We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Munoz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There is a solace in playing it safe, because you understand the outcome. It feels better, your heart beats consistently and there is a complacent sense of calm that cossets you in its predictable arms. I understand the need for “safe” and conversely, I understand the need for risk. Risk is something as simple as saying “hello” to a stranger when your eyes would otherwise dart to the ground to stray from connecting. Risk is something as complex as writing a song that shines the light on a naked and vulnerable part of your psyche or even something as brave as using your privilege to help another who is disenfranchised. I’ve lived my whole life taking risks.I’ve found that even failed risks can help draw attention to things that are important to me. As a culture, we’ve grown accustomed to shying away from discomfort. Where has that gotten us? Think of where we are now, mid social unrest and global pandemic. Your life isn’t your plans for the future. The future is nowhere. It doesn’t exist. Your biggest risk is not taking one.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I suppose my art is playing often and playing with individuals that I can learn from. I think the thing that gets brought up the most about my art is that I play in several bands. I shy away from answering how many, because of the reactions I get. I’ve always felt that if you can, why not? Playing music brings me profound sense of joy, peace and calm, I would be remiss if I gave up on any opportunity to feel that. I’ve been playing over 20 years and it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had so many life changes over the years, divorce, grad school, tragedy, all of these things can impede your ability to indulge in your art. I thought that they would fuel great songs and encourage me to write more, but when you endure these things you have to relent a bit to that numbness that escorts you through the fire. I suppose the way to navigate that is to acknowledge it, and that is what I want the world to know about my music or lack of the prolific as of late.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I played my first gig with a band called The Pedestrians at the HOCO fest at Hotel Congress. I’ve always loved that venue and I take anyone coming into town into the venue. My perfect itinerary for a visitor would be a bike ride downtown to Hotel Congress on a weekend to grab a Bloody Mary and listen to jazz. Maybe a jaunt over to San Xavier del Bac to explore the mission, head over to Café Poca Cosa for an extraordinary dinner, then land on Che’s patio to watch a band.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Grandmother, Beverly Jean Blanco was a single mother to four children. She played 9 different instruments and spoke several languages. No one in my immediate family played music. She worked multiple jobs up until the day she retired, and even after that she still attempted to work. She was so very funny, with the most wonderful laugh, She was so talented and always unconditionally supportive of my passions for creativity and music. I found out much later that she played upright bass in her youth in the Southern California Philharmonic. She showed me true love in the most selfless ways. She showed me how to navigate failure and loss with a sense grace and dignity. Her encouragement and love was a major influence in my life. I’m endlessly indebted to her. I still miss her every day and my heart is still raw from her passing less than a year ago. Yet, sometimes, I’ll hear a song that reminds me of her, or glance at her picture hanging in the kitchen, or even feel a sense of warmth out of nowhere and I know it’s her. Until we meet again…
amy 1: Photographer: Victor Charlemagne amy 2: Jessica Northey-Shaw amy 3: Jessica Northey-Shaw amy 4: Lexi Villa amy 5: Puspa Lohmeyer amy 6: Mark Anthony Febbo amy 7: Rob Lopez