In February I received an email that I was convinced was spam.
It was from Womex, the World Music Expo, inviting me to be one of the “Seven Samurai" jury members selected each year to choose the coveted 27 performance showcases at the conference. When Mike Orlove, one of my Chicago mentors, was chosen to be a Samurai in 2009, I interviewed him about the jury experience on Radio Womex in Copenhagen. I was fascinated by the process, and hoped that one day I would be lucky enough to be recognized with the same honor. Thinking it impossible to be asked at age 24, I didn't believe it until I received a confirmation letter inviting me to the jury meeting in Berlin in May.