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Off Your Armor



“On a quest to hear
All of life’s sweet melodies
Merging into one”

“Expressive, poetic, prolific, organic, and improvisational in the moment all within the structure of musical form and composition… This Is HAIKU!” - KEVENS 2006 www.kevens.com

Interestingly enough, the Group Haiku owes it’s formulation to the mutual study of Torishimaru Aiki-Jutsu – a Japanese spiritual path of meditation and martial arts in which Ivan, Bernie and Shannon were all students. This deep seeded and enriching art form laid the foundation of friendship and openness that naturally progressed into many years of musical collaboration.

Way before there was even the thought of Haiku… there was Ivan and Bernie. Bernie had just moved to Florida from his home country of Chile, South America where he was studying guitar and going to the university. Ivan and Bernie were introduced by Bernie’s brother who was already in Florida finishing his degree. The first time they got together at an empromteau Jam session a strong connection was formed.

About a year later Shannon came into the picture as a new student of the Japanese Martial Art. She had recently moved from New York where she was a student at S.U.N.Y New Paltz to complete here musical degree in South Florida. Growing up in a culturally diverse city such as Manhattan had great advantages as she learned her craft from several of N.Y.C.’s resident Jazz greats and years of songwriting, performance and practice.

Being in the same musical environment Bernie, Shannon and Ivan often performed with each other and many of the same players in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Music Scene. Ivan accompanied both Shannon and Bernie on numerous occasions with College Juries and live performances.

For several years each person moved in and out of varied ensembles and musical groups, but somehow things usually resolved one way or another back to the core of Ivan, Bernie and Shannon.

Bernie had regular gigs all over South Florida playing Jazz and Blues at several upscale restaurant and establishments. Inviting Shannon and Ivan to come and listen at a local bar and restaurant in Coral Springs, Shannon was asked to sit in and sing the Gershwin Classic “Summer Time.” After the night was over the owner of the establishment came over to Bernie and said… “I really enjoyed what you did tonight, but the only way I am going to let you come back and play next week is if you bring Shannon with you!”

In need of a Bass Player to fill in the music Ivan came on board full time and the three members quickly learned 50 songs and played the following Friday evening for four hours straight. This went on for several months as the Friday night patronage grew rapidly by word of mouth till it was standing room only on a regular basis. People would inevitably ask “what is this band’s name? In truth, they didn’t really have a name that they thought described their diverse musical sets that they were becoming known for. For a while the name “Grass Roots” was thrown around, but that was very short lived because their music wasn’t really Grass Roots at all. Sitting in Shannon and Ivan’s Library one evening and they were discussing their set list and then it amalgamated. One of the books on the shelf had the name HAIKU in bold grass style red letters. It hit like a ton of bricks and felt like home.

A HAIKU is a poetic form of expression in which the author shares the experience of a single moment or inspiration utilizing a structured form of three lines consisting of 5 syllables then 7 syllables then 5 syllables.

And that is what they were… expressive, poetic, prolific, organic, and improvisational in the moment all within the structure of musical form and composition… HAIKU!

To complete HAIKU, a needed a drummer so they enlisted a mutual friend named Joe Peters. Joe was a student of jazz great Duffy Jackson and one of the founding members of South Florida’s staple “The Wild Turkey Band”. Playing for several years up and down the South Florida music circuit, they worked nonstop on musicianship and style putting together a tremendous repertoire of music. Until Joe was confronted with the chance to move to Tennessee to do session work and build his business.

Going back to play as a trio again proved difficult when the vibe of a drummer was sorely missed. In walked Joey Butera chief engineer and session drummer for Power Station Studios Pompano Beach, Fl. His powerful and explosive playing style and breath of musicality fit perfectly. We played our first live show with Joey rounding out the rhythm section in two short weeks after joining the band. The feedback was extraordinary and the vibe organic. Haiku also enlisted the musical percussion style of Seth Beverly an accomplished drummer and percussionist who rounded and completed the groups sound and feeling.

Only after many years of playing and covering music ranging from Classic Rock to Blues, Jazz, to Funk, Alter