Quenarimba II was made in the spirit of onko chishin - learning from the wisdom of the ancients in order to create something new. Each song on the album is a story of discovery, both of ourselves as musicians and of our diverse array of instruments. Afro Blue came about when Yaw told Diego that there were flutes in Ghana that were very similar to the quena. Amefuri Otsuki-san featured Andres Rodriguez playing the charango like an Asian instrument. Yoimachigusa became a cross-cultural creation when we asked a great Colombian musician, Andres Garcia, to arrange a Japanese piece. The story continues with O Morro Nao Tem Vez 'Favela' and Estate, two wonderful songs featuring the talent and skills of Jeff and Ricardo. It is with great respect that we present these songs to you. Miho dedicates this album to all of her friends at U-I Singers and to Mii Takekawa. The Miho & Diego Duo would like to extend their appreciation to King County and 4Culture for the generous grant that made this project possible. The Miho & Diego Duo has been boldly blending Latino, Japanese, African and American musical traditions since 2006. Both accomplished musicians in their own right, Miho Takekawa and Diego Coy came together after years of admiring each other's work and discovering that their sounds could be combined to make something genuinely new and unique. Fittingly, the title of their debut CD, 'Quenarimba', combines the names of their primary instruments, the quena, a traditional Andean flute, and the marimba. 'Quenarimba' showcases their distinctive combination of warm, natural wood sounds and takes the listener on a musical trip from Japan to South America. Playing a brand of music that is truly their own and not easily categorized, the Duo's repertoire covers an amazingly wide range of styles with an innovative approach. They play from an extensive catalog of Andean, traditional South American folk, Brazilian, Japanese, jazz and Latin jazz compositions, as well as original compositions. The Duo has been invited to perform at festivals and venues all over Washington and California. The Duo received their first invitation to "Japan Tour" in October, 2007, where they performed in Tokyo, Kobe, Himi, Izumo and Kumamoto. The Duo is going to return to Japan to play music again in October, 2009. The Miho & Diego Duo's music has been heard at Benaroya Hall, Sound Bridge, Seattle Center, the Moore Theater, Meany Hall, Town Hall, University of Washington Ethnic Cultural Theatre, Everett Community College, Green River Community College, John Stanford International School, University of Washington Tacoma, Microsoft and other venues in Washington. They have been supported/sponsored by the King County Public Library System, the Seattle Public Library Immigrant & Refugee Programs, Kansai Band Association, KUOW 94.9FM and KBCS 91.3FM. The Miho & Diego Duo makes it a primary goal to encourage cultural understanding through music. To achieve this goal they developed a program that has been presented in Japan and the King County Library System that introduces youth to Japanese and South American folk music using involvement and participation. They also hold lecture recitals that combine both the educational and musical aspects of South American music, history of marimba and Japanese music. The Miho & Diego Duo greatly respects the elders who gave them their music and they strive to take their music to the next step, to make it their own. The Miho & Diego Duo is a recipient of the King County 4Culture Special Program Grant 2007/2008.