Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
In this podcast, Wanika picks up where she left off in Part 1. After high school, her band Mystic Youth became more of a full-time gig, writing music, playing shows, recording. She shares the mischievous story of how she got started playing bass. Self-taught at first, she eventually took lessons, and that made her think that music school at City College was a good idea. She came to think of herself as a songwriter around this time.
Wanika talks about the influence that Father "Blue Water" Haven had on her relationship with music, as well as others she didn't know personally who affected her.
From there, Wanika talks about the history of "Uplift," a show on KPOO that she took over and was the DJ on for two decades. And then she tells us how her parents founded the St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church.
It all started with jazz "listening clinics" in the Bayview. The small but growing group began to investigate Coltrane and the message in his music. The church was born and became part of the AOC in 1982. And Wanika decided she wanted to be active in this new church—she became a deacon.
Wanika was the Uplift DJ for 19 years. She handed the show over to her nephew as Wanika sets out to launch her own show on Coltrane Consciousness Radio (Live 365) later this summer.
She wraps up this podcast with her thoughts and wishes for the future of San Francisco.
Shout out to Rev. Arnold Townsend (Part 1 / Part 2) for introducing us to Wanika.
We recorded this podcast at St. John Coltrane AOC in May 2021.