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 Aubrey Atwater, Warren, Rhode Island

Aubrey Atwater is a musician, vocalist, writer, public radio commentator, and dancer based in Warren, Rhode Island. Atwater presents programs of folk music, dance, and spoken word, and has performed and taught across the United States as well as England, Ireland, and Canada. She sings and plays the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, guitar, mandolin, and Irish tin whistle, and also performs with percussive clogging. In both teaching and performance, Aubrey conveys the heritage behind traditional folk music and dance, showing an expertise of folk history and its key players. Part of the acclaimed duo Atwater-Donnelly, Aubrey and her husband Elwood Donnelly perform with up to eight other band members and have thirteen recordings and six books to their credit. Atwater and Donnelly are both on the performing rosters for the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/29/2020.

Interview with Ashley Frith, Providence, Rhode Island

Ashley Frith is a musician, composer, and educator based in Providence, Rhode Island. Ashley studied viola with Lila Brown at The Boston Conservatory. She was the music director, composer, and lyricist for the Trinity Repertory Company’s 2018-19 season production of Jose Rivera’s Marisol, directed by Brian Mertes. She has composed music for a production on allyship with Off the Page Education in NYC. Ashley has held resident musician and teaching artist positions with Newport String Project, Revolution of Hope, the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, and Community Music Works in Providence, Rhode Island. At Community Music Works, she serves as Director of Racial Equity and Belonging, where she performs, teaches, and develops anti-racism curricula. Ashley also explores the use of sound as a healing modality, in combination with mindfulness practices, and the effect these tools can have on mental health.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 11/02/2020.