How it Began

I began my drum journey in the mid 90’s when a friend asked if he could spend the summer at my place in his tepee. This place that I call Steppingstone is 6 acres just outside of Sandpoint, Idaho surrounded by 60 foot cedar trees with a beautiful mountain stream running through the property.

One evening shortly after my friend had set up his tepee, I heard a steady rhythmic thumping coming from somewhere outside of my house. I felt like I was being summoned. I followed the sound to the tepee where I was invited in and handed a Native American Shaman drum.

I have never felt as empowered as I did that day!

The empowerment of drumming took hold of my heart string and never let go

After several minutes had passed, I realized that in reality several hours had passed and I knew in my heart that my life had changed forever!
I immediately printed up fliers inviting people out to have  full moon drum circles at Steppingstone. People loved it! The circles grew! Shortly we were having large gatherings for these full moon drum circles. Then more magic happened…a couple of people came in with these goblet shaped drums that they called djembes. I marveled at the incredible sound and complexity of the rhythms that they were creating. I know that my path was taking another turn. One of these djembe players needed a place to live temporarily, so I offered him a place at Steppingstone. He became my first djembe teacher. We noticed that Sandpoint did not have any hand drum classes available so we started a class. Shortly after we started the class, my teacher had to leave and the people in the class decided that the classes would continue and I would be the teacher! I respectfully declined the offer because I barely knew the material myself. Well they insisted and I agreed to serve, which began the Journey.
Since then I have founded the African style drum and dance troupes EarthBeat and Phoenix Rising. After spending 3 years on tour in England with RhythmWorks4U, an amazing rhythm circle provider, I moved to Olympia in the summer of 2007 to create Drumatic Innovation and I have been assisting in the creation of the drum and percussion group The OutLaw Drummer Band.

Interestingly enough, now, at the close of 2010 I find myself in the process of moving back to Sandpoint Idaho. Let the adventures continue!

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Michael 208 627 9045
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