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

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