I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples — faraway peoples — so that Americans might better understand themselves.     – Margaret Mead

The American Museum of Natural History, one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions, does not immediately pop to mind as a music venue. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world and the universe. I am excited to have been invited to be part of a program that aimed to introduce New York audiences to Pacific Island cultures through vibrant performances, workshops, demonstrations, and films for the entire family. Highlights included an introductory hula lesson, dance, and song from Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), and Australia as well as a Rapanui (Easter Island) carving demonstration and contemporary art displays from throughout the Pacific.

Thank you to my slack key guitar playing partner, Claudia Goddard, and to the museum for having us perform. We thoroughly enjoyed our set of music and talkstory that closed out the program. I even made time to check out the exhibit. It was so cool to “visit” Australia, Aotearoa, Rapanui, and Hawaii all in a single afternoon, without the jet lag!

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