Sunday, December 11, 2011

To My Three Readers . . .

I am sorry for this serious laps in posting . . . 

Since mid-September I have attended two major training sessions that have led to a serious readjustment in a large portion of my personal, social, and business life !! I will get back to my Favorite Blog early in the new year. Thanks for your patience and kind support . . . 

In Rhythm,
Jahmahn    oxo

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fresh 911 Memories ! !

  This past weekend dredged up strong memories from a day that has been seared into our minds for the rest of our lives and probably beyond. As one friend describes the effect, "You've just received a Brain Tattoo!" One of the better memories recalled was from Saturday, September 11, 2004. Tribe Still Percussion performed at Brockport's 2nd Sept Fest.

The Following words were spoken during the show:

Greetings We Bring to You !! Hello Everyone, this is some of Tribe Still Percussion Ensemble.
What we will proudly share with you today are not rehearsed pieces. It's Jamming . . .
We set a beat and let it get established. Then we have fun with it, make mistakes
and laugh; mostly we speak with new voices every time we get together !!

The first piece is simply called 'The Three Beat' . . . we play three's, or triplets,
over and over until something blossoms. We dedicate it to those we lost three
years ago today, when three buildings were attacked. We Will Not Forget !!
_     _     _     _     _     _     _     _     _

Today is 'Nine Eleven' . . . anniversary of a terrible day when three places were scarred,
two buildings fell and One Nation Rose Up !! This isn't a day of mourning, but a day
of remembrance and celebration. This empty 'Drum and Chair' beside us . . .
are set up for people not able to be here to Jam with us.

This next piece is a traditional Call to Gather and Celebrate . . .
and we play it now in Memory of the Heroes of Flight 93
who died in Shanksville, PA. We Will Not Forget !!
After the Show, We went to Brockport's 911 Memorial for SILENT DRUMS . . .
The Firemen present asked us to play, but they 'understood' our desire to be quiet. More from that day is posted at the Tribe Still Percussion Web Site
In Rhythm,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Re-Starting on 911 . . .

An End to the 10th Anniversary
Remembrance Weekend for 9/11/01

  I have been behind on posting here but sincerely hope that this can actually be a new beginning . . . I do enjoy every minute of it. Sunday evening was a joyous end to the weekend of honoring and remembering that tragic day when this nation rose up from the ashes of the fallen Twin Towers in NYC.

  I went to Five Corners in Downtown to participate in the Closing Ceremony at Brockport's 911 Memorial. As I entered the crowd I noticed a man that I love dearly and don't see too often. It's amazing what a warm embrace from a loved one can do to lift your spirits, especially on the day we now call Patriot's Day (I Love You Cuz!).

Tonight, I'm feeling lucky for many reasons . . .
and here are four worth mentioning:

  1 ~ I am an American who is honored to be alive and free. In the words of my dear friend Rick Nicholson, "I never knew a better time to live in..." from one of the hundreds of exceptional songs he has written.

  2 ~ In an email from the Co-Founder of the Web Network 'Meet Up' this weekend, I learned that September 11, 2001 is the reason Meet Up was formed. In CEO Scott Heiferman's words, "Could we use the Internet to get off the Internet -- and grow local communities?" To build on that powerful sense of community this tragedy has created. Only one day before 911, when many Americans didn't even speak to their neighbors... and now complete strangers were looking out for one another.

    Scott goes on to say, "Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meet-uppers later, it's working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups, Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of 100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one thing. It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks to everyone who shows up."

  Why is this important? In late August I started my own Meet Up group to dovetail with my business, and it's called, "WNY Healing Drum Circles". Saturday evening seven people showed up from as far away as Bloomfield and Gains for our FIRST gathering. (More on this precious endeavor will be forthcoming!)

"Sunset Splash"

  3 ~ Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) had a beautiful service this morning to mark the beginning of their third year together. People brought in small containers of water collected from special locations, and at one point we all gathered in the center isle. Each person took a turn recalling some memory, person, place or event that was cherished, and then poured some of their special water into a large vase. This act of combining water with others while sharing our blessings was a tremendous act of community that will warm my heart for years to come. The words I shared were, "I am blessed by my family in Peru! I fly over water to visit them. I love my Peruvian family!"

  Afterward, we shared a pancake breakfast in the fellowship hall that seemed to cement the feelings of togetherness that blossomed from the day's events.

  4 ~ Rick and I went immediately after the service to the Different Path Gallery on Market Street for the Sunday Jam Sessions that we all love so much. I didn't have my camera, or you would be seeing evidence of the joy those moments generate.

  "Does this not sound like the full weekend of a very lucky man who should be counting his blessings?" I agree and I do... every day ! !

Here's more photos from the ceremony:

Brockport, and this GREAT Nation...
Honoring Our Pledge to Never Forget ! !



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Can I Say ?!

  Greetings to my two followers and three readers !!  I apologize for not keeping up with the Blog lately . . . but a few things have been going on and most of it wouldn't be appropriate to share here. But, what is worthy of sharing is incubating in the gray matter until they're developed enough to  express for your entertainment.

  Here's a sneak peek into future posts . . . MCDHS = 'My Country Doesn't Have Solutions' ~ "Launching a Leadership Revolution" a book review ~ More 'We Love Brockport' ~ Shadow episode called "The Phantom Voice" ~ 'Competi-Cation' an article ~ 'WNY Healing Drum Circles' my New Meet Up site ~ Why Soccer Rules = especially during football season ~ and review of the book "Twelve Pillars" ! ! !

and until then . . .



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Different Path Jams ! !

  We are all wondering if today's playing has attracted a few more people to participate in these uplifting sessions . . . come join us every Sunday from Noon to 3:00pm at The Different Path Gallery (sometimes 12:30 to 2:30pm).

Mac(k) ... Strong, Steady, & Silent Type

"Junk Yard"


 "Dreary Day Fun"

Monica & Woody

"Just Can't Wait"




"Gee Seventh"

Newest Percussionist !!


The Future ?!
Linda & Malcolm

In Rhythm,


Friday, August 19, 2011

4 Drum Posts at the Brockporter Blog . . .

African Drumming Workshops in Our Area !!

8/5 Utica Street in Brockport

8/12 in Sagawa Park, Brockport, New York

at the Garland Church

"Fam Jam" on 8/14

UPDATE 8/21/11:

  I am very proud of how my day went on 8/5, the Last Day of Summer School for a Special Group of People ~ I'm Re-Posting what I wrote for The Brockporter:

  The early morning air was still, but already heavy with August’s oppressive humidity two Fridays ago. I was excited about the Drumming Workshop I had scheduled for that day, but not looking forward to the stale air inside that old gymnasium on Utica Street. I was invited here two years ago for the same thing, but this time there is no uncertainty about the venue and I knew what to expect from the students and staff.

   As I waited for my turn in the gym, while an awards assembly was finishing up, it felt as if an electric charge was building up all around me. My mind was flashing with images of some of my fonder memories growing up in Brockport. I clearly remember attending roller-skating parties at this school when I was much smaller. Back then this little room seemed gigantic, and now I wonder how we ever navigated those tight corners. I also thought about all the days we spent at the playgrounds along Utica Street during those long-ago-past months of summer vacation.

   I recalled how amazing my first ‘drum’ experience was with these kids in 2009, when the summer theme was “Reaching for Success”. My thoughts quickly came back to the present as the assembly finished and students began filing out of the gym. I recognized some of the faces and felt honored to again be the premier activity for these special students on the very last day of Brockport Migrant Education’s Summer School Program.

Like most events and workshops I don’t prepare what I will say until the time is upon me, and I usually wait for the ‘setting’ to show me how to start. I have learned over the years that, after playing a brief but loud unspoken introduction on my drum, I had better say something powerful to grab their attention or I will lose the audience in a heartbeat.

   The first hour was for the younger children, and as I observed them all coming in and sitting before me it hit me like a V-8 Slap to the Head. They were all speaking to each other in fluent English (two years ago they needed a set of teachers to interpret most of what I said). In a loud and clear voice I said, “Mee Es-pan-yol Es Tair-ee-blay!” (My Spanish is terrible!). I pointed to the room with a sweeping arch and said, “You all know more English than I know Spanish … and that’s a very good thing.” The students all started giggling, which made the teachers crack huge smiles, and then the room exploded with loud expressive laughter and I knew I had them !!

  In that brief moment I had bridged that unseen protective barrier all Migrant Children have learned to erect, and quickly moved right to a place of mutual respect and trust. I knew instantly that they would try anything I asked of them and we were all going to have lots of fun. The theme for this summer term was, “We Do the Math”. I tried to show them how numbers are in all the rhythms we played, but kept things simple on their last day of school.

   Every child had a chance to play in the chorus (bells, shakers and hand drums) in the back row and with the drums in front. The highlight of that morning session was when I had everyone quiet down and told them that I had one very ‘special’ friend in the room. Saying that my wife and I have known this little one and her mother for many years. When I pointed to her and said her name everyone cheered and clapped loudly … and her bright, proud, but humble smile brought a tear to my eye.

   After a Pizza Party Lunch in the cafeteria with the younger ones, I went outside for an hour to get my mind and body ready for the older students. I guessed that it might be harder to bridge the trust barrier with these students. Thinking they would also be at an age where they could strongly hold on to a desire to not appear ‘un-cool’ in front of their friends.

   I turned out to be correct on both counts with these older students but I had an ace-up-my-sleeve. Well, it was the ‘sleeve’ that was my ace. I asked the group, while pulling at my shirt, “Does anyone recognize what this is?” The room exploded with excited voices all screaming together, “It’s MEXICO!!” (I had on my Mexican national team soccer jersey.) I told them that I knew it was definitely a few years old and that I needed to update my jersey. I had again crossed that unseen ‘barrier’ when I loudly stated, while pointing to myself, “Jeff Ess Loco Por Fute-boll (pause) Eee (pause) Mee Tee-key-ay-row May-hee-coh!!” (Jeff is Crazy for Soccer AND I Love Mexico!!)

   Like before, all the students got a chance to play both sets of instruments. But this time I stressed the music more than numbers, and the rhythms were from Africa and Brazil. After twenty minutes I noticed one boy who others looked to for guidance or answers. I asked this boy his name and if he could to do me a big favor. When he nodded yes, I said, “I need someone to play the ‘Heart’ drum in the back/center. But they have to be strong and steady. Can you do that for me?” We both went back and in a few minutes I had shown him what I needed.

  This drum is a ‘Loud & Proud’ bass that can hold a large ensemble together with its punctual sound. Having this handsome young man play it was pure genius !! Our group sound changed right away as everyone put more effort into the rhythms. I motioned to my new bass player several times with great animation (pointing at my heart and doing a thumb’s up) showing the group how much I appreciated what he was doing.

   About fifteen minutes went by when a shy boy came up to me but started to walk away without saying anything. I went to him, put a hand on his shoulder and asked what he wanted. He asked, “Can I play the big drum in back?” I marched him right over to the back and had him switch places with the first bass drummer, who then went over to stand by the wall. He was visibly let down by the change … but my solution was to tell that first drummer that I still needed him for a special secret I had planned. His smile returned when I told him that he was still my number one.

   I sent one of the teachers out to get Miss Betty, the Director of the Program, to come to the gym. Then gathered the students all together and laid out my plan. I asked my number one first bass player to step out front where I was standing to lead the group in singing Happy Birthday to Miss Betty. After a weak Spanish version, we re-grouped and sang a spirited English one that visibly touched the Birthday Girl.

   See more from this day by clicking here.

   When it’s all said and done, this was another tremendous experience for me. These students and their families are an important part of our area for several reasons. Many of their parents have elected to stay here year round because of our good schools and the top shelf Migrant Education Program. The students all know two languages (one girl said to me, “My mom is teaching me Spanish and I am teaching her English.”) and have all been placed in the mainstream classes at the local schools from Brockport to Kendall and Barker to Elba.

  We do welcome these beautiful, hardworking people once a year at the Bienvenidos Farm Workers, but don’t you think we should make them all feel welcome all year long?

  One way you can do this is to call ahead and bring used cloths (that you were going to take to one of those yellow box drop off places) to the Catholic Church on Main Street in Brockport for distribution after their Spanish mass. Another great way is to personally go to the Spanish Service on Sundays at 1:30pm. There is one point in the Catholic service where they all turn to their neighbors and share peace with each other. You could take the time to cross the isle and shake the hands of a few people saying, “Peace!” I am sure that these intentional acts of kindness will come back to you in ways that can’t be measured.

Thanks for Your Support ! ! !

In Rhythm,


One of Nature's Finest Orchestras ! !

  While out with our little dog this evening, I had the opportunity to record a Three-Part-Audio for your listening pleasure . . .

"Symphony Part One"

"Second Movement"

"Insects Part Three"

In Rhythm,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We Love Brockport "Diggin It" . . .

  Last night I went downtown for an ice cream and a stroll around the Village we all love. On Main Street I witnessed a finely-tuned, orchestrated dance of man and machinery. I was captivated by the artistry of the one man as he scraped, pounded, scooped and dumped the old broken pieces of the road into a constantly moving line of dump trucks (and the reason why I sat in front of "The Red Bird Tea Shoppe" for over an hour). There were quite a few people out watching the street being tore up and all lit up. Here's a little of what I saw . . . Enjoy ! !

Le Tour De Brockport

"Tour Intro"

Bright Eyes

"Down On Main"

Felt In Your Feet

"Water Street Fun"

The Artist . . .

"Scrape Art"

"Dig Art"

 Below Seen Level . . .
"Water Main"

Finest ... On the Scene

 At the Main Market !!
 Dance of the Dumpers

Gallery of Peanut
(Mine was a 'Kiddy' Pistachio)

Symphonic  Noise

The Artistic Shot

More Soon,


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday Jamming at Different Path ! !

  A Fun Filled Day of Drumming . . . and the Jam at Different Path was Great. You really should stop by and play or sing along or even just enjoy the time together . . . Noon to 3pm (sometimes 12:30 to 2:30pm) Every Sunday.

"It's Strange"

"We're Through"

"Go Home"

"Oh Lord"

"Old Rodeo"

"Mystic Bob"

In Rhythm,
Jahmahn    ;-/

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just Around Town . . .

  We spent a little time at the Arts Fest today . . . and there were eight 'artists' this year (up from the last few).  After a quick trip around the vendors, we stopped to support B.I.S.C.O. and got a grilled summer-time meal. Hopefully next year the Festival will be along our beautiful Main Street in Downtown where it belongs. Then the Ducks can be back in the canal for their annual journey into fund-raising history !! *smiles*

 We had a nice chat with the folks volunteering to Quack Away those Famous Ducks !!

_   _   _   _   _   _   _

Checking for deer we caught a Beautiful Sky . . . 

_   _   _   _   _   _   _

On our way to a visit we caught Flowers . . .

On the way home we caught Electric Clouds . . .

More Sooner,



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book: "The Difference Maker" by John C. Maxwell

Making Your Attitude Your Greatest Asset

  John Maxwell is a Leadership Guru !! He has influenced MILLIONS of people around the world for over 30 years with his Books, CDs, Private Mentor-ship, Public Speaking and on the Web. My first contact with John was through an audio CD with the same title as this book, "The Difference Maker". He made his points with simple down-to-earth lessons told through humorous stories and examples that will strike a major chord within anyone seeking to Make a Difference in this world. You don’t have to want Leadership Training to benefit from his experience and wisdom.

For me, the most important feature of this book is his simple theory that Attitude is NOT everything . . . but it certainly IS the one ‘Difference Maker’.

  Attitude is the ONE thing that can have the most effect in your life. He begins with 'where' you get your attitude (ie: personality, self-image, opinions of others, beliefs, etc) and balances this with what it can and cannot do for you. Most importantly, he goes on to show the reader how to make attitude your greatest asset. He gives you actual concrete methods to put in place today and then techniques to practice to help maintain a healthy attitude for years to come.

  Most of the book is dedicated to recognizing and overcoming the Big Five Attitude Obstacles (you’ll have to check out the book to learn these). We all face obstacles in life and we all know they’re coming. Its when we allow these problems to beat us down that our attitude and then our progress in life suffers. When you have knowledge of the obstacles to a healthy attitude you can notice the symptoms sooner and take the correct action to minimize their negative effects. Learn to recognize when your attitude isn’t right, for this will open the doors to tremendous opportunities.

  The final segment of this book is for learning how to let the ‘Difference Maker’ help you to make a difference in the lives of others.  I have always heard that, “Experience is the best teacher, preferably someone else’s” The experiences of this powerful man are encapsulated in the pages of every book he writes. 

  Remember that the choices that you make - make you . . . and that it is far easier to maintain a good attitude than to regain it. John Maxwell writes, “Difference Makers understand that it’s about the ‘seeds’ they sow, not the harvest they reap!” This contains a Powerful message and once its read you can never return to the old ways that held you back !!

Buy this Book and Go Make a Difference . . .


Even More With the Shadow !!

  I play these Old Time ‘Shadow” Shows and write whatever pops into my head. It's great fun for me to comment on shows that were long before my time . . . Enjoy ! !

"Who Knows the Evil that Lurks in the

 Hearts of men? . . . the Shadow Knows!"

1/23/38 – Society of the Living Dead:

  This episode is about a news correspondent that was mixed up in a fake passport / identification ring and was thought to have committed suicide. The daughter of this victim is set to marry a man who may have been in cahoots with the group that swindled her father. Only the Shadow Knows . . .

  Wow . . . Rochester Families are mentioned twice during the Blue Coal commercial at the half way mark of the show !!

    The Shadow sneaked into a meeting where the forgers are discussing how to plant evidence on someone to take the ‘heat’ of them. After following them to a graveyard the Shadow hears that it’s a man in the employ of the victim who was sharing secrets with fake ID ring. The lure of quick money is the motive for his crime, but the threat of exposure by the Shadow causes him to squeal like a stuck pig.

  The ringleader springs a trap on the victim, squealer and the Shadow . . . they are caught inside in a tomb filling with water. The suspense is made more intense with the eerie music and the sound of the rising water . . . will the police reach them in time?

Not much ‘popped’ this time . . . but it was a great show !!

1/30/38 – Poison Death:

  People all over the city are dieing from a poison that the health department can’t identify. Someone is sending letters to police commissioner demanding one half of a million dollars or the whole city will be wiped out . . . and they are signing the letters, “The Shadow”. Will they solve this mystery in time? Only the Shadow Knows . . .

  It seems that a twisted, angry man who was passed over for a promotion is responsible for all the deaths. The sanity of a brilliant mind is not measured by ordinary standards. Has the Shadow finally met his match?

  This character reminds me of someone gone ‘postal’ at work. One who in his or her attempt to compete in the business world will hurt others when they lose or miss their mark. Is the ego of some so fragile that they’ll kill others for a small reason like a job promotion?

  When we hear in the news about someone who has committed a crime that goes beyond the realm of reason. We sit and wonder how could anyone be so cruel and heartless? Has this person lost their self-control? Do they know that their actions are unacceptable? Is this a temporary event or have they completely lost the ability to function in society? Do they realize that society will judge them as unfit for personal freedom?

  I wonder if these questions will ever be fully answered. In America today it is really not too hard to stay out of prison. It seems that the fine line between behaviors that are acceptable and those that are not has been rubbed and stretched to a point that we no longer know what is acceptable anymore.

  I have run out of thoughts on this for now . . . but am sure it with surface again soon. Always remember that, “The weed of crime bares bitter fruit, crime does not pay . . . The Shadow Knows !!”

Madly Yours,