Hummingbird's Grandchildren~Music and Inclusive Communities and Open Mic
Time & Location
About The Event
To create beauty in the world during a challenging time, Denver musicians record the EP Hummingbird’s Grandchildren.
Hummingbird’s Grandchildren, is a collection of compositions inspired by Chicana Denver composer Asia Fajardo-Diamond's late great-grandmother Esther of Denver’s Historic Five Points neighborhood. Hummingbird’s Grandchildren will be released in May 2021. The single "Crystal Sky" is available middle February. These compositions are written for children.
Asia Fajardo-Diamond-alto saxophone
Yuzo Nieto-tenor saxophone (“Crystal Sky” and “Freedom Blues”)
Lannie Shelton-violin (“Crystal Sky” and “Freedom Blues”)
Nicholas Diamond-violin (“Nahui Nahui” and “Hummingbird’s Grandchildren”)
Harry Olsson Jr.-bass
Tenia Renee Nelson-keyboards
Grandma Esther Lopez Dussart Fajardo was born in 1910 in the mining town of Summerset on the Western Slope of Colorado. Her family roots in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado date back hundreds of years to Mexica, Spanish and Pueblo ancestors. Grandma Esther and Grandpa Alfonso Mata Fajardo lived for over 50 years at 21st and Tremont, in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. A humble woman with only a 4th grade education, she nurtured and cared for her community her whole life. She had little material wealth but passed down a rich cultural heritage and legacy of kindness. Each composition is a tribute to this amazing woman, inspired by her deep respect for others and the Earth, her commitment to diversity before it was even a word and her faith in the power of love. Grandma Esther taught us that our survival depends upon our ability to treat everyone as our familia and our ability to never lose hope.
Esther never had the privilege to fully embrace her indigenous heritage, yet her life reflected the teachings passed on to her by her ancestors. The songs in this album are in honor of the struggles she endured to maintain her family’s connection to their land and their people.
The single and first track, “Crystal Sky'' is about caring for the animals and the Earth. While Esther raised her family in the city, she made sure that her son and later her grandchildren had a strong connection and respect for the natural world. Esther helped the composer name her first cat, Crystal. “Crystal Sky'' is a fusion of driving afrocuban rhythms and jazz, with a gentle vibe reminding us to take care of the animals and the Earth.
The title track “Hummingbird’s Grandchildren” references the Mexica/Aztec hummingbird warrior deity Huitzilopochtli. It honors the battles that the composer’s grandmother faced to pave a path of opportunity and love for her future generations. Its message is to be kind to all children. The 3rd track, “Nahui Nahui” is about movement, moving your body, mind and spirit with music, dance, art, cooking, gardening and whatever else inspires you. The final track, “Freedom Blues” honors the parents who promote creativity and diversity.
Asia Fajardo-Diamond runs Diamond Music Studio teaching jazz and classical saxophone, piano and composition. She has directed her own jazz ensemble Asia Jazz project, performed with world bands Pink Hawks and Mono Verde and Hip-Hop with Adrian Molina. She is a freelance composer, experienced in pan genre and fusion music. She began Danza Azteca at a young age, and the spirit of this ancient tradition is alive in her music. She enjoys being outdoors with her son Theo Cuautli and husband Nick. Asia holds a M.M. from the University of Wyoming.
Hummingbird’s Grandchildren cover artwork entitled “Generations Cafe” is by Denver muralist Arlette Lucero. Audio engineer and mixing by John Olsson and mastering by Scott Craggs.
- Middle February 2021 digital release of single “Crystal Sky”
- April 17th 11:00am Hummingbird’s Grandchildren open mic/community discussion on using music to foster inclusive communities.
- May 2021 EP release Hummingbird’s Grandchildren. Listening party Date/Time/Virtual Location TBA