Mingo plays the Nautilus Mingo Lewis signature cajon and a variety of compact cajons.
In a career spanning more than 45 years (so far!), percussionist Mingo Lewis has played with some of music's greatest names, including Chick Corea (and Return to Forever), Al DiMeola, Santana, and the Tubes. He has performed live and/or recorded with hundreds of musicians such as Third World, Miles Davis, Todd Rundgren, and Billy Joel. He has recorded over 100 records, many of which were Grammy winners.
Mingo's childhood was saturated with music and musicians. His father, Jimmy "Babyface" Lewis, was a blues singer and guitarist, well-known at New York's Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. Jimmy's closest friends were Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, and the two would often visit the family.
With such musical luminaries surrounding him, it was inevitable that the boy would begin playing early. He started with brushes on just a snare drum and a cymbal, jamming with his father, who would wake young Mingo up in the middle of the night to play with him and his friends. Over time, Mingo learned to groove with the masters. Monk, Miles, Max Roach, Art Blakey and countless others were frequent visitors to the house.
From age 6 to 12, he was steeped in jazz, funk and soul music. Upon entering junior high school, he became enthralled with Latin music, quickly becoming involved in the swinging Latin music scene in New York.
One night, the Santana band was in town to play at Madison Square Garden. It happened that the percussion section had quit the afternoon before the gig, and Carlos and the band were left scrambling to find a replacement. When the show's promoter got word that Mingo, who had been dragged to the show by a friend, was in the house waiting for the show to begin, an impromptu audition was arranged, and with only minutes to spare, Mingo filled in. It was the beginning of what would become a three-year relationship with Santana, during which they toured the world and recorded the studio albums Caravanserai and Love, Devotion and Surrender and the live LP Live at the Crater Festival.
Over the ensuing years, he worked on some highly acclaimed pop and fusion records, including Billy Joel's Turnstiles, Todd Rundgren's Nearly Human, XTC's Skylarking, David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and a handful of Al DiMeola's early works. Additionally, he began to develop a teaching practice, one focused on understanding each individual student and teaching according to his or her needs.
Mingo Lewis's newest music project is called Room of Voices. Room of voices is a new direction in music and a collective of world sounds. Prepare your mind, body, and soul to take a journey through the multidimensionality of this music. With waves of funk, psychedelica, reggae, world, dance, dubstep and fusion music, Room of Voices creates a quest of inner depth to its listeners. The band consists of Mingo on drums and lead vocals and his partner Karissa "Sound Sapien" who plays synthesizers and vocals. It is amazing the powerful sound that just the two of them create together. Many have said that this 2-piece band is ground breaking in the world of where live meets electronic music.
As a player/composer/producer, Mingo Lewis is in the business of making real music, in real time, with real people: relaxed, breathing, grooving music. As a teacher, his project is to convey the depth and beauty of music, as a whole, to whoever is lucky enough to cross the threshold of his basement studio.
Christian plays the Nautilus Medium Bass Birch Bajo Cajon
"If you don't have good time, you've got nothing."
It was with these words from his father that Christian Teele set off on a life long pursuit of the perfect groove. This path has taken him on a virtual world tour of rhythms from Cuba, Brazil, Nigeria and India, studying how different cultures approach the task of marking time. From this melting pot of rhythms, he has developed his own sound that people have come to know and seek out for their projects.
Christian is best known for his work as the house drummer for the internationally syndicated radio show, E Town, where he has backed up artists such as James Taylor, Rickie Lee Jones, David Crosby, Ben Harper, Moby, Joan Osborne and many others. In addition to playing on E-Town, Christian is also an accomplished session drummer, lending his talents to hundreds of records as well as music for film and TV. Most recently, he has launched his own online service, www.yoursessiondrummer.com , where, recording in his own home studio, he adds drum and percussion tracks to projects from all over the world.
Christian also keeps busy playing live with a wide range of local artists, including Rebecca Folsom, Dave Beegle and Trace Bundy as well as filling in for national acts in need of a drummer as they come through Colorado. Some past shows have included playing with Donna Summer, William Topley and Commander Cody. Currently, Christian also runs a successful teaching practice where he works with students of all ages, sharing the knowledge gathered from his extensive and widely-varied background. Having taught for over 20 years, he is able to tailor the lessons to the needs of the student, helping them achieve their musical goals.
Chances are you've already heard Christian in a number of places; on TV, with shows like Oprah, Anderson Cooper 360, 20/20 and Desperate Housewives; in movies such as A Guy Thing, Friends With Money and 3000 Miles to Graceland; on the radio every week with E-Town on over 200 stations around the globe; or on stage at music festivals like Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rocky Grass or Strawberry Music Festival.
In what ever situation he plays in, Christian leaves his distinctive mark. Producer Taylor Mesple had this to say: "...it's just unthinkable to try to forge ahead on a project without his involvement".
Beth plays a birch Flagship Snare Cajon
Beth Quist is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer, who began playing piano at age 2. She was lead soprano and instrumentalist for the creation band in Cirque du Soleil's "KA", and currently performs solo, with Sherefé which specializes in Balkan and Middle Eastern music. She has sung & toured with Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra since 1997, and appears on his albums "Circlesongs", "Mouth Music", and "VOCAbuLarieS". Beth has also composed over 50 scores for dance, theater, television, & film, including musical contributions to the Emmy nominated documentary "The Two Escobars".
Her early musical influences were "Batman," "Star Trek," and "Dr. Zhivago." "I'm a Little Leopard Prowling Around in Sneakers" was her first musical composition at age 8.
She has a 4-octave soprano voice, and plays piano, keyboards, santour (hammered dulcimer), dumbek, daff, guitar, flute, and various other toys that she can get her hands on. Her music combines influences from the Balkans, the Middle East, and India with her Western upbringing.
James Doyle plays a Nautilus Medium Snare Cajon.
James Doyle is an assistant professor of music at Adams State University where he teaches courses in percussion, pedagogy, improvisation, music business, and directs the jazz ensembles, steel pan bands, the ASU Grizzly Drum Line, and Continuum- the ASU percussion ensemble. He regularly performs with the San Juan Symphony, The Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, Taos Soundscapes chamber ensemble, the Animas Music Festival, the Medano Creek Jazz Combo, the Celtic group, Tripping Upstairs, the Doyle-Kane Duo for flute and percussion, and numerous commercial artists throughout the Rocky Mountain region and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Before accepting his position at ASU, James served as principal percussionist with the Air Force Band of the Golden West where he spent six years touring, recording, and performing throughout the western United States, while maintaining an active freelancing schedule in the San Francisco Bay area. His performances have appeared on PBS, CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS as well as numerous NPR broadcasts.
Prior to his appointment with the band, James was a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and performed frequently throughout the Gulf Coast. Other regular performance appearances include The Reno Philharmonic, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Classical Philharmonic of San Francisco, Sacramento Chamber Orchestra, Napa Valley Symphony, California Wind Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony, Natchez Opera Orchestra, Louisiana Sinfonietta, and the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra. He has performed as soloist with the Air Force Band of the Golden West, Louisiana State University Wind Ensemble, American River Chamber Orchestra, Adams State University, and the Napa College Orchestra.
As a classical, jazz, and rock musician, he has toured Europe, Southwest Asia, and East Africa and has performed with Grammy artists Dionne Warwick, Lee Greenwood, Mary Wilson, Nancy Wilson, and Grammy nominees Three Dog Night and Maureen McGovern. James is also a founding member of West Coast Impact, a percussion group dedicated to the performance of traditional Ugandan music as well as 21st century repertoire.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, James earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Central Missouri, a master’s degree in percussion performance from Louisiana State University, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He regularly presents clinics and master classes at numerous colleges and universities, teaches percussion at Hummingbird Music Camp in northern New Mexico, maintains a successful private teaching studio, and is an active music festival clinician and adjudicator. He’s a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, a Vic Firth endorser, a Black Swamp Percussion Educator, Vice-President of the Colorado Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and a member of the Percussive Arts Society Drum Set Committee.
He has taught percussion at Western State Colorado University, the history of rock at UNLV, music literature at Trinidad State Junior College, and lessons, percussion ensemble, and marimba ensemble as a graduate assistant at LSU. Other teaching positions have included the Louisiana State University Music Academy, Yamaha Sounds of Summer Percussion Camp, LSU Chamber Winds Camp, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Grandview High School, Knob Noster High School, and several high school percussion ensembles and drum lines in Missouri, Louisiana, California, and Colorado.
Brett Plays a custom Birch Flagship Cajon
Brett is the steady and reliable heart-beat of NuMundo, Marrakech Express, The Peace Project, and many other ensembles in and around Denver, CO. He is fluent in many styles of percussion from around the world. A southern California native and former 5th grade teacher, Brett has been a mainstay in the World music communities of Utah and Colorado since the early 1990’s. In addition to NuMundo, Brett currently spends his time playing global influenced music with the Kailin Yong Peace Project; Flamenco/Mid Eastern/Latin fusion with the Tito Malaga band; North African music with Marrakesh Express; traditional Balkan folk songs with Azra Sings; and Arabic music with the Zuruna Middle Eastern Music Ensemble. Brett also teaches workshops, classes, and private percussion lessons.