A couple months into my residency and I had a steady groove going. I had several workshops scheduled and the process (after a few tweaks) was going well. Workshops were taking place in schools, community centres, libraries…you name it. I even started booking workshops for the summer in outdoor settings and with local festivals and porch parties. 

The process was very engaging and produced a wide range of “community compositions”, as I call them. All you need is post-it notes, a wall, a whiteboard, some dice, and a keyboard. Within an hour you had an entire song written by a community! And, for the fun and sustainability of it, we use instruments made out of junk to accompany our musical accomplishments.

Most of my workshops were with kids or families, and they had all been in English. Seems a little odd to single out these combination of facts, doesn’t it? But in July 2019, I was approached by someone from the Downtown Community Centre in Kitchener asking if I would consider coming to a group of 50+ seniors who came together as a group as a social Spanish speaking community, the group was called The Amigos.  She assured me an interpreter would be present.

Even though I was challenging myself with these workshops already, I was always up for a new experience to expand my repertoire. I arrived to such a warm welcome from The Amigos. The interpreter was there, but promptly informed me that she had to leave after the first 20 minutes of the 1.5 hour workshop. I got a bit nervous at that bit of news, but set out to do what we can together.

A few of The Amigos who were more fluent in English jumped in to help me out and, before I knew it, the whole group was running their own show! They loudly discussed which Spanish words make sense to use based on rhythm and number of syllables, they took over the whiteboard and negotiated their own lyrics (in Spanish and English), they were dancing and singing their own song. And I had a blast watching this all unfold before my eyes.

And the best part…we got the whole process on video:


Come together
Good company
Our happiness

Yo he ganado
muchos amigos x2

Estamos juntos
En compania
Con felicidad


Come relax
Eat with us
In harmony
In family


En armonia
Comiend juntos
En familia


Come speak with us
In Spanish
We learn together
Good memories


Ven con nostros
Y en espanol
Haremos juntos
Buenos recuerdos

I was so inspired by this experience that I started an entire project around celebrating our growing diversity in the Region of Waterloo through music

Album Art by Hunter Barron

Listen now on your favourite streaming platform!

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