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Hailing from San Francisco California, Mario Alberto Silva is a multifaceted composer/musician/ trumpeter. A college music professor during the day and world-class performer by night, Silva’s distinct trumpet sound and abilities have earned him recognition and respect in the global music community. Recently he earned a Grammy for his performance with Morgan Heritage on “Strictly Roots,” a record that was awarded best Reggae Album of the Year in 2015.  Also, for over 10 years Mario has also worked as a sideman and musical director with 7 time-Grammy nominee Latin Jazz Pianist Chuchito Valdes, the son, and grandson of Chucho and Bebo Valdes, a noted musical Cuban piano dynasty. His soaring trumpet can also be heard on the soundtrack as a member of Boots Riley and The Coup for the feature motion picture “Sorry to Bother You”. Other notable acts he can be heard with are Grammy-nominated act La Cuneta Son Machin from Nicaragua, and electro Cumbia hip hop group Bang Data from Oakland California.

 

Silva also has his own album being digitally released this year on May 10 entitled Pan-American Sonata. It features original music ranging from traditional Latin-Jazz to EDM and features pianist Chuchito Valdes. Pan-American Sonata celebrates the raw intricate elements of his studies, practice, and spirituality while being grounded in the original sound of the San Francisco Bay Area

In 2009, Oscar Grant was shot and killed by BART Police. In 2014, SFPD killed unarmed Mission brother Alex Nieto with 59 bullets on Bernal Hill. In 2015, SFPD shot and killed 26 year old Mario Woods. In 2016, I was invited by California native people out to Standing Rock, where an unprecedented gathering of indigenous people from all over Turtle Island and beyond were assembling on sovereign Lakota territory to stand to protect the water from having a petroleum pipeline put through Mni Sose, or the Missouri River. I was called to assist with the medical response and was deeply touched by the power of the grandmothers who were leading the resistance to the violation of the water. I stood ready with the medics as dozens of young bare-chested indigenous boys were praying at the river's edge only to be met with sponge grenades aimed at their faces, their chests, their groins from the police and mercenary security forces who got their training fighting for the interests of the fossil fuel industries in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was shocking to me to watch the violence towards the unarmed youth. stood next to a Lakota grandmother who cried as she watched the brutality, sobbing, "How long do we have to watch these white men in uniform brutalizing native brown bodies? How long?"

In that one statement, she clarified for me that the violence of colonization is ongoing--it is not fait accompli.  It is a process that continues today all around the world, and it is carried out by those institutions that we are told are there to serve and protect us.  When one young man was coughing up blood, potentially hemorrhaging from a pulmonary artery rupture, I thought, who do I call? I can't call 9-1-1, because those are the people shooting the unarmed Water Protectors. It was like being in a war zone, in the middle of the USA, the police brutalizing the people for the interests of the fossil fuel industry over the public safety of the people. In a time of climate change. Incredulous--in a time of climate change.

This grandmother turned to me with a serious expression, "I heard you're a musician." I told her yes, I write music. She said, "Well, write us a song to give us courage when we are on the Frontline." Yes. I told her I would. 

Another indigenous woman I admire and respect, Hawaiian protector Pua Case who stands for the sovereignty of her people, the water and the mountain Mauna Kea said that the Frontline is everywhere in this struggle for life to continue in peace and dignity. The Frontline is everywhere, but the Frontline you are willing to put your life on the line for--that's an important line. I honor the Frontline warriors who risk a great deal to awaken all of us to the facts that life is precious, that we cannot live without clean water, clean air and respect for all of the beings on this planet. I honor the families who have lost their loved ones to police violence and to those who have lost their lives this unspeakable way.

Your memory is medicine and lives on in me and in my song. 

This broad leaf plantain known as Plantago major is one of the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal crops in the world. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to wounds, stings, and sores in order to facilitate healing and prevent infection. The active chemical constituents are aucubin (an anti-microbial agent), allantoin (which stimulates cellular growth and tissue regeneration), and mucilage (which reduces pain and discomfort). Plantain has astringent properties, and a tea made from the leaves can be ingested to treat diarrhea and soothe raw internal membranes.

Broadleaf plantain is also a highly nutritious leaf vegetable that is high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. The young, tender leaves can be eaten raw, and the older, stringier leaves can be boiled in stews and eaten. These seeds came from a native plant project in Pt. Reyes that Farmer Ben designed.

Sow the seeds in a well drained fertile soil and cover lightly with 1/4” of soil, keep moist till seeds germinate in 10-14 days. Can also be sown in trays at 1/4: in depth 2-3 seeds per cell. Plant into the garden giving 18” spacing to other plants and can be divided as plant starts to crowd itself. 

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