Friday, December 15, 2006

Chris Berry & Panjea

You're 18. You go from your home in California to Zimbabwe. And get lost. Lost in the music, lost in the culture, lost in the magic. Only when the elders of the community there tell you - "What are you doing here? There are lots of misguided people, lost and confused people, in your country. They’re killing each other there. It’s time for you to take what you’ve learned and bring it to your own country because they need it more than we need it here. That’s your job. You’re the bridge maker" do you wake up. You are Chris Berry.

And so now, 10 years on, we find him today back on his native soil preaching an uplifting transcontinental message of hope to contagious, dance beats based in the Zimbabwean mbira and sacred Congolese ngoma drum rhythms.

Chris Berry's story is one that I have often fantasized about, and I know I'm not alone. Not only did he get lost in the music, but this amazing talent came back "funkier than James Brown", as one of my friends put it. Check out his music. Funky, fresh global music, most of it just straight up super dance energy, and most of it with strong messages.

Probably the most powerful message comes from the song "Why Do We". In the song, he asks "Why do we kill people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?"

Download some of his music, and read more about this amazing story. You'll be uplifted.

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