In his early musical life, Brian was a classically trained bass player, playing in symphony orchestras, chamber groups and jazz ensembles. He left the professional performing world to become a violinmaker, obtaining his certificate in violinmaking in 1986 after a 3.5 year program of study with Master Tschu Ho Lee at the Chicago School of Violinmaking. To this day he is an active and sought after luthier with his own shop operating as The Village Violinmaker. Brian still plays the bass, but just for fun.
In the early 1990’s he began attending men’s retreats and took up the art of storytelling in the mytho-poetic tradition using a hand drum to accompany himself in the telling of the old epic stories. This led to studying Afro-Cuban style drumming for 5 years with Pepe Danza and playing in several bands with him. One of his greatest joys in drumming is to accompany dancers, which he did for several years with various teachers of ecstatic dance.
He has extensive experience in leading rhythm circles, as well as creativity retreats. The practice of leading groups of men in ritual also plays a prominent role in his life. In October 2008 he completed the basic TaKeTiNa teacher training with Reinhard Flatischler (www.taketina.com), the Austrian percussionist who founded the process of TakeTiNa, and his wife Cornelia. Brian and Shasta are the first certified TaKeTiNa teachers in Canada and co-founded the North American TaKeTiNa Association (www.taketina.org).
Brian assists Shasta in the Village SongCircle which is a non-performing group connected to the Ubuntu Choir network (ubuntuchoirs.net). This organization is dedicated to providing an opportunity for all people to experience the joy and healing power of singing together, in particular those who have been misguidedly told that they “can’t sing.”
Most recently Brian has formed the Crossing Over Men’s Songcircle. a men’s singing group that specializes in bedside singing and singing for people who are dying. This group is part of the Threshold Choir network (thresholdchoir.org) and is the first Threshold Choir led by a man and comprised of only men.
From symphony orchestras, jazz bands, instrument making, storytelling, drumming and song circles, it is easy to say that Brian’s life is dedicated to rhythm and song.