As my pal Sam Rogers describes on his website, “The body is the oldest musical instrument.
Some examples of modern uses of body percussion include Barbatuques, Keith Terry, etc.”
I was a part of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th International Body Music Festivals in San Francisco & Oakland, CA and Sao Paulo , Brazil,
from 2008 to 2011, performing with some stellar body percussionists and musicians ranging from Balinese master Pak Dewa Berata to Keith Terry, members of Gamelan Sekar Jaya and Gamelan X, members of Barbatuques, Alyssa de Caro, Sam Rogers, Yari Mander, Derek Wright, Kathak dancer Jaysi Chander,and many more!
I have also led my own classes at workshops in the US and abroad since 2008. I taught Kecak as a member of Gamelan X and my own classes 2005-07 and 2010; my own “RhythmSongs” weekly class March 2009-October 2010 at the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley, CA; and many workshops in the following locations:
Montreal, QB, Canada; Cork and Dublin, Ireland; Bali and Java, Indonesia (STSI, Solo, Java); Sao Paulo, Brazil; Lisbon and Southern Portugal.
In Portugal I have been fortunate to be sponsored by The Champalimaud Institute of the unknown and their Neuroscience graduate studies to come from California to teach workshops of various lengths and sizes to both neuro-scientists, graduate students, and non-affiliated residents and visitors of Lisbon in May and June of 2015 and 2016. One workshop lasted five days of 2-4 hours each day culminating in a public performance at CCU (public museum) with 40 participants; another was part of the department’s staff retreat for an hour each day for 3-days plus performances- 100-200 participants each time! and my own research project and workshops for the public and belly dancers in Lisbon, in collaboration with neuro-scientist Gautam Agarwal (UC Berkeley, Champalimaud neuro-sciences)
In my shorter workshops I teach 4 or 5 basic rhythms and body percussion techniques combined with vocal percussion and chants based in traditions from India (sargam, tabla and solkatu), Bali (kecak- “Monkey Chant”), Turkey and the Middle-east, and the Balkans.
Longer workshops or multiple days, or classes for more advanced students feature up to 20 different body percussion techniques and a full integration of compositions, grooves, and learning some improvisation skills with these rhythms and movements.
Whatever the context or duration of my workshops and classes, participants will come experience music, their voices, and their bodies in a whole new and more fun way!