From Kona to Zona and Beyond

Greetings, One & All~

Aloha! I’m back in Zona from Kona just in time to get your November A 440 Newsletter out. There’s an abundance of good news this month, but I will try to err on the side of brevity for your perusing pleasure!

Shadow Chant at Willyworld

Shadow Chant, the enchanting new release by Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman, is now available for preview and purchase–either as a physical CD or a digital download–on the Purchase Page of my personal website at:

Sun Dog Twins at the Steamplant, Salida CO / courtesy Joe Stone Media

Trialogue Takes to the Air. . . Again!

The song Mending Fences from the trio’s eponymous Zone Music Reporter Award-winning CD is programmed in-flight music on Vietnam Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines for November, and Air Mauritius for December. . . hey Sherry and Darin, we’ve got to tour these exotic locales!

Heart Dance Duo at CRAS

Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman recently had an opportunity to record the first third of our new flute-and-drum Heart Dance Records duo project to 2″ analog tape in one of the state-of-the-art studios at the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Gilbert AZ. Yowzah–can’t beat that phat analog sound!

Sherry contemplates the Heart Dance kit from the flute booth at CRAS

RCNQ in Silver City

In our never-ending quest to make the airwaves safe for global native fusion, the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will perform a benefit concert in the Fine Arts Theater at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico, in support of Gila Mimbres Community Radio station KURU 89.1 FM, on Friday November 10th at 7 PM.

info & tickets available on-line at

The Q at Rancho Improvisoso / courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

Nakai in Concert with Verde Valley Sinfonietta

On Saturday & Sunday, November 18th & 19th, I’ll have the distinct honor and pleasure of holding the heartbeat for a performance of selections from Fourth World with R. Carlos Nakai and the Verde Valley Sinfonietta; the Saturday concert is at Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts in Verde Valley AZ at 6 PM; and the Sunday matinee is at Sedona Performing Arts Center in Sedona AZ at 2:30 PM.

info & tickets at

Myths & Masks in Marana

Starting with a Planet of Percussion kick-off assembly on Monday November 6th and concluding with a Myths & Masks community showcase of student masks and poetry on Wednesday November 22nd, I’ll have the privilege of serving as the November Artist-in-Residence at Tortolita Middle School in Marana AZ.

Medicine Arrow Benefit Set

In our never-ending quest to create positive change through music, Medicine Arrow will perform a twenty-minute set on Friday November 24th for the 18th Annual Native American Children’s Toy Drive & Benefit Concert from 6-9 PM at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix AZ.

*I wish I had more info for you, but this came in right at deadline. Our set is rumored to be scheduled for 7:30 PM, amidst a stellar cast of other artists, all for a good cause!

Preview: Medicine Arrow at Galactic Center

That distilled essence of the Medicine Arrow show will be a preview for the trio’s full-length world premiere concert at Galactic Center in Tucson AZ on December 16th at 7:30 PM, surrounded by transformational art and sound sculpture, with intimate seating.

Tickets are available at the door only for this show, so come early get comfy!

Temenos Quartet CD Release Preview

On Friday December 1st at 8 PM, your intrepid purveyors of Old Pueblo Folk Funk Temenos Quartet will return to the highly danceable confines of Speedway Gallery in Tucson AZ to celebrate the release of our full-length CD Forecast. Those of you who know and love our earlier EP version–and those of you new to TQ–won’t want to miss this intimately poetic trance-groove evening with To-Ree-Nee, Heidi, Amo & Will!

Photos of the Month

Shery Christopher and I captured these two bookend images recently: hers, a sunrise here in Zona; mine, a sunset out in Kona. Both bespeak the beauty of a fleeting moment, and remind us to be present every day in the eternal now. Aloha nui loa, a hui hou!

Poem of the Month

And to close in the spirit of brevity with which we began, here’s one of my favorite vignettes from Wilderness in the Marrow: it bespeaks the fleeting nature of autumn–and indeed of all our seasons on Earth–reminding us to be here now. Enjoy!

The Fall

I love the light of autumn:

the fall from grace

through space and into place,

a season between extremes

when we forgive each other and ourselves

for all we have and have not done,

and prepare together

for the darkness and cold to come.

© Will Clipman 2017; from Wilderness in the Marrow

May your November be one to remember!

Self-discipline is its own reward.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

Harvest Moon Harvest

Greetings, One & All~

Please accept my apologies for being late with your October A 440 Newsletter. As most of you know, I try hard to get the good news out on the first of each month, and more often than not succeed; but having been on the road for most of the last two months, I haven’t been able to compile this month’s issue incrementally as I usually do. Better late than never, as they say; and the good news is you haven’t missed any good news, as our Harvest Moon Harvest is just beginning. Enjoy!

Ancient Voices, Future Visions

On Saturday & Sunday October 14th & 15th from 9 AM-4 PM each day, I’ll return to the Kiva Room at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley AZ to conduct the newest iteration of my on-going and ever-evolving Myths & Masks workshop. Exploring the theme Ancient Voices, Future Visions, participants will create their own original, wearable mask art and compose a mythic persona poem that interprets how all that we have been and all that we are now manifests in the highest self we have yet to be. Those of you who’ve experienced previous iterations of M&M know how deep, rich and profound an experience it is, and I welcome you back to take your self-transformation to the next level; for those of you who are new to M&M, what a treat you’re in for!

information and registration at:

National Parks Store | Ancient Voices, Future Visions: A multi-media mask making workshop with Will Clipman

Shadow Chant CD Release

The Sun Dog Twins (aka, Leon Joseph Littlebird & Will Clipman) enchanted audiences across the Western Slope of the Shining Mountains on the first leg of their 2017-18 CD Release Tour for their new album Shadow Chant. A longer tour through Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado is planned for next Spring, and you can enjoy the uplifting sounds of Shadow Chant in the meantime by ordering a CD or digital download at:

The Dawgs do The Steamplant in Salida CO

Family Night at Canyon Ranch

On Wednesday October 18th from 5:30-7:30 PM I’ll return to the world-renowned spa and self-transformation center Canyon Ranch in Tucson AZ for the second installment of my new programming initiative there with a Family Night maskmaking workshop for staff and their families.

What Lies Beyond Wins ISMA

The ground-breaking, boundary-shattering new Canyon Records release What Lies Beyond by the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet recently won the Indian Summer Music Award for Best Contemporary/Modern Instrumental Album. WLB and RCNQ also nabbed two Native American Music Award nominations: one for Best Instrumental Album and one for Duo/Group of the Year.

You can learn more about NAMA and support our nominations at:

Nakai & Clipman at CasaBella

On Saturday October 21st from 5-9 PM, R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman will provide musical atmosphere for the one-year anniversary gala of CasaBella, Tucson’s premiere Southwestern art gallery.

Scroll down to mid-page for an Invite Request at:

Photo of the Month

I never had ravens at Rancho Improvisoso before Shery arrived; but she summoned a few from her previous home in Sedona, and now we see and hear them quite frequently and enjoy their magical presence. Shery happened to catch a momentary visit from this extraordinarily large one perched atop a saguaro outside her meditation room.

Poem of the Month

And in keeping with that motif, here’s a Poem of the Month that was composed in the forest near Mount Shasta some years ago, which speaks to the powerful medicine of the Saami messenger bird. I trust you’ll find it as insightful to read as I did to write. Enjoy!

Raven Medicine

Bring your wings

trust raven medicine

in a pool of sunlight

among ancient trees

Bundle feathers

send prayer smoke up

sit still


Lift a sequoia cone

from the moist duff

and sniff its underbelly

Trust what nose

pressed in loam tells

Be that one

mysterious cloud alone

in a cloudless October sky

that vanishes above the mountains

in the blink of an eye

Let god’s dogs rouse you

to go out at three

and stare at stars

Remember to remember

that you are made

of that bright stuff

© Will Clipman 2017

May the full Harvest Moon illuminate your way this month,

and may your October be blessed with much abundance.

A keen observer and careful listener has a natural advantage in any situation.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

See You in September!

Greetings, One & All~

As we round the bend from monsoon season toward the autumnal equinox here in Northern Sonora, the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer as we begin to dry out and cool down. Conversely, events in Willyworld continue to thunder ahead at a blistering pace. Enjoy all the good news in this September issue of your A 440 Newsletter!

Shadow Chant

The new duo album Shadow Chant by Leon Joseph Littlebird & Will Clipman is in post-production and scheduled for release the last week of September. This new collection of songs marks an exciting departure for The Troubadour Laureate of the Western Slope and The Old Pueblo Desert Drummer: with the addition of Will’s heartbeat, Leon’s acclaimed lyricism and songcraft are infused with a percussion-driven world music/Americana feel, spanning the spectrum from gently contemplative ballads to highly-combustible rockers. The title cut is a passionate protest song with an indelible hook that is sure to light your Bic!

We’ll launch the new album with a series of CD release concerts on the Western Slope, mixing intimate house concerts and formal venues such as the venerable Steamplant Event Center in Salida CO, with more bookings currently in the works.

Steamplant tickets & info at

Leon Joseph Littlebird Concert

house concert tickets & info:

Tour Photos

The first leg of my three-stage summer tour included a lovely mix of live performances and recording sessions with three different ensembles: the R.Carlos Nakai Quartet (RCNQ); Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman (aka The Sundog Twins); and Trialogue + Art Patience. I’m not much of a photographer–my hands being otherwise occupied most of the time–but I managed to snap a small portfolio of scene-setters from stage and studio:

The RCNQ crowd gathering at Grand River Winery, Grand Junction CO

The pan-global percussion session at Mad House Recordists, Leadville CO

The drumkit session at Mad House–note the opened louvres for a BIG sound!

Trialogue + Art Patience house concert stage, Colorado Springs CO

Trialogue + Art Patience Francisco Crossing stage, La Veta CO

Trialogue + Art Patience Wildwood Sounds stage, Del Norte CO

And the Tour Continues. . . !

After a brief respite at home to re-connect with my sacred space and get my wits about me, I’ll head out again next week for two more RCNQ shows at the Shumei Institute in Crestone CO on Friday September 8th and at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in Santa Fe NM on Saturday September 9th.

Shumei Institute tickets & info at

Santa Fe Botanical Garden tickets & info at


And Continues to Continue. . . !

Next, I’ll do a crack-the-whip turn-around and head out to NoCal for two Nakai, Eaton & Clipman shows at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton CA on Wednesday September 20th and at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore CA on Thursday September 21st; the latter performance will be supplemented with a day-of-show master class.

Don Quixote’s International Music Hall tickets & info at

Bankhead Theater tickets & info at

R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Will Clipman

Can’t Stop Now, Must Keep Moving. . . !

From NoCal I’ll blaze back over to Colorado for the aforementioned Shadow Chant CD release concerts with Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman, then home to Tucson in October.
But wait, there’s more. . . .

Workshop Preview

I’d like to give my A 440 Inner Circle the inside track on the wonder-filled new installment of my long-running workshop series at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley AZ: on Saturday & Sunday October 14th & 15th I’ll conduct the latest iteration of my ever-evolving Myths & Masks maskmaking and creative writing experience, this one entitled Ancient Voices, Future Visions.

Enrollment will be capped at twelve, so register early at

National Parks Store | Ancient Voices, Future Visions: A multi-media mask making workshop with Will Clipman

What Lies Beyond an ISMA Finalist

What Lies Beyond, the latest Canyon Records release by RCNQ, is a Finalist for the prestigious Indian Summer Music Awards in the Contemporary-Modern Instrumental category. You can find out more about ISMA and support our nomination at

Deepak Chopra Live Stream

I got an out-of-the-blue call from GRAMMY-winning New Age composer and recording artist Paul Avgerinos recently, asking for permission to use a song from my GRAMMY-nominated solo album Pathfinder as part of the soundtrack for a live-stream poetry reading by Deepak Chopra. Needless to say, I replied with my favorite word: YES!

Paul chose the closing cut from Pathfinder, After the Storm, and placed it in the fourth position, which he refers to as “the position of honor” in an album sequence; the honor was mine to be included with such contemporary instrumental luminaries as Peter Kater, David Arkenstone, Michael Hoppe, Michael Brant DeMaria and Jeff Pearce. Deepak Chopra chose to read an original poem inspired by Khalil Gibran over my song.

Watch and listen at

Photo of the Month

As I mentioned earlier I’m not much of a photographer myself, so I have a heightened appreciation for the timing and discipline that goes into capturing a perfect picture. This shot by Shery Christopher, taken at dawn in her meditation room, illustrates that being at the right place at the right time–being completely present in the moment and completely alert to its possibility–can result in a stunning image of subtle beauty.

Sunrise Buddha by Shery Christopher

Poem of the Month

I’ll close as always with what has become (to my surprise and delight) THE most popular feature in my A 440 Newsletter. Your September Poem of the Month reflects countless hours and endless miles alone on the road, contemplating the many storylines that weave into the tapestry of one’s life, which inevitably gives rise to both a liberating sense of being in perpetual motion and a longing to come to rest at home. Enjoy!

Point of Departure

The world is leaving

me behind, or I

am leaving it.

Either way


is a point of departure.

Between sagas

imagined by children and

the patronage of philanthropists,

from our funky little beach house

on the black volcanic shore

of an ancient inland sea

to a mythic marble palace

overlooking a valley carved

by prehistoric avalanche,

a curving road snakes

through the Singing Desert

along which all things

are revealed in time:

all points one point,

all storylines one line.

© Will Clipman 2017

Go in harmony and balance

but don’t forget to be here

before you leave!

We are all two people: the person we are and the person we aspire to be;
that we narrow the gap between those two each day, however incrementally,
is a measure of our progress toward self-realization.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

August Abundance

Greetings, One & All~

The monsoon engenders a sudden verdant fecundity in the Sonoran Desert, all the more startling this year as record-setting rains arrived right on the heels of record-breaking heat and aridity. In harmony with the natural order, a relative dry spell in Willyworld has yielded to an astounding abundance of creative activity, as noted in this August issue of your A 440 Newsletter. Enjoy all the good news, and I hope to see you all somewhere or other monsooner than later!

Third Thrilling Thursday

On Thursday August 3rd from 7-10 PM at Noble Hops in Oro Valley, Arizona, Ambient Funk will play the last of our Thrilling Thursdays shows for 2017. Don’t miss this one last evening of delicious food, refreshing drink, stunning mountain views and groovy live music on the cool elevated patio of Noble Hops with your favorite Funksters!

info & directions at

Medicine Arrow Demo Session

On Monday August 7th at Canyon Records in Phoenix, Arizona, working with producer Stephen Butler, the new multidisciplinary, multimedia, multicultural ensemble Medicine Arrow will record a 2-3 song promotional demo. Conceived as a flexible, adaptable and expandable performance troupe, the core Medicine Arrow trio is comprised of three Canyon Records artists: singer, dancer and actor Roman Orona; flutist, storyteller and puppeteer Jonah Littlesunday; and percussionist, poet and maskmaker Will Clipman. We’ll also do a photo shoot that day; meanwhile, here’s an informal glimpse of the guys:

Jonah, Will and Roman in the rehearsal studio at Rancho Improvisoso

Rocky Mountain High Tour

The ol’ Desert Drummer will spend a good bit of August on the road in Colorado, holding the heartbeat for some of the Southwest’s finest musicians and ensembles:

On Saturday August 12th at 7:30 PM the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will perform an outdoor concert at Grande River Vineyards in Grand Junction, Colorado, with dining and wining available.

tickets & info at

Saturday, August 12 – R.Carlos Nakai Quartet

On Wednesday August 16th at 6 PM at Aspen Canyon Ranch in Parshall, Colorado, Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman will perform an outdoor concert with dining, lodging and/or camping options available. This show will help generate funds for the Summit Musicians Relief Fund, a non-profit 501(c)3 founded to assist musicians in medical need.

tickets & info + dining, lodging & camping options at

On Thursday August 17th I’ll shift from stage to studio for a recording session with Leon Littlebird at Mad House Recordists in Leadville, Colorado, laying tracks for our new duo album at 10,200′ above sea level–I had to include an oxygen tank in my tech rider!

The rehearsal studio at Rancho Improvisoso. . . a madhouse, indeed!

On Friday August 18th I’ll catch up with the HeArt of Summer Tour in Colorado Springs, Colorado and join Trialogue + Art Patience for a 7 PM house concert.

for reservations & information, contact Gary Coleman at

On Saturday August 19th the HeArt of Summer Tour will roll into in La Veta, Colorado for a 7 PM concert at Francisco Crossing.

tickets & info at

And on Sunday August 20th I’ll close out this leg of the tour with a 7 PM show at Wildwood Sounds in Del Norte, Colorado.

tickets & info at

FourTissimo Premiere

I’ll dive back into the deep talent pool of The Old Pueblo with HUGE splash on August 26th when FourTissimo plays its premiere concert at Sea of Glass Center for the Arts at 7:30 PM. This brand new “Southwestern Supergroup” features world-renowned guitarist Gabriel Ayala joining forces with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist AmoChip Dabney, bassist Johnny Walker, and yours truly on drums and percussion for what promises to be the don’t-miss concert of the summer! We’ll also appear on the KGUN-9 TV show Morning Blend at 11 AM on Friday August 25th.

tickets & info at

Peak Performance at Canyon Ranch

As the first installment of my new multidisciplinary programming initiative at the world-renowned resort, spa and self-transformation center Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, I’ll present a Peak Performance staff in-service entitled Unmasking the Super You at noon-1 PM on Tuesday August 29th, combining elements of my Myths & Masks workshop and performance to demonstrate and facilitate creative self-realization.

visit Canyon Ranch at


POP at Home

July saw the launch of a new Planet of Percussion offering called POP at Home. My inaugural in-service took the form of a three-day private master class with Steve and Karolyn Eisenberg: a Phoenix, Arizona couple who had seen me in concert at the Musical Instrument Museum Theater last Spring and invited me to bring POP into their living room. It was a transformational and extraordinarily enjoyable experience for them and for me, as evidenced in the eloquent testimonial Steve and Karolyn so graciously wrote and allowed me to share with you:

My husband and I saw Will Clipman perform at the Musical Instrument Museum Theater, which spurred our idea to have a master class with him in our home during the time we were planning on leaving for a vacation.

We experienced world percussion for three days with Will. He is a wonderful teacher! His energy is both invigorating and inviting. During our classes we were able to experience a wide variety of percussion instruments and learn several rhythms. We also gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for polyrhythms.

Drums are amazing instruments. They are a paradox: completely available at any level of experience; but if needed to be, amazingly complex. While we worked with them to produce sounds and rhythms for us, they in turn provided several gifts back. We both started with anxiety and stress, which was lessoned or deadened significantly. In addition, we found a new level of communication we didn’t know we were capable of.

Thanks to Will and the instruments, a mutual understanding was gained between two people who have been married for twenty-two years.

This was by far the most rewarding and enlightening vacation we have ever had!

~Karolyn & Steve Eisenberg

Karolyn and Steve improvise on djembe and berimbau

A couples duet on the tongue drum–the hands are faster than the lens!

Shoot me an email to book your own POP at Home event!

Sky High with Trialogue

The Friendly Skies just got a whole lot friendlier for contemporary world music with the news that songs from the CD Trialogue: Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman (Heart Dance Records) will be aired on the following international airlines during August and September:


Alger Street on Singapore Airlines

Wolf Haven on Singapore Airlines


Trialogue on Vietnam Airlines and EgyptAir

Alger Street on Kenya Airways and Vietnam Airlines

Confused on EgyptAir and Air Astana

Buckle up, everyone–it’s going to be an exhilarating flight!

Pathfinder Top Five Final Ballot

It’s time for the final round of balloting to determine the five songs from Pathfinder to be included on this summer’s digital-only compilation. The nominees from the first-round ballot are (in CD track order, not ranked by number of first-round votes):

Ibo Oye
Desert Rain
Barefoot in Cholla

Shoot me an email with YOUR FIVE winning picks!

CDs & DVDs at CasaBella Fine Art

Gallery owner Thomas Hickey snapped this photo of yours truly enjoying the new CD & DVD display at CasaBella Fine Arts in Tucson, Arizona. I’m humbled and honored to have an exclusive selection of recordings on offer among the brilliant artwork at CasaBella.

visit CasaBella Fine Art at

Photos of the Month

As spectacular as our normal, everyday sunsets are in Tucson, the nightly monsoon light show takes the color and drama to a whole new level. It was almost impossible to pick out only two from Shery’s seasonal portfolio, but here are two of my favorites. Enjoy!

Monsoon Sunset #1 by Shery Christopher

Monsoon Sunset #2 by Shery Christopher

Poem of the Month

In the full cycle of the natural order, an abundance of vitality is inevitably balanced by an equal and opposite abundance of mortality. Your August Poem of the Month refracts personal experience through the lens of language in the hope of illuminating a universal truth. I trust you’ll find it as meaningful to read it as I did to write it.

That Shining Other Shore

That half-mad mystic

wandering the wintry ramparts

was right: live the questions!

Is there such a thing

as terminal sadness? Can one

literally die of a broken heart?

Oh, to hold still for so long with such

Jurassic equanimity, fierce eyes forever

focused unblinking on the eternal now!

What was I doing while you were drowning?

Was I asleep and dreaming; was I holding

my wife in my arms to console her weeping

so I wouldn’t weep; was I having my morning

coffee and reading the paper with its daily

litany of other deaths, each with its own

particular unendurability? This day began

in heartbreak: mourning the anniversary

of one loss and soon to discover another.

Your color was never

this vivid in life, your countenance

never so calm.

Heartache thuds upon heartache: the body’s

toughest muscle pounded like pylons

into the deepest detritus of the riverbottom

over which we’ll build someday

a bridge to that shining

other shore.

(the italicized quote is from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke)

© Will Clipman 2017

Wishing one and all an abundant August!

Be fearless and have faith in your vision.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

Cool July News

Greetings, One & All~

One trick to desert survival in the summer heat is learning to stay cool by planning activities that take place indoors, or in the shade, or very early in the morning, or after dark; another is to cultivate a cool state of mind. The July issue of your A 440 Newsletter will help you do both!

Planet of Percussion Master Classes

Things will be insanely hot and yet crazy cool when I travel to Phoenix, Arizona for three days of private Planet of Percussion master classes Wednesday-Friday July 12-14. To arrange your own private master class, visit the Contact page on my website, select Planet of Percussion from the drop-down menu and drop me a line!

photo courtesy John Running Photography/Canyon Records

Ambient Funk at Noble Hops

Ambient Funk returns to the shaded patio and scenic mountain views of Noble Hops in Oro Valley, Arizona for the second installment of our Thrilling Thursdays summer series on July 13th from 7-10 PM. No cover, delicious food, cold drinks, great grooves!

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

directions, menu & info at

Pathfinder Poll: What Are Your Five Faves?

I’m conducting an informal poll to determine which five cuts from my GRAMMY-nominated solo CD Pathfinder should be included on a late summer digital-only compilation release, and I’d love to hear from you what your favorites are. You can refresh your memory with free track samples (or purchase the entire album) at:

What Lies Beyond #1

What Lies Beyond by the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet is sitting at #1 on the latest Top 20 list from the WMHB-FM Mystic Sister show, an affiliate of the international Zone Music Reporter network. If you can’t catch us there, you can sample and purchase us here:

Tour Preview

I’ll be on the road in Colorado during August for my Rocky Mountain High Summer Tour, holding the heartbeat for a Who’s Who of the Southwest’s finest musicians. Here is the basic itinerary–check your August A 440 Newsletter for more details:

Saturday August 12th
R. Carlos Nakai Quartet
Grand Junction CO

Sunday August 13th
R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman
Rangely CO

Wednesday August 16th
Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman
Silverthorne CO

Friday August 18th
Trialogue + Art Patience
Colorado Springs CO

Saturday August 19th
Trialogue + Art Patience
La Veta CO
Sunday August 20th
Trialogue + Art Patience
Del Norte CO

FourTissimo Premiere

You’ll want to purchase tickets early for the premiere performance of FourTissimo at Sea of Glass Center for the Arts on Saturday August 26th at 7:30 PM. Featuring Gabriel Ayala on guitar, Will Clipman on drums & pan-global percussion, AmoChip Dabney on keyboards & saxophones, and Johnny Walker on bass, FourTissimo plays a danceable and tranceable mix of electrifying originals and classic multi-genre covers.

ticket link

Facebook post

photo courtesy DeezMas Photography

Photos of the Month

One of the hidden treasures of our hot dry weather this time of year is the regular visitation of the Deer People as they cross our property on their way down from the Tucson Mountains at sunset for their nightly foraging in the Santa Cruz River basin, or at sunrise as they make their way back up into the mountains. They smell our freshly-filled waterbowls and have been stopping by three or four times a week for a cool drink.

This young buck with velvet antler buds finishes off one bowl. . .

. . . while this doe and her two fawns drain the other.

We give gratitude for the abundant blessings of nature here at Rancho Improvisoso!

Poem of the Month

As those of you who have visited us here at Rancho Improvisoso know, we have an extraordinarily intimate relationship with our wildlife. Aside from providing our wild companions with an oasis in the desert, we occasionally have the opportunity to repay their constant inspiration with acts of kindness. Your July Poem of the Month explores just such an experience, and ponders the question: Who is really saving whom? Enjoy!

Rescue and Release

You knew

when I came

to your door

naked and blind

begging to be fed

that for a wild thing

life in a cage

is no life at all,

so when the time came

though it broke your heart

you gave mine back

to the sky.

I know you’ll miss

the way I learned

to snatch mealworms

from your fingertips,

fly down from the windowsill

to land on your hand,

nestle in your shirt to sleep.

I know you’ll miss

my cries in your wilderness.

You know you can’t save us all,

but saving any one of us

just might save you.

Don’t be sad.

Be glad you set me free.

I’ll make my way and be

what I was meant to be,

and you’ll be found

by others who need saving.

© Will Clipman 2017

Envisioning for you a jeweled pool

creatively hot yet meditatively cool

One is in harmony with the natural unfolding of the universe
when one’s actions are effortless, efficient and effective.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

Tune in to June

Greetings, One & All~

Summer Solstice is one of my two favorite times in Sonora (the other being Winter Solstice–but more on that in December). The intensity of the summer sky and landscape here in The Singing Desert–augmented by the departure of seasonal inhabitants human and otherwise–creates a spacious stillness and silence I love. I trust you’ll enjoy a resonance of this rarified atmosphere in the June issue of your A 440 Newsletter!


“Patio brews and chews with mountain views and dancin’ shoes!”

Ambient Funk returns to Noble Hops TONIGHT Thursday June 1st from 7-10 PM for the first of “Three Thrilling Thursdays” this summer (hint: the other two are Thursday July 13th and Thursday August 3rd). “Never a cover, so bring your lover!”

Ambient Funk

Will Clipman Johnny Walker AmoChip Dabney


Internationally-renowned Jazzmenco guitarist Gabriel Ayala is taking a short break from his never-ending world tour to pop by the Hops and sit in with Ambient Funk TONIGHT! DO NOT miss this rare opportunity to catch Gabe in Tucson with Ambient accompaniment from three of his favorite hometown Funksters!

more info at

And the Award Goes to. . .

The Zone Music Reporter Awards were announced in New Orleans on May 13th, and Trialogue: Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman (Heart Dance Records) received the award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album. Many thanks to all the radio programmers and music writers around the world who voted for us and continue to play and support our music, and to all who’ve listened and enjoyed it: we do it for you!

Trialogue may be previewed and purchased at

Candid Coinman Camera

Legendary Tucson singer/songwriter John Coinman snapped this impromptu shot of yours truly laying a track for John’s new album at A Writer’s Room Studio, where he is recording a brilliant batch of new songs. Everyone is pretty jazzed about the grooves we’ve gotten down so far, and I for one am looking forward to our next session.

The hand is quicker than the lens!

Summer Solstice Myths & Masks

On Tuesday June 20th I’ll travel to Sedona to present my Myths & Masks performance of original mask art, mythopoetic storytelling and world music for an intimate audience at the world-renowned destination spa Mii amo. Then on Wednesday June 21st I’ll celebrate the Summer Solstice with a maskmaking workshop at Mii amo, in which participants will create their own original mask art. Note: attendees for both events must be registered guests of either Mii amo spa or Enchantment resort.

more information and spa or resort guest registration at

Fine Music at CasaBella Fine Art

I’m delighted to announce the placement of an exclusive selection of four CDs and one DVD at CasaBella Fine Art, Tucson’s premiere gallery for Southwestern art. While these offerings will no doubt add a distinctly Old Pueblo accent to the atmosphere at CasaBella, the amazing artwork on display will richly reward a visit in and of itself!

These five titles will now be available for purchase at CasaBella Fine Art:

more info at

Sizzlin’ Summer Drum Sale

Parting is such sweet sorrow! Alas, the time has come for me to part with my custom Gretsch drumkit. This gorgeous instrument features a natural wood grain piano black finish over birch shells, and all the toms are extended-shell (equal depth and diameter) and RIMS-mounted (including the floor tom) for an exceptionally resonant and penetrating timbre. The kick drum is undrilled so there is absolutely no sympathetic vibration within the kit. I’m including well-traveled flight cases for all the drums, an anvil cymbal safe and a heavy-duty rolling trap case, plus a free-standing rack for the ride toms. Need further enticement? I’m also including a Gretsch maple snare drum with a natural wood grain blonde finish to complete “that great Gretsch sound”. $5K for all to a good home!

the entire touring kit with cases and rack

a closer look at the tower o’ toms with kick and snare

this angle reveals the beauty of the natural grain piano black finish

Poem of the Month

More often than not, language fails us when we try to express the immensity of world events that seem beyond our control; yet by using it carefully to explore the inner truth of things while focusing on the essence of our own immediate experience, language can sometimes bring us insight, understanding and some small measure of comfort. I trust you will find these qualities in reading your June Poem of the Month, as I did in writing it.

Aleppo Respite

How unlikely yet how fitting

this great tree should flourish here

on a rocky hilltop in Sonora,

grow fifty feet tall and bigger around

than my outstretched arms can reach;

and how welcome its canopy will be

against the merciless blue of June,

its ancient roots deep in Syria

where centuries of blood

engendered in its ancestors

resistance to the desert’s cruelty.

You take your mid-day meal of sliced apples and cheese

on a weathered wooden bench beneath its spring-green boughs,

your auburn hair tossed lightly by an April breeze,

enjoy a rare mild day before the serious heat sets in,

having spent the early morning coolness

sweeping up a carpet of dead needles

blown down from winter’s growth.

They say an itinerant carpenter

wandering in the wilderness

once wept beneath just such an Aleppo

in gratitude for its unlikely gift of shade

and–watered with his tears–they say

it grew into the first Yule tree.

They say mercy still exists in the world.

Though I couldn’t prove it by the headlines,

I love that you believe it’s true.

© Will Clipman 2017

~In summer stillness
savor the space between words
and the silence between notes~

One giant step toward spiritual realization
is to accept without judgment
that not everyone is following your particular path.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

What May Be

Greetings, One & All~

May is a month of possibility, of seed-planting for future harvests and engendering initiatives that may lead to new opportunities down the river and around the bend. Enjoy the possibilities in this May issue of your A 440 Newsletter!


On Saturday May 13th in New Orleans, Louisiana the 2017 Zone Music Reporter Awards will be announced, and Trialogue by Heart Dance Records artists Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman is a Nominee for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album.

find about more about ZMR and Trialogue at

On Friday May 19th in Winnipeg, Manitoba the Indigenous Music Awards will be announced, and What Lies Beyond by Canyon Records artists the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet is a Nominee for Best Instrumental Album.

find out more about IMA and RCNQ at,profile/336


On the recommendation of his long-time drummer (and my long-time friend) Larry Cobb, legendary Tucson singer/songwriter John Coinman has invited me to add some percussive colors from my pan-global palette to his new album. Our first session will be on Tuesday May 2nd at A Writer’s Room Studio with Duncan Stitt at the board, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to complement John’s brilliant songs.

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records

Creative Development

On Wednesday May 3rd I’ll shift gears dramatically for a creative development session with fellow Canyon Records artists Roman Orona and Jonah Littlesunday out here in The Boom Boom Room at Rancho Improvisoso, as we continue to record demos for our upcoming studio album, and refine our live show for a premiere performance at the iconic multi-media performance space Alwun House In Phoenix, Arizona later in 2017.

photo courtesy Nancy Smith-Jones Photography

New Media

The Ullman Terrace Amphitheater at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona has always been one of my favorite outdoor venues to play, so imagine my delight in discovering as I arrived to load in for our April concert there that Trialogue had sold it out! Our flutist Sherry Finzer utilized her multi-media skills to produce these two video clips from our show, as well as pulling a set of still photos from the videos.

Dark Horse video:

Thanks for Asking video:

photos courtesy Sherry Finzer/ Heart Dance Records

Poem of the Month

Those of you who read the PotM regularly know that most of my poetry is driven by imagery, and that whatever ideas and emotions the poem conveys are grounded in the language of the senses. Your May Poem of the Month is a more abstract meditation on the nature of truth and the necessity of language as a means of defining reality. Enjoy!

This is Not a Test

This is not the purpose

for which we evolved

opposable thumbs.

Not everything can be expressed

in one hundred-forty

characters or less.

What’s written by hand

in a pocket-sized notebook

may not fit in the palm of the hand.

Something is happening

more meaningful

than a thirty-second sound bite.

Something is happening

more real

than reality TV.

If the pen is mightier

than the sword, is then

the pixel mightier than the pen?

We’d best use well

the tools that serve us best

or we will be ill-used by them.

There are some buttons

one can’t push

just to see what happens.

True or false:

if one can’t recognize falsehood

one doesn’t know what’s true.

Take as long as it takes.

This is not a test.

The emergency is real.

© Will Clipman 2017

~May your May be filled with possibility~

I prefer to use language as an instrument rather than as a weapon.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

April Adventures

Greetings, One & All~

Sonora (the “Singing Desert”) is in full bloom, not only with beautiful flowers of every description but also with indescribably beautiful music; so venture out and enjoy one or more of the wonderful performances described in this April issue of your A 440 Newsletter!

Ambient Funk at Noble Hops

When we’re not working with R. Carlos Nakai as three-fourths of RCNQ, AmoChip Dabney (keyboards, saxophones, acoustic guitar and lead vocals) Johnny Walker (electric five-string bass and backing vocals) and Will Clipman (drums, percussion and backing vocals) venture out as Ambient Funk: an irresistibly danceable trio playing an eclectic mix of originals and classic R&B, funk, jazz, reggae and worldbeat covers. On Thursday April 6th from 7-10 PM we’ll be on the patio at Noble Hops in Tucson AZ.

more info at:

noble hops brewpub in tucson arizona

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

Trialogue Trifecta

I’m not a gambling man, but I bet you’ll come up a winner with these three concerts by the contemporary instrumental trio Trialogue, featuring Sherry Finzer on classical-jazz flutes, Darin Mahoney on Americana acoustic guitars and Will Clipman on world drums and percussion. Over the span of eight days, we’ll perform at three of Southern Arizona’s premiere venues:

On Friday April 7th at 7 PM we’ll be on the Ullman Terrace outdoor amphitheater stage at the fabled Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix AZ for a magical evening of original music, gourmet dining and fine wine. Please note: due to the latter, this is a 21+ show!

DBG ticket & info link + Fb event:

photo collage courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

On Wednesday April 12th, well venture south to the verdant riparian hill country of Green Valley AZ to perform on the intimate indoor theater stage of the Community Performing Arts Center at 7 PM.

CPAC ticket & info link:

And on Friday April 14th we’ll return to The Valley of the Sun for a coveted appearance on the world-renowned Musical Instrument Museum Theater stage at 7:30 PM.

We’ll be joined for this show by the William Eaton Trio, featuring harp guitarist and master luthier William Eaton playing his otherworldly multi-stringed instruments, the amazing Claudia Tulip on classical-world flutes and vocals, and yours truly on pan-global drums and percussion; rumor has it the finale of this double-bill will be a world premiere improvisational jam by all five musicians as the Quintessential Quintet!

MIM ticket & info link + Fb event:

Earth Day Concert for TMA

Since 1934, the Tucson Mountains Association has been dedicated to preserving the Tucson Mountains environment while enhancing the well-being of our residents; on Earth Day, Saturday April 22nd, R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman will perform a benefit “friendraising” concert for TMA from 4-6 PM at Painted Hills Church in Tucson AZ.

tickets & more info about TMA at:

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records

if. . . Forever

March 30th marked the 30th anniversary of the untimely death of guitarist Dan Hill at the age of twenty-six. Dan’s incendiary intergalactic sound was at the heart of the mid-80’s cosmic rock band if. . . , which included bassist Darrel Mayers, lead vocalist Spanna and yours truly on drums. In fond remembrance of Dan’s astounding musicianship and beautiful spirit, Darrel created a Bandcamp page where our CD Forever can be downloaded for free. . . as our gift to the universe. . . and our thank-you to Dan!

photos courtesy SpannaMo Archives

Poem of the Month

Your April Poem of the Month is a meditation on the ever-changing unpredictability of weather, both outer and inner; and on the impermanence of things, including ourselves, that we take for granted will last. . . forever. . . . For me, this is anything but morbid: it’s a wake-up call to live fully in the present moment, and to try to make a difference every day as if it were my last. I trust you’ll find it as uplifting to read as I did to write!

Water, Wind and Time

Winter ends with bone-dry record-breaking heat

and Spring begins in cold wet winter storm.

Filling the water bowls at sunset

as the dying of the day arouses air

it’s easy to see how water, wind and time

dissolve things: the topmost of the unfired

Mexican adobe bricks stacked artfully

without the use of mortar loses form

and crumbles back to dirt; a chunk

of Antarctica the size of Rhode Island

melts back into the sea. How easy it is

to turn the thermostat up or down,

how effortless to add a layer of clothing

or remove it. Immense galactic cauldrons

boil over, freeze and die, and one

small speck of possibility persists

against all odds: improbably blue-green

and draped in wispy veils of white

amidst the endless black. How like this

a life is: the days eroded imperceptibly

by water wind and time, until the form

is lost, the solid body rendered down mud;

and all that seemed so permanent and everlasting

disappears, and might as well have never been.

© Will Clipman 2017

Spring into Spring!

To be fully engaged in the everyday enjoyment of living,
one must do each thing as if it is being done for the last time
yet as if its effect will last forever.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

The Middle Distance

Greetings, One & All~

Sometimes our focus is only on what is right in front of us, or only on what is way off on the horizon; but perhaps it is best to focus on what is in the middle distance: that which is just beyond our immediate grasp, yet is realistically achievable. With that notion in mind, please enjoy all the good news in the March issue of your A 440 Newsletter!

RCNQ at Heard Museum

On Saturday March 4th at 1 PM and Sunday March 5th at noon, the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will return to the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix AZ for two outdoor festival sets followed by meet-and-greets and CD-signings.

info and tickets at


photo by Shery Christopher / Prisma™ effects by Johnny Walker

What Lies Beyond #1. . .Times Two!

The new Canyon Records album What Lies Beyond by the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet begins March at #1 on the Mystic Sister Top Twenty Playlist for both of show host Annie Stillwater Gray’s home stations: WMHB-FM in Waterville ME and WXNZ-FM in Skowhegan ME. Thanks for spinning us to the top, Annie. . . time for another RCNQ New England tour?!

Arizona Alive!

Beginning on Monday March 6th and concluding on Monday March 27th, I’ll conduct my fifth annual Arizona Alive! Storytelling Artist-in-Residency with fourth grade students at Sonoran Sky School in Scottsdale AZ. Based on their studies of Arizona history (and prehistory) the students will research, compose and perform their own original myths, fables, tall tales, action adventures and “personal memoirs” to bring the story of Arizona to life. I can’t wait to see what flights of imagination this year’s Thunderbirds will take!

Liner Notes

On March 23rd between 3 PM and 5 PM I’ll join show host Gabriel Ayala on KPYT-FM for his Liner Notes show; we’ll be spinning tracks from the new RCNQ CD What Lies Beyond and discussing the creation of the album and the evolution of the band.

live-stream the show online at

5 Arts Circle

Arizona’s premier philanthropic organization supporting the arts

Inspired by the nature and culture of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert while embracing a global perspective, I’ll present an interactive evening of world music and mythopoetic storytelling for an intimate gathering of the 5 Arts Circle Board of Directors, Corporate Partners and prospective members in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains on the evening of Wednesday March 29th.

photo by Stephen Meckler

ZMR Nomination

The new Heart Dance Records CD Trialogue by Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman is a Nominee for the Zone Music Reporter Awards in the Instrumental Acoustic Album category. Voted on by radio show hosts worldwide, the awards will be announced at a gala ZMR gathering in New Orleans LA on the weekend of May 12-13.

info & tickets at
ZMR Music Awards Live Show Nominees

Trialogue Spring Previews

Meanwhile, Trialogue will bring its original blend of classical-jazz flute, Americana guitar and world percussion to two of Southern Arizona’s best-loved concert venues: Ullman Terrace at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix on Friday April 7th at 7 PM, and the Community Performing Arts Center in Green Valley on Wednesday April 12th at 7 PM. These shows typically sell out, so advance tickets are highly recommended.

DBG Trialogue ticket link

DBG Trialogue Facebook link

Trialogue direct CPAC ticket link

General CPAC info link

photo collage by Shery Christopher

Jack Miller GRAMMY® Tribute

Kathy Norris, Director of Promotions at Canyon Records, created this “boxed set” of video tributes to the late, great GRAMMY-winning engineer Jack Miller for the 59th Annual GRAMMY® Awards telecast. I had the privilege and pleasure of working on thirty-four albums with Jack for Canyon Records, six of which–including my solo album Pathfinder–have received GRAMMY nominations over the years. I always referred to Jack as The Sonic Buddha for his impeccable musical ear, unimpeachable technical expertise and imperturbable personal equanimity. Jack was a master craftsman and a beautiful human being; he is fondly remembered and keenly missed.

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records

Myth Has Its Own Logic

I love synchronicity and serendipity! On the afternoon of my recent Myths & Masks performance at Galactic Center here in Tucson, I received a Google® Alert from Kathy Norris at Canyon Records announcing the release of the song Mythologic from the album Dream of the Sun by the Albuquerque NM-based singer/songwriter Cole Raison, who had invited me a few years ago to come to Philadelphia PA (my birthplace) to record tracks for his new CD at Big Sky Audio. All of these interwoven storylines intersected on a Full Snow Moon, and I’d like to think the “coincidence” gave my performance that night a special mythic resonance.

listen to Mythologic at

Myths & Masks at Galactic Center / photo by Kati Astraeir

Nakai & Clipman on KXCI

R. Carlos Nakai and I were invited to record an episode of the Locals Only show on KXCI-FM to promote the recent Healing Power of Music event in Tucson. As you can tell from our wardrobe selection, we weren’t aware the show was also going to be video recorded for re-broadcast on Creative Tucson TV; our “perfect-for-radio” look notwithstanding, both the one-song video clip and the full audio interview are worth checking out.

video clip
(scroll down to the third post)

full audio interview

Locals Only – R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman

The Healing Power of Music. . . and Dance!

And as these video clips by Shery Christopher clearly show, the concert performance by the full R. Carlos Nakai Quartet turned out to be epic as well, when RC launched into his legendary Wallaby Dance and prompted a Gnu Queue Dance Party with the audience spontaneously joining us on stage!

The Wallaby Dance

The Gnu Queue Dancers

photo by Shery Christopher

RIP Bruce Tost

I got the news after my February newsletter had already gone out that renowned Tucson saxophonist and music educator Bruce Tost died on February 6th. Bruce was a big man with a big sound and a big heart. He and I played together in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s with The Ortskestra, an all-star ensemble that also included at different times Steve Roach, R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton, and which accompanied live performances by Orts Theater of Dance, Tucson’s foremost modern dance company of that era. Bruce always brought a wry sense of humor, deep musical knowledge and an improvisational fearlessness to the proceedings; he was one of the good guys, and he will be missed.

photo courtesy

Poem of the Month

Coming full-circle to our lead-in, your March Poem of the Month attempts to render in words the actual experience that put me in mind of our theme. I had taken a short break from rehearsing my Myths & Masks show out in the studio here at Rancho Improvisoso, and happened to focus my attention on just the right point in space at just the right moment in time to witness this little epiphany. Enjoy!

In the Middle Distance

Between power lines in the foreground

and a passing military helicopter in the background

a red-tailed hawk teaches its offspring to hunt.

The middle distance fills with their effortless grace,

the small one mimicking the large one’s thermal dexterity,

both borne aloft on rivers of white desert cloud

with barely an occasional languid wing-flap.

Thus is the nature of things revealed: a moment

silent and still enough for equilibrium to be achieved;

neither grasping nor letting go, filling emptiness

to the brim and no further; horizon to horizon,

beginning to end, each step a dance, each breath a prayer.

Thus the world comes to us: just when we meant to do

something else terribly important, of so much less significance.

© Will Clipman 2017

Dream big and aim high;
stay grounded and reach for the sky!

Faith is trusting in what one hasn’t experienced;
belief is trusting in what one has experienced;
hope is trusting that faith will become belief.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

Thirteenth Moon

Greetings, One & All~

As we complete the lunar year and initiate a new cycle of thirteen moons, it’s fitting that the February issue of your A 440 Newsletter dispenses with chronological order and celebrates both significant endings and promising beginnings. Enjoy!

Governor’s Arts Awards Nomination

I’m humbled and honored to be a 2017 Arizona Governor’s Arts Awards Nominee in the Artist category. Perhaps my third nomination in this millennium will be a charm! You can view all the Nominees and learn more about the awards process at:

Myths & Masks at Galactic Center

On Friday February 10th at 7 PM I’ll present a rare performance of my Myths & Masks solo show, which features my original multicultural mask art, mythopoetic storytelling and live world music, in the cosmically groovy confines of Tucson’s coolest performance gallery Galactic Center. Rumor has it that some well-known local artists and performers may join me for some high-spirited improvisation, so this Gem Show special event will indeed be special! Tickets for this show are available at the door only; so while there are no bad seats in this intimate and comfortable venue, early arrival is recommended.


I’ll conclude my 20th annual Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency at Cheyenne Traditional School on Friday February 3rd with our mini-showcases of student work, which as always has been inspired and inspiring. Many thanks to everyone at CTS for another wonder-filled M&M AiR!

The Healing Power of Music

On Monday February 6th at 9 PM I’ll appear with R. Carlos Nakai on KXCI Community Radio for three short sets of music interspersed with an interview to promote The Healing Power of Music. The show will be broadcast live on 91.3 FM and video-recorded for re-broadcast on Creative Tucson TV Channel 20.

live-streaming at

photo by Robert Doyle, courtesy of Canyon Records

On Friday February 17th we’ll appear on the KGUN-9 TV show Morning Blend to further promote this wonderful event.

Then on Friday February 24th at 7 PM, the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will be among the featured performers at the actual event: The Healing Power of Music conference at the Berger Center for the Performing Arts in Tucson AZ.

info and tickets at

photo by Shery Christopher / Prisma™ effects by Johnny Walker

RCNQ at Mesa Arts Center

On Saturday February 11th at 7:30 PM I’ll be in concert with the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa AZ. RCNQ will perform selections from its new Canyon Records global native fusion release What Lies Beyond along with fan favorites from the classic Q repertoire.

info and tickets at

photo by Robert Doyle, courtesy of Canyon Records

What Lies Beyond can be sampled, downloaded and purchased at

Rave Review

Writing for Zone Music Reporter, noted contemporary instrumental music critic Bill Binkelman just penned this over-the-top take on the eponymous Heart Dance Records release by the acoustic trio Trialogue. Many thanks to Bill for his generosity toward our music, and in particular the kind words he has for yours truly: indeed, who needs a dialogue when you can have a trialogue?



Heart Dance Records

Flutist Sherry Finzer, best known (to ZMR followers) for her ambient/meditative music, e.g. her Sanctuary series and her excellent desert-themed recording with guitarist Darin Mahoney, Transformation, reveals a kick-up-yer-heels aspect to her musical persona on the energizing, delightful excursion into world beat/jazz fusion territory, Trialogue. Joining her are the aforementioned acoustic guitar wonder Mahoney and world-class percussionist and drummer Will Clipman. If you know anything about Clipman, you can well imagine the rhythmic party you are in for on this disc. However, what is a revelation is both Finzer’s and Mahoney’s talent across a variety of genres and styles of music beyond the haunting beauty of their collaboration on Transformation.

Part of that may be due to the influence of master-class drummer Clipman who has dazzled me with his percussive artistry back to the days when I first heard him as part of the William Eaton Ensemble. This man’s talent across a global-encompassing assortment of drums and percussion instruments is nothing short of amazing! Of course, Finzer is, as the saying goes, not chopped liver. She matches Clipman step for step, with ease I might add. And Mahoney, while he may not share the spotlight as often as his two co-stars, provides such solid support that his contributions cannot be minimized.

No matter what the mood, tempo, flavor or subgenre of any one track on Trialogue, the overall feeling I got every time I listened to this fantastic album is one of fun, the fun that artists who are truly tuned in and simpatico experience when their wavelengths intersect and merge. It’s apparent on the jazz fusion opener, “Code d’lvoire” with its “joie de vivre” sensibility and its carefree melody as well as on track two “Mending Fences” and its reflective guitar-driven opening which evolves into a soft rocking tune. “Midnight in Marrakech” pulses under Clipman’s sensual world beat rhythms on frame drum and Finzer’s sexy snaky flute lines, accented by Mahoney’s rhythm guitar work. Where “Confused” has an ambling melancholic feel to it, “Dark Horse” uses Finzer’s flute to paint a distinctly western musical landscapes, accented by Clipman’s trap kit drum underpinnings. “Top Down” has the breezy easy-going nature of the titular trip down highway 1 in a convertible Mustang GT – not too revved up but certainly movin’ down the road. The easy-going sound of “Thanks for Asking” speaks of three musicians who are not just on the same page but are of the same mind.

Trialogue is one of those recordings that I can reach for no matter my mood. It’s like a well-worn pair of sneakers—nondescript but oh so essential to my enjoying any trip I set out on: three artists who sync up and create musical magic, seamlessly merging jazz, world, and new age in a hybrid that provides hours of listening enjoyment. Who needs a dialogue when you can have a trialogue?

Bill Binkelman

Zone Music Reporter

Trialogue can be sampled, downloaded and purchased at

ZMR Awards

And speaking of Trialogue, we’re on the nominating ballot for this year’s Zone Music Reporter Awards in both the Instrumental-Acoustic Album and Album of the Year categories. The awards are voted on by radio programmers around the world who are part of the ZMR promotional network, many of whom have been playing music from our CD over the past nine months since its release. Thanks to all of you for spinning our tunes, and we welcome your support for these awards if you find our music worthy of your vote!

UK Radio Interview

One of the aforementioned programmers, Terry Hawke, interviewed me recently (and brilliantly) for his Hawke Chill Out Sessions show, which broadcasts around the world from the United Kingdom. For those of you who missed the live-stream, here’s a link to the archive:

Timeless Moments

In the mid-1980’s, after stints with Street Pajama, The Resistors, and Rainer & Das Combo, I joined the legendary Tucson band if. . .

Comprised of two Brits (Spanna and Darrel) and two Yanks (Dan and myself) if. . . played an original brand of melodic dance rock that quickly made it one of The Old Pueblo’s most sought-after club acts.

With socially, environmentally and spiritually conscious lyrics delivered in the crystal-clear voice of lead singer Spanna, fueled by the incendiary intergalactic guitar of Dan Hill, and propelled by the heart-pounding rhythm section of bassist Darrel Mayers and yours truly on drums, if. . . cultivated a cult following that remains enamored of its slender recorded oeuvre to this day, thirty years after Dan’s untimely death in 1987 at the age of twenty-seven and the inevitable dissolution of the band.

Two of our vintage ’80’s videos have recently come to light, courtesy of producer Charley Brown, and forwarded to Darrel in Austin TX and myself in Tucson AZ by Spanna on Oahu, HI; I wanted to share them with you here to honor Dan’s life and music as we approach the anniversary of his departure into the light, and also just because they’re really fun to watch and listen to–were we ever really that young? Enjoy!


Centre of the Echo

RIP Michael Diamond

And speaking of departures into the light: I just received the news that contemporary instrumental musician, composer, producer and music writer Michael Diamond died unexpectedly at the end of January. I didn’t know Michael well, but his recorded and written oeuvre is intelligent, sensitive and entertaining; and he was always gracious and generous to other musicians and their music. He was one of the good guys, and he will be missed.

Photo of the Month

Shery was out hiking with a friend last weekend and chanced upon this delightfully deformed saguaro. I’m loathe to impose sociopolitical projections on nature; but with our environment under renewed and redoubled assault just now, I can’t help but see in this upraised cactus “hand” a universally-recognized gesture of defiance. This is one prickly succulent who’s mad as heck and not taking it any more!

photo by Shery Christopher

Poem of the Month

I read recently that the exponentially accelerated rate and scope of human-influenced planetary change has led geologists to concur that we’re now in a new epoch, which they’re calling The Anthropocene. In the same issue of the same magazine, I also read a fascinating profile on the aerial photography of Edward Burtynsky, whose work renders large-scale industrial landscapes as disturbingly beautiful abstractions. That interface of science and art was just too juicy to pass up, so I penned this new Poem of the Month to explore this confluence further. I trust you’ll find it thought-provoking.

The Anthropocene

One for the ages!

Rock reveals our story

though far more slowly

than we’re writing it

and there’s the rub:

how to be human and

not part of the problem?

Those Burtynsky photos

in The New Yorker

both fascinate and disturb:

how does the aerial view

make actual catastrophe

appear abstractly gorgeous?

A koan for sages!

Those of us on the ground

drinking that opalescent water,

breathing that opaque air,

those of us with only

average intelligence

and limited resources—

what are we to make

of this obscene beauty

that draws us like moths

to the extinguishing flame?

Ignore these scalding tears

that blind our reason.

Just turn the pages!

© Will Clipman 2017

Make this new moon marvelous:
shine your own unique light
as only you can!

Ignorance and arrogance go hand in hand, as do wisdom and humility.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650