Totem Star x Columbia City Beatwalk: Recap!

By Noah Rajswing

Our first Columbia City Beatwalk Youth Initiative show on Sunday July 13th at The Royal Room went off without a hitch! Based on the overall positive review and energy from the crowd, it was obvious that everyone had a great time and really appreciated the raw passion and creativity that went into each performance. For the fantastic experience we have the 2015 Youth Speaks Seattle Poetry Slam Team, Eva Walker on banjo and guitar, the band Ezrael Sarmiento and the Bros (including a couple solo performances from Ezrael himself), and a local upcoming DJ Close to the Sun to thank.


Youth Speaks:

First, we would like to thank our amazing starting performers of the night, the 2015 Youth Speaks Seattle Poetry Slam Team. Their performance was not only from the heart and full of deep-seeded meaning but also took a comical tone to better pull in and entertain the crowd. We hope they, and all the past, present, and current Youth Speaks participants continue to speak their minds and tell the world what they think of it!

Check out their website HERE


Eva Walker:

The second performer we would like to thank is the lovely and talented Eva Walker, otherwise known as the Black Tones, who bravely got up on stage by herself to sing her heart out and not only played two instruments including the guitar and the banjo, but also played an entire song simply by clapping and stopping her feet. The crowd soon followed and kept her tempo as they thoroughly enjoyed her high-energy performance. Someone with such a background in music is sure to thrive in this world of entertainment!

Check out her website HERE


Ezrael Sarmiento and the Bros:

The third act of the night included frontman Ezrael Sarmiento on guitar and vocals with his bros Noah Predko on bass, Wyatt Carlock on drums, and Jacob Martin on keyboard. Being brought up and raised in a musical background, Ezrael has used the passion and drive he felt from his grandfather to inspire him to become the frontman of his own band! With each song that they played, you could see the emotion behind it, whether it was a cover or an original piece. We are sure Ezrael and his bros will continue to grow and soon become a well desired act all throughout Seattle and then some!


Close to the Sun:

Finally we would like to thank our last, but not least, act of the evening. With his high-energy performances and constant desire to entertain his crowd, Close to the Sun showed us that to truly be a skilled and talented DJ, one must go out of their comfort zone and use several mediums of music to express their passion for the craft. We hope to see him again around Seattle with much more to come!

Check out some of his music HERE


There is no doubt that each and every one of them will continue to grow from their respective experiences to later become even greater musicians and be able to truly follow their dreams. Until next time!

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The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People


Just wrapped up a meeting with some of our Steering Committee members discussing nonprofit strategic planning for capacity building…


Exactly. What’s all that complicated language mean in the first place? Like overusing the word “literally” as an adverb to make a sentence literally sound more meaningful than it actually needs to literally be. In short, the point of our meeting was simply brainstorming how to continue doing what we doing and make sure we get paid doing it.

As a teaching artist I am happiest on stage, in the studio, and in the classroom. However, the tedious and demanding infrastructure of a nonprofit like Totem Star requires me to step out of the spaces I love to be in, and spend hours upon hours in front of my computer responding to emails, drafting grant proposals, balancing finances in a spreadsheet, and filling out invoice after invoice after invoice. Endless paperwork.

I’m not entirely complaining, as I understand that all of the aforementioned administrative tasks are part of living in an organized system, but how am I supposed to balance the demand of monotonous administrative work with the freedom of setting aside time to be creative?

Well, there is no absolute answer to this mystery, but we can sure as hell read the journals of famous creative people who have made it work, while inspiring the masses doing it. Check out this infographic to see how the greats managed their time, from Mozart to Maya Angelou, based on their journal entries. Cause time is all we got!

Remember the last words Bob Marley said to Ziggy before going to the next place: “Money can’t buy life.”

Alright…don’t expect me to hit you back for at least five hours – gonna fire up Logic and get it in.

Posted by Pak

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