Arnaldo started as a soloist with Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) and has performed with SMC in some of the major concert halls in the US, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. In 1995, he started a group called Cabaret Q, where the “drag chanteuse” persona began. In 1999, Arnaldo began his solo cabaret shows in Seattle’s Capitol Hill and has since performed his one-person cabaret in Portland, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Puerto Vallarta, New York, and Manila. Arnaldo has also collaborated with various directors, choreographers, and songwriters in the Seattle area. In 2005, he completed the Cabaret Summer Conference Workshop at Yale University. In 2006, Arnaldo started the Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association and continues to organize Seattle’s March is Cabaret Month featuring local and visiting artists. 2007 marked Arnaldo’s New York cabaret debut, and in 2008, Arnaldo was honored with a New York Backstage Bistro Award. 2014 was Arnaldo’s Manila debut, where he received Most Innovative Concert Artist in Manila Gawad Musika award. In 2016, Arnaldo was presented by the Filipino Community of Seattle with a Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting culture and the arts.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/07/2020.
Del Rey started playing guitar when she was four years old. At thirteen, she was immersed in the world of folk music via the San Diego Folk Festival. She has tried to get a whole band onto her solo instrument from the beginning. This gives her music an interesting complexity, especially when applied to the ukulele. Rags, blues, and tunes of the early twentieth century are her specialty, even as she writes new music to add to the tradition. Del Rey also has fashion sense that would make Minnie Pearl smile. Del Rey has taught and played all over the world and brings her distinctive finger-style approach to guitar and ukulele to her teaching.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/22/2020
Bertram Levy is one of the few accomplished bandoneonistas in North America. In 1989, Bertram first heard the instrument played live by Astor Piazzolla. He was so moved by Piazzolla’s music that he abandoned all his other musical endeavors to pursue the bandoneón. At that time Bertram was in his late forties and had achieved an international reputation as a banjo and concertina virtuoso. He had been featured on more than a dozen albums, including the Smithsonian CD compilation American Folk Music. He had also authored the definitive concertina tutor The Concertina Demystified, was chosen as banjo player of the year by Frets magazine, and was highlighted in several national broadcasts of The Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. In addition, he created and directed the most prestigious instrumental folk music festival in the United States: the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. Bertram’s first bandoneón lessons were with Miguel Varvello in Buenos Aires in 1991 and later in Paris with Cesar Stroscio. In 2005, Bertram enrolled in the Conservatorio Manuel de Falla in Buenos Aires to study classical bandoneon with the great Rodolfo Daluisio. He founded Tangoheart in 1999 to introduce Pacific Northwest audiences to authentic Argentine tango. He currently lives both in Washington State and in Buenos Aires, where he continues his studies with Rodolfo Daluisio.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/23/2020.
Luc Reynaud is a musician, producer, and humanitarian who lives by the code that anything is possible if we do not limit ourselves. Along with his band Luc and the Lovingtons, a globetrotting world-soul-reggae band, he co-founded the Goodness Tour, a nonprofit organization that brings music and art experiences to people facing adversity all over the world. The tour travels to refugee camps, disaster zones, homeless shelters, hospitals, and anywhere that humans are in need of a positive outlet for expression. In 2005, Luc co-wrote a song with a group of kids in an evacuation shelter after Hurricane Katrina called “The Freedom Song,” which Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz would cover on his Love Is a Four Letter Word album. In 2016, Luc and the band released a music video called “Welcome to My House,” which was filmed in a Syrian refugee camp in northern Jordan and in the northwestern United States. The song and video paired Syrian and American youth together singing “You’re welcome to my house” in Arabic and English. In 2017 and 2018, Luc directed a project through the Goodness Tour that brought over a hundred Puerto Ricans together to write and sing a song in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In 2019, Luc began co-writing a musical with Bahamian evacuees living in disaster shelters in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. Luc continues to respond to his calling with a dedication to serve humanity through music.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/02/2020.
An accomplished musician, author, teacher, and DJ, Arturo Rodriguez has performed worldwide, sharing the stage with such music legends as Tito Puente; Dave Valentin; Paul Horn; Pete Escovedo; Brandi Carlile; Crosby, Stills and Nash, and many more. Never one to stand still for very long, Arturo is both a familiar face and a powerful force on the local Seattle music scene. While moving through the musical boundaries of salsa, rumba, jazz, pop, rock, and even Afro Cuban ritual music, Arturo has an amazing talent for bringing people together. He currently performs with the Rumba Kings and is working on a new album with his new trio, Weave Poetic, a phenomenal performance group fusing Latin and jazz music together with incredible vocal harmonies. All members in the group sing and write original music. Arturo teaches Latin percussion and drum set and helps salsa dancers with their musicality both virtually and live.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/06/2020.
Lesli Wood, front person, guitarist, and songwriter for Skates! (pop band, upbeat, energetic, with a lot of punk influence), also plays lead guitar in the punk band Trash Day and bass for Seattle songwriter Craig Jaffe. Skates! is an outlet for Wood’s carefree pop songs and unforgettable melodies. Influences hint at Hüsker Dü, Talking Heads, and Best Coast. Skates! live shows are energetic and full of melodic goodness, beyond catchy melodies. Proficient Lesli Wood is passionate when talking about her band, their live shows, and the energy they get out of their audiences and vice-versa. She is grateful for her life, her music making, and her bandmates.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/16/2020.