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Beny Esguerra on World Spinning

Years ago, on a trip to Colombia, CKUA host Lark Clark realized what a hot-spot for music that country is. “There’s a lot going on, in recording and performing. There are so many different traditions.”

Now, as she prepares to interview Ruben “Beny” Esguerra, a Colombian-Canadian musician, Lark sees clearly the blend of traditional and contemporary influences. Esguerra is a performer who blends tradition with hip-hop sensibilities and urban cultural expression.

Born in Bogotá and raised by political activists, Esguerra and his family sought refuge in Canada when Esguerra was a child. Now, says Lark, “He is known as an educator and an activist. He uses his music to blend African and Indigenous traditions.”

Based in Toronto, Esguerra is as comfortable with a traditional flute as he is with a hot microphone. Both cumbia and hip-hop are evident in his music and his collaborations. He plays a traditional Colombian flute, called a kuisi. In Esguerra’s world, that kuisi can be blended with African drums just as easily as it can be mixed with Canadian spoken word projects.

Clark is interested in both the tradition and the modernity of Esguerra’s music. He’s a great fit for CKUA, and not just on World Spinning. She says, “I was attracted to Beny’s music because I love tradition. And the CKUA hosts know tradition. They start with something familiar or traditional, and add new layers and levels to that. We stand on the shoulders of giants. Beny is that way with his music. When I heard his music, I just said, ‘Wow.'”

Hear Lark Clark’s conversation with Beny Esguerra
World Spinning 
Sunday, May 5
4pm – 6pm MT