About the Artists

artist Ben BarsonBen Barson is an award-winning composer, educator, baritone saxophonist, historian, and political activist. Barson cares deeply about the environment along with racial and social justice and inequities. Like his mentor Fred Ho, he composes music to impact change inspired by the jazz tradition.

artist Gizelxanath RodriguezGizelxanath Rodriguez is a Mexican Indigenous (Yaqui) renowned vocalist, cellist, educator, and artivist (art and activism) at the intersection of Indigenous rights, ecosocialism, and migrant justice. She is fluent in five languages (Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, and Italian) and her vocal work spans a range of styles and cultures.

Together, Barson and Rodriguez co-founded the Afro Yaqui Music Collective, an ensemble that combines Afro-Asian musical and political affinities with inspiration from the struggles of the Yaqui of northern Mexico. Barson and Rodriguez work to incorporate voices of regional and Indigenous communities in the creation of their boundary-pushing interdisciplinary works.

Resources + Media Mentions

Image courtesy of the artist.