ICAP’s Nestor Torres, Latin Grammy-winning jazz flautist, was invited by Professor Marlea Welton to the class of Intercultural Communication at Santa Monica College (Santa Monica, Calif.), where he gave a brief performance and spoke to students on the topic of cultural differences. Mr. Torres appeared as part of a series created to showcase outstanding professionals who successfully bridge cross-cultural divides to help make the world more harmonious. He also explained his role in ongoing activities with ICAP to promote peace, culture and understanding among cultures of the world through music.
By way of introduction, Mr. Torres broke the ice by riffing through a medley of common musical variations in a variety of geographic rhythms. His scintillating sounds captivated the audience of 30 students, after which he related experiences of traveling for peace throughout the world.
Among the notable differences among cultures he became aware of, Mr. Torres observed a wide variation on what is considered punctual from country to country. He related that in some nations it was customary for concerts to start anywhere from fifteen to ninety minutes later than their scheduled time, whereas in other countries the shows would begin promptly at the appointed hour.
“No matter where you go or who you meet,” he continued, “when you share your humanity with others through considerate speech or action, you can definitely triumph in all your endeavors.”
The venues in which he has performed are numerous as well as diverse, including locations throughout the Caribbean, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, Japan, Singapore and the University of Missouri. Regarding cultural differences, Mr. Torres emphasized that a kind heart and determination to break through barriers makes all things possible.
He shared with the young students at Santa Monica College, most of whom are in their 20s, ICAP’s mission statement: “To establish peace and develop peacemakers through the transformative power of art.” And at the end of his visit, many of them asked how they could also become involved in ICAP’s activities to promote peace and develop peacemakers.
Through events such as this, Nestor Torres continues to demonstrate that more than just playing music for people around the world, he is continually striving to contribute to society and make it a better place.