It’s a pleasure to share a few of the wonderful faces from the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation! Hailing from places as far as The Bronx, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and even the Dominican Republic and Thailand, Miami is home to me because of these formidable writers, and it is an absolute pleasure to feature them on JIMBO TIMES! Now, perhaps we’ll have to make visits to each of these places in order to complete the circle?!
What’s for sure is that all of them are welcomed in Los Angeles when they make their way around the West coast, with the exception of maybe Yesenia (holding Puerto Rico’s flag), who might be just a little too much of a New Yorker to keep it cool with The L.A. Storyteller!
In all seriousness though, Yesenia is magnificent! To her right in the *Phamily photo sits Jackie, *Andrew, and Piper. Directly in front of me sits Marie-Francoise (who’s also from L.A.!), and to her right is Meg, Aracely, Nashom, and Dulce Reyes.
Towards the bottom, Vanessa Martir is stirring up a good time with Dulce and Marie. Vanessa served as the logistics organizer for the conference, making sure that each participant had everything they needed during their time in Miami.
And at the top, Kira Lynne Allen is getting love from all of the VONA family for her service as a staff member and caretaker. She’s been a part of the conference for over fifteen years, so you can imagine there was quite a bit of love shown! It was an honor to meet Kira, and a pleasure to hear her read from her book: Write This Second.
Rdio has my deepest gratitude for featuring this brilliant portal into the historic Afro-Cuban jazz scene; a heart-throbbing celebration of life and love. My favorite track so far would have to be “Tin Tin Deo” for taking a cozy party of instruments and turning them into a declarative, triumphant ensemble with a confidence that at once commands awe and respect. The frolicking only gets started there, however, as “Mambo” gleefully shows. Every track on “Mambo Mucho Mambo” takes all of life up to its most artistic with inimitable genius. The album is a gift, a gem, and anyone who finds it is in for a party wherever they are. This morning at home, I certainly am!