A while back when I was listening to Jesse Cook and exploring flamenco guitarist, i listened to the music of Johannes Linstead. I have heard Johannes’ music before and enjoyed it but for some reasons none of his albums appear in my library and he is not one of the guitarist that I listen to regularly – mistake! Listening again to Tales of A Gypsy I think I need to explore this great artist’s catalog a little more thoroughly!! As I listen I feel the music and the atmospheres that Linstead creates. Linstead was born and raised in Canada to European parents, he now spends part of the year living in Canada near Toronto and the other part in the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. Here’s some information about Tales of a Gypsy from his website:
On Tales of a Gypsy, Linstead is joined by violinist Vasyl Popadiouk from the Ukraine (classically-trained, but adept at the gypsy style of playing learned from the Carpathian mountain people in his homeland), accordion player Jordan Abraham (he attended the Berklee College of Music in the U.S., his parents are from India, and he has studied both the traditional Jewish style and the gypsy style of playing), and flutist Nicholas Gunn on bamboo pan-pipes (born and raised in England, and now living in the U.S.). Geoff Hlibka plays the oud (an early form of guitar) and acoustic guitar. There also are four percussionists on the album performing variously on congas, bongos, doumbek and timbales — Anastasios Bigas (from Greece), Jalidan Ruiz (from Cuba), Sina Khossravi (from Iran) and Alex Godinez (of Guatemalan heritage).
Along with the fine music, it was also interesting to discover that Johannes has for many years studied kundalini yoga, which makes him a kind of kindred spirit. For several years I studied kundalini yoga, self-taught so I was probably doing it all wrong, but I enjoyed it, and through it i was introduced to Sikhism. I still do many of the kiryas occasionally, and really should get back into it on a more regular basis … maybe this could be the start!! From his website:
During his musical journey, Johannes also was on a spiritual path. He has studied and taught kundalini yoga for many years. “Music plays a part in kundalini yoga, so it is a good fit for me. I am not just a musician, but also a spiritual being who tries to help others. I want to see more and more people find a unifying energy and connect spiritually with other human beings.” He founded the Divine Earth Organization (divineearth.org), an online humanitarian community where members post information about spirituality, health and even world politics. The philosophy of the organization is that in order to attain a happier and healthier world, people must first identify and overcome any conditions that undermine their ability to find inner peace. Linstead also emails a “Weekly Wisdom” newsletter “to guide people towards their own inner wisdom.”
So check out his great music. Here is “Flows Like Water” from Tales of a Gypsy.