I was beyond honored to be chosen by the Taino (indigenous Caribbean) community for the 2014 ‘Friendship and Essence of Spirituality’ award. The story of that award is really a story of my friendship with one particular Taino, close friend Adria Garcia. Adria and her family have been telling me about Taino culture for years. The artistic collaboration between Adria and myself – and the values it represents – is what resonated with the Taino community, with Adria being honored as Taino Artist of the Year in 2013.
For the second year in a row, I was able to be in New York for the Taino Awards ceremony. It has been incredible to see, hear and feel in person the many expressions of the culture that I have been hearing about from Adria for so long. I feel like this is the beginning of a lifelong journey to continue to learn more and contribute to the Taino family.