University of Arizona

Episode 3
Restaging Classical Music for Social Relevance: Imani Winds

How are classical musicians speaking to the times in which they live? Band kids turned classical virtuosas, Monica Ellis and Toyin Spellman-Diaz have performed with Imani Winds since its founding more than 25 years ago. True to its beginnings, this predominantly people of color woodwind ensemble continues to break new ground with their socially relevant programming and physically demanding musical repertory. In this episode, they share personal and poignant stories filled with justice-minded strategies that will inspire instrumentalists to compose, collaborate, and commission works of consequence. 

The twice GRAMMY nominated Imani Winds has premiered numerous works by contemporary composers of color, contributing to expanding the wind quintet repertoire. The group’s role in transforming classical music is recognized with a permanent presence in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The music featured in this episode is from the album “Bruits” produced by Bright Shiny Things:

  • Bassoon Example: Sometimes: I. Prolog
  • Oboe Example: Bruits: V. masse
  • Frederic Rzewski Example: Sometimes: II. Sometimes
  • Vijay Iyer Example: Bruits: I. gulf

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Race/Remix.

Chelsea Farrar This is Race/Remix, a podcast that pushes forward, enriching and challenging conversations about the arts and racial justice. We talk with artists, poets, writers, directors, dancers, designers, performers, and creative practitioners from the Arizona community and beyond. As you listen, be inspired to advocate and activate in your community. Together, we can create a more just joyful and sustainable world. Welcome to Race Remix.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Our guests for this episode of Race Remix are Monica Ellis and Toyin Spellman-Diaz of Imani Winds. Good morning. What a pleasure to have you on the Racial Justice Studio.

Monica Ellis Good morning. Thank you for having us.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Congratulations on your 2021 album, Bruits, which has been nominated for this year’s Grammy for Best Chamber Music Small Ensemble Performance. But this is your second nomination after having won a Grammy in the category of best classical crossover album for classical underground.

Monica Ellis Yes. Thank you. Thank you. We’re very excited. Firstly, to to have been nominated. You know, you put this kind of work in and I guess, like I was saying earlier, to be recognized for it is wonderful. And we were nominated last that the last time we were nominated was about 12 years ago. So we did not win. But it was a great honor. Obviously. And so we’ve been sort of chasing it now for over a decade since that time.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Bruits is something that we want to talk about today. It engages beautifully and poignantly with themes of race and racial justice that we are very interested in and want to hear you elaborate on. But before we get there, tell me about the instrument you play. When did you realize bassoon oboe would be your primary vehicle for musical expression?

Monica Ellis Well, this is Monica speaking, and I play the bassoon and part of my bio, which is a little line that I actually like a lot, is that I’m a self-proclaimed FM band kid. So growing up in Pittsburgh, my beloved city of Pittsburgh, I was always a musician, always had musical influences around me. My father was a jazz saxophonist and my mother was a seamstress.

And so this beautiful things were just all a part of our upbringing, all really visually. So I gravitated towards music and towards being in the band. And I had a great middle school band teacher. So as I was playing clarinet, saxophone, those slightly more typical instruments, he kind of said, I see you’re doing really well here. And I think it’s time for a bit of a challenge.

So he handed me this box because the case was just so old school, you know, big, old, humongous public school band type of case with the letters on it and everything. And I had no idea really what it was. I took it home and my parents also said, okay, whatever, you know, they were in the best of ways, just kind of let’s do this, no restrictions.

And I don’t really remember the first moment of playing it. I do remember just wanting to kind of go back to it, I guess. So I think though, the real key was I went to a summer festival in Chautauqua, New York. That was the first opportunity I had to play in an orchestra. And the power of that experience is what said, okay, I want to stick with this instrument.

So it was actually more about the communal part of being with other people in an orchestral environment that made me want to stick with the bassoon. It actually wasn’t the bassoon, it was where it took me. And I eventually, you know, went to conservatory and had wonderful teachers that guided me to that, to that direction. And the rest is history, as they say.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe
Toyin, what about you?

Toyin Spellman-Diaz Well, I am an oboe player or oboist, as we sometimes say, or oboist-inista, no, we never say that. But I also, like Monica came from a very artsy musical background. My grandfather out in my mother’s side was a minister, and so of course we had the church. My grandmother sang in the choir and they were quite accomplished in their time.

I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, Monica, but the choir of his church went to go play for, I think it was Eisenhower. They went to the White House and, you know, they were they were pretty good. So all through my young life, my grandmother was singing and then my parents were heavily, heavily involved with the black arts movement.

So arts were always a part of my life. We moved into this converted convent. There were nuns living in our house in D.C. so we moved to this converted convent and there was a piano there. And so I started banging on the piano and my parents said, okay, let’s get this girl lessons so she can actually do something.

And I learned to read music before I learned to read actual words playing on the piano. And then, you know, piano was kind of a solitary thing. You’re doing it all by yourself. So in fifth grade, I started on the flute and then my uncle happened to have an oboe, and so he gave me my first oboe. Flute is a very open instrument.

You basically blow across a hole like you do with a bottle of soda or pop. If you’re from Pittsburgh, that area, you blow across it and half of the air escapes and half of the air goes into the instrument. And that splitting of air is what causes the vibration. That is the sound of the flute. So flute, you’re blowing real hard all the time, but you’re losing so much air now on oboe.

The difference is the oboe is a double reed instrument. Double reed is two pieces of cane put together, and all the reeds, usually for professionals are handmade for oboe. So that’s a kind of artisan kind of thing To Monica and I, both bassoon and oboes, they tend to make their own reeds, especially if you’re a professional. But the opening, the aperture on the oboe is minuscule, like you, sometimes it’s hard to see.

So instead of blowing great deals of a great deal of air on the flute, I was blowing super hard just to make these two reeds vibrate to make the sound. So it’s a completely it’s still wind, but it’s a completely different thing. Like when you first start playing oboe, you feel a little faint because you like where my ears just trapped in you.

It’s trapped in your body. So that was a different feeling. But that’s the long story of how I began the oboe.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe I’ve had the privilege of watching Imani Winds perform live on stage quite recently, and it’s clear to me, and I would think to anyone in your audience, that incredible physicality is required when performing the compositions you select for your concerts. How do you think about and experience your body when on stage? And why don’t we see more bodies, more people who look like Imani Winds on the classical music stage?

Toyin Spellman-Diaz This is Toyin speaking. Now. We spend a lot of time planning how a concert is going to go, and I think this is part of it. Part of the planning of it is that we’re going to work on that stage until we have nothing left. So when we’re programing music, meaning choosing what pieces to play, we’re physically thinking not only about which pieces will be badass, but we’re also trying to think of how we can get through something if we’ve made this decision to go all the way.

How are we going to plan plot out this concert so that we can make it through? So we have the heavy burn and then we have a piece that’s more relaxing or where you don’t have to worry so much about precision of playing because we are classical musicians. So we do have to play with a level of accuracy, see, expressively perfection, even.

We’re striving for perfection all the time. That means that it’s not just the brute strength of keeping your mouth in a position for quite a while, which is like being an athlete, by the way, or keeping your your support. It’s called this whole core, your whole core engaged in a certain sort of manner to make these instruments happen.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Your stomach area.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz Yeah, yeah, yeah. Our, our back, all that area, our lungs are working tremendously hard the whole time. So you have to think of ways or we have thought of ways of making it so you have your hill and then you have the downward hill afterwards. So there’s that. And then we want it to be fun. With all of this, physicality is all interesting, but you’re trying to put together something that is fun to listen to.

And actually for you guys out there, you don’t know this, but Imani Winds, we’re all people of color except for one member. It’s predominantly people of color ensemble. And we choose to play pieces by composers of color all the time. And we also try to program in a way that tells stories that reflect the times we’re living in.

And so a lot of the times we’re choosing pieces that might not necessarily be written by composers of color, but that speak to these moments. I’ll give you an example. On the album, Bruce is a piece by a well-known European, a white guy. He’s actually American, but he lived for a long time in Europe. His name is Frederic.

Jeff Sky. And Jeff Sky wrote a piece for us about this historian, an African-American historian by the name of John Hope Franklin, who was part of the civil rights movement. He was one of the first black history teachers to teach at Major universities. And he was consulted by governments. He taught he taught about reconstruction period in the United States right after slavery ended, where people had a little more freedom.

Then eventually Jim Crow shut down. So he teaches about he taught about this stuff. He lived to the age of 100 and he was consulted by different governments about how to build equitable states and how to build equitable companies. And so just a tremendous figure. And so this was built into this wind quintet piece. Imani wins is flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn.

So how are people who are instrumentalists going to build something that speaks to times that they that we live in? It’s about what the piece is about. It’s about how you program the piece. It’s about who you play for. It’s about who’s playing the instruments, who you work with, and so we take that very, very seriously. And it’s just the idea of how do we make this work.

It’s not just the physicality of it, it’s the planning of how you’re going to do something that makes a difference in this world.

Monica Ellis And I’ll chime in with the second part of the question with with this idea of why aren’t there more people that look like Imani Winds Well, I’d like to answer that. Yes, it is an issue. It is it is a point of discussion as to why there aren’t more minorities in classical music. But I like to start the conversation with saying, actually, we are here, that we’re out here, we’re doing the work.

There’s the positive I think should be acknowledged just as much as where the issues are, just as much as what we have to do to keep going and to make it better. And yes, we’ve been around for 25 years, but, you know, the Marian Anderson String Quartet was before us.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz The Uptown String.

Monica Ellis Quartet. Uptown String quartet. Nowadays, of course, the Sphinx organization has been around as long as we have and doing incredible work for black and Latino string players, especially there’s the Gateways Festival Orchestra that celebrates the classical musicians of African descent that is this incredible orchestral program and chamber music program. So, you know, there’s we’re forced you’re out there and we’re a minority, obviously, so we’re only a certain part of the population, period.

And then you get to classical music, which is a niche musical genre, you know, on top of that. And so the numbers are just going to be low by statistically speaking, just from a strictly numbers point of view. Now, that’s not to say that there’s not these issues of why and access. And, you know, we talk about pipeline and where where are the breakdowns in that pipeline and in the access.

And so those are things those are things that we have to discuss. And the reasons of why is a myriad of them. We we don’t have as a kid growing up, we just talked about our upbringings do a lot of black and brown kids have the kind of access that we have. Unfortunately, not even in public school programs nowadays, these programs are rare, so you wouldn’t even have that initial ability to get to an instrument to enjoy and try things out and see what you like and then decide to stick with it.

So that’s a problem in more affluent, white, predominantly white spaces. Those access points are just there. So, you know, we’re dealing with that for sure. So when systemic racist environments and systemic classes really the environments are not dealt with, then the issue of the arts and the opportunity for young kids to be able to have access to that absolutely is affected by that, you know, is a is a byproduct, I should say, of those institution and all political problems that we have.

But again, I I’d like to bring it back around to what we do have and what is out there and what kind of great work organizations are doing to try to counteract what, you know, our general system does not provide.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz
Let’s have a little moment where we’re thinking about you’ve got a little a little black boy who’s just started playing the clarinet. And how does a teacher support this young boy in the best way? Well, of course, you teach them how to play the clarinet in the best way possible. But part of that teaching of the young player is knowing that African lips are sometimes larger than European people’s lips.

So in that case, you have to know how to adjust your teaching of ambition or the way you fix your mouth for this kid’s mouth so that he can get all of the sound out of the clarinet that he should be able to get. There’s advantages to it’s a physical thing again, playing an instrument. So there’s advantages to what we have people of color to offer, even just with our our physical beings.

So that’s something there’s the physicality of it, and then there’s the emotional support that one needs to give to a child of color who is playing an instrument in a predominantly white field. And I think this applies not just to musicians, but to artists, dancers, to just regular teachers, showing these kids that there is representation, like Monica saying of them out there on these instruments.

Let’s say you have a student from the Middle East. If they were playing the oboe, you could say that the oboe is from the Middle East. That’s where it was originated. So and then show examples of people playing this instrument that look like him or her or them, and also realizing that a child is a multifaceted thing. A child is not just a black male child.

A child might have serious video game interests, so they might be a gamer or they might have all sorts of different things that make up who they are. And so giving that freedom through your teaching is also incredibly important.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe As you’re talking about complexity of the person, complexity of of identity and really connecting back to much of the way you program your music, your concerts and Bruits in particular. Can you talk about your creative process? What risk taking you’re doing in this particular album that has been really a standout work and thus rightly being acknowledged with the nomination for the Grammy?

Monica Ellis I want to answer your question by talking about the importance of collaborations for us, because Roots, the piece, the actual piece, not the album itself, is by Vijay Iyer, who is an incredible jazz pianist and composer and educator, and he is a friend of ours, and we’ve known him through different channels over many years, and it was brought to us through another organization that commissioned him to write for us.

So this was the type of thing where we we get pieces in many different ways, and this was one of them where sometimes we approach a composer because we love their work and we want to work with them. Sometimes a common organization approaches the composer and they kind of act as matchmaker. Sometimes a composer comes to us and say, I would love to write for you, or I have written a quintet already.

How can we work together? And so when the Hermitage Foundation down in in Florida approached Vijay, he immediately said, I would love to write for the Imani Winds. And so that that spirit of collaboration, that spirit of of community, as I even spoke of way back kind of lives with our entire it lives within our sphere as well as as far as how music is created.

And so when he was in Florida, he was writing the piece and so he actually was very affected by Trayvon Martin’s murder. And it was during the time when he wrote it, when when that had occurred. And it was actually post that during the trial of George Zimmerman and like so many people, I think he was affected by the Stand your ground laws that that we were all learning about and observing and being miffed by and being floored by that.

You know, this person who murdered this boy is potentially going to get off through these technicalities. And so Vijay was quite affected by that and created that entire piece really around this notion of these archaic, asinine rules of this of of the Stand Your Ground laws. And he also just wanted to make a statement, I think. And he and he felt like through the music of the quintet plus piano, since he’s a pianist himself, he said, I think I can really get my point across through this piece with with this notion in mind.

We also use the words of Jordan Davis’s mother, Lucy McBath, who is a congresswoman now, and her son, of course, Jordan Davis, was also killed. And we say her words at a point within the piece, literally say her say a quote of hers. So it’s a testament to him being very in tune to the politics of race and not only the politics of race, but how it is within our criminal justice system, how race.

I mean, this is nothing new. It’s literally been 400 years or so of talking about this. But how race is is brought into the criminal justice system as a very poignant part of how and when people get off or don’t. And so it’s you know, it’s just our little contribution, I would say to this very, very long and big conversation.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Can you help us to understand just that relationship with an instrument in order to express a work that is a collaborative kind of process? What does it feel like when you’re performing a piece like that?

Toyin Spellman-Diaz Well, part of our performing it is the creation of the work, because we were working with Vijay very closely as he was writing it, and he would bring us sketches. And so since we’re kind of note junkies in that we want to play as many notes as possible just to show that we can and because we like it, we like the feeling of challenging ourselves.

That particular piece and most of the pieces we play have a technical difficulty that is very, very high. So while we’re performing it, we’re trying our best not to mess up, but let’s just be real about it and and that’s that’s wonderful. But the meaning of Broots, Broots, is the sound that arteries make when there is some sort of occlusion, some sort of blockage.

And so we’re thinking a lot of times about that idea, like playing an instrument, a wind instrument is putting a blockage in your ear and making that into something beautiful. All right. So in this particular case, one could think about that. Well, one is going through the piece. Another thing about being a chamber music group that we haven’t even discussed yet is the collaborative in the moment thing of it.

It’s not just about you and what you’re doing. It’s about you supporting your fellow people or you stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run with your awesome, you know, a flurry of notes or your awesome one note. Monica talked about Caruso. Was it? You know? Right, Right. Yeah. Yeah. You just got singing through something. So I’m thinking about what my friends are doing on that stage and how I can help them sound better.

That’s part of the beauty of chamber music is this collaborative moment. You come together, you look at each other, you communicate across the stands to each other and say, I got you, man, I got you. So that’s kind of what I’m thinking about. Sometimes when we’re playing dead composers, I like to I’m just going to admit this on the podcast.

It’s a little embarrassing. I’m going to say it anyway. I kind of like to channel the composer sometimes. We last when we did our concert here, we were playing this piece by Ravel, Maurice Ravel, famous European composer, and it’s known to be a very heavy oboe piece. So Musa oboist, every time we play it, I get a little bit of there is a lot of tradition for this piece.

It’s like this big thing. Every oboe is the audience knows this piece. They played it back. I got to get it. I got to be perfect, man, all that. So to help me get over that, you know, moment, Monica talks about being fearless. I’m fearful all the time. Like I live my life by how can I use this fear to make something fantastic happen.

So I use that fear as a guide for me. And how I’m going to make something better. And I try to make it specific. I’m like, okay, this fear is telling me that I need to really support or make float blow the air through in this specific way. So I’m going to listen to that fear and it’s going to be my biggest ally.

So anyway, I channel Ravel. I have him sit on stage next to me. You sit next to me a little behind if I’m thinking about it, and he’s making commentary throughout my whole performance. So yeah, I don’t channel Vijay because I know him, I know where he lives. But you know, that’s part of being a musician too, is thinking about what does this composer want?

He wrote he or she wrote or they wrote music that we’re trying to to it’s just notes on a page that we are classical musicians. So we’re literally reading notes on the page for the most part. So while I’m playing, I’m thinking, What did this person want to have happen beyond the notes that they have written here?

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe So part of what I’ve noticed about your practice is what we might call in the arts. We do use this word a lot appropriation, right? Taking works created by others and different contexts and interpreting them and putting them back out in the world. And there’s a lot of controversy and different artistic disciplines and in popular culture about appropriation.

Can you share how you think about taking up the works of others, channeling that deep guy right. When when they’re not there to be co-creative in the process other than through spirit, right. Help us understand how you move through those decisions that you make.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz Right. I’ll take I’ll start this off because we are Imani. Winds is a wind quintet and I mentioned the instruments of the wind quintet. But what I didn’t say was that the wind quintet is a traditional European chamber group that’s always flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn. And then there’s another few traditional groups. There’s a string quartet, two violins, a viola and a cello.

Then there’s the brass quintet, which is two trumpets, trombone, a French horn, maybe, or two trombones and a low tuba or something. So these things are pretty staid ensembles. So like I mentioned with Ravel, there’s a tradition that goes hundreds of years back with this. Well, Imani Winds, what we do is try to add stuff to this repertoire and we spend a lot of time going into musics from different cultures all around the world, especially cultures that are not white.

And so we are African-American, but we do not embody every person of color. I think sometimes people forget that just because we are black does not mean we can speak on Asian music with authority, but we still try to take that music. And when we can do our best to do a good job with that, a good example of us trying our best to encourage the expansion of the Sounds of the Wind quintet through different cultures is this project we did with this man named Simone Shaheen.

Simone Shaheen is a violinist and an Oude player, which is kind of like a lute from the Middle East. It’s a.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe String and.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz It’s a string instrument. Yeah, yeah. It has a large round, kind of like a big bull body and then a neck. That’s what a lute is, basically a big, bold body and then a neck. That’s the part that sticks out like on a guitar. And then you put strings over it and a board on top too, to make it work.

So that one type of lute is the oud. And he’s also a violinist. He’s classically trained. He went to the same grad school. Marc and I went to, you know, Manhattan School of Music. So he’s well versed in the classical music. So we wanted to commission him to write a piece for us. And part of the reason we wanted to do it was because he’s awesome and his music is great, but also because we wanted to bring the Sounds of Palestine into the one quintet.

Like I mentioned earlier, the oud is a Middle Eastern instrument. So to bring that, that sensibility, it brings a whole new perspective on these instruments that are part of this hundreds of year old European classical tradition. These instruments came from somewhere. The flute wasn’t just born in a in an orchestra. It came from Africa, in China, and all sorts all over the Americas.

There’s flutes everywhere. So anyway, so me and Simone Shaheen, he came in, he wrote us a work and part of the work is not just playing what is known as a major or a minor scale. There is an amazing, vast collection of different types of scales and modes they’re called, that are used in Palestine in particular, like this, even like Palestinian ouds.

So he taught them, taught us some of those. And what I mean, because not everybody here is a musician, I’ll sing you a major scale which goes and you’ve heard it in The Sound of Music. It goes down Rami Wesolowski Door or Doorway. Me Faso lost it all. That’s a minor scale in Middle Eastern music. You have notes that are in between those notes that you play on the piano or on a European instrument.

So instead of it starts like this. One of them was the studied auditory. You’ve heard that in Middle Eastern music, but some of the sometimes you have that to note. So it isn’t the study is the study, it’s in between the notes. And so that is very difficult for us who have been trained not to stray from these 12 notes that are in European classical music.

It’s very difficult for us to learn how to slide in between there or to land on it, like hard study just to do it as opposed to da da dee. So we worked super hard with Simon and he was a taskmaster. He was relentless. He was not letting us go. So we found a good teacher to teach us how to do this.

Well. And that is built into this piece that he wrote for us, as well as some improv, which is another thing that classical musicians are not necessarily taught to do. So we had to work on doing it with these different notes in a different type of It was it was. It was it was super fun and super important for us to be as correct as possible and to talk to him.

I think if we did it all over again, we did this in what, 2000, 7000, eight, something like that. Now Charlie was born, so I we talking about my daughter was born. So she was born in 2009. So I guess 2010. So if we were to do it again, I would talk to him more about what these the we did it just from a musical standpoint.

Right. We did it from let’s learn these notes to our best of our ability. But if I were to do it again, I think we would talk more about what this means to him and where the music comes from. More of the culture of that went behind this music. If I were thinking about appropriating or taking from another culture in a respectful way, I think we would do it in that way if I were to do it again.

Monica Ellis And that’s the point. I think this point of appropriation is an important topic to really dive into because it gets the bad rap, because it’s a surface type of thing when when artists are going after other genres or other cultures, I think it’s in a in a surface type of way without doing some sort of deep dive, then it is rather offensive and can be inconsiderate.

But music does not, in my opinion, has barriers. No, there’s no proprietary ness about West African music that can. It can only be played by West African musicians in this particular day. On to, you know, at 2:00 on a Wednesday, you know, we should we should have access to music. However, you can’t just come in rape and pillage this music either.

You know, you you need to know the history behind it. You need to know the culture, the context, the people that have made it important. And does that mean you have to write a dissertation now? But there does have to be some sincerity and a distinct desire to learn and contribute to it for the greater good, not just for some, you know, individual desire to because, you know, everything starts from because you want to learn something.

But you know what I mean? It has to I think it has to have a place where it’s going to mean something for others, not just yourself. And so that when when we when we do talk about appropriation and it’s a bad thing, when it is just when you’re going after different cultures in an insincere way without really trying to understand where the music comes from, where the, you know, what was happening politically around what was happening socially, culturally.

So just recognizing that music doesn’t live in this vacuum and I’m just going to play it now because I want to. And when we think more globally and that in that way, I think we can we can feel better about, say, a white person wanting to play music from, you know, indigenous people of of Australia. You know, as an example, if there’s a real sincerity behind it, it works.

It can be something important and relevant for us all to learn from.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz Yeah, and we don’t have to go. You don’t have to go to Cuba to learn Cuban music or to be culturally appropriate. But it could you could start with the very simple idea of pronouncing the words correctly. I hear a lot of times when we’re going to different places, we play pieces by and with names from different cultures and people just they kind of fudge their way through it and they say, whatever, you know, that’s I can’t say that haha.

But just even like saying the name, like saying my name correctly Toyin it means a lot to me when you take a moment to say it correctly. And I think that’s just like the baseline of something like coming out of your mouth correctly.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe I want to thank you both Toyin Monica, for being here this morning and we’ll have you back Any time. Thank you.

Monica Ellis Thank you. Thank you both. It’s been fun.

Chelsea Farrar Thank you for joining the conversation on Race remix today. The podcast is the creation of Racial Justice Studio in Tucson, Arizona. Land of the Tohono O’odham and the Pascua Yaqui. This episode would not have been possible without the efforts of our team of students, staff and faculty fellows. Myself Chelsea Farrar, Amy Kraehe, gloria wilson, Isaac Schutz, Deanna Scott and Jenny Stern.

This program is brought to you by the Arizona Arts at the University of Arizona with generous support from John and Sandy Flint. If you enjoyed this episode, please invite your friends, family, students and colleagues to listen. Interested in joining our community or listening to more episodes, please visit and sign up to receive an email about upcoming news and events. You can also learn more about all of our guests in the show notes.

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