NoteWorthy is a series of audio stories created to broaden our view of classical music by shining a light on the lives and music of artists of color, women, and others from historically underrepresented groups. Each episode provides an introduction to an artist, performing ensemble, musicians, or composer from all eras and genres of classical music. In a couple of minutes, you can learn about the contributions these artists have made and are making to the art form while discovering some great music along the way.
Loki Karuna, Host
Credit: Devon Fails
Loki Karuna (formerly Garrett McQueen) is a bassoonist who has performed with orchestras across the country, including the Detroit Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He’s been heard as both a performer and guest host on APM’s “Performance Today”, and has continued his work as a producer and broadcaster with his nationally-syndicated programs including The Sound of 13, Gateways Radio, and The Sounds of Kwanzaa.
Away from the airwaves and performance stages, Loki specializes in music and racial equity presentations, with collaborators including the Gateways Music Festival, the Sphinx Organization, the Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, the San Francisco Symphony, and countless schools, colleges, and universities. In the press, Loki has been noted as not only a “classical agitator,” but also “a Black talent in public media that you may not know, but should.” In 2021, the New York Times noted his weekly podcast, Trilloquy, as a standout and one that is “required listening for industry leaders and listeners alike.”
Loki Karuna holds music degrees from the University of Memphis and the University of Southern California. In addition to working as a musician and media producer, Loki is the Director of Artist Equity for the American Composers Orchestra and maintains leadership positions with the American Composers Forum, the Beethoven Festival Orchestra, the Black Opera Alliance, the Gateways Music Festival, the Cedar Cultural Center of Minneapolis, the Lakes Area Music Festival, and Soka Gakkai International.