For The People: A Tribute to Randy Ponzio, A Quest Poetic
I didn't know Randy for very long, or very well for that matter. We met in the summer after one of his performances. We had mutual respect for each other, both of us chasing our passions and living a truly DIY life to its fullest.
Randy went missing on November 15th, 2011. Yet earlier that very morning, the things Randy stood for were never more evident than on a couple of short comments he left on my Facebook profile. As you can see, his positivity and love was infectious; an all too rare commodity in this world.
Over the past two years Randy Ponzio has steadily been recognized for his unique sound which at its core is pop and soul with hints of reggae. Randy's intense lyrics and soul-stopping voice are the medium to deliver his message of hope and humanity in his music.
Much of Randy's music comes from the humanitarian work Randy has done in places such as the Philippines and countries in East Africa. Prior to starting his musical career he traveled to the Philippines where he established a birth clinic and feeding program for pregnant mothers and malnourished children that is still in operation. He has also traveled to East Africa to work with children there, and was in Kenya in January 2009 where he witnessed first-hand the post-election violence the country suffered.
"It's bigger than you and me.
It's about Love, Peace, Foundation and Family."
It was this experience that led to the song Hallelujah, which recalls the chilling events of that time period as well a verse about the history of the region from Kenyan born, Juno winning artist Shad. Randy continues to work with children in Kenya and is establishing programs with the Bavubuka Foundation to assist East African children in music education, giving these kids the tools to create their own musical voices.
Randy performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival and recently opened for Ky-Mani Marley at Vancouver's legendary Commodore Ballroom. Most recently, Randy won the Shore 104.3 FM Song Search with his song "For the People". He recently just finished working with producer Shawn Cole (Bend Sinister, Hannah Georgas) on his new EP, which was just released only two weeks ago (available on iTunes here).
Randy's manifesto was clear and concise, "I want to put genuine smiles on peoples faces whether playing, singing, writing or teaching".
Thanks for being such a positive force in the world Randy. Your music, message, passion and inspiration will be greatly missed.