Well, I was always passionate about wanting to make the world more fair, so I went into social work and applied social research to shape the world through rational systematic analysis and informed action.
In my mid-late 30s and early 40s I got more actively engaged politically, spending several years advocating for public financing of elections and the abolishment of the death penalty.
In my social research work I realized that sustainable change happens at the grassroots, so I figured the best use of my energy would be to make videos for nonprofits to spread the word about the world-changing things they do.
My longer career path has taken me through social work, research design, statistics, policy and program evaluation, video production and music.
Circuitous, you say? I prefer "thorough." 🙂
Each of these have left bread crumbs that have led me to my current work of helping you find fun, joy and satisfaction connecting to and expressing yourself more fully through music and movement.
In 1997 I moved to Asheville NC and in the next couple of years I took up African drumming and began reconnecting with my musical roots.
For several years, I drummed in multiple weekly African dance classes and learned the nuances and complexities of many West African rhythms.
I was amazed at the interrelationships of the polyrhythms and how, when played as handed down, the rhythms invited me (and, it seemed, all drummers, dancers and observers) into new and soul-expanding portals of shared experience.
For many years I helped facilitate the infamous Friday night Asheville drum circle that continues to draw hundreds of people to come celebrate the ancient experience of humans drumming and dancing together.
I'm still fascinated that the simple act of playing a drum pulls people towards it.
Perhaps it's the heartbeat of a larger consciousness, sending lifeblood through the community, our larger body, that comprises the pulse of wholeness, wellness, Life itself.
In the past few years...
I've been leading the Jubilee! Community World Beat Band and playing a LOT of different kinds of music.
It's a blast to weave secular popular music into the sacred space of the Jubilee! celebrations.
The chance to use music to thread the theme of each week into people's spiritual, mental and physical experience is deeply gratifying.
Through this melding of the secular and sacred, and through the simple and profound power of music, we're invited, cajoled, toe-tapped and hip-wrangled into the surprising, mind expanding and heart opening experience of the Divine in everything.
2003 was a big year! In that year I also formed the party/dance band Current Invention bringing together some of Asheville’s best musicians to play for weddings, celebrations, conferences and fundraisers in the Western North Carolina area.
We plug in the instruments, connect with the beat, some good tunes and the audience, when (We) Gotta Feeling, we reach for My Girl and rock out on that Old Time Rock and Roll (it just soothes my soul). It's a wonderful world, at last.
In 2003 I also took to the theatre stage, doing improvisational music and acting with the Asheville Playback Theatre company. Creating live improv theatre is scary, exhilarating and deeply rewarding (as with the best of most creative edges).
It invites delight, empathy and celebration in all kinds of magical and beautiful ways.
Now I know I'm in trouble when I start thinking I know something that doesn't align completely with love. And since love seems to be the ultimate reassurance and the ultimate mystery, I'm getting much better at letting go of the knowing and getting on with the being and doing.
Simple, enlivening, and a heckuva lot more fun!
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January, 2015 to Present
I Am Sound, LLC (Owner)
Providing music and sound-centered coaching for individuals, groups and organizations to enhance their creativity, flexibility, communication and authentic power.
November, 2001 to Present
Jubilee! World Beat Band (Band leader)
Play piano and lead the 5- to 7-piece World Beat Band for Sunday morning celebrations. We do a wide variety of styles including jazz, latin, blues, rock, pop, gospel, celtic, reggae and african rhythms. (www.JubileeCommunity.org).
2005 to Present
Teach private piano and hand drum lessons
April, 2003 to 2015
Current Invention (Band leader)
Bandleader and co-leader for a 3- to 8-piece ensemble that plays a wide variety of jazz standards, classic rock, R&B, etc. for weddings and other special events.
Fall, 1999 to Present
Played caixa and repique in the Afro-Brazilian percussion and dance group, Zabumba. We added our high-energy samba to the Asheville Mardi Gras parade and LEAF festival every year.
I played duns, sangban, kenkeni and djembe for traditional African dance classes and helped facilitate the Friday night drum circle in Asheville’s Pritchard Park.
January, 1991 to 2006
New Context Video Productions (Owner / Producer)
Video production specializing in promotional and advocacy videos for socially and environmentally progressive nonprofits.
January, 1990 to 1993
MCNC, Research Triangle Park (Video Prod Asst)
1991 - 1997
Sec, NC Alliance for Democracy
Organize, lobby for clean campaign finance reform for NC statewide offices
Organize, lobby Chapel Hill City Council for public access TV
Founded WNC Chapter of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty
Organize, lobby for statewide moratorium on the death penalty
Statistics / Research Design
June 1984 - August 1988
Campuswide help desk supervisor
Computing Center – University of North Texas
DMin candidate (2004 – 2008)
Creation Spirituality - University of Creation Spirituality – Wisdom University
PhD candidate (1988 – 1990)
Sociology - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Master of Science (1984)
Applied Social Research - Texas Christian University
Bachelor of Social Work (1979)
Social Work - University of Texas at Austin