The desire to connect with other people is a fundamental one. We all want to be seen and heard, and our lives become richer when we feel we’re part of a community. Part of our charge as musicians is to bring people together – but how to build these connections in an authentic way isn’t always clear. 

This month, pianist and educator Marilyn Nonken challenges us to consider a more nuanced definition of diversity, eschewing the embrace of it as mere tokenism. What are the different meanings that diversity can take? How might they inform our curatorial initiatives?

Lilly Vanek explores the work of the Resistance Revival Chorus through chorus member Solonje Burnett. Born from the Women’s March on Washington, the RRC draws on the tradition of protest music to effect social change. For members like Burnett, the chorus is an opportunity both to sing and to work for stronger, more just communities.

We learn about the Chinese pipa from expert Wu Man, one of the world’s leading pipa players. Wu Man delivers a “how to” video in both English and Mandarin, sharing techniques for playing the 2,000-year-old instrument as well as the historical significance it holds in Chinese culture. In the process, she invites us to consider its place in 21st-century performance and composition. 

For our June POP Picks, we welcome violist and design-thinking guru Deanna Badizadegan as she shares the people, organizations and projects that make her feel connected to her musical world.

Thanks for joining the conversation. Stay connected.

Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM


Why Practice? – A Prologue

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I wonder if you are like me. Can you point to the very moment you got hooked on practicing? Not the moment, remembered so fondly by many of us, when we picked the instrument into which we would pour our blood, sweat and tears, but when you made the decision to embark on a journey to become a musician and all that goes with that.


Joe Farnsworth – “See the drum. Hit the drum.”

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Drummer Joe Farnsworth has emerged as quite possibly the world’s leading jazz drummer. Fierce on the bandstand in laying down uncompromising and often lightning-fast time, he transports the audience back to the days when “Philly” Joe Jones proved to be the driving engine of what would become known as “The Quintet.”


re/CREATE: Sarah Goldfeather Reimagines Mitski

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re/CREATE celebrates musicians paying homage to the traditions they love while creating music from the heart. Here, we feature violinist, singer-songwriter and composer Sarah Goldfeather and her rendition of a favorite Mitski song.


re/CREATE: Kaoru Watanabe
Reimagines Björk

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re/CREATE celebrates musicians paying homage to the traditions they love while creating music from the heart. In this episode, we feature flutist and taiko musician Kaoru Watanabe and his rendition of music by Björk.