Episode 91 | Sita Chay, violinist and Latin Grammy Winner
Sita Chay is the only Korean to ever win a Latin Grammy. Fancy that…
Since I started this podcast project and on the website, you’ll see that Pan-American voices or Pan-Americanism is what I seek out. Who are we people of color? What is a person of color? Where do we come from? What makes an individual Pan-American? These questions sometimes have clear-cut answers, but as time passes I tend to feel the answers are not so simple. My concerns, interests, and various answers have been informed and are intertwined with W.E.B. Dubois’ Pan-Africanism, The Antillean Confederation of Ramon Emeterio Betances, Bolivar’s Dream, The American Dream, Pan-American Airlines, and Bernardo Ruiz’s La Quinta Raza. When I think of the “America” that I live and experience, hundreds of faces come to mind and heart. How pure blood are we really? And does blood matter? I’m still against the fence on that one but I can honestly say, that in my 28-years of living in North America, Pan-American has come to signify people from all over the world open and willing to be a part of the whole - accepting, creative, curious, interested, willing, empathetic - and for whatever reasons they mostly come in the form of artists or creatives.
Sita Chay is a bright example of this very diluted sea of people that make up Pan-Americanism, to me. Before we recorded she asked me, “What does Pan-American mean?” And we talked. And then we recorded, and a poetic answer revealed itself.
When she was little Sita wanted to be a princess. In a way she is, she’s a princess of the violin.
She’s also a member of the all-woman Mariachi band Flor de Toloache, who won a 2017 Latin Grammy for Best Ranchero Album - Las Caras Lindas. Sita has played folk music from all over the world and she gets into it in this intimate talk.
Sita holds that artists have a responsibility to be political and to use their medium to bring people together. Her latest musical project, the Cosmopolis Collective, which means a citizen of everywhere, weaves everything that matters to her.
Social duty with her responsibility as an artist to connect with others through music, marching together. “Together we are big.” Her words. I agree. Tears of gratitude. Thank you, Sita Chay.
GIG ALERT: 2/21 9 p.m.
New World Stages Green Room
A PRIME Latino Media event