"I'm here to learn more than some salsa moves..."

'Salsa Lesson' is written from the perspective of a white woman. Though some details may be changed to protect the identity of those involved or to make things a little more exciting to watch, the events talked about on stage are based on Andrea's real experiences. Latin dance and music are deeply rooted in culture, history, and religious meaning. Here in Edmonton, we are honoured to have dance schools owned and operated by Latine people sharing their knowledge and the rich beauty spanning every part of Latin culture. However, Latine stories about that culture are stories we as white artists cannot tell. BIPOC are actively telling these stories from their perspectives and we are working to uplift their voices at every opportunity. Below you will find links to articles, academic journals, and blogs that speak on the various topics covered in 'Salsa Lesson,' and topics that deserve to be covered by those much more knowledgeable than us.

"I have such a deep respect for the immensely rich tradition of Latin music. I want to thank these musicians for inviting me into their world. I am a beginner, but I am committed to a lifetime of learning about the myriad cultures that are involved in the creation of this genre." - Andrea House

Possible content warnings for links listed below*: discussions of race, racial bias, racism, cultural erasure, cultural appropriation, sexuality and topics surrounding sex.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about any of the things written or discussed on this page please feel free to contact ettahouse007@gmail.com or send a message to Stardust Players on Facebook. We are committed to making Edmonton, and the world, a safer and more kind place to live for everyone, and that absolutely includes listening to BIPOC voices when they are turned to us and our company. We appreciate you taking the time to read this and to come to our show. It means the world. THANK YOU!

*Not a definitive list.

Biographies

Chris Andrew - Co-Composer, Piano

Pianist and composer Chris Andrew is one of Canada’s top talents in jazz. Chris’ unique approach and distinct voice on the piano have personally garnered him a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, and his ensemble; the Hutchinson Andrew Trio were winners of the prestigious TD Grand Jazz Award at the 34th edition of the Montréal International Jazz Festival. With a career spanning 28 years thus far, Chris has toured around the world and recorded 8 albums as a leader and has been nominated 5 times for Jazz Recording of the Year by the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Andrea House - Co-Composer, Vocals

Andrea House is a performing songwriter and actor based in Edmonton, Alberta. Performance highlights include: the Arden Theatre, Teatro La Quindicina, Shadow Theatre, the Citadel Theatre, C'mon Festival, Ballet Edmonton, Edmonton Folk Music Festival and the Winspear Center for Music. She has also toured Canada, the US and more recently sang in Paris, France. Andrea's most recent album, Fire (2019), produced by Mitch Watkins, (Lyle Lovett, Leonard Cohen) reached Number 1 on CKUA's weekly charts and received international radio attention. Other recent recognitions include an Edmonton Music Prize nomination 2019 and an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award nomination 2020.

Brittany Ward - Choreography

Brittany is an Edmonton based dancer, instructor, and choreographer. She started her dance journey at the age of 26 and has never looked back. Brittany has been able to learn and train in many styles such as Salsa On1, Salsa On2, Cuban Salsa, Modern Bachata, Traditional Bachata, Kizomba, and always loves to style her dance with Afro and Body Movement. She loves sharing her passion for dance and hopes you enjoy the show!

Rubim De Toledo - Bass

Award-winning bassist and composer Rubim de Toledo combines the influences of his Brazilian heritage and his dedication to the jazz tradition to create a refreshing and uplifting sound. Rubim is also a founding member of Albertan Latin groups Montuno West, Bomba, and Maracujah. In 2021, Rubim won the Western Canadian Music Award for Instrumental Artist of the Year. In 2019, his Latin-Jazz group Montuno West was nominated as World artist of the year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. He has also been a frequent musical director for Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks since 2006 and is the head of the bass department at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

Raul Gomez Tabera - Percussion

A native of Matanzas, Cuba, Raul Gomez Tabera is a percussionist and drummer now based in Calgary, Alberta. Raul completed his classical music training at the National Art School of Cuba, performing with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra and working as a professor in the Matanzas School of Music. In 2005, he was invited by Decidedly Jazz Danceworks to play on the cross-Canada Cuban jazz experiment Bulla! as a guest artist with Alberta-based Bomba. A now sought-after performer, teacher, and accompanist across Canada, Raul has worked with the likes of The School of Decidedly Jazz, the University of Calgary, the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, and the Edmonton International Jazz Festival.

Links to Articles

If you, like us, are looking for more ways to decolonize your way of thinking and lessen your ignorance, we encourage you to not only do your own research into these topics using respected and unbiased sources but also sign up for courses, discussion groups, and talks in your neighbourhood. For example, the University of Alberta has a free course called 'Indigenous Canada' that explores contemporary Indigenous perspectives. Additionally, the Centre for Race and Culture hosts a variety of events and discussions.