I spoke with Kera to learn more about the history of the band, and the aspects of her life that have had an influence on her music and her teaching. Kera formed Zili Roots when three other bands (Haitian bands, Batwèl Rada & Tjovi Ginen, & all female cover band, Sistahs of the Yam) she was performing in simultaneously broke up. Kera wanted to combine aspects of these bands that she loved, and, although she felt that because she wasn’t Haitian, she didn’t have a right to start a Haitian band, she knew she had been given a charge to promote the music that was shared with her, and wanted to do so in a mix of African diasporic musical connections. Initially Kera had difficulty keeping the band all female, so she opened the group up to men. At first, she said this worked just fine. Everyone in the band was excellent, musically. But when, at one rehearsal, she noticed the men were only communicating musically with the other men, she realized that part of the mission of the band - to highlight female musicians/to feature female musicianship - was lost. Zili Roots became Zili Misik—a re-dedicated all-women band, that in 2005 won the highly competitive Berklee College of Music Battle of the Bands and in 2008 a Boston Music Award for Outstanding World Music!