Facilitating at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, 2013Facilitating at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, 2013ABOUT ME

I grew up in a musical family, first discovering piano at age 5 and then the guitar at about 11 years old. I was encouraged to play and fortunately, music came relatively easy to me.  I continued playing piano and guitar until my life took a new and unexpected direction. This new focus ultimately connected me to a new instrument, the Shaker! The year was 1994, the location was the Great American Music Hall in Oakland and the instigator was my younger sister who, at that time, was well aware of the hip music scene. She invited me to join her to see a renown World Beat / Jazz band called Special EFX and so we drove from Sacramento to the East Bay. After watching their percussionist George Jinda skillfully play the shakers, I was inspired enough to make my own set in the few days that followed and “Shakka Shakerz” were born. Slowly I built a small business selling them to stores on the west coast and at festivals. They even made it into the hands of some of the world’s best percussionists! Since no one really knew my name, they simply called me the “Shaker man”, and that nickname has stuck since day one!

While working in my booth at the Health & Harmony Festival in 1995 or 1996, I heard someone playing a djembe. I fell in love with the drum that day and have been playing it pretty much ever since. One day in , while visiting a music store in Sacramento, I accidentally stumbled across a drum circle that was happening in their parking lot. I had no idea that my life was about to change again, and in a most excellent way! I watched as the man who was facilitating the drum circle brought the strangers in the bleachers together in waves of rhythmical bliss, facilitating them as a conductor of magic.  After witnessing rhythm after rhythm unfold and end with loud shouts and feeling my own goosebumps, I approached this man to find out more about what I had just see. Hi name was Arthur Hull, and he was starting a drum circle facilitation camp in Hawaii that year. I went, to that one and 10 others, and Arthur would become my teacher and my friend, my brother and my mentor, my customer and my inspiration. Without hesitation, I dedicate my path as a drummer and drum circle facilitator to him.

Once I discovered the voice and power of the djembe, I went on to study with many noted teachers from several countries who were teaching here in the US.  After hosting dozens of drum circles, taking tons of drum classes and playing for dancers, I finally had a sense of how to play well and how rhythm “works”. Though my extended bio has many many other events, workshops and gatherings that I have attended or hosted, the essence is that the djembe has enhanced my life.

I felt compelled to share what I had learned and began to teach others, delivering my own take on the technical and musical aspects of drumming. I’ve been teaching for about 10 years and have been working diligently on the Road to Rhythm methodology that helps inspire my students, step by step towards percussive excellence. I enjoy teaching and watching my students gain confidence and skills. They find that they play better than they ever thought they could. Combining my love of travel and teaching, I now offer my Road to Rhythm playshops from Seattle to San Diego, visiting friends, teaching classes and studying with master instructors.