Isla Percussions New Location - Belize

    I have several drums by Isla Percussions, run by Mario Punchard, and I love playing them. They have a unique feel and wonderful sound. Previously Mario Punchard's shop was located in Los Angeles but Mario Punchard has now relocated Isla Percussions to Belize, as I wrote about previously in Vaya con dios Isla Percussions.

   Mario Punchard's passion for the music and his drive and ambition to obtain the most beautiful and authentic sound caused him to pursue access to honduran mahogany, the original wood of the conga drum. This has led Mario Punchard to relocate his entire Isla Percussions operation to the country of Belize in order to obtain this goal. Well now Mario Punchard and Isla Percussions are up and running and making instruments. Isla Percussions now has a new website, with new information regarding Isla Percussions instruments and ordering them as well. It must be a very exciting and rewarding time for Isla Percussions. I wish Mario Punchard and Isla Percussions all the best.

  Visit the new Isla Percussions Website


Afro Blue Project

    This is a little recording I made with my friend and excellent flautist Oliver Hunt. I've always appreciated Mongo Santamaria and his version of his classic composition Afro Blue. I wanted to gain some more recording experience and also make my own version of this song. In this version I am playing a bembe rhythm on 3 congas with a few varations. I leave the improvisation to the flute as I wanted to keep the song simple. Making the recording was a lot of fun, and I learned a little more about micing instruments and mixing digitally.

Anyways, here is my amateur recording of Afro Blue and my first try at sharing a recording with Divshare.

Let me know how you like it.


Shekere for Sale. - SOLD.

     I'm putting this shekere up for sale. It was intended to be part of a set, but between selling the littlest shekere of the set to my close friend because he REALLY wanted it, and my frustration with beading the middle gourd, it is time for this one to move on.

  This is a really excellent sounding shekere. The open tone has a great voice, and I've used some larger beads that give the shake sound a nice deep and solid sound. This shekere has an old schoolsound, like the shekeres you hear in the Mongo Santamaria recordings on Afro Roots.

  I was able to get this gourd very very clean on the inside. I don't cut my gourds in half to clean them. I painstakingly use a variety of home made tools to clean it. The inside gets a light coat of polyurethane for strength and to increase the volume, but not so much to increase the weight. The outside gets a coat of Danish Oil for protection and to improve the appearance. Finally, the thicker rope with the tassles, kind of a trademark of mine, is there to provide a kind of cushion, to keep your hands from striking the beads when playing an open tone on the bottom. That can be painful

    I take PayPal and ship overseas.