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Suni Paz

The work of Suni Paz covers many areas: educator, singer, composer. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, into a large, highly educated, and tightly knit family of writers, poets, musicians, and intellectuals. She started singing when she was a child and began playing guitar at age twelve. In her performances and throughout her life, Suni Paz has deftly combined her message of cultural awareness and personal awakening with an unshakable optimism. 

In 1960, Suni moved to Chile with her husband and two young sons. Upon her arrival in Santiago, She was shocked by the poverty, and her observations and growing political awareness forever changed her music and lyrics. Suni performed the progressive Latin American music movement, nueva canción, before it was known as nueva canción, but she rejects this label. She prefers "music with a conscience," or música con conciencia, because it better describes the motivation behind her music. A person's conscience informs their sense of right and wrong, and it becomes that person's responsibility to be aware of what is happening around them and to act upon what their conscience tells them is right and just. "There is a connection among human beings, at least I believe that... and our connection comes from the roots. It's like we have the same water in our roots. Eventually we will recognize each other in the songs." 

Suni moved to the United States in 1965 as Chilean politics became unbearable and began using the medium of song to draw comparisons between cultures, regions, and peoples. She believes that anything can be taught through song — math, science, literature — and through music she communicates the importance of heritage and cultural roots to both children and adults.  

Suni is a prolific artist who has performed in North America, South America and Europe and has released more than 10 albums for Smithsonian Folkways and Santillana, and has published more than 200 songs for Del Sol, Harcourt-Brace, Mimosa, Scholastic, among others. In 2003, Suni was awarded the Magic Penny Award, recognizing those who have made an outstanding lifetime contribution to children's music.

Earlier Event: September 10
When Clouds Clear