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Content by Jean-Francis Varre

I was born to Senegalese and Cape Verdean immigrants in Washington D.C. Music being my first passion, I am a self-taught singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist and I also have a bachelor's degree in Sociology. I have always been inspired by heritage and travel and I dedicated myself early on to building bridges for all cultures through the music of the African diaspora. I have a 14-year-old daughter studying at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and she is probably the only reason I still live in DC. I also work as a building manager/PM for the District of Columbia and have been a commissioner for the DC Office of African Affairs.

Healing Sounds of the Diaspora

In the summer of 1999, while visiting Kenya, two of my closest friends/musical collaborators and I got the opportunity to travel to the town of Goma in the North Kivu province of eastern Congo during the Rwandese occupation of the region in the second Congo War. At the time, Goma was like a 'High Noon' border settlement on the final frontier of post-colonial Africa where the extremes of humanity were a daily occurrence. Travel is the most unique and powerful intellectual, emotional, and spiritual educator known to humanity. It is unmatched in its capacity to make us know each other, ourselves and to unlock our greatest potential.

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Jose Luis Cardona (Graphic Designer): Transits through the thoughts of communities, cultural manifestations and productive practices, incorporating graphic design as a participatory element and a tool for community strengthening.

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