LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College students received greetings from a couple of international Grammy Award winning artists on Monday to help kick off the college’s Multicultural Awareness Week.
Edgar Galeano, an enrollment specialist with the College Assistance Migrant Program at the college, is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which nominates and selects the Grammy winners each year. He reached out to a handful of fellow academy members whom he regularly corresponds with and asked them if they would record a welcome back message for LC State students that could be played on the college’s radio station KLCZ to coincide with Multicultural Awareness Week taking place through Friday.
Paul Avgerinos, who won a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album with “Grace” in 2016, told students to “stay strong and stay positive in these crazy times we are going through” in his recorded message. He also told students to believe in themselves because it’s important to not let things get them down. Avgerinos, 62, is an American composer, performer and producer and his music has been used in motion picture, television shows, and commercials. His work uses a combination of acoustic and electronic instruments. He has received seven Grammy nominations in his career.
Japanese artist Masa Takumi, who is known for his experimental contemporary instrumental music, told students to keep dreaming and working hard. Takuma plays what can be classified as historical Japanese music that combines Jazz and Funk, using traditional Japanese instruments. He composes, writes, and records all of his own songs, using a piano and guitar at the same time, with a looper pedal. He has earned two Grammy nominations in his career.
Galeano has a strong music background and has won several composer and song writing awards. He has composed 417 Latin-style songs with music and lyrics he wrote. His works have had more than 32 million views on YouTube and other social media platforms, which a few years ago helped him become a member of the academy. Once he became a member, he struck up online friendships with other members, including some who have been nominated or won a Grammy. They often will listen to each other’s music and offer critiques.
Ian Tippets, an associate professor of Spanish Linguistics at LC State, serves on the college’s Multicultural Awareness Week committee and knew about Galeano’s connections. He asked Galeano earlier this month if he would reach out to his colleagues to see if they would record positive messages for LC State students. Galeano said he has heard back from a few others who plan to send recordings to him sometime in the next two weeks.
Galeano was hired by LC State last November and holds a Communication Arts degree from the college as well as a political science degree from Paraguay. He came to Lewiston 10 years ago along with his wife, Marlowe Daly-Galeano, after she was hired at the college. She is an associate professor of English and teaches American literature, writing, and humanities classes.
Edgar Galeano said he stopped performing before he moved to Lewiston and now just writes music. He said his last performance was in Las Vegas and that he’s been on the ballot to earn a Latin Grammy nomination, but didn’t receive enough votes.
“It’s cool because at least I made it to the ballot,” he says. “So that’s a winner to me.”
Galeano said because there are so few who are considered world composers, such as himself, Avgerinos and Takumi, that it’s easy for them to get to know each other and stay in touch.
The college has a variety of events planned for Multicultural Awareness Week. For a complete list of events, visit www.lcsc.edu/minority-programs/multicultural-awareness-week.