2016 Zili Band Roster
Zili Founder and Band Leader, Kera M. Washington has been performing and teaching music using Boston as her base for over twenty years. Her first love is percussion, which she found while studying ethnomusicology at Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, Brown University, and Interdisciplinary Studies at Tufts. She studies with master musicians from Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Brazil, and the United States, and has traveled to Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Cape Verde, and Vietnam to advance her studies. She is on faculty at Wellesley College, and has taught at MIT and Northeastern University; she was elementary school music teacher at St. Peter School in Cambridge, and has presented numerous workshops and music residencies in Boston and surrounding area Public Schools through Arts In Progress. She is currently a full-time Music Teacher at the Mather School in Dorchester, and is Artistic Director of Yanvalou Drum and Dance Ensemble at Wellesley College. She was semi-finalist in the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz International Hand Drumming Competition, and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Sept 2001. In addition to Zili Misik's releases, her work is featured on "Zili Roots" self-titled 2002 release; "America's Music: Songs From American History," produced by McDougal/Littel in May 2000; "Free to Dream," Patrice Williamson's 2002 release; and a self-produced CD, african roots, released by mama maembe, September 2001. She is also featured on Houghton/Mifflin's "The Best American Short Stories" 2001 release. Throughout her residence in Boston she has performed and toured internationally with Tjovi Ginen, featuring Haitian mizik rasin (roots music); with Mystic Jammers, reggae; with Sistahs of the Yam, all female R&B covers; with Patrice Williamson, jazz; and with In The House, 60s-90s Motown, R&B, & Funk. She founded "zili roots," performing roots music of the African diaspora, in 2000, which became "Zili Misik" in 2005.
Heron has been playing music since she was six years old, but she did not find passion for music until she began playing percussion while at Wellesley College. Having grown up in Richmond, Vermont, Heron now calls Boston home. Heron teaches music (and sometimes math) in two schools in Boston.
Soohee was born and raised in CheJu, South Korea. She was studying music and playing piano at an early age and went on to earn a degree in music composition from Ewha Woman’s University, South Korea. Upon graduation, Soohee began working editing music arrangements at a music publishing company, but her strong interest in Jazz and improvisational music led her to major in piano performance at Berklee College of Music. Soohee is currently performing music covering a wide variety of interests and styles. In addition to performing with Zili, Soohee provides private piano instruction and is the piano accompanist for the Boston-based women’s chorus ‘Voices Rising’.
Guitarist Lexi Havlin was born in Pueblo CO, grew up in Gardner MA and has since landed in Boston. She has been playing music her whole life starting with the piano and clarinet. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2005 for Guitar Performance. For more info on Lexi check out lexihavlin.com
Born and raised on classical and jazz music, Deborah studied ethnomusicology at Wellesley College. There, Deborah was introduced to Haitian and Ghanaian music, in the Yanvalou Drum & Dance Ensemble. Deborah has studied with master drummers in Ghana, learning the various sounds and cultures of West Africa, and joined Zili in 2015, playing drum set, hand drums, and vocals.