Staff

Amy Richter

Amy Richter

Founder/Executive Director

Amy Richter was born and raised in Portland Oregon. She has an educational background from Whittier College in Music Therapy and has been a musician since the age of six. Amy also has 18 years of marketing experience with a strong emphasis on project management. Amy served as a board member for Camp Ukandu, a camp for children with cancer for 5 years and volunteered at the camp for 13 years. In 2010/2011 she participated as a marketing committee member for Salud, an organization who supports medical care for seasonal vineyard workers. Amy has two children in the public school system and has volunteered at her children’s schools for the past thirteen years. Amy has taught over 800 Music Workshop classes for students K-8th grade throughout.

Amy Hall

Amy Hall

Program Facilitator

Amy Hall was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is a local photographer who has two children in the public elementary and middle school system. She was on the board of her children’s school PTO for 5 years and her church for the past six years as well as teaching the Music Workshop program at her children’s school in 2015. She served as a committee member and chair for the Junior League for six years. Amy studied history and theater at University of Puget Sound. She has been a musician from a very young age and is currently working at Music Workshop in the Program Facilitator role.

Marvin Kaiser

Marvin Kaiser

Program Advisor

Marvin A. Kaiser is Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon where he served for 17 years. He followed this work by serving as the CEO of Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst, a Life Plan Community located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, for five and one-half years, retiring from that position in 2016. He served as an Encore Fellow for Music Workshop through June of 2019 and continues to support Music Workshop as our program and board advisor.

Dr. Kaiser has served as staff fellow and consultant to the United Nations Office at Vienna, Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, as a staff fellow and consultant to the United States Agency for International Development and to the House Select Committee on Aging, United States House of Representatives.

John Dunn

John Dunn

Program Assistant

John was born and raised in Santa Ana, California and moved to Portland, Oregon to attend college at Lewis and Clark in 2012. He graduated in 2016, receiving a degree in Philosophy. After working abroad in the agricultural sector, he returned to California to work at a bookstore, heading the magazine department. Following his return to Portland, he began working with Music Workshop. He has played music since a young age and studied guitar, bass, piano and sitar.

Program Advisors

Advisors for Native American Traditional Music

Dr. Cornel Pewewardy

Dr. Cornel Pewewardy

Native American Traditional Music

Dr. Pewewardy served as the Professor Emeritus of Indigenous Studies at Portland State University as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Leadership, School of Education at the University of Kansas. He teaches courses in multicultural education and Indian education. His adjunct instructor appointments include Harvard University School of Education; Union Institute; University of Minnesota, University of Oklahoma, Cameron University, University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma, Portland State University and Haskell Indian Nations University. Dr. Pewewardy was the founding principal of two transformational, award-winning magnets schools in the Saint Paul (MN) Public Schools District. He is also a former elementary teacher and principal on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. He now serves as educational consultant to numerous school districts across the country on improving the academic achievement of underrepresented populations in education and faculty curriculum development.

Supaman

Supaman

Native American Traditional Music

As a member of the Apsaalooke Nation. “Supaman” is a Native American dancer and innovative hip hop artist who has dedicated his life to empowering and spreading a message of hope, pride and resilience through his original art form. He was the recipient of the 2017 MTV VMA award for “Best Fight Against the System”. He is also a Nammy “Native American Music Award” winner, “North American Indigenous Image Award” winner, and “Tunney Award” winner. He was awarded “The Aboriginal Peoples’ Choice Music Award” in Canada for best video and was voted MTV’s new Artist of the Week!

Bobby Mercier

Bobby Mercier

Native American Traditional Music

Bobby Mercier, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, was raised near the reservation and is known by the name given to him by his Grandfather… Beartracks. Along with being a language and Cultural Specialist at The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, he is a well-known traditional carver and is dedicated to preserving the history of his ancestors by recreating historical carvings and securing them for future study by generations to come. Bobby’s artwork is well respected in the Grand Ronde Community and has been sold across the country yet he feels that his proudest moments as an artist are seeing his children carve, paint, and create art to tell their own unique stories. “I believe that our art tells our stories, tells of one’s journey in life, and tells who a person is or who they are becoming.” -Bobby Mercier

Advisors for Latin American and Caribbean Music

Bernardo Monk

Bernardo Monk

Latin American and Caribbean Music

Bernardo Monk is an Argentinean saxophonist and composer. Graduating from Berklee College of Music and Buenos Aires Contemporary Music School, his discography as a soloist includes six albums. His last one, Atípico was nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards and Gardel Awards 2019 as best tango album of the year. He is the author of two saxophone-tango books: The Tango Saxophone Book and Tango for Two. Monk is also is a professor in Buenos Aires at the National University of the Artes, Avellaneda Popular Music School and Manuel de Falla Conservatory.

Luis Santiago-Sierra

Luis Santiago-Sierra

Latin American and Caribbean Music

Luis Santiago, from Puerto Rico, is the Commander of the 78th Army Band. Luis is a songwriter, music manager and producer. He served as the Operations Director for the Grammy Music Education Coalition. As the Operations Director, Luis was the operational and logistical lead for all GMEC events across the US and Project Manager for the Interamerican Development Bank projects in Latin America. Prior to his work at GMEC, Luis was the Assistant Director of Global Programs for Berklee College of Music as well as the assistant director of admissions.

Freddy Vilches

Freddy Vilches

Latin American and Caribbean Music

Freddy O. Vilches joined the faculty of Lewis & Clark College as Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies in 2006. He is a multi-instrumentalist (charango, Venezuelan cuatro, quena, zampoñas, Afro-Cuban percussion) and singer/songwriter. Originally from Santiago, Chile, Freddy has performed extensively throughout the US and Latin America (Chile, México, Cuba). He has recorded and performed with some of the best Latin bands in the Northwest. Freddy is an experienced teacher and workshop presenter; he holds a PhD in Latin American Literature from the University of Oregon.

Advisors for Music from the Continent of Africa

Dr. Abimbola Cole Kai-Lewis

Dr. Abimbola Cole Kai-Lewis

Music from the Continent of Africa

Dr. Cole Kai-Lewis is an Ethnomusicologist with a passion for merging music and arts outside of traditional academic settings. Kai-Lewis has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her leadership strengths include cultivating student-community partnerships that enhance learning, instruction, and accelerate professional development. She is currently working as a middle school teacher in New York and brings expertise in student engagement, classroom instruction grounded in strategic curriculum design and program development for diverse audiences.

Dr. Janine Tiff

Dr. Janine Tiff

Music from the Continent of Africa

Professor Tiffe received her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Florida State University and is a professor at Kent State University School of Music, where she directs the KSU African Ensemble and KSU Steel Band and teaches courses on world and popular music. Dr. Tiffe’s research interests include the African diaspora, particularly the Trinidadian steel band, as well as musical migration, transmission, pedagogy and education.

Dr. Damascus Kafumbe

Dr. Damascus Kafumbe

Music from the Continent of Africa

Professor Kafumbe is a performing Ethnomusicologist, Professor at Middlebury College, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, composer and instrument technician from Uganda. He holds a B.A. in Music from Makerere University as well as an M.M. and Ph.D. in Musicology from Florida State University. Professor Kafumbe specializes in the music of East Africa. His research interests span diverse fields, including African studies, Ethnomusicology, performance, history, politics, ritual, and social organization.