Greetings, One & All~

I’m sure the very first thing everyone will do on New Year’s Day is rush to your in-boxes to see if your January A 440 Newsletter has arrived. . . NOT! Seriously, though, I do hope that whatever outer and inner weather you awaken to, my good news adds a little sparkle to your first day of 2015.

We enjoyed a lovely New Year’s Eve rain here in Northern Sonora last night; this morning the desert sparkled with dew, the mountain peaks were powdered with snow, and the atmosphere was washed clean of any residual old energies.

All the best to you and yours in this new year of infinite possibility!

Upcoming Events

On Wednesday January 7th at 7 PM I’ll reunite with former Ananeah bandmate Arvel Bird for a concert at the Community Performing Arts Center in Green Valley AZ as his never-ending world tour swings through Baja Arizona for a string of winter dates:

If you’re familiar with Arvel’s high-energy blend of Celtic fiddle, Native American flute and storytelling, you know this is a don’t-miss show–and if you’ve never caught his act, doubly so!

(*We’ll do another show together in Tucson next month–watch your February A 440 for details on that one).

From Friday January 9th through Friday January 16th I’ll return to Sonoran Sky School in Scottsdale AZ for my annual Science of Sound Artist-in-Residency with third grade students, exploring the interface between physics and percussion in a series of hands-on workshops, inspiring a new generation of creative thinkers and life-long learners.

On Saturday January 10th at 11 AM I’ll return to that temple of world music the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ for an intimate lecture-demonstration in conjunction with the MIM’s newest exhibit Beyond the Beat: Drums of the World:

I’ll be playing a number of intriguing indigenous instruments from my pan-global percussive palette to illustrate the themes and motifs of the Beyond the Beat exhibit in an up-close and personal setting, sharing insights from a lifetime of drumming and thirty-five years as a professional performing and recording artist. All ages welcome!

More info on this event available at:

And speaking of “a little added sparkle,” how about the sheen of platinum! On Friday January 23rd at 7 PM I’ll have the honor of joining my long-time musical collaborator, cultural mentor and friend R. Carlos Nakai as one of a half-dozen special guest artists for his Platinum Concert in the visually stunning and acoustically impeccable Musical Instrument Museum Theater in Phoenix AZ. Sponsored by our label Canyon Records, this tribute concert celebrates the signature Nakai album Canyon Trilogy having attained Platinum Record status: just the latest milestone in Nakai’s stellar career.

More info about this event at:

R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman will then return to Tucson AZ on Saturday January 24th for a duo concert at Abounding Grace Sanctuary at 6:30 PM. This show is a fundraising benefit for the Southwest Regional Flute Festival and will feature a repertoire from our GRAMMY-nominated album Awakening the Fire as well as never-before-heard improvisations, just for you!

*This is our only scheduled 2015 appearance in Tucson, so don’t miss this one!

For Aulde Lang Syne

A tip o’ the hat and a cup o’ kindness to Luminarians One & All for a most memorable Las Noches de Las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden to close out 2014 in grand style. We had not a single rain-out; enthusiastically engaged audiences every night and sold-out crowds many nights; and impeccable support from the DBG staff, as always.

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

For the second year in a row, I took not a single break during the entire sixteen-night run, performing non-stop for four hours each night; some might say that’s plumb crazy, but that’s just how we roll on Planet of Percussion!

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

May the endless spiral path to enlightenment continue throughout the new year!

Poem of the Month

Time now for what has become the most popular and commented-upon item in my A 440 Newsletter: the Poem of the Month. With an overnight low temperature below freezing forecast for tonight and last night’s mixture of rain and sleet still fresh in my flesh, this piece from a few years ago feels like the right choice. Those who don’t frequent the Sonoran Desert think of this place as unremittingly hot and arid; but some years we do experience the essence of winter, and welcome it as a rare treat.

One Winter’s Night in Northern Sonora

Tonight on the first new moon of the year

it snows in Tucson, the fourth time

in thirty years of living here

I’ve seen such a thing.

I remember the white-out blizzard

on Easter Sunday ten years back,

but somehow this quiet wafting-down

is even more dramatic.

I walk the loop trail around our land

in preternatural silence,

in pajama bottoms and sneakers without socks,

the trail a thin ribbon of black through the blanket.

Even under a moonless and starless sky

everything is lit with an interior light:

the creosote bows low and fragrant toward the ground

weighed down by unaccustomed heaviness;

the cholla look almost edible,

their halos of poisonous barbed thorns

softened into fluffy confections;

the old saguaros lift their pockmarked arms

in dignity and sadness,

at once grateful and imploring,

and a young one—

armless, tall as me and half again as old—

sheltered under the nurturing limbs

of its palo verde tree

imparts a deeper understanding

of the desert’s deeply symbiotic harmonies.

Against the charcoal horizon to the west

the ancient volcanic mountains

cut a jagged bas relief

of blue-white ice.

There is wonder at work in the world tonight,

and I am warmed to my core by its infinitely intimate chill.

© Will Clipman 2014; from Wilderness in the Marrow

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

~May your world
be filled with wonder
and may you be warmed
by an intimate infinity
of possibility~

Every day is New Year’s Day if we seize it, savor it and live it to the fullest.
~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

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

office: 520.743.1347
mobile: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650