By Credella Credle
Jonathan Santos is dubbed by many “a universal child.”
Born in New York City, his heritage mixes ancestry rooted in the hard-core segregation of Mississippi with the rich culture of Puerto Rico, and includes education in faraway Japan. During his varied excursions around the world, he found his way to North Carolina, where he earned a BA in Political Science at NC A&T University.
Known as “Santos,” the young Asheville resident is a talented singer and songwriter—as well as a Tai-Chi practitioner and Sifu instructor—who inspires many through his artistry and community work.
Conveyed through his art is an ardency for creating awareness into the intricacies in the constructs of culture, race, and prerogative that inform—and can distort—America’s communities. He is committed to creating works of “inspiration and awareness around social, intra-personal, and environmental justice.” Putting his philosophy to practice, Santos works through GlocalSoul Edutainment, designed to “bridge the power of music and performance with education around self-empowerment, social justice, community-building, and wellness.
In addition to his performances and writing, Santos is a resident artist at local middle and high schools and community centers, where he helps empower students to sharpen their creative writing and critical thinking skills and develop their self-expression through the “Lyrics to Life: Poetry Rhyme, and Song” series. He shares his skills through youth Gung Fu classes as well.
For Santos, the trinity of “peace, love, and happiness for all … begins with oneself, and then is developed through making the changes to better oneself as needed,” he says. His latest CD title, I’m Changing the World by Changing Me, expresses not only his journey to this trinity but also inspires, encourages, brings awareness, and sheds the wisdom he has gained—delivered in his powerful singing voice.
Santos recently performed live at the Alternate Roots: Roots Week (www.alternateroots.org) in Arden, NC the week of August 4-10. For those who missed it but want to connect to Santos, learn more, or simply to listen to some breathtaking music, visit the following websites: www.jonathansantosmusic.com; www.reverbnation.com/jonathansantos, jonathansantos.bandcamp.com, or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or SoundCloud.