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Sat, Apr 17


Hummingbird's Grandchildren~Music and Inclusive Communities and Open Mic

Join a community conversation on using music to foster inclusive communities and open mic. This is a pre-release celebration for EP Hummingbird's Grandchildren.

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Hummingbird's Grandchildren~Music and Inclusive Communities and Open Mic
Hummingbird's Grandchildren~Music and Inclusive Communities and Open Mic

Time & Location

Apr 17, 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


About The Event

Denver Chicana Composer Celebrates New EP Hummingbird’s Grandchildren with Community Discussion on Fostering Inclusive Communities with Music

April 17th, 11am-12:30pm zoom:

The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council (CHAC), Colorado Folk Arts Council and Journey Through Our Heritage are proud to announce the digital release of EP Hummingbird’s Grandchildren by Chicana Denver Native Composer/Saxophonist Asia Fajardo-Diamond May 2021. Denver musicians record the EP Hummingbird’s Grandchildren to create beauty in the world during a challenging time.

Hummingbird’s Grandchildren is a collection of compositions inspired by the composer’s late great-grandmother Esther of Denver’s Historic Five Points neighborhood. Come celebrate  release with community discussion on fostering inclusive communities with music. Community discussion will be led by Yuzo Nieto Co-founder and Chief Executive Arts Director of Radical Arts Academy of Denver (RAAD). There will also be a virtual open mic for the community to share their music with each other. Hummingbird’s Grandchildren will be released in May 2021.  This opening track is currently available as a single on all digital music distributors. These compositions are written for children, looking to get them moving and dancing.

The Musicians~

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”)

John Olsson-drums/percussion

Harry Olsson Jr.-bass

Tenia Renee Nelson-keyboards

The Inspiration~

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 Music~

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.

The Composer~

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.

The Discussion Lead Yuzo Nieto~

Yuzo Nieto has served the far northeast as both a music teacher and a general elementary teacher for 8+ years. Currently, he is in his doctoral dissertation phase at the University of Northern Colorado studying Music Education with a focus in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Yuzo designs and teaches curriculum for music education majors focusing on culturally responsive music pedagogy. Yuzo is one of three co-founders at Radical Arts Academy of Denver (RAAD). RAAD aims to provide high-quality arts-based education of the whole child from a lens of critical consciousness and community responsive pedagogy that promotes concrete pathways for students to learn through the arts -- from K-8 (and beyond) in Far Northeast Denver, CO -- to obtain/realize self-actualization and career readiness within the arts and in life. Yuzo has two elementary-aged and is the band leader and songwriter for the original 10-piece Afrobeat / Chicano Hip-Hop ensemble called Pink Hawks.

The Production~

Hummingbird’s Grandchildren cover artwork entitled “Generations” is by Denver muralist Arlette Lucero. Audio engineer and mixing by John Olsson and mastering by Scott Craggs.


  • April 17th 11:00am-12:30pm Hummingbird’s Grandchildren open mic/community discussion on using music to foster inclusive communities, Location:
  • May 2021 EP release Hummingbird’s Grandchildren. Listening party  Date/Time/Virtual Location TBA

This event is free and open to the public. Please register above.

For more information contact

Also, visit www.asiafajardo

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