I feel extremely blessed to have been playing and creating music my whole life. Composed my first piece on piano when I was 4. I played in every style band imaginable as a drummer or percussionist as I was growing up and through some time at Berklee college of Music. After that went around the world with Techno Legend "Inner City" and then made a mark in NYC while I was performing as part of the first US cast of STOMP and at the same time playing studio percussion records for several House music all star producers and artists. During STOMP Davi Vieira introduced me to Brazilian music -jump forward to us playing Carnival in Salvador da Bahia many years later alongside long time music collaborator Dennis White aka Latroit.. Bonkers..
And the stories can go on, like writing and producing platinum selling records with long time Production and writing Partner Sam Hollander for the likes of Carole King, the Baha Men, Donna Summer, Nile Rogers.. Dang.. Feel so blessed to have performed with world music giants like Kailash Kher, Idan Raichel Project, Vieux Farke Toure, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatke, Dave Eggar, Max ZT, Balla Tounkara, Davi Vieira and Ogans, Forro in the Dark. The list goes on… Then I started my own boutique Yoga label, Yoga Organix, and wrote, produced and released a series of "The Yoga Sessions" records (Go-Ray & Duke, EarthRise SoundSystem, Masood Ali Khan) as well as co writing and producing a record of "Ethiopian World-Crossover" music called, Bole 2 Harlem. Have been blessed to have had my music licensed for film and TV and to have had the opportunity to score a handful of cool films.
And then after Moving to LA… I suddenly stopped making music..
Friends freaked out.. What? Why?? For me, it was time to go inward..
For several years I had started heading down to the Jungles of Peru twice a year to sit with the Shipibo tribe and their sacred medicines. I had entered into several long "Dieta" or "Sama" studies. Deep disciplines where you study with and merge with the plants, their energies, their melodies and their healing properties. The Shipibo way of chanting the melodies and vibrations of the plants blew me away. I found it to be the highest musical expression I had encountered.. Singing for someone's healing.. Singing for someone's life… Studying with them and learning from the plants, Maestros and Maestres stripped away layers of my past self, my "performance ego" and revealed to me more of my true voice and expression…
Now it was time to go one step deeper and "Get my Masters" with the Shipibo… The one year Dieta. During that process my Maestre, Chonon Quena gifted me the name, Tëté Bero (Eye of the Hawk). There's something about a medicine name that can shift your perspective… Big time. as the song "Empty Pages" says: "I am not the Man I used to be".
After a few years fully immersed in that world of study, Santiparro came by my house to share some new songs he had written and he brought a funny little instrument along, a strummed Dulcimer. I ran out the next day and picked one up and that was the beginning of this project... Something in that basic instrument rang true to me and opened up a whole new musical expression.
Shortly after that I headed to Tarapoto Peru where I was co-facilitating a "Dieta" retreat of around 20 people.. It was a deep experience for me personally and I was also moved to tears by the transformations of the individuals around me.. That is where the first song, "Never Ending Song" came through and that's how these songs have emerged since -strait out of the channels, learnings, experiences and humor on this path of medicine… The path of the heart… Sometimes it even feels strange to call them "My Songs".. The message I keep getting is that these are our songs.. It's an honor to share them with you all. Enjoy!
Suggestion from the WOLFPAC: Create space, light some Sage or Copal. Allow yourself the time to immerse into the medicine of music. The silence behind the sound. Aho Mitakuye Oyasin… Haux…
*** Infinite gratitude for all my medicine family and teachers throughout this decade on the path: Papa G, Oscar Rodriguez, Chonon Quena, Birin Soi, Rosa, Metsa Oka & Szusi, Chonon Soi & Birin Soi CA, Metsa Meni, Birin Yakata, J&L Reed, Jojo Francis, Maggie Bear, Joey David, Sheldon Gibson, Grandmother Kaariina, Adam Yellow Bird, Yoshi, Buo Quena, Solwind, Santiparro, Mananxawe Joni, Ronin Ewa, Simon Scott, Issa Yaka, Noma Kaya, Mishqui Buna, Noma Biri, LK, Leon Cuauhtonal, Antonia and Benjamin Mahua, Sanket Sunni, Wilma Mahua, Ronin Caté, Metsa Oso, Noma Kiwé, Sanque Yakka, Netin Sunni, Poincusco Mai, Noma Quena, Hacun Ora… And to every soul that has sat in front of me in a Maloka, you have been my biggest teachers.