I have been performing and teaching music for 30 years. I drove to Southern California in 1976 to study with classical guitarist Celin Romero, which lasted for almost ten years. While living in San Diego California I had the rare opportunity to study Irish music via tin whistle with Irish uilleann piper David Page and play in Page’s Siamsa Gael Ceili Band.

In 1981 through 1984 I was associate professor of music at San Diego State University, teaching classical guitar and world music. It was there I learned and performed with Kwaku Ledzekpo, Ghanian master drummer. Upon returning to Kansas City in the mid 1980’s I designed the curriculum for the first graduate level course teaching educators how to teach world music in the classroom. That curriculum was implemented at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Education. At that same time, I taught African and Cuban drumming at Missouri Western State College. I learned the fiddling of Michoacan, Mexico from Atilano Lopez and Dimas Camilo, as well as spending a lot  of time in southwest Louisiana performing Cajun fiddle with ensembles headed by Donald Fontenot, among others.

From 1987 to 1994 I was director of Center For World Music, an arts organization dedicated to performance and pedagogy of music from cultures in West Africa, France, Spain, Ireland, the United States, Mexico, Cuba and Brazil. During that time I was fortunate to be able to study and perform with legendary West African drummers Gideon Foli Alorwoyie and Abubakari Lunna (Dolsi-Naa).  From 1994 to 1997 I lived in France learning and performing traditional French music.

In 2000, I began studying the long-bow tradition of West Virginia with Alan Jabbour as well as Dr. Jabbour’s own unique style.  Over the last few years I’ve added the music of Renaissance lute and vihuela to my repertory. One of my greatest pleasures is my position on faculty at ZoukFest, and eclectic world music camp hosted by The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, which I look forward to each year.

My Teachers

Below is a list of the people who have had influence on me through their teaching. I was fortunate to be able to learn from them.

  • Joseph Cozad classical guitar
  • Celin Romero classical guitar/pedagogy
  • Kwaku Ledzekpo Ghanian drumming (Ewe)
  • Jesus Nieto Mexico
  • John Tuohy Appalachian fiddling/Irish music
  • Nano Arenas Chile
  • Pauline Oliveros Music
  • Miguel Rodriguez Flamenco
  • David Page Irish music/tin whistle
  • Alberto de la Rosa Mexican requinto/jarana (jarochan)
  • Tata Gervacio Lopez Mexican fiddle (Purepeche)
  • Dimas Camilo Mexican fiddle (Purepeche)
  • Agustin Romero Diaz Cuban drumming (guaguanco)
  • Reynaldo Laseries Cuban drumming/singing (bata)
  • Pedro Calderon Peruvian charrango/quena
  • Lee Manuel Cajun fiddle
  • Donald Fontenot Cajun accordion
  • Mary Sue Fontenot Cajun culture
  • Ally Young Cajun accordion
  • David Locke Ethnomusicology
  • Abubakari Lunna Ghanian drumming (Dagbamba)
  • Gideon Foli Alorwoyie Ghanian drumming (Ewe)
  • Art Galbraith Missouri fiddling
  • Alan Jabbour West Virginia fiddling
  • Christopher Morrongiello Renaissance lute, early music
  • Patrick O’Brien Renaissance lute, vihuela, early music
  • Turlach Boylan Sensitive Irish humor; flute, whistle.

Not to mention all the great people I’ve learned from along the way: Ian Law, Judy Lipnick, Paul Johnson, Bruce (W. B. ) Reid, Isabel Tercero, Roger Landes, Mason Brown, Frank Samson, Marc Savoy, Ann Savoy, Ulysses Gobert, Goldman Thibadeaux, Basilio Georges, Christine Pecaut…