John M. Weathers, PhD, Director, musician, guide.
John has spent the past twenty years balancing a life of teaching, working to improve educational systems in the United States and abroad, exploring other cultures, and playing music—not necessarily always in that order. These days you can as easily find him hanging out at the Cairo Jazz Club in Egypt working on a $25 million USAID project to improve Egyptian education, as playing Appalachian fiddle tunes in an Ethiopian bar in West Philadelphia.
Meet the organizers of the Cultural Bridge Project
Kate Black-Regan, Organizer of Guatemala trip, perfomance artist, musician.
Kate Black-Regan is a Philadelphia-based performance artist, musician, and counselor. After Rutgers University, she began acting in independent film and theater, and has since worked with numerous Philadelphia theater companies. She is a resident performer with Transmissions Theatre and croons with local jazz-infused, theatre-doom band Upholstery, as well as newly formed collaboration Red Cedar Strings. Kate has written two multidisciplinary one-woman pieces as well as a chapbook of poetry, Rising Spiral (2014). She sings predominantly in the style of blues, folk, and soul and plays ukulele. Kate works as an advocate for Women Against Abuse and balances a life of art making, advocacy, and travel. She is passionate about creative expression and the healing arts.
Organizer and cultural guide of Guatemala trip,
William was born in Solola, Guatemala. At the edge of twelve years old he started his music adventure at the Interscholastic “The First Song Festival” in Solola. When he was eighteen, he joined the Rilaj Ma’am Xocomil group, playing marimba, guitar and indigenous percussion such as tun, tambor, Tortuga, etc. with the distinctive Tz’utuhil rithms from Santiago Atitlan. He was also cofounder of Aurora Warageo, the first Andean music of the region. Years later, he cofounded Kinkayu band, touring within Guatemala and abroad, among the most prominent “The First International Meeting For Identity and Leadership of the Mayan People” in West Palm Beach, Florida. There Willaim performing pre-Hispanic Kaqchikel music and dance. In 2008 he became part of the duo Mayzales with his brother Cesar, performing in national festivals and private events, as well as performing Pre-Hispanic and Andean music in Norway, 2010. In 2009 he founded “Tres Mundos Band”, merging traditional Andean music, Japanese and rumba latina. He has been actively performing in different Japanese Culture festivals, private parties in Norway (weddings) and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala.
Cesar Mazat, Organizer of Guatemala trip,
cultural guide, musician, craftsman
César was born in Sololá, Guatemala. He started as a vocalist at the age of 12, winning interdepartmental competitions for his city. At 17 he joined Rilaj Ma’am Xocomil, playing marimba, mandolin, tzijolaj, guitar, tun and chirimiya to traditional Tz’utujil music from the town of Santiago Atitlán. A few years later he founded the first group of Andean music in the region named Aurora Warageo. Later he founded Kinkayú with whom he toured Guatemala’s local festivals, won a professional recording session through a Guatemalan radio station and produced promotional music. Cesar performed with the Latin ensemble MarKamusic in Massachusetts from 2006-2010, playing salsa, merengue, cumbia, salsa, huaynos and Latin jazz on vocals, guitar, charango, panpipes and quenas. In 2008, he created the Duo Mayzales with his brother William, playing music in Guatemalan festivals and clubs, and touring Norway with their traditional Guatemalan and Andean inspired rhythms. César has lived in The United States since 2006. César co-founded Tierra Morena and joined Patricio Zamorano’s band. He was part of MarkaMusic, a Latin Jazz band in Massachusetts for several years and moved to currently resides in Washington D.C. where he has played at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, the Consulates and embassies of Venezuela, Argentina, El Salvador, the Cuban Intersection and festivals across the region. His intercultural music derives from the genres of Latin American Trova, Andean music and Rumba Flamenco.