Interview with Daniel Christian, Tecumseh, Nebraska

For more than a decade, Nebraska singer-songwriter Daniel Christian has been sharing his songs and stories with audiences nationwide, including at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, the SXSW Festival in Austin, and a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. Daniel has released eight studio albums, a Christmas single, and a live recording. His Coffee & Toast project was released on the South Carolina label, Tremulant Records. He has also collaborated on eight albums of children’s music as a member of the band, the String Beans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel created the “Empty Spaces Series,” playing online concerts from “empty rooms that shouldn’t be empty,” including opera houses, churches, schools, and more.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/01/2020.

Interview with Edem K. Garro, Lincoln, Nebraska

Edem K. Garro is a Ghanaian-American composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist from Omaha, Nebraska. In 2017, she won the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Best Soul Artist. As a skilled hand percussionist and vocalist, she incorporates West African aesthetics into her songwriting and performances. Whether performing traditional music or her electronic compositions, Edem’s work primarily focuses on cultural preservation and identity. As a Nebraska Arts Council artist, she routinely performs for universities, schools, and organizations throughout the West. In recent years, she has had ongoing creative partnerships with Lincoln Motors, Minnesota Humanities, and the Denver Public Library.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/01/2020.

Interview with Hasan Khalil, Lincoln, Nebraska

Hasan Khalil is a Yazidi Syrian immigrant who spent years in a refugee camp in Syria before relocating to Lincoln, Nebraska’s sizeable Yazidi community. Hasan is a multi-instrumentalist who performs throughout the area with his band, the Golden Studio, which performs primarily Arabic, Turkish, and Armenian traditional musics. The Golden Studio are fluent in many styles, including Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, and traditional Syrian music, and are much in demand for weddings and other community celebrations in and around Lincoln. Khalil is also the owner of the Lincoln-based barbershop, The Golden Scissor.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/30/2020.

Interview with Gerardo Meza, Lincoln, Nebraska

Gerardo Meza is a first-generation Mexican American, the son of immigrants who settled in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1960. He has been creating art since childhood and has worked professionally as an artist for most of his adult life. As a songwriter and musician, he has performed with his band the Mezcal Brothers for the past twenty-two years as the primary songwriter, lead singer, and rhythm guitarist. In 2016, the Mezcal Brothers were inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame. He has toured extensively in the U.S. as well as parts of Europe since 2000 with the Mezcal Brothers. For the past ten years, Gerardo Meza has taught art at Lincoln Public Schools’ Arts & Humanities Focus Program High School.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/29/2020.

Interview with Oscar Rios Pohirieth, Lincoln, Nebraska

A first-generation Mexican immigrant who came to Nebraska at a young age, Oscar Rios Pohirieth is a performer of traditional musics of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile. He performs often on the panpipes, quena, and charango and is also a teacher who helps his students better understand Andean music and culture through song. As a Nebraska Arts Council artist, Pohirieth teaches students and community members through storytelling and songs sung in both Spanish and Quechua.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/30/2020.