I do not escape from reality because reality is my escape.
Was born in Germany, grew up and spent over 20 years in Africa. Has
been just about everywhere else except for Antarctica and the moon.
Has the distinction of being the only white guy to ever shine shoes in
the public market place in downtown Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.
Currently works in the film industry and is also an an animation and
portrait artist. Music is a vital part of many African cultures and I
fortunate enough to hear things that most people never will. However
that gave me a good back ground in music, as well as an awesome
collection of African music that dates over 50 years just because I
inherited my dads collection.
Really hates name dropping but seeing as this is a site for people who
love jazz, I'll indulge this crowd just a little.
I was in a club in Seattle, Wa. where John Dizzie Gillespie was doing
a show during the late 80's or so. It was a small place and because of
the weather a small audience. So when I pulled my flaming wallet out
just to amuse my guest, (its a wallet that appears to burst into
flames when you open it) it drew the attention of the entire place
including Mr Gillespie who has a voracious sense of humor and loves a
good prank. He came and talked with me after his show because he
wanted to see my wallet up close, and it was during the course of that
exchange where the subject of my collection of African music came up
and he went nuts and pleaded with me to invite him over.
So I did, and every time he came to Seattle after that my place was
one of his stops. Most of the time we spent was just telling about
pranks and jokes we had played on people but he also always found
something different to listen to while we did that. He had a very
extensive knowledge of music and was able to identify which part of
Africa any given piece of music that was played came from. Something
that most musicians much less anyone else who has not lived there
can't do and he was always right on the money.
The part I didn't mention was the couple of times he showed up before
he had a given show to do. Talk about cool. Being in the same room
while someone of his calibre warms up is a priceless experience. The
climate in Seattle was usually cold and wet when he arrived and
physically not a young guy anymore so the warm ups were mandatory for
him. This may be hard to believe for some of you but usually the first
few minutes were a lot like listening to a squeeze box. But it was
only a matter of a few more minutes before he would find his voice and
play unbelievable things. Like Flight of the Bumblebee to loosen his
fingers up. Most musicians can't play a thing like that and here he
was using it as a warm up exercise..lol