Notation Rhythm Lesson

Here’s a short video lesson, on two rhythms that are often confused when written.

The importance of positive feedback!

In the past week and a half, musicians I respect a lot have made these statements about me, 1) “I love how musically you play”, and “You make really great musical decisions. All the time!” And then, yesterday, another person left me this message, “Your playing is refined and deep. You are a great listener and feeler … Amazing what a difference a drummer makes” And, yes…I’m bragging about it a little bit. =)

We can’t always look for complimentary statements about our work. It’s important to always just do our best at all times. But, sometimes, things can happen that cause me to question whether what I do is worth anything to anyone but me. So, it is really nice to get positive feedback sometimes. It’s encouraging. And, if you don’t dig what I do and actually wanna keep things 100 and want to be helpful, then pull me aside and say, “Hey, brother. I would call you again, but before I can do that, I feel like I want more of this from you, or more of that from you. Perhaps you can work on that a little more and then maybe we can work together again.”

That is a constructive way to relate to folks. But, of course, it is a very un-Hollywood way of doing things. How about a paradigm shift? Can my ego take a little constructive critique? I hope so.

Martin Luther King

I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio, called Cleveland Heights. My family moved there during the Summer, right after I turned six years old. Though not a perfect place, the Cleveland Heights/University Heights School system was (in my opinion) decades ahead of it’s time. Though I struggled with my identity as a black boy growing up in the 70s, I count it a blessing that my mom saw fit to move us to a place where children of African, Asian, and European decent who were Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist lived in the same neighborhoods, played in band together, and played together on sports teams and theatre groups. We ate at the same tables. We fought and we argued, we sometimes called each other names and made disparaging remarks about the ethnicities of others. We all brought everything we’d learned up until then, along with us to school and out on the block when we played. We weren’t perfect, no. But, there were a whole lot of “somebodies” who saw enough of the big picture to let us be together and strive together, for “The Dream”. This country struggles still, with issues that were created long before any of us existed. But, we keep making progress little-by-little. Today, I’m thankful that my home country is at least beginning to catch up with my little home town of Cleveland Heights. Let’s all keep growing up together! Let’s make “The Dream” a full reality for our children in the coming generations. Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King. Thank you for lighting the way for us!

Behind The Lines

Featuring Mao Shimizu and Amin El! Sept. 25 =)

If you dug the Tuesday night jam we had back in June, then you’ll LOVE this. Come on by 2nd Street Jazz which is located in Little Tokyo! for a night of great music and great fun!
This time we feature singer Mao Shimizu and singer/multi-instrumentalist Amin El both doing their own set of music with our stellar band of some of LA’s finest musicians on the jazz scene! Just as before the featured show will be followed by a jam session. So, musicians, bring your instruments, singers bring your you imagine someone actually leaving their voice at home? But, I digress..come out! Great music, great fun, great company in a cool venue where music is king! 5 dollar cover. See you there! 366 East 2nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

Live video clip from One Tribe Nation show at The Mint (Los Angeles)

One Tribe Nation & Snarky Puppy

This is going to be one amazing night! The tribe will be performing at The Mint LA (TICKET INFO HERE) in the slot preceding an awesome Brooklyn-based band called Snarky Puppy! If you haven’t heard of them, you really should check them out! Truly fantastic stuff! We in One Tribe Nation are honored to be on the bill with them and and really looking forward to this show! We hope you’ll come out and bring friends as this is a very important night for the band. We’re planning the hard-release of our album,”We Are The One”, for shortly after that night. Check out the Snarks at this link

Drumming & Dance!

I am happy to announce that I have teamed up with the beautiful, talented and knowledgable Michelle Chua of Root 2 Rise Yoga! We have embarked on a venture of community and team building incorporating our combined passions of movement, music, and the desire to help people be more healthy.

Michelle offers several yoga classes throughout the week including the Monday morning Rise & Dance class for which I have been joining her on drums! We’ll be available, in the near future, for community/team building events, drum/dance circle facilitating for parties and other similar events. More news to come!

You can check out Michelle’s site at THIS LINK!

FREE ADMISSION to On The Rox this THURSDAY ,March 22!

My band ,One Tribe Nation, will be at On The Rox Thursday night at 11:30PM for one searing set of songs from their album, “We Are The One” which is to be hard-released in May 2012. But if you purchase the download for $9.99 at the BAND’S WEBSITE, you can get into the gig for FREE! Just click on the “choose a price” link in the store and enter “$9.99” and then leave us your name and contact info so we can have your name at the door! Gig starts at 11:30PM


Well, the Manila trip went really well! Fans loved the show and I had a little bit of time to check out the city. Not a lot, but a little. I’ll be posting some pics soon! Look out for those in the coming week as well as some clips from recent ZUR activity! ALSO news about the upcoming ONE TRIBE NATION record! FINALLY being mixed!

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