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

Bio

Derek Wright is a long-time student, performer and teacher of music and dance. He has deeply studied Brazilian percussion, Middle Eastern stringed instruments, North Indian classical music, voice, body music, dance accompaniment, and improvisation.

History

Derek Wright has been a musician all of his life. He started his training thanks to a vibrant music program in the public elementary school he attended in Amherst, MA. Growing up in New Orleans, he was a jazz bassist at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a saxophonist, and percussionist. In 1993 he moved to Madison, WI to pursue majors in computer science and physics, and to continue his studies of jazz and bass with Richard Davis.

Instruments

Derek plays a number of stringed and percussion instruments from around the world, especially the oud, saz, Brazilian drums, body music and voice. He has also collaborated with other artists to widen the palette of sounds available. The following sections introduce and explain all of the instruments heard within Derek's music.

Teaching

Derek has always tried to share his knowledge and understanding with others. As with love, friendship, goodwill, and many other beautiful things, the more you share, the more you have. His extensive studies have not only given him a depth of material, technique, grooves and musical approaches from numerous traditions, he has also experienced and learned from a wide variety of teaching styles in difference contexts. Benefitting from the mistakes and successes of numerous teachers around the world has enabled Derek to teach for a vast range of levels and experiences in numerous settings, explain things from many different perspectives, help students see the connections between things, and always work towards enhancing their overall musicianship and presence, regardless of the specific technique employed in each moment.

Workshops, master classes, and private lessons are available in many options, including: North Indian classical music; Maracatú; Other rhythms from Pernambuco (Coco, Ciranda); Carioca (Rio-style) Samba; Samba Afro/Reggae; Introduction to Candomblé rhythms; Body music; Non-Western (Sargam) notation (for rhythm, drum arrangements, melodies, dance, etc); Instrument technique and ergonomics (especially stringed and percussion instruments); Breema Bodywork and Self-Breema.

This Website

DerekWrightMusic.com is proudly built with the Pushtape distribution of Drupal, an open source content management system/framework used by many sites on the Internet with contributors from all over the world. When not making music, practicing Breema, and/or teaching, Derek is a computer scientist, programmer, and project manager. He is known as dww, a prolific contributor to Drupal with many roles over the years, and previously was a senior developer for the HTCondor High-Throughput Computing system at UW-Madison.

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