News

8 Thoughts on Election 2016 in the "World's Greatest Democracy"(tm)

Don’t just mourn, organize! We need solidarity and hope, not despair. Here’s why:

Organize!

1. Clinton won the popular vote

Once again, the winner of the popular vote will not be the next president, because the electoral college, a concession to give more power to slave-owning states at the time the constitution was drafted, is still how the USA chooses its highest office.

Salaam Axé - CDs printed and in hand!

I'm extremely excited to announce that the physical CDs for Salaam Axé are back from the printers and are looking great! I've run into a few snags with CD Baby, so it's taking a little longer to get the discs available for distribution that I was hoping for. But if I'm about to see you at California Brazil Camp or will see you sometime this fall and you want to buy an album that I'll deliver in person, you can send me a payment via PayPal and I'll hand you a copy ASAP.

"Rise With the Ranks" needs a video worthy of these times

Track #1 on my about-to-be-released debut album is called Rise With the Ranks. The name comes from a Eugene Debs quote: "When I rise it will be with the ranks, not from the ranks." The song is based on a drum arrangement I learned from Nininho of Maracatu Badia called Subindo a Ladeira, which is Portuguese for "climbing the hill," so I wanted to keep "climb" or "rise" in the title.

My music in the soundtrack for a documentary about climate change

I'm extremely excited to announce that two songs from my forthcoming debut album, SalaamAxé, are featured in the soundtrack for an important new documentary film, Not Without Us. The movie follows 7 activists from around the world as they travel to Paris for the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the COP 21.

Between mixing and mastering!

Very excited to announce that my debut album (title TBD) is ready for mastering! It was a great pleasure to work with John Baffa at TV Tray Studios to do the mixing, and now my dear friend and musical collaborator David Bergeaud has agreed to master it. Thank goodness it's raining in LA this week, but that means I can't make the drive up the side of the mountain to David's ranch and finish just yet. Hopefully in the next few days. For now, I've got 30-60 second teasers of rough mixes to give you a taste of the music. Please help suggest titles!

About

Multi-instrumentalist: oud, saz, Brazilian percussion (maracatú, other rhythms from Pernambuco, various forms of samba), body music, bass, Middle Eastern percussion, and more. 10 years studying North Indian classical music on the oud and voice interwoven with 15 years studying Brazilian music and dance (including 5 trips to Brazil for a total of 1 year of training) have given Derek a unique approach to music, rhythm, dance accompaniment, improvisation, movement, teaching, and life.

Derek is available for performances, dance collaborations, recording sessions, teaching, licensing, live accompaniment (films, plays, classes, etc), acting, and many other creative possibilities. He is also a certified practitioner and instructor of BREEMA (a bodywork method bringing body and mind together in harmony) and incorporates embodied mindfulness into his teaching and playing.

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