-regional and traditional music with a contemporary spin. Madera Once’s mission is to keep Mexican and Latin American music alive as it forges a new identity through the musicians’ and audience’s lived experiences within the U.S. Their debut EP, Amado, enjoyed regional success. José Alfredo has a natural teaching talent, whether it be as a schoolteacher (his day job) or as a representative and champion of traditional Mexican songs. He performs original content but also has an impressive knowledge of traditional Mexican songs and repertoire, understanding the importance of carrying these songs not only to new generations but to older generations in the United States who are missing their home country of Mexico.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/23/2020.

Interview with Ken Allen, Reno, Nevada

Ken Allen, DJ and founder of Amplified Entertainment has pushed the limits of nightlife entertainment throughout northern Nevada. Many will tell you that Amplified has grown to be one of the most versatile entertainment companies to date, reaching many genres: country, EDM, Latin, hip hop, top 40, pop, and reggae. With Ken Allen leading the way for over eighteen years, Amplified has reached places that were once thought to be unreachable. Self-taught, Allen is a sought-after DJ for his ability to mix any genres of music together.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/30/2020.

Interview with Monty Lane Allen, Nashville, Tennessee

Monty Lane Allen, a multi-talented artist from South Carolina, is based in Nashville, Tennessee and is a well-known guitarist in the modern country music scene. After the release of his debut album Great Big World in 2008, several of his music videos aired on CMT and GAC and the song “Falling Water” eventually earned him a Telly Award for Best Music Video. Apart from his solo career, Monty Lane has toured as a member of Alan Jackson’s backing group, The Strayhorns, for many years.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/15/2020.

Interview with Andrae Ambrose, Chicago, Illinois

As the President and Lead Producer of Jambrose Music Group, gospel musician Andrae Ambrose is known for his professional overseeing of live recording sessions. Andrae has worked with a number of major recording artists, including Grammy Award-winning producers Kevin Randolph, Donald Lawrence, Kirk Franklin, and Aaron Lindsey, as well as work with artists such as Leslie Ruiz, Brandon Roberson, Atmosphere of Heaven, San Franklin, One 4 Christ, and Reggie Royal & Judah. Andrae has served on the Chicago Board of Governors of the National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) and was the co-chair for the Gospel Task Force of the Chicago Chapter. He is the composer of the SoundMind Collection, a series of therapeutic instrumental music. As a member of a pastoral family, his perspective on music ministry includes training of worship leaders and choirs around the world.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/01/2020.

Interview with Paul Anastasio, Richard, Louisiana

Paul Anastasio began studying violin at age nine and soon gravitated to popular and folk music. By his mid-twenties, he had studied with jazz violin pioneer Joe Venuti and had begun performing in Merle Haggard’s band, the Strangers. Later he served four years in the western swing band Asleep at the Wheel and worked for three years with Larry Gatlin and two years with Loretta Lynn. From 1997 to 2006, he traveled to Mexico to study and archived the folk fiddling of southwestern Mexico’s Tierra Caliente, transcribing over 1,000 tunes, which became an ongoing project. Paul has been teaching vintage jazz, swing, western swing, improvisation, traditional country, and Mexican fiddling annually at music camps and workshops across the U.S. He is a musician in Lafayette, Louisiana-based bands including Stop the Clock Western Swing and Runaway Fiddle.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/04/2020.

Interview with Dan Ansotegui, Boise, Idaho

Dan Ansotegui was raised by the scents and tastes of his mother’s cooking and the sound of his father’s music. The music came from the accordion and the aromas that filled the house were brought to this country by his grandmother Epi. His exposure to the traditions of the Basque Country prepared him for a life of immersive study, commitment to preservation, and a talent for performance. Through his role as master, mentor, and entrepreneur, Dan is a bearer of Basque music, dance, and foodways traditions that contribute to the creative growth and sustainability of his cultural community. Dan is a National Heritage Award recipient (2019), performs traditional Basque dance music, and plays in a fusion Basque pop band called Amuma Says No. He is also one of the primary teachers in the Boise trikitixa and pandero teaching program, training new players of Basque music on diatonic accordion and tambourine.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 06/10/2020.

Interview with Lawrence F. Archambault, Fort Yates, North Dakota

Lawrence (Larz) Archambault, a Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation of North and South Dakota, is the drummer for the recording group Stones of Red. Fans describe their music as a mix of Lenny Kravitz, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, and Delbert McClinton, which Stones of Red finds humbling as all have been their influences. Since regrouping the band in 2016, Stones of Red has progressed at an astonishingly quick rate to emerge on the music scene as a budding young, high-energy group coupled with the group’s hauntingly soulful vocals and musicianship. Stones of Red is backed by seasoned musicians, playing original music and a variety of cover music during their live shows.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/12/2020.

Interview with Robertico Arias, Providence, Rhode Island

Robertico Arias is a Dominican musician and leader of the Latin Music Group Alebreke, based in Providence, Rhode Island. He started his music education at ten years old, supported by his mother, folklorist Juana Arias. At the age of seventeen, Robertico became one of the most prominent congas player in the Dominican Republic, eventually moving to New York City. He has toured internationally in Europe, Asia, and North and Central America, and has performed and recorded with musicians such as Wilfrido Vargas and David Byrne. In 1998, he founded the group Merengada which released multiple albums on the BMG Latin label. In 1994, he moved from NYC to Providence, Rhode Island, where he has taught at the Providence Music School and at the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Robertico has performed and taught at many universities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including the Berklee College of Music, Brown University, and Rhode Island University.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 09/18/2020.

Interview with Eimear Arkins, St. Louis, Missouri

Originally from a small village in Ireland’s County Clare, St. Louis-based fiddler Eimear Arkins is also a singer and dancer with eleven Irish music world championship titles. Eimear has toured extensively with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann throughout Ireland, Britain, North America, and Canada. She has also performed with the show Brú Ború and helped to represent Ireland at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In August 2015, she traveled to World Expo in Milan with St. Louis Irish Arts where she promoted Irish culture and the expression of Irish culture worldwide. Eimear has toured with The Paul Brock Band, Cherish the Ladies, Tomaseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas and often performs with harp player and St. Louis native, Eileen Gannon. Eimear is a qualified Irish music and dance instructor and teaches at St. Louis Irish Arts. In June 2018, she released her debut album, What’s Next?, and was awarded “Best Newcomer” from Live Ireland in 2019. In January 2020, Eimear was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/04/2020.