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Storyteller Spotlight

Patrick Palomo

Patrick Palomo’s interest in music developed at an early age when he would follow his father, the well-known musician Joaquin “Ding” Palomo, to band practice. Palomo would go on to become a very accomplished jazz pianist and composer. Palomo’s greatest musical influences and inspirations include his family, Johnny Sablan, Vic Perez and many more.

Today, Palomo teaches music at Mt. Carmel Catholic School in Agat. He continues to work with over four generations of musicians, performs locally and creates music with his longtime producer, Ed Ulloa. He continues to grace the stage alongside his band “Tradewinds” and young artists such as Shannon McManus, Jonathan Glaser, Andrew Gumataotao and Joy James Ada to name a few.

Palomo was given the "Island Icon Award" in 2010. He has also graciously served as the jazz scholar for the Guam Humanities Council’s jazz projects, bringing his knowledge, respect and stature to enhance the understanding and appreciation for jazz on the island.

JJ Concepcion

Since the age of fifteen, John or better known as JJ Concepcion has been singing for his siblings, family, and community. He is a recording artist who has produced 12 albums and composed as many as eighty songs. His songs are both in CHamoru and Carloninian. He most especially loves performing for the youth and brings him joy when they sing along with him. Si Yu’us Ma’ase, Ghilisow, Olomwaay JJ for your jokes and songs from the heart.

Screenshot_2020-12-29 Tåhdong Marianas

Cinta & Gus Kaipat

Cinta M. Kaipat, of Refaluwasch-Chamorro descent, is an advocate for Indigenous Refaluwasch (Carolinian) rights; preservation of Indigenous cultural practices and beliefs; and promotion of responsible environmental stewardship in the Marianas. Cinta is an attorney, a former Assistant Attorney General; a former Congresswoman; and a former Hearing Officer, as well as a former Deputy Secretary for the Department of Labor. She founded Beautify CNMI!, co-founded PaganWatch, and co-founded the Alternative Zero Coalition.

Gus Kaipat is a well-known musician and cultural practitioner in the CNMI. Recognized in 2015 by the Palau Humanities Project as a top Carolinian vocalist and composer, he is a member of the Association of Indigenous Marianas Artists and leads the Carolinian band Olomwaay in Saipan. Gus was a cultural instructor for the Cultural Literacy Afterschool Program where he taught Ukulele to CNMI youth, helped form the CNMI Chapter of People of the Circle, a multi-cultural group that promotes world peace, and is also a co-founder of PaganWatch.