Drumdala is an audio-visual performance group specializing in a fusion of tribal, modern dance, and cinematic styles. It is based around a unique instrument designed by Richard Sherwood called The Drumdala – mandala of drums. This instrument is a blend of acoustic and tonal electronic drums which can loop and layer a vast array of sounds.
The design inspiration for the instrument comes from the Taiko drumming tradition, early electronic drummers, DJ culture, and visionary instrument inventor William Close. Richard has performed around the world with Mr. Close’s Earthharp Collective for the past 15 years. The drumdala is an evolution of Mr. Close’s drumcloud with the latest electronic looping technology.
Richard’s playing style comes from many places including African, Indian, Japanese, and Middle Eastern drumming traditions, modern dance music, and good old rock ‘n’ roll.
Milo Gonzalez is a guitarist born of a multi-generational family of artists and musicians native to Venice Beach. With his mother being a rock vocalist, and his step father being a founding member of the renowned hardcore punk band Black Flag, Milo grew up around heavy rock music.
Inspired to play both electric and acoustic guitar, Milo discovered a deep love for flamenco and classical guitar music, finding it’s dark, emotive, and aggressive qualities alluring and similar to that of his rock roots. Milo has developed a unique and hard to define style of music that derives as much influence from legendary guitar virtuosos such as Paco De Lucia, and Vicente Amigo, as it does from rock/metal/psychedelic legends like Black Sabbath and Radiohead.
From the dim dark shadowy recesses of your mind lurks the last sonorous remnants of a beautiful dream gone bad. Enticing electronic Mata Hari’s dance to an otherworldly tango from the future to lure unsuspecting saps, like you, into an eternal quagmire.
Sally Slade is an Engineer / Artist living in Los Angeles, CA. After eight years of writing tools for 2D and 3D artists in the Visual Effects industry, she made the leap into the AR / VR industry.
Since 2016, Sally has released four titles for HoloLens, and contributed as a Technical Designer on back-to-back projects for Magnopus in Downtown Los Angeles. Highlights include a Lead role on the Auggie Award winning Mixed Reality experience, “The Navigator” in partnership with Meow Wolf, as well as contributing her talents on a team of six engineers to build the Virtual Production system used by Disney’s The Lion King.
When not at her keyboard, Slade enjoys painting, illustrating and sketching the world around her. Catch her at Venice Open Mic night where she self-stylizes as a “Pen and Ink Paparazzi”.
Rob Mastrianni is a Brooklyn-born guitarist, composer, recording artist and performer. His innovative compositions and guitar style are inspired by psychedelic rock, punk rock, Spanish classical and percussive finger-style techniques. He also utilizes a unique 19-string electric harp guitar, the Coral electric sitar, to create a range of exotic melodies and rhythms.
He is a founder of the musical duo Beatbox Guitar and collaborates and tours with dancers across Europe, North America. He performs regularly in NYC as a solo act and in collaboration with other artists such as Nepali vocalist Varsha Thapa, Kat Cunning, recording artist/vocalist Mina Caputo, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers and the Baroque Burlesque Dance Theater Troupe Company XIV. Rob can be heard on albums by Beatbox Guitar, Mina Caputo, soundtracks for network TV shows, Bellydance instructional videos and the Showtime series,” The L Word”.
When not performing Mastrianni works as a Park Ranger/Environmental Educator and specializes in rescuing birds of prey.
“I am a Micro Stage with a lot of Macro Magic. I travel far and wide, with the help of That Guy (my assistant), to bring performers of all kinds, and kind performer watchers together in whatever space we can all fit together in (just about anywhere).”
The Music Box is a truly mobile, self contained ‘micro stage’ (all battery powered), complete with lighting fx, 8 channel p.a. with on-board recording, and optional sitting (the famous Cherry Bench). Also, a mini box extension for rhythm accompaniment can be made available upon polite request.
Typically a solo, singer/songwriter venue, there’s nothing typical about the Music Box. It’s 4 foot wide/2 feet deep foot print (not counting 2 feet more of the apron), has handled duets to 4 piece bands; stringed instrumentalists to percussionists; keyboards to Autoharp; accordion to comics (even a comic playing accordion); a cappella singers to overly equipped Loopers (good thing there’s an apron). And the sound coming out of it is great. However, there is a height limit of about 6’2″, so tallers (or folks with big hats) will be on the Bench.
Whether out in the wilderness or on city sidewalks; on the beach or poolside; the B Stage at festivals and gatherings or the perfect backdrop for an on-line performance, the Music Box Micro Stage offers a Macro Show experience.
It is currently moving around in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas.
Radio Venice … Live with Love
Weekly Live Webcast from Breakwater Studios
in Venice, California …
While we take a season break we will be digging through the archives and presenting you with some of our favourites sets from over the years! Check out the Facebook event for all the details of this week’s episode of Radio Venice From the Archives. We will be back with Season 15 on September 13, 2020!
Brought to you by Breakwater Records & RaeGun Productions. Thanks for supporting independent music!
Prince Diabaté hails from a prominent, Malinké family from Guinea, West Africa. He learned his art from his father, Djéli Sori Diabaté. Breaking with tradition, his father also taught Prince’s mother, Hadja Djeli Sira Cissoko, to play kora. The young boy became an exceptionally early starter by accompanying his parents to their concerts throughout West Africa. Despite his father’s disapproval, he decided to make music his life. When he was eight years old, form Guinean President, Sekou Toure, came to his home town, Kindia, for a celebration in Independence Square. Braving the outraged soldiers and his own fear, the young musician grasped his kora, threw himself at the President s feet and played a special song for him. Greatly touched by his skill and audacity, Sekou Toure became his benefactor, enrolling him in the National Children’s Theater in Conakry. At 16 years of age, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, he stumbled upon a videocassette of Jimi Hendrix, and entered the international kora competition. Taking first prize that day ‘Prince Diabaté, Prince of the Kora’.
In 1986 he put the singer, Amara Sanoh, and the two started to perform together. In 1990 he won the “Discoveries” Award, sponsored by Radio France Internationale. After 12 successful years on the international festival circuit, touring Africa, Europe, Canada and the USA, the duo disbanded and Prince Diabaté settled in Los Angeles, USA. Prince Diabaté has released three CDs: Lamaranaa (Buda Music / Allegro) in 1993, New Life (Sunrise Records / Orchard) in 2001, which features guest artists Michael Brook and Hassan Hakmoun. His next album, Djerelon (Kora Company Collection) was recorded in Guinea, Conakry in 2006. It is arranged and produced by Kante Manfila, longtime collaborator of Salif Keita.The album won the People’s Choice Awards (Vox Populi) in the Independent Music Awards for 2007: World Music (Traditional) category. Lamarana and New Life are available as digital downloads with Virgin Islands and Djerelon is available through Itunes.
Considered to be one of the leading kora players of his generation, Prince Diabaté does not have a total mastery over his ancestral tradition, but a commitment to renew it through fresh ideas and exchanges with musicians from many cultures. His New York Symphony Orchestra, Adam del Monte (Flamenco) Hassan Hakmoun (Gnawa) and Grammy winners Michael Brook (guitarist-producer-composer) and Ozomatli (Hip-Hop fusion .) The musically adventurous griot has incorporated reggae, rap and blues into his work, and further developing his “Jimi Hendrix” technical, also punctuates his work by the occasional, funky use of the wah-wah pedal. Recently, he has adapted the music of the Wassolou to his repertoire, which he plays, self-taught and kora-style, on the kamelen n’goni. The result is entirely his own creation: a fresh, powerful brand of twenty-first century Manden music, which remains firmly rooted in traditional codes and references.
In 2001, he recorded with Ozomatli on “Embrace The Chaos,” their Grammy-winning CD. In 2002, he was nominated for the LA Weekly Music Awards and the New Times Music Awards. He was also a finalist in the International Acoustic Music Awards for 2004; the Unisong Contest for 2005-2006; the International Songwriting Contest for 2004 & 2005; and took first prize in the 2005 and 2006 Pacific Songwriting Competition.His work has attracted grants from Arts International; Alliance for California Traditional Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and the Durfee Foundation. Prince Diabaté also maintains an active schedule as a lecturer on aspects of Mandinka music. His clients to date include colleges and universities in California, Washington State and New York. He is also sought after for film and television projects in Hollywood.
These days Prince Diabaté divides his time between France, the USA and Guinea and is often on the move, performing with his group.At the end of 2013 the Prince Diabaté Academy of Music was officially launched in Guinea. This new academy, the first privately-funded establishment in Guinea, is the result of Prince Diabaté’s desire to create an international music school specializing in stringed instruments and traditional flute. Thanks to the encouragement of government ministers, construction is underway and the foundation stone was laid in December 2013.