About the Artist
art as a bridge to collective healing
while there are so many identifiers that zaneta names and claims, such as queer, multiracial, artist, educator, healer, activist, survivor, and witch, perhaps none is so important as a child of mother earth. it is from this place of remembering our interconnectedness (kapwa), that zaneta’s work is centered and is devoted to.
drawing upon a deep connection to nature, spirit, memory, and magic, zaneta (she/they) channels messages for personal and collective healing. synthesizing a wide range of modalities, such as field recordings, magic, percussion, electronics, singing, storytelling, decolonization, tarot, ritual, channeling, meditation, movement, and community collaboration, zaneta’s artworks are healing expressions that focus on embodying marginalized experiences to build empathy in participants and ultimately bring a deeper sense of interconnectedness.
in this process, artwork becomes a bridge to help bring artist and community together, to bring marginalized experiences to collective awareness, and to unpack universal topics such as grief, multi-identity, abuse, ptsd, and ancestral/intergenerational trauma.
zaneta has performed at the brooklyn museum, walt disney concert hall, the los angeles museum of natural history, the stone in nyc, and on national television with alicia keys and america’s got talent.
in 2016, they served as director of music for art slope, a 10-day multi-arts festival in conjunction with park slope civic council, where they curated over 90 musical performances in over 75 venues including the brooklyn public library and prospect park.
zaneta has facilitated workshops for the brooklyn museum and girls rock philly and their published works have appeared in publications such as tom tom magazine. they currently serve as director of music education for inner arts initiative, a brooklyn-based non-profit that promotes creative empowerment and self-expression for personal and collective well-being through educational programming and activism.
with 15 years experience as an educator and creativity activist, zaneta has taught for programs such as girls inc, girls rock philly, the leadership program, and the go project. their teaching specializes in supporting students to self-determine their art and constantly rework music education through the lens of decolonization and reconstruction centered in joy and love.
zaneta enjoys sunshine, the sound of wind through the pines, mocking bird calls, hiking in the catskills, being in love, floating in the waters of el nido, talking to dear friends, the feel of dirt beneath their feet, all things tarot, spells for self-love, and making art. they currently reside with their soul mate in brooklyn, along with many stray cat guardians and beloved plant babies.
what people are saying…
The tarot reading was great. The part about singing was great as it’s what I’ve always truly wanted to do but I explored other avenues of creativity because of insecurity. What she said about getting in my body and making it a somatic experience Wow! That’s the message I’ve been getting…intuitively I sensed this is an imperative connection for my life experience. My voice is stronger and more resonant after I’ve connected to my body.The best part for me was the sharing of her beautiful spirit.Thanks so much.
I took drum lessons from Zaneta as an adult, which was something I always wanted to do, but it was hard as an adult to be okay with another person watching me be a total beginner at something. She was amazing – she took me seriously, and she was encouraging and inspiring. Her lessons were fun and varied. I also referred one of my tutoring students to Zaneta for drum lessons, and I had the pleasure of watching the amazing transformation my student underwent over the course of her studies with Zaneta. My student’s growth in confidence and flexibility was evident even just in my academic work with her, and I believe that the wonderful connection she had with Zaneta had a huge part in that growth.
Work with Zaneta
tarot doesn’t tell your fortune, but it does help you get higher perspective on your life and how you can make the best of your circumstances.
reading topics include creative empowerment, decolonizing art, writer’s block, major life transitions, career and soul’s purpose, self-love and healing, grief, and relationships.
basically anything that you ever had a question about or needed guidance, the tarot helps you get clear and get empowered
listening + sound magic are my primary mediums of expression and devotion
some of my works are available for purchase online
other works are intended for in-person ceremonial purposes only
for updates on how to participate in live events, subscribe to the newsletter
teachers + acknowledgements
in the spirit of transparency and honor, i want to take a moment to acknowledge the folx who have nutured, supported, and opened my eyes during my learning-life journey.
i would like to first and foremost thank my dad steve sykes, who was my first drum teacher. he shared with me the gift of sound, the occult, the joy of looking things up in the encyclopedia, drumming, nature, nancy wilson, and a life-long love of learning. thank you dad, i love you forever.
thank you to all my ancestors, to mother earth, to spirit, to my guides, angels, animal spirits, deities, and all loving energies that have guided me on this path. wherever i go, i am never alone
thank you to lynn vartan and erik forrester for teaching me to be a teacher and how to practice. your lessons still resonate to this day.
thank you to valerie naranjo for your care and joy that you bring to playing. thank you to susie ibarra, keiko abe, evelyn glennie, sheila e., cindy blackman, terri lynn carrington, ruth underwood, and karen carpenter for shining your light and paving the way for future femme percussionists.
a very heart felt thank you to sarah faith gottessdiener for all your work with many moons and strange magic. you make witchcraft so damn classy, sassy, and down to earth. you made being a witch a supreme act of self-love and care. thank you thank you thank you.
thank you to elise entzenberger, you are a genius and a teacher of teachers. i feel so blessed to partake in all your tarot wisdom and your profound psycho-spiritual journey.
thank you to jl umipig who years ago fortold that i would embark on this path. that first inner dance session shook something that needed to be free. i am forever grateful to you and the ways that you tirelessly strive to decolonize and help others connect to the land.
thank you to leny strobel and all those at the center for babaylan studies for sharing your wisdom with all those living in the fil-am diaspora.
thank you to ethony and kelly-ann maddox for all your teachings and resources that continuously help me grow as a tarot reader and witch.
thank you to mary oliver and pauline oliveros, with your dreams and your dedication my work would not be here
thank you to all my students who show me what courage and vulnerability are on a daily basis. and remind me that to live is to make art.
lastly, i want to thank those who know me best and hold me through life’s ups and downs.
thank you to my community of friends and framily. you know who you are. the supreme act of trust that comes with allowing myself to be seen by my friends is healing beyond words. the kind of healing that goes beyond this life, the kind of healing that my ancestors can feel. thank you all for your infinite patience + support, and teaching me how to love.
annie, you’ve taught me more about myself than i’ll ever know. you are so wise, so loving, so supportive. i really couldn’t have gotten luckier in the sister lottery.
chris, you are a dream. a healer. a lover. a bearer of light. a teacher. a friend. an astral buddy like no other. a punster. a proofreader extraoridinaire. a partner in this life and beyond. may the love that we have for each other be present in all that we build together, to live on forever.
soundartmagic is a home for all things creativity, healing, magic, and sound. this space is devoted to sharing my artistic-healing journey and empowering others to creatively express themselves.
on this website you’ll find:
- sound art + music
- guided meditations
- soundscapes for magical use
- free resources on magic + creative empowerment
- tarot readings
- youtube channel for aspiring creatives
- blog posts covering decolonizing art, magical empowerment, multiracial identity, drumming and sustainable art practices
- classes + workshops for drum magic, tarot, and creative healing
- drum lessons and resources that dismantle the patriarchal music industrial complex