Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Interview with Eljuri - Activism In World Music

On The World Music Show with Ian Stewart, he speaks with artist Eljuri about her activism and her amazing guitar playing. (Photo courtesy of Eljurimusic)

Since March is Women’s History Month and mixed in the month was also International Women’s Day, I’ve decided to interview some amazing female musicians who also happen to be dedicated to battling issues of social injustice through their music and through their actions. 

My mini-series is called “Activism in Music.”

That first sentence is a bit of a misnomer. On a regular basis, I often highlight female musicians as well as ones who are fighting for social change -- Ladama, Ana Tijoux, Angelica Garcia, to name a few. 

But, I haven’t really had a chance to speak to them about what drives them to intertwine their passions of calling out truth to power or shedding light on injustices and turning them into rallying cries to motivate people.

And when it comes to the musician Eljuri, our conversation was a long time coming. I received her first solo CD “En Paz,” years ago. I was immediately captivated by her powerful voice, which is only matched by her powerful guitar playing--something I learned she’s well known for.

Her other records “Fuerte,” “La Luche” and more recently, “Resiste,” soon followed. Each one is a window into her passion to call out social issues -- gun violence, Black Lives Matter, the right and need to vote and more. And each one also includes really, really great hooks.

On tonight’s show, you’ll hear a snippet of our conversation on which we talk about what led her to craft those hooks that weave messages surrounded by sweeping guitar sounds calling for change.

Plus, we’ll talk about what it means to be a female musician--a lead guitarist--in a world that is still surprised when Eljuri shows up to a gig and is in fact the band leader and in fact can play guitar (extremely well--we’ll even talk about some of her favorite guitars).

If you stick through the entire conversation, you’ll also hear about the work she’s doing off the stage, like helping to promote women to work behind the scenes in the music industry; as well as the workshops and classes she holds to teach about social change. 

There’s other music on the show tonight as well--but you’ll have to tune in from 6-8pm on VPM Music, 93.1 or 107.3FM or stream the show via this website. Follow me on social media--on Twitter @VPM_IanStewart and on Facebook, look for the World Music Show on VPM.


Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.