I had the amazing opportunity to head down south this winter to Mexico and study marimba in Chiapas and Mexico City. The photo on the left is a shot of a traditional marimba built by hand at the home of Carlos Nandayapa. The Nandayapa family has been building and playing marimbas for over a hundred years and I was fortunate to get the chance to study with both Javier and Norberto Nandayapa, two of Mexico's most renowned marimba players. It is always incredible to get the chance to be a student again and to absorb the culture that the music comes from. Highlights included a trip to Palenque to see the Mayan ruins, visiting friends in San Cristobal, a taste of the beach, the marimba music that exists everywhere throughout Chiapas, and of course Mexico City and Teotihuacan. Big thanks to Canada Council for the Arts for making this trip possible.
Since I've been back things have been busy with teaching and gigging with Tambura Rasa, Curtis Andrews, my new marimba trio and with Locarno. Locarno started a new recording this past weekend and will be busy playing gigs every weekend this month, starting with a run up to Kelowna and Penticton this weekend for some Valentine's day gigs.
The other big news is that together with Tom Landa (Paperboys and Locarno) we are producing the Vancouver World Music Festival on April 3rd. World music has always been close to my heart and it is this love for other cultures and traditions that has driven my career as a percussionist. We will feature four local world music bands and present a night that spans the globe at the Imperial on Main St. For all the details check out the website.
I would love to see you there!