Sunday November 24th
"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
Sub freezing cold weather couldn't stop us on Sunday morning. Winter jackets and all, 17 people showed up to groove out the morning thaw and the weather was no match for the all mighty groove. Folks were out in full force in Memorial Park.
My mom was nervous. She said "Dress Warm son" So I did... I put on several layers of clothing and scarves before I headed out to the park along with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Super charged and ready to blast off.
About 5 minutes into the wave, I started sweating so I took off my gloves to get a better feel off my djembe drum. And it worked liked magic. In a matter of moments, the weather was behind me and everyone in the park was dancing, clapping, breathing, meditating, reaching for the sky.
The wind was howling at our backs fast and furious. So much, at one point, I thought the wind was going to blow me and everyone into the Hudson River. But every time the wind howled at us, the group leaned in harder with ferocious push back. The wind and the cold would not stop us from having the time of our lives.
We took the park to a new level.
On this thanksgiving weekend, I feel gratitude. May we all be thankful for the people in our lives that make us feel good. That make us want to jump up and down and scream and shout high above to the heavens. To the people that help put a sparkle in every step we take. I feel grattitude for everyone in the circle braving the cold weather.
Sunday is becoming a ritual and it feels like we are playing in my warm living room.
Next Sunday, we ride again.
Wishing everyone a magical thanksgiving weekend.
Listen to For Vibration Live,
Memorial Park, November 17th
The air was thick with a hint of ash and rain. The fires had been burning for 2 days up in Clausland Mountain and we were settling into a FOR VIBRATION. A classic Sunday morning none of us would soon forget.
Fewer people showed up in Memorial Park this morning but the chemistry between the players was above and beyond anything I've witnessed in a long time.
Greg blazed over The Tappan Zee Bridge with fire in his eyes. The man carries an arsenal of percussion second only to Neil Peart's 360 degree drum kit. This guy means business.
About 30 minutes into the wave, Raasti played a didgeridoo solo and the place exploded with rhythmic fireworks. Greg led Raasti into a wall of drones and sounds between his djembe and bucket cans for roughly 10 minutes. The didgeridoo was a catalyst for moving everyone in the circle. It lit us up. It fed the fire and we all responded in a state of complete mental absorption. It was a slow burn that turned into a hot smoldering cauldron of Molten Lava.
45 minutes into the set I am in a half conscious state surrounded by brothers and sisters jamming, singing and dancing over an onslaught of drums, didgeridoo and percussion. I am completely dazed and bewildered by what is happening.
My mother and father were on the outside of the circle with us vibing every step of the way. The circle had sucked them both in like a vacuum cleaner and by the final moments, Ellen and Artie were wailing with tambourines and shakers in hand.
I began singing to my mom and dad and I remember thinking at one moment, just sing your ass off and tell them how you feel. Two of the most treasured and beloved people in my life. Completely raw and emotionally naked singing and dancing and shouting at the top of my lungs, "Mom and Dad! I want to thank you I want to thank you I want to thank YOU!"
I am surrounded by an all star cast of players with equal parts rhythm, heart and an introspective awareness and appreciation for each other and for the moment. In a world of constant distraction what a gem to experience total presence.
The pulse hit us hard like a ton of bricks on Sunday. We all knew it.
We were officially in love.
In love with the groove, in love with the song, in love with each other, in love with the great town of Nyack, in love with the gazebo, in love with every single atomic cell emanating from all of us and, in love with the thought of next Sunday.
Check out Spreaker to download Memorial Park 11/17/13
Sunday, November 10th, 2013
"If you build it, they will come."
Field of Dreams
I vowed to bring the groove into Memorial Park after the 21 Day Challenge.
I didn't know who was going to show up for the event and I thought worst case, I'll just get to groove with my wife and my kids solo, which is still pretty awesome. But, that wasn't the case.
At 10:06 am, old and new friends started arriving and gathering under the gazebo. People were psyched to come out and play and let their light shine. Folks were smiling and greeting each other with great anticipation. I met a soul brother the night before from Westchester and he drove over with a 15 Gallon Drum to play with us in the park. 25 Folks in all, came out on a sun filled beautiful Sunday morning. It was picture perfect. I should also note, we were honoring and playing for a dear friend of mine who passed away last week, Jeremy Yuricek. A sweetheart of a guy who's heart was always pumping with creativity. Jeremy would've loved this circle and a dedication seemed very fitting for him. I think Jeremy definitely heard us because the wind was howling as we played all morning. My poor camera fell off the tripod twice during the event because of heavy winds (you can see it take a dive in the video!) But thankfully, nothing broke down and we captured some amazing footage.
I've been dreaming about playing in a field surrounded by tons of people with percussion. clapping hands and singing and chanting all day long. The gazebo was electric, operating at full capacity.
As we set up the gazebo, you can hear the beautiful sounds by incredible sound artist, Jonathan Goldman.
To all the good folks in Nyack and everywhere,
Thank you for showing up and bringing your spirit, your creativity, your beats, your dance moves, your candles, incense and your good energy. Thank you for making Sunday morning special.
I've been spreading the word in town and I appreciate everyone letting their friends and loved ones know about FOR VIBRATION.
We've got something really amazing here. And, this is just the beginning.
Memorial Park, Next Sunday, 10AM
For Vibration has officially landed.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
By far the coldest day in the square and I was feeling the chill. But as I played, I forgot about the cold weather and dove head first into a warm groove. Yes, today we locked the most joyous, spontaneous, soul groove.
I didn't think the pocket could get any stronger than yesterday's gathering, but today was a whole new level of spirit and camaraderie. There was an energy on Main Street like none other. The busses, seagulls and pedestrians were out in full force. The players accomplished something special and everyone knew it. We came ready to play and celebrate 21 Days. It really felt like a marathon and we were on mile 26 coming into the homestretch.
I felt a ton of emotions as we completed our final day in the square. Happy, proud, tired, overwhelmed, relieved and exhausted. But mostly what I felt from the 21 Day Rhythm Social Experiment, was inspired.
I created this 21 day challenge for myself. The challenge to wake up every morning and commit to playing 15 minutes everyday at 7:30am. But I quickly realized the challenge was not only for myself, but for the entire Nyack community. In some small or big way, people felt compelled to come down and play with me or just watch and listen.
They took a moment out of their day to become a part of The Rhythm Social Experiment. That was one of my goals. To connect and plug in with myself and for the people in Nyack to connect with each other out on the street.
I've been living here for 7 years and I have never seen anyone play djembe in the gazebo.
I've been scratching my head all this time wondering why nobody played in the square? It is the most beautiful, chill place to relax and listen to the sounds of downtown Nyack.
So where do we go from here?
I want to create a space for people to land and redirect their week. A place for people to let loose, express themselves and gather with rhythm, community and spirit. Which is why I plan to create a For Vibration Drum Circle in Memorial Park beginning this Sunday and every Sunday thereafter at 10AM. The great town of Nyack needs a drum circle. The time is now and I hope you will join me and help spread the word. My goal is to have at least 200 folks join up and play together in Memorial Park by this summer.
I will keep playing and recording our drum circles as they evolve into the most beautiful, breathtaking, awe-inspiring and mind blowingly unique events. I truly believe in my heart this could be one of the biggest and most outrageous drum circles in North America. I do believe the time is now. Everyone has rhythm and I am on a mission to prove it.
Until then, keep your light shining. And remember -- anything is possible.
I'll see you out in the park.
The 21 Day Rhythm Social Experiment,
Thank you All.
"Find a place inside where there's joy,
and the joy will burn out the pain."
THE SQUARE WAS ON FIRE........ WITH RHYTHM!
Massive gratitude for all the people joining me in the square today. The energy was off the charts!
My hope for everyone reading this today is.... to find a place that makes you happy, that brings you joy and and good spirits.
Practice that ritual each and everyday for the rest of your life because I believe there is so much joy here for all of us.
The little piece of paper on the bottom of the video screen says, "Come play with me."
Thank you to everyone who came down and played with me over the past 20 days.
You truly fill my heart with Love.
Tomorrow is the last day of the 21 Day Challenge.
One more day to put out the good vibes and good energy in the good town of Nyack, New York.
"The alchemy of good curating amounts to this:
Sometimes, placing one work of art near another makes one plus one equal three. Two artworks arranged alchemically leave each intact, transform both, and create a third thing."
Nina showed up in the square.
I first met Nina at a Drum Circle in Chestnut Ridge and her sheer presence and ability to feel the groove is magical. Seeing her lit me up.
I strongly believe that creating music or just clapping your hands with the right person elevates your spirit. I've always been a firm believer in one plus one equals three. Every time I see Nina singing and dancing, the circle and the groove pocket sky rocket.
I am reminded of that special gift, the gift of collaboration. Uplifting your game, exploring with your co conspirators and diving deep. Musically and spiritually.
A great Saturday morning.
The seagulls sound like they're singing with us today.
They've been waiting all their lives to play!
"My work is like a dialogue between me and unseen powers, like alchemy."
Day 18 (part 2)
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
The first official rainy day out there.
But it didn't stop us......
I set up my djembe in the van. and then magically, everyone showed up.
MIchael is heading back to Africa today with his family. I can't believe he made the scene before he leaves today.
Michael is a true soul brother.
We had an impromptu protection circle for him as he said goodbye to Nyack.
It was beautiful.
These are the moments you just can't plan.
"Maybe the words that I say is just another way to pray"
There is a song that we have in our back pocket. A song that moves us from the bottom of our toes and gives us goosebumps all over our body. For me, Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield is that song. Every time I hear it, I just want to dance and put my hands high up in the sky and smile and hug someone.
I LOVE THAT SONG
Last weekend at the Nyack Halloween parade I got to jam with 5,000 people as we played Move On Up down Main Street. My son was sitting on the front of the float with me as I played. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. The energy and the spirit and the people clapping along with me was indescribable.
I want to thank my good buddy Jeff for inviting me to play on his Nyack Cross Fit Float. Jeff and his crew were pulling the flatbed truck with ropes. I repeat, with ropes, no engine. Just sheer might from their arms and legs --- They are truly incredible and inspiring people and I was honored to be out there with them on Sunday.
I managed to get a clip from the event and I decided to post it up today. Unfortunately, the camera shuts off as things are just heating up. But, you get the idea.
Massive gratitude for all the creative people in my life.
They keep inspiring me to move on up. . .
"Our purpose is to educate as well as entertain"