It’s becoming a frequent and unfortunate recurrence to learn of someone’s passing on social media. On January 22, friends and family of Gerardo Calderon were posting condolences and memories his death. The messages on his Facebook page are filled with these posts in both Spanish and English. What’s clear is he’s already missed.

During the pandemic Gerardo Calderon created nearly daily videos sharing performances of his music at a time when live performance stopped. Dmae Lo Roberts first met Calderon when he was working with performer Nelda Reyes when they were touring their educational show of pre-Columbian tales and music. For years Calderon also was a musician in residence at the Portland International Airport. It was a welcome respite for travel-weary passersby to hear his beautiful guitar compositions. Roberts asked Calderon to create music for two short films she produced at MediaRites during the pandemic.

In 2020, Roberts talked to Calderon via Zoom about his work and love for sharing original and traditional music. He played a couple of his compositions live during the interview. In this short episode you can hear him speak of his love of the ancient music of Mexico and other parts of Latin America. What remained clear was how much sharing his music was a lifelong passion. Roberts added more music in this shortened podcast interview and included his rendition of “La Llorona” (The Weeping Woman), a much-loved Mexican folksong.

More about Gerardo Calderon:

Composer, teaching artist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Gerardo Calderon was born in Mexico City. He grew up surrounded by music, dance and culture. Gerardo was the musical director of Grupo Condor and Nuestro Canto, and pursued his interest in learning about traditional Mexican music, Latin American folk music and Pre-Colombian music. He performed with folk music ensembles in Mexico, Canada, New England, and the Pacific Northwest, and also toured with choir and world music ensembles through out the USA. Gerardo composed music and designed sound for contemporary ballet companies, documentaries, short films, commercials, theater companies, and cultural organizations. Gerardo was sharing his talent as a teaching artist for over 25 years and has continuously served the northwest community. More at: