Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Bongo B: Keep on Drumming!
When Bongo Barry asked a crowd of a thousand people at the first Kansas City Jiggle Jam to start chanting the phrases "Charlie Parker plays jazz" and "Really great barbeque", I thought he was nuts. And he was nuts. That's why I loved him.
He was nuts about music. Nuts about people. And nuts about life. Bongo Barry could get anyone to sing or dance. He had the talent and the passion and, most important, the genuine love for his fellow humans.
Barry unexpectedly left his earthly body today to take on his next spiritual assignment. A shocking and devastating blow to all who love him, including the children's music family in Kansas City.
He was a truly beautiful, loving soul who included everyone in whatever he did. He was the only performer I know who would bring enough instruments to a show so everyone in the audience could participate. Really! He had tubs and tubs loaded with oodles of drums, egg shakers, and film canisters full of beans.
And here's a classic example of the whimsy and love he sprinkled on our world...He recently made a road trip to western Kansas for some shows. Along the way he stopped at highway rest areas and left behind colorful plastic percussion egg shakers with his name and website printed on them. This was no marketing ploy, it was another example of Barry sharing the gift of rhythm with the world. And that's what he did best...share. He gave and gave and gave of himself, always. Including his sweat. He perspired more than anyone I've ever met. After every show -- soaked to the bone. I'll miss those sweaty hugs.
And I'll miss seeing him at the winter solstice party leading the singing in his Santa hat -- the only Jewish Sufi I know who also celebrated Christmas and solstice. He celebrated it all. Imagine the drum circle forming in heaven right now! No doubt, Jerry Garcia is jammin' with him.
To you, my dear blessed Soul Brother, I send my love for a swift and rhythmic journey!