I make my living as a blue collar intellectual, teaching human geography to 155 suburban teens, 187 days a year in a public high school. In our student hand drum club we turn the grind of education into groove. But my life of shadows is with jazz and the percussive soundscape of the city. Travels to urban centers such as Tokyo, London & Seattle are a focus for my young family. I remember visiting Bilbao, Spain on the 700th anniversary of the city and loosing myself in the aromas and textures of the Casco Viejo.
My first drum lesson was with noted ethnomusicologist John Galm during Indian Guides, a more native alternative to Boy Scouts. I got my start in music with orchestra, playing percussion, triangle, snare and timpani at University Hill Elementary in Boulder in 1974. But by 1982 I sold my drum kit to travel to Alaska. The drums returned. Not a full kit, but congas and Latin percussion. I learned hand drumming from “Doc” Rugenstein and later joined the percussion ensemble Kroku with his wife Laurie, Dan Hankin and Bob Wiz. Other local musicians I’ve performed with include, T Valladares, Sam Fuqua, Chip and the Chowderheads and Topaz Jazz trio.
Walks in my hood lets me hear the rehearsing of jazz trumpeter Brad Goode. A few blocks over resides Bob Story of Martian Acres whom I have recorded with. Down the street is the accomplished flautist Ray Stewart with whom I performed as Ancestral Voices.
Some of the most inspiring live performances that I carry with me are Jack Dejonette, Roy Haynes, in the jazz vein and Poncho Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente on the Latin side.
I hope to meet you on a jazz odyssey in the city.