When I set out to make this selection I was looking for a theme – it began with Peruvian music, then I was lead down a path of songs with birds in the titles, only to be diverted again when a song appeared I couldn’t ignore that changed my course (in this case, "La Ventana (The Window)" by Chilean artist Mariana, perhaps the most arresting to me in this whole playlist). No, the theme had to expand again. And the twists and turns kept coming as I succumbed to the odyssey of wandering through this seemingly endless mine of music. The result is a selection of what moved me most, made me want to dance or shed a tear. Nearly all of what is here was new to my ears with the exception of a few that have meant something to me in the past – "Gypsy Davy" by Woody Guthrie. "Cucurucucu, Paloma," the Mexican folk song here rendered by Alfonso Cruz Jimenez. Entering the realm of the Smithsonian Folkways collection paves new pathways in my mind for what music can be and has been, although in now days of intense listening I feel all the more I’ve barely scratched the surface. It is a marvel and a treasure and I’m honored to have been asked to dive in. It is a resource I’ll keep returning to from here on out.