Growing up in the South Side of Chicago, Atesh Sonneborn was fascinated by the kaleidoscope of music emanating from every corner of his neighbourhood.
Inspired by his love of music, Sonneborn has dedicated his adult life to the advancement of the music enterprise. He has written new music for theater, film and dance in the United States and Western Europe, taught piano to children and adults, and has even managed and produced concerts festivals, recordings and artists.
Today, Sonneborn's attention has turned towards preservation of all recorded sound. As the Associate Director of Smithsonian Folkways — the nonprofit record label of the
Smithsonian Institution that since its establishment in 1987 has been dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increasing understanding among peoples through music — Sonneborn has dedicated himself to the documentation, preservation and dissemination of a diverse and historically important anthology of sound.
CJSR's News Director Matt Hirji, had the opportunity to speak with Atesh Sonneborn earlier this month in an extended in-studio interview. Their conversation ranged over many topics, from the genesis of Smithsonian Folkways to future projects that the institute embarking on.