Stephen Kent - Journals
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Jollying Along in the Catskills - July 08 PDF Print E-mail
Jollying along in the Catskills I am approaching the halfway mark of my New York State tour. Tonight I head into Manhattan to meet up with Australian Bebop Ragas drummer Sameer Gupta at visionary artist, Alex Grey’s, gallery/center/venue CoSM on the Lower West Side where we’ll play as a duo for the first time. Looking forward to that. But here I am in between a night in Delhi NY [pronounced Dell-Hi, to my annoyance….grrr. old habits of pronunciation die hard and even after 17 years of living in the USA I still hang on grimly to my English roots - after all, hanging on in quiet desperation IS the english way.... Certain standards MUST be adhered to or the world will come to a sticky end…] and the road ahead.
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Alan Dargin Feb 29 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Alan Dargin - France Summer 2007Alan Dargin 1967-2008 RIP

Alan Dargin first burst into my life in the mid 1990's as he swung through San Francisco in a robust whirl of larrikin good natured  bonhomie, cackling laughs and sparkling, twinkling eyes. He was the first Global Aboriginal Superstar on the Didjeridu/Yidaki, playing in a dynamic and explosive style that blew all previous experience of what could be possible rhythmically on the Didj to smithereens and raising the bar for all who came both before and after.

For those who had no previous experience of Aboriginal Australians he showed a surprising worldliness with his trickster-like persona and extraordinary ability to take on the West at it's own game, give more than as good as he got and run away laughing to the next encounter. Enormously popular he exuded positive energy and with his almost superhuman dynamism  seemed indestructible. He was a born showman, a great tall-story teller, performer par excellence and a friend to all. We will all miss him.

Obituaries:

Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian 

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Highlights of 2007 PDF Print E-mail
What happened this year? It went so fast I could barely hold on

Casting my memory back over the past year I realised that I have kept extremely busy, that my extraordinary network of collaborators and friends is ever expanding and that even in the face of a world in complete crisis there are a still some positives to be drawn from life as a purveyor of independent music around this planet. This year I have connected with people in music from Israel, North Africa, West Africa. Europe, Asia, Australia, North Eastern USA and, most especially, a great and rich variety of musicians based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I am blessed to live. Here are some of the highlights, for me, of the past year, albeit in the form of a list which holds none of the juice, ambiance or delight of the actual experiences themselves. Thanks to ALL, including those who I haven't mentioned by name and those whom I am yet to meet.

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Library of Congress Oct 2007 PDF Print E-mail

A Confession and a Dream

I met the Del Sol String Quartet a year ago when we were brought together by Charles Amirkhanian to perform at the Other Minds 12 Festival in San Francisco. The piece was the world premiere of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe's 16th String Quartet, written to include the Didjeridu. For me this presented a very interesting return because I've long wanted to play the didj with string quartet, and I'd even approached David Harrington of Kronos, when I very first arrived in the Bay Area in 1991, who had encouraged me to write something for the combination, since at that time there was simply no repertoire. The result was I wrote feverishly in a small room at the back of a house in the SF Mission district where I lived directly above a Spiv

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The Israeli Didjeridu Festival PDF Print E-mail
My first day here was spent unwinding from 18 hours in the air. I was taken to the beach with Aron Szilagyi ,a Hungarian Jaw Harp player of some renown and the son of the man who single handedly revived an ancient Hungarian tradition of making Jaw Harps, after it had been extinct for over 150 years. Holidays = The Beach. It is the same the world over. The difference here in Israel is the very real security situation. You go to the supermarket, they search your bag. You go to the beach, through a security checkpoint, manned by typically dark Ethiopian security guards. Everything is fenced in, cordoned off, controlled - down to the musclemen who police the water in kayaks who frantically blow their peep-peep whistles if a swimmer should leave the crowd hemmed in by the red flags in the surf and make their way towards the black flags to the south. But this is a suburban beach. The town is Herzelyya, just outside Tel Aviv. That's where I am staying right now.
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On Tour in The Holy Land. September 07 PDF Print E-mail

Israel News - I'm off on tour to Israel for two weeks. Keep checking into this location for regular updates, blogs and impressions of my first time in the Holy Land!

Jerusalem - Kosher Hip Hop to the Wailing Wall PDF Print E-mail

Having taken care of "Business" - in the form of immediate work commitments - and essentially hung around the Tel Aviv zone for several days, I have been feeling a growing need to change gears and follow the possibility of visiting the West Bank. I have received an invitation to go to Ramallah. The most obvious jumping off point for this, if it's going to happen, is Jerusalem

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