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