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Misha Khalikulov is a cellist and music educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds a degree in Classical Cello Performance from UCLA under the tutelage of Antonio Lysy. He has been a member of Rupa and the April Fishes for nearly 10 years. He is also a member of the contemporary chamber/world music group StringQuake, as well as the Hungarian folk/crossover group Vadalma, and recently formed klezmer trio Baymele. In January 2019, playing both cello and electric bass, he joined Vietnamese folk artist Van-Anh Vo to create the Blood Moon Orchestra. The group traveled to Vietnam on a concert/university presentation tour sponsored by the US Embassy in Hanoi and Oxfam International. He performs and records as a solo cellist, electric bassist, guitarist, in classical chamber music ensembles, and with musicians and artists covering many musical genres and disciplines.


He respects all musical traditions, and is passionate about bridging divides between people through music.

Aside from performing, Misha devotes his time to educating youth in his community. He shares his love of music by teaching children through two non-profit organizations: Harmony Project Bay Area and Bay Area Music Project. He has worked as a music educator for over 10 years, serving primarily low-income and immigrant communities that often lack the resources to provide intensive musical study. In September 2018, along with some of his cello students from Bay Area Music Project, he was invited to perform with Yo-Yo Ma in San Francisco. As an immigrant and a native of the Bay Area, it has been incredibly fulfilling for Misha to help people find their voice through music, and to create musical opportunities for children in his community.

After the birth of my son in 2013, I went through two years of total silence. I usually wake up with music in my mind and during this period, it was totally silent. The impact of becoming a mother was totally life-altering in ways I had not expected. I started to question the purpose of writing music when there were so many pressing matters at hand, regarding the very possibility that my children would not be able to live a life thriving in peace. I started to wonder what place music had in the survival of humanity and entered a period of deep silent questioning, which was frightening to me who is so used to being accompanied by music. 

In that silence, I was contacted by an Anishinabe artist, healer and scholar, Sharon Jinkerson Brass, who said to me, "I'm making a film and I want to use a song you wrote. I believe you wrote a sacred song and I want you to come to Vancouver to record an indigenized version of the song with 9 women from different territories up here." She was referring to a song I wrote in 2005 that I had never performed live. She had heard it on an EP I had released. So I went and met these incredible women from many tribes, with ages spanning several decades. We sat together in ceremony for several hours, talking about the sacred medicine women carry, about the water and about our life generating capacity as creative people. Composer Deanna Gestrin (Xaxli’p First Nation) worked with the women to develop the words and textures of the song. Together, we created something that reawakened in me my understanding of music as the original medicine. I am honored to be a part of creating this song with my sisters from the north and to share this song with you, this song for the water. Singing with me are Kalilah Rampanen (Nuuchahnulth/Cree/Finnish), Niska Napolean (Cree), Brenda Hansen (Klahoose First Nation), Nitanis Desjarlais (Cree), Corinne Thorsell (Citizen of Turtle Island), Catherine Wilkins and Gilda Morgan (Tla’amin Nation). 

This herb has strong antimicrobial and cleansing properties. We sourced these seeds from our generous friends at The Living Seed Company based in Pt Reyes Station, California. It is a tender perennial that grows bushy plants with thick stems and dusty gray-green foliage.


Start seeds 8 weeks before the last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds, 1/4" deep into individual containers, thinning to one plant per cell after germination which is between 7-14 days. Transplant outside in the spring, giving the plants 12-18" apart. For direct seed into the garden, sow in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant seeds 1/4" deep, 1 seed every 2-3". Thin to stand 12-18" apart. Loves full sun and will grow in most average to light, well-drained garden soils. Good drainage is essential for overwintering.


Harvest individual leaves or branches the first year once the plants have become established. In the second and subsequent years cut stems to within 6" of the base of the plant just as flowers are starting to open. Hang small bunches of white sage upside down to dry in a well-ventilated location out of direct sunlight. 

© 2019, Rupa & The April Fishes. All rights reserved.