Stories From Home - Tara Kannangara

Every week, we ask a different local artist to provide their unique perspective on the pandemic experience from a musician’s point of view. Through words, video and music, each musician will share their story, along with an audio or video sample of a recent project, and a link to purchase their music so that you can support their work.

This week, trumpeter, vocalist and community connector Tara Kannangara discusses finding meaning in her art, socio-political and personal awakenings, and exploring new artistic outlets.

"Living through the pandemic drastically changed my worldview. To be honest, I didn't touch my instrument in those first few scary months and surviving as an artist got demoted on my list of human concerns. Ironically, examining the world through a human lens, rather than an artist's lens, led to me creating work that felt/feels more meaningful to me. Before the pandemic I had a terrible habit of trying to prove my worth, but now, I just make things to express myself.

I've learned a lot about community during this time. There were several socio-political awakenings during the pandemic and I certainly woke up to difficult truths about being a person of colour. I'm still parsing through it. I crossed a certain threshold that I can't come back from, which was difficult, but now I can better serve my community and other communities that need support. Lending a hand only makes things better. I've definitely grown an inch through all of this.

I've been incredibly lucky. I'm actually in the process of shooting a short-film/visual album that I'm co-directing with my artistic partner Brittany Farhat. I've always been interested in film so I'm excited to step into a new medium. I also participated in Lido Pimienta's NPR Tiny Desk Concert which was thrilling to be a part of. Also! I have a new radio show on FSR radio called "Aunty Cool." It's a genreless show so there are no limits to what I can play. It's also a privilege to play amazing music from artists who truly inspire me. I'm also continuing to do a lot of work with #thisisartschool, which is a coalition of artists who are passionate about creating equitable spaces in arts programs."

Support Tara by purchasing her music from Bandcamp: tarakannangara.bandcamp.com

Here's Tara covering Cat Stevens' "The Wind", along with Chris Pruden, recorded earlier this year for a virtual Jazz Winnipeg show: