Richard: Therapeutic Rhythms

A smiling man with black skin, short black hair, sun glasses, an aqua shirt, and a thick, black beaded necklace with a black and silver pendant.
Richard. Faces of the Festival 2019. Steven Meckler photo

I am originally from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, home of the steel drum, Calypso, and limbo. I moved to Tucson in 1998 to further my studies in aeronautical engineering. I am the CEO of Jam 2 Grow, which takes a rhythmic approach to team building, professional development, and community service. I am a professional musician of festive Soca music [or “the Soul of Calypso, a blend of African and Caribbean rhythms] and spiritual traditions brought over by my ancestors. Since Trinidad and Tobago was colonized by the English and Spanish, we were told Soca music was wrong and that we would go to hell if we played it. But the rhythms are in my DNA and I have seen them heal. I even use them in therapeutic foster care, song therapy. Therapeutic foster care is not regular foster care. It’s the kids that have more traumatic situations. I have done it for 17 years. My wife and I have had over 150 kids live with us from all nationalities.I recently received an award from the state of Arizona for impacting their lives.

-Richard

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