Bones' Solo Ensemble
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Bones' Solo Ensemble

Salida, Colorado, United States

Salida, Colorado, United States
Band World Reggae

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Music

Press


"Bones' Triumphant Return"

"Bones took his audience on a musical trip around the world with his songs inspired by the first rain of the season on Africa’s vast Serengeti plains or by the blazing tropical sun in Belize.
The growling voice of the didgeridoo, formed a deep vibrating background, to add the flavor of ancient Tibetan monastic traditions to a song called 'Himalaya.'" - Mountain Mail March, 2007


"Bones Brings Unique Beat"

"All of Bones' songs provided
toe-tapping beats that had a Caribbean feel to them.
Bones topped off his performance with singing and dancing
and was joined by students dancing free-style down at the front of the auditorium, egged on by the rooting and aplause of the student body." - Tenderfoot Times December, 2006


"A Percussion Phenomenon"

"Drawing the audience in with light banter, Bones worked each piece
with the expertise of a craftsman. Dancing around the stage, layering
rhythm s w ith m elodies with vocals, each song became a delicate torte to be savored.
Much of Bones’ music is personal reflection. Inspired by the story of Wounded Knee, “Papa Wheelie” is a vibrant piece reminiscing about the innocence and simplicity of childhood. From Brazil to Africa to
the Caribbean to America, his music conjures images of the faces and
feelings of people everywhere.
“Serengeti” celebrates the long awaited rains with a passionate tribal beat. The voices of the steel drum and mallet kat add a joyful lilt to this festive selection." - Wet Mountain Tribune October, 2006


"Wild Applause, Whistles and Cheers"

WILD APPLAUSE, WHISTLES AND CHEERS. It's not the typical response a bunch of high school kids usually give an instructor after a lesson, is it? Yet that's what
happened at the end of a recent performance at Salida High School by a master percussionist known simply as Bones.
"Drums are powerful. They speak to something inside of us," said the Salida-based musician.
Focused on the mission, "to unite youth with the global community through world music," his school performances have a couple of unusual features.
Bones plays solo, but you'd never know it if you were just listening and not watching.
Percussion instruments of all kinds fill the stage: congas, a djembe, timbales, a steel drum, shakers, an electronic marimba, and a standard issue drum set. Off to one side sits
some high tech gadgetry that allows him to record the sounds from each instrument and his own voice in separate segments that replay in continuous loops as he performs.
Starting with a simple rhythm played on one instrument, he progressively adds and layers
new sounds and beats into the emerging opus. Never still for long, the tall lanky man dashes from one instrument to the next.
His hands and arms are in motion, sweat drips from his forehead, and his whole body moves with the music as he uses foot operated
switches to mix the sounds. African, Latin and contemporary techno rhythms pulsate through the auditorium and the music grows with each stop.
The result is a complex and
compelling creation that throbs with a global sound.
Using looping technology to produce music live in front of an audience creates a number
of challenges. Bones' performance relies heavily on soundman, Carey Hallett, to keep the show going.
"We're doing it all with acoustic percussion instruments, aside from my electronic marimba, so that means open mics on stage. It's been quite a challenge," said
Bones. "We've had to develop a lot of equipment and build a lot of stuff from scratch because its never been done before."
Stories and interesting tidbits of information about the instruments and the cultures they've come from are liberally sprinkled throughout the performance.
After watching Bones perform for students, it's easy to see why he loves to work with kids, and why kids love him. He's playful and authoritative at the same time.
A fascinating story about the origins of the steel drum on the Caribbean island of Trinidad provides him with a forum to talk about history and social change. The story goes something like this:
Back in the thirties Trinidad had a terrible gang problem. Unique rhythms were used to call the gangs to war so the government outlawed first drums and then bamboo poles. Not to be deterred, the gangs began to use common household items that couldn't be
outlawed, like pots and pans and trash can lids, to call their members to battles. Those banged up trash can lids were the genesis of the first steel drums and the gangs' signature rhythms morphed into a full musical tradition. It's a story of how drums went from being
a harbinger of violence to becoming a symbol and expression of a new cultural heritage. - Colorado Central Magazine June, 2006


Discography

Sold Out in Salida 2007 Concert DVD
Streaming video at:
www.bonesdrums.com/video.htm

Papa Wheelie 2006 LP
Streaming Audio at: www.bonesdrums.com/listen.htm

Balance 2003 LP

Photos

Bio

Bones has created a genre exclusive to his performances though Reggae would be an apt descriptor. His shows appeal to audiences of all ages, tastes, and demographics with music that is a rich fusion of Caribbean, African, Latin American, and Modern, International Dance Grooves.

Bones utilizes the latest technologies to layer Steel-Drums, Marimbas, Didgeridoos, Guitars and over 15 different Drums while dancing and belting out his powerful Vocals in 4 different languages.
This approach allows the creation of intricate musical mosaics, absolutely live, right before his audiences' ears.

Bones' up-bringing in the multi-cultural and artistic environment of Santa Fe, New Mexico is evidenced in everything that he does. His Father was an Opera singer of some renown and Bones inherited his musicality and powerful voice.
Bones was not encouraged to pursue music as his Father had done, but being a typical rebellious child, He became a life long musician playing an astounding number of instruments.

The first concert Bones ever saw was Santana in Albuquerque at the age of 12, a life changing event that was to shape the rest of his musical pursuits. He bought his first drum-set at 14 and ran the normal gamut of teenage bands.

At 17, Bones left home and moved to Alaska where he toured a Coast Guard Cutter and decided to join up. Bones spent a year on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean which is where he earned his nickname. While his fellow Coasties were watching TV and lifting weights, Bones would go out to the loft of the boathouse and bang out the latest beat from one in a long list of teachers with whom he'd study over the next 25 years.

After the service, Bones moved to Brighton, England where he played with many groups, two of which included members of the Levellers and the Director of Stomp.

After a year in the UK, Bones traveled to Los Angeles with friend John Leach to reform their old band; Slap In The Face, a rock band right out of Spinal Tap. Bones' love for tribal rhythms soon permeated the groups sound with the whole band eventually banging on something.
After two years on the LA scene, the band successfully toured the UK and decided to move there permanently. Slap did very well on the Indie scene, garnishing a large and dedicated following and releasing 2 albums and a full length concert video.
In 1993, Slap in the Face did their farewell concert and Bones decided to attend a specialized Drum Institute in London called Drum-Tech. He concentrated all of his effort on Latin and African Drumming and played with a string of World-Beat bands including his own 9 piece Salsa group: Zozobra, who recorded 1 album.
Bones was in full swing as a drummer and percussion teacher in 1994 when he took 5 of his students to study in Cuba. This experience served to reinforce his passion for the rich heritage of Latin music and its ancestors. His quest has kept him delving deep into the history of Latin music and he has now studied and taught in the United States, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe.

After 10 years touring abroad, Bones returned to the States. It wasn't long before he was recruited by the National Afro-beat band, Jaka. Jaka made 3 albums and toured like demons across the States. Jaka went through a few line-up changes over the years but always atracted large crowds and maintained a rigorous touring schedule, playing up to 200 shows a year.

When Jaka broke up in 2002, Bones signed on full time with his old friends, Shakedown Street with whom he had played with off and on for years. This very popular Grateful Dead tribute band satisfies Bones' insatiable appetite for "Jamming" as well as rhythm collaboration.

Having been in groups that play Reggae, Jazz, Fusion, Salsa, Afro-Beat, Funk and Rock, Bones has now brought all of his talents and influences to bear on one project; A full band featuring himself as front-man, vocalist and sole instrumentalist on the astounding number of instruments that he plays.
The act took over 2 years before he felt he was ready for his first public appearance. His discipline and patience paid off, selling out his first show and many more since.
Bones has now performed for audiences of all ages and demographics and consistently receives rave revues, ecstatic dancing and standing ovations. His show keeps getting bigger and better and is destined to gain international notoriety!