This Summer Speakers Series Event Was Boss!

By Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

On August 3rd, ZUMIX Pathways hosted the third Summer Speaker Series event of 2017, “How To Be Your Own Boss”. We welcomed six panelists, each of which had experience in being their own boss and running their own business. During this event, the panelists answered many of the typical questions that people have when they want to start their own business, as well as questions about their products and what a typical day of work looks like for them.

One of the main topics that the panelists focused on during this event were the challenges that they have faced as entrepreneurs. Tivan Amour, the CEO of Fortified Bicycle, spoke about the financial challenges that he faced when wanting to start Fortified Bicycle, since he had lost a large amount of money from two previous businesses endeavours. Tivan was able to overcome this challenge by creating a Kickstarter campaign for his product, which enabled him to raise the adequate amount of money needed to start his business. Mark Ethier, the CEO of iZotope also faced challenges in his company when his company began developing photo editing software. When Mark began to realize that the photo editing software that his company was producing was not in popular demand, he decided that his company would just solely work on technology that would inspire musicians and audio technicians.

Many of the panelists agreed when speaking about the keys of success in a business. All of the panelists believed that luck was a main factor in their success, since it typically takes a lot for entrepreneurs to get people interested in their products. It also takes luck to find employees who share the same values for the company and have the same ability to get the customers interested in a product. Kannan Thiruvengadam, the founder of Eastie Farm, spoke about the difficulties of having the ability to convince the city of Boston that a farm would be the best use of the land. Kannan was able to overcome this challenge by convincing city officials to provide him with a temporary permit, which allowed people to realize how beneficial Eastie Farm was to the community.

Some of the other panelists who spoke at this event included: Marlene Del Rosario, founder of Marlene Jazz Ensemble and Home Chef worker, jazz and pop teacher, and musician; Joel Edinberg, physicist and founder of Somerville Symphony Orkestar; and George Howard, entrepreneur and Business Teacher at Berklee College of Music and Brown University.

The next (and last) Summer Speaker Series event will be on Thursday, August 24th, 2017 from 6-8pm. The topic of this event will be “How To Turn Your Passion Into A Full Time Job”. The Summer Speaker Series events are free, and open to people of all ages. This event will take place in the main lobby at ZUMIX. We hope that you will attend!

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Meet Our Youth Staff: Lesly Monroy

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

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This summer, ZUMIX has a new group of youth staff members working here as part of the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program! We caught up with them and asked some questions about their lives, their connections to ZUMIX, and their connections to music! This week, I interviewed Lesly Monroy – here are her responses:

What’s your name and age and where do you live?

Lesly Monroy, 15, East Boston

If you could describe ZUMIX in one word, what would it be?

Growth. First of all ZUMIX itself has been growing so much since it started, because we started off in a living room but now we’re in a firehouse that can hold lots, but also because it helps the community grow as people and musicians. When I came here I was not the me I am now, it’s definitely a place where you can explore and learn about yourself.

How has ZUMIX impacted your life?

I came to ZUMIX in the 7th grade during the spring semester and I wasn’t the most talkative kid especially, when being around new people. I started with radio, rock ed, music theory, and fix it, and from there I got to explore what my interests were and I definitely knew that music was one. Here I started playing music more in depth than in school, and I started my love for music here and soon enough I started my own band then, my own radio show. and started doing a lot more active work with the office people. I became the opposite of who I was then, meaning now I talk more, am more interactive, and try to introduce myself first to new people and welcome them. There’s definitely been a change of personality, but I also view the world differently now because ZUMIX is active in social justice and the community, so now I help out in city life and on the issue of gentrification. ZUMIX has changed me in many ways and I have grown as a person into someone who isn’t afraid of welcoming new people and ZUMIX has also increased my love for learning in basically every subject. 

Who would you recommend to visit and learn about ZUMIX and why?

I would want my mom because she has never been here despite many invitations and she has never taken it seriously and never been as interested to learn about ZUMIX and what it does. She would get to know the stuff I do here rather than just know me as a girl who’s never in the house anymore. She seems to think of it as me just playing music and not being productive, so it would be a good thing to show her that it’s more than just a regular music program and that ZUMIX does way more like tutoring, dancing classes, offering tech gigs at events, etc. If my mom got the chance to see that I think she’d be more supportive of ZUMIX and maybe even consider donating every year. I think she would have a bit more respect for what we do here rather than how she thinks of it now.

What is your most prominent memory at ZUMIX?

They’re all sort of equal level but I guess one of the most prominent would have to be working with MIT co-lab. This is because I got to explore how people use one of the tactics we use here in the real world. We were making a radio podcast on topics around Boston, and my group worked with a newspaper writer who also does a radio show here and we got to interview him and make our own podcast. Later it was put on another podcast from California and the co-lab blog as well as SoundCloud. We got a lot of feedback from the people we worked with and a bunch of great reviews; it was one of the experiences where I got to work with adults and students from MIT which is a college I would love to go to. It was also amazing to see how it is to work with other people outside of ZUMIX and it was a very helpful skill to learn. 

What about music is most important to you?

Music has been my stress reliever a lot of the time; playing it and listening to it releases stress for me. When I don’t know how to handle a situation or I feel overwhelmed, I tend to look at music to calm down. Sometimes I listen to instrumentals to chill out and relax, other times I’ll use the lyrics to help me motivate myself to move out of a place I’m stuck in. Music makes me really happy, so I’ll just pick up my bass and start playing. It’s a healthy response to my stress and it positively affects my mood and behavior.

If you were a genre, which one would you be?

I think I would be indie rock because it can have many different vibes but normally it’s very chill and fun; it’s always very fun to play as well in my personal experience.

Pathways Speaker Series: Art With a Heart

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By Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

Have you ever heard a song, read a book, or watched a play that had the power of connecting with you on a personal level? On July 21st, ZUMIX Pathways hosted it’s second Summer Speaker Series event, “How To Use Art For Healing’. The Summer Speaker Series is a collection of four “how to” events created to help ZUMIX youth, staff, and other community members to connect with professionals in various industries, with a goal of helping people learn about various careers. At this panel, there were six panelists from various art fields who have used art to help others heal.

Many of the panelists, including Cliff Notez, the founder of Hipstory and New Music Programs had shared how creating his own music has also helped him to heal from his own personal challenges. Cliff spoke about the challenges that he faced in regards to living in America as a man of color and how music was always his main outlet to help him heal from the trauma that he faced. Noemi Paz, the founder of “Sharing Our Stories” also spoke about how helping others who have faced sexual traumas has helped her to overcome the pain that she faced from her own trauma.

Other panelists who spoke included: Yadriane De Angel, a music therapy student at Berklee and musician who aims to help other people through giving them the ability to create music; Dee Diggs who helps marginalized groups of people to heal through her DJing at Evlv Tech; KC Mackey, who aims to help African American individuals through her DJing; and Allyssa Jones, who helps children to heal through performing arts. At the end of the panel, audience members were enthusiastic towards asking the panelists more about their careers. The audience Q&A session was particularly exciting for many ZUMIX youth since many of them plan to help others through the arts when they are older.

The next Summer Speaker Series panel will be on Thursday, August 3rd 2017 from 6-8pm, and the topic of this panel will be “How To Be Your Own Boss’, which will feature many chief executive officers from various businesses along with entrepreneurs. All Summer Speaker Series events will take place at ZUMIX. These events are free, open to the public, and open to people of all ages to attend! We hope that you will join us!

HipStory House Band at ZUMIX

By Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

This past Saturday, July 29th, Boston-based hip-hop group HipStory ended their tour with a concert at ZUMIX! HipStory is a group made up of different Boston artists – such as Cliff Notez and Oompa – whose art often focuses on topics such as what it means to be Black in America. Some of the members, like Oompa, were even ZUMIX youth or involved in ZUMIX when they were younger. Cliff Notez was at ZUMIX two weeks ago for our Summer Speakers Series as one of our panelists, discussing “How to Use Art for Healing”.

The concert began around 7:30, with ZUMIX youth hip-hop band Project Method opening for the group. One member, Dawry Ruiz, started with a spoken word piece about life in America as a person of color, before they began to perform some of their music. As the group performed, the audience was enthused by Chad Williams’s sick dance moves and inclusion of the audience in their performance.

After Project Method, ZUMIX alum and friend of HipStory Nick Shea performed a short impromptu original set.

By the time HipStory went on stage, the place was filled with audience members of all kinds of ages, ready to be entertained. Tim Hall, a member of HipStory who was on the saxophone for the night, started the show by hyping the audience, before introducing the other artists to the stage.

The night was met with music from each of the artists – Oompa, Cliff Notez, and Forté – as well as some special guests and the chance for audience members to buy some merchandise. The music itself was powerful, and at times so raw your heart hurt a little bit; they sang about lost love, black power, those days when getting up is just too hard, losing family members, and more. Yet, they still kept things lighthearted too: they ended the night with their “get lit” songs, including one about black female empowerment.  There were also some pretty funny moments, like when Oompa sang to one of the audience members –  ZUMIX youth Mario, from Wild Painting.

Throughout the set – HipStory kept the audience in check by ranking the energy of the room on a scale. At intervals the room progressed from 5/10 to 8/10. Although it was never announced whether we reached level 10 – I think it’s safe to say we did.

Keep up-to-date with HipStory by visiting their website, www.hipstory.org and following them on their social media platforms:

Tumblr: https://thehipstory.tumblr.com/

Twitter: thehipstory

Facebook: TheHipStory

Wednesdays are where it’s at on ZUMIX Radio!

The team behind 94.9 ZUMIX Radio have been hard at work building a lineup jam packed with goodies you won’t hear anywhere else on the dial. Check out a sample of our new Wednesday shows, added to the mix this summer!

Midday Motivation Hosted by DJ Cinco P Beatz
Wednesdays 11am-12pm

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Looking for a jumpstart to your day? Tune in for an electric mix of EDM, Dubstep and Party music all spun live by DJ Cinco P Beatz, a Haitian American DJ who brings his passion for dance music to the studio who you can find more about here: http://www.djcincopbeatz.com

“I find myself preparing for a show every week & compared to a a party its totally different with a radio show being live on air it takes a whole different type of preparation. You might be waking up and be like ‘hey i wanna listen to this!’ to start your day and me being able to play EDM around that time hopefully gives them that little bit of motivation.” – DJ Cinco P Beatz

What’s Up Eastie? Hosted by Kannan Thiruvengadam
Wednesdays 12pm-1pm

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In this talk show, Kannan, an active resident of East Boston interviews thought leaders on a variety of social justice issues ranging from climate change, immigration and inequality.

“I’m doing this show to bring out awareness for issues that people feel in East Boston and also to get a context for that issue in larger sense like a regional or national level. ZUMIX is all about the youth and our future is all in there hands so the better they know the issues we’re facing today the better equipped they’ll be to shape their future.” – Kannan Thiruvengadam

Sakurata Radio Hosted by Sakurata Type~A
Wednesdays 1pm-2pm

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Playing Japanese and Korean music, Sakurata Type~A has an in-depth knowledge of asian music genres and runs a variety of rock/pop from overseas. She is returning to doing live shows this month after being on tour with LOKA, an alternative hard rock band from Tokyo, Japan. You can find more about the show here: https://www.sakurata.us

“SAKURATA RADIO is the latest show about Japanese and Korean music in the Boston area. We don’t just play music, we also learn about the people behind the music in our artist spotlights; so please tune in and have fun!” – Sakurata Type~A

Staff Picks: July 2017

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It’s the last week of July, which means it’s time for some monthly staff picks! This month has been a busy one with new music, concerts every Sunday, album release parties, and the start of summer programs. We caught up with ZUMIX staff members and asked them about their favorite songs they listened to this month to keep sane during the hustle and bustle of everyday life at ZUMIX – and they delivered! So sit down, put on some headphones, and jam along!

“This Must Be The Place (Talking Heads cover)” by Kishi Bashi


“I’m singing this at a friend’s wedding later this month, so all I can think about when I hear it is a summer night on a Wisconsin farm. Plus, if all of pop music was reset to string quartets, I think I’d be pretty much at my happiness max.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate

“Ojos Del Sol” by Y La Bamba


“Tender and raw, at once rooted in traditional Mexican folk and in their own original sound, this song by Y La Bamba totally melts me. I can’t get it off repeat.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato


“This is the perfect song about post-breakup glow and simultaneously makes me want to dance because of the upbeat tempo and strong base as well as cry because of her out-of-this-world vocals that I could never even imagine having” – Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

“Another Story Told” by Sam Amidon


“The vibes, the beat, the freedom and exploration, the friendship!” – Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Cryin’ in the Sheets” by Zeshan B


“Sometimes you just gotta get into that Soul, enjoy” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“One Day Too Late” by Skillet


“One sentence on why you love it: I feel that this song sends a great message to people of all ages that every moment lived shouldn’t be taken for granted and that people should come together to help each other and make the world a better place while they can.” – Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

“Slusher” by Tredici Bacci

“Paying tribute to the great film score composer Ennio Morricone, the Italian Pop Orchestra, Tredici Bacci teams up with Brattleboro folk legend Ruth Garbus for a sonic journey of tropical delight.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Mexican Chef” by Xenia Rubinos


“Who knew the revolution would have such a catchy anthem?” – Kelly Baker, Director of Development

“Diving Woman” by Japanese Breakfast


“I’ll let the artist, Michelle Zauner explain as she told NPR: ‘There’s an island in South Korea called Jeju that’s famous for its female divers, [who are called] haenyeo. With each dive, many haenyeo can plunge up to 30 meters and hold their breath for over three minutes. They collect abalone, conch, sea urchins and oysters and sell them at the marketplace. I really admire the haenyeo — that lifestyle, of regimen and endurance.’” – Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate

“Heavy” by Oh Wonder


“It’s funky, it’s dance-y, it’s everything you want it to be!” – Juan Gutierrez, Assistant Rock Ed Coordinator

Wild Painting Album Release Party

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

This past Saturday, July 22nd, at the ZUMIX firehouse, Wild Painting had their first album release party for their new album, Emotions! Wild Painting is a group made up of ZUMIX youth and who has spent the last few months working with ZUMIX staff such as Dan Fox and recording in the ZUMIX studio to put together their album. Emotions features 8 tracks and includes upbeat songs such as “Within (You)” as well as more chill, deep songs like “Distractions”.

The vibe at the party was very relaxed and calm, with low light, softer music, and twinkly lights around the stage and the tables. There was pizza and dessert, as well as disposable cameras that could passed around for everyone to take pictures on. They were selling CDs, as well as some art from local artists.

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To start the night, the bands Tribe Sweat and Mint Green performed, hyping the audience for Wild Painting’s set. By the time the band was ready to perform, the crowd had grown quite large, with excitement and anticipation in the atmosphere. When the band did come on, they were welcomed warmly by the crowd – all there to support Wild Painting and congratulate them on their milestone.

Half way through the set, there were some technical difficulties, but Wild Painting took them in stride and opened the mic up to the audience to tell some jokes while the difficulties were fixed. Even the bassist, Juan Gutierrez, joined in and told a joke.

The band’s set was a mix of originals from their album and covers, such as “Love Me” from The 1975; for some of the songs, it was the first time the band had performed them live. They even brought in another ZUMIX youth, Project Method’s Dawry Ruiz, to perform a song with them as a surprise for the audience.

They ended the night with a dance party on stage, a Stranger Things theme song remix, many thank you’s – including ZUMIX staff, their parents, and their friends – and by signing CDs.

Now that Emotions is out, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Wild Painting in the very near future! Listen to and download Emotions here: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/zumix/

Follow their Instagram: wildpainting.band

Wild Painting will be performing at The Hatch Shell on August 9th.