Greetings, One & All~

I trust you enjoyed a spectacular New Year’s Eve full moon in your slice of the sky, as we did here in The Old Pueblo; and welcome to your new-look A 440 Newsletter: leaner and cleaner, lighter and brighter, shorter and sweeter; but with the same commitment to sharing good news from Willyworld. . . and of course, your Poem of the Month!

Lessons Learned
I kicked off the new year on January 2nd with a private lesson in The Boom Boom Room with my Gold Star student Leslie Hughes from from Grand Junction CO, who stops by Rancho Improvisoso for new insights into the world of pan-global percussion whenever her globe-trotting quest for the perfect groove brings her to Baja Arizona. As always in a genuine student-teacher relationship, I learned as much from her as she did from me: so much so that we had to schedule a second session on January 10th when Leslie and her husband Pat came back through the Old Pueblo on their way home from San Diego.

Will and Leslie having too much fun with her PanArt Gubal and Balspeil and her Buffalo Moon Udu

Grand Opening
On January 5th, R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman performed as part of the Grand Opening of the new Summit Room at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula CA, along with the traditional Pechanga Bird Singers, the Fancy Moccasins inter-tribal dancers and the 1491s comedy troupe. We had a ball inaugurating the huge new ballroom, as did the audience.

RC teaching the Wallaby Dance to 1300 invited guests in the Pechanga Summit Ballroom

Sunday Fun
On the morning of January 21st, I’ll hold the heartbeat for a casual performance by RC & Friends at the Rillito Heirloom Farmer’s Market in Tucson AZ. You may be as surprised as we are to see what special guest artists stroll by and sit it.

World Cultures
On January 25th I’ll have the honor of teaching the first class in a new course at the University of Arizona School of Music called Music in World Cultures, curated by ethnomusicologist, lecturer, documentary filmmaker and percussionist Dan Kruse. My session is entitled Pan-Global Percussion for the New Age of World Music: a multicultural synthesis that will set the stage for on-going explorations of specific traditions.

Mythic Tradition
Beginning on January 29th and running through February 9th, I’ll return to Cheyenne Traditional School in Scottsdale AZ for my 20th annual Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency with the fourth grade students and teachers there.

Just a few of last year’s dazzling mythic personae

Percussive Preview
On Saturday February 3rd I’ll conduct a high-energy drum-and-percussion workshop in the Kiva Room at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley AZ entitled The Pulse of the Old Pueblo. Drawing on my forty years as a Tucson musician, and my experiences as a national and international touring performer and recording artist, I’ll guide a hands-on exploration of the varied styles and influences that have made The Tucson Sound uniquely recognizable and sought after around the world.

information and registration at:

Medicine Arrow
Roman Orona–singer, dancer, actor, videographer and founding member of the new multi-media performance ensemble Medicine Arrow–created this cool video trailer from footage shot at our December 2017 premiere concert at Galactic Center in Tucson AZ:

Poem of the Month

Savoring the Gray

My only resolution this new year

is to savor the gray.

Though I’m pushing sixty-four

there is still none in my hair,

and having shaved this morning

my tell-tale salt-and-pepper beard

is hidden for at least another day.

What a lovely shade this subtle in-between

and one so seldom seen here,

either in this desert of exterior extremes

or in my black-and-white interior:

neither the absence of all color–

the irreducible nothing at the bottom of the soul–

nor the blindingly unrefracted oneness of all,

the light of long-dead stars just now arriving

with messages too dimmed by interceding emptiness

to convey a discernible meaning.

All I know for sure this afternoon

sitting in warm winter sun

is that death won’t get me

for at least another day,

and that savoring the gray will keep–for now–

the unforgiving black and white at bay.

© Will Clipman 2017

I have arrived at this moment by the only possible path: my life story.
I will continue til the end of my time by the only possible path: my life story!

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ performing & recording artist ~ educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650