Founder of SankofaAfrica, Keenan was born in Nashville, Tennessee. His love of music deepened as a teenager in Los Angeles, California, where he began his music studies with Master Teachers from Africa and Cuba. Surrounded by a highly spiritual family, he has spent his life focused on studies of music, religion and history.
He is influenced by music giants John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal, El Hadj Kouyate, Toumani Diabate, Robert Johnson, Slip James, Johnny Shines, Habib, Koite and Keltigue Diabate. The music traditions of Latin America, Sumatra and India also infiltrate his style.
Keenan performs the 21 string kora (11 played by the left hand and 10 by the right), a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin with a long, hardwood neck. Strings were traditionally made from thin strips of hide, for example, antelope skin – now most strings are made from harp strings or nylon fishing line.
It doesn’t fit into any one category of musical instruments and is classified as a “double-bridge-harp-lute”. He also performs on the balaphone (from West Africa), West African drums from the Mandingo or Mende people, the flute and saxophone.
Keenan Webster on Radio Venice
Based in Los Angeles, California, The String Revolution is comprised of four professional guitar players who are not only stellar guitarists, but also create distinctive sounds with their guitars: mimicking percussion, special effects, melodic grooves, bass lines, and more. Their knowledge of a wide range of musical styles, guitar techniques, and a clear dedication and passion for the project brought The String Revolution together.
These musicians are at the top of their game, embarking on a debut recording followed by worldwide touring. Their shows include original compositions as well as memorable covers arranged in fresh and surprising ways. With entertaining guitar chops, exceptional musicianship and an international background, The String Revolution is no doubt a new and unique force in the world of music and guitar performance.
Janet Robin is the brainchild of The String Revolution. She was named one of the “Top ten female guitarists” by Guitar World Magazine. She has also been enjoying her career as a solo artist releasing CDs and touring internationally.
Daniel Schwarz has amazing acoustic guitar abilities and skills on the slide guitar, dobro and mandolin. He is an acclaimed music composer and musician who tours frequently in Europe.
Art Zavala Jr. brings a unique, musical guitar perspective to the project, including singing, experimental rhythms, different tunings and original songs.
Markus Illko proves his classical training as well his fluency in many other styles of music. He brings inventive fingerstyle, impeccable technique, and arrangement talent to the project.
The String Revolution on Radio Venice
Radio Venice S05.E09 – May 7, 2017
Ruth Chase is primarily a project-based artist whose award-winning series, West of Lincoln Project, probed into the lives of individuals who grew up in Venice, CA, sharing stories of adversity transformed into valuable life wisdom. She is a California-based painter that uses biographical portraiture to communicate stories of compassion, and valuable insight that promotes positive social change. Her work includes the use of social media in her creative process to stimulate conversation around human value, as well as engaging the public to actively participate in the final outcome of her work.
The West of Lincoln Project reveals the wisdom that comes from growing up in Venice. Born and raised in Venice herself, Ruth presents an authentic and intimate view of the Venice community.
11 Individual Painted Portraits of people who grew up in Venice: Meta Zimmerman, Brad James, Fernando Manzanilla, David Fowler, Rhonda Lynn Wise, Eddie Hadvina, Leonard Duran, Elaine Leslie, Solo Scott, Gloria Olivas Omar, and Ruth Chase.
Additionally, the “West Of Lincoln” painting is a college of personal stories from people from all over the world, and across many decades. Every participant submitted an image and a recorded an audio clip about their experiences and memories of Venice CA.
Born 1965, grew up on Paloma Court in Venice, CA.
Fight for your passion like your life depends on it, because it literally does. Growing up in Venice made me who I am and afforded me a lot of opportunity. At the age of seven, I got a surfboard for Christmas and I was off and running, obsessed, and became passionate about surfing from then on. That art, or talent, kept me sane amidst all the insanity.
– Solo Scott
The Opening Reception for the West of Lincoln Project is on Saturday, August 5, 4:00–8:00 pm @ Venice Arts, 13445 Beach Ave, Venice Marina, CA
Ruth Chase and Solo Scott on
Radio Venice S05.E09 – May 7, 2017