With beginnings in Uganda, and the seed sown there of a lifetime of interest in global cultures, it is no surprise that Stephen Kent has traveled the world, living at various times in Africa, England, Spain, Australia and, for the last 15 years, The San Francisco Bay Area. In Australia, in 1981, as Music Director of Circus Oz he first connected with Australian Aboriginal culture and the Didjeridu. Inspired by the power of the land and the support the group gave to Aboriginal issues, he learnt circular breathing and wrote music for brass instruments, sounding unmistakably like the Didjeridu. While he has always had great respect for Aboriginal people and their culture Stephen has never tried to imitate traditional styles on the Didjeridu. Instead he has pioneered his own unique style. Kent has collaborated with artists as diverse as Tuvan throat singers Chirgilchin, Korean Samulnori Drummers, frame drum wizard Glen Velez, Japanese Taiko luminary Leonard Eto, Markus James & the Wassonrai, flute legend Paul Horn, Airto Moreira, multi-media group Magnetic Poets at the Torino Olympics, and vocalist Eda Maxym's new band Imagination Club, in which he plays guitar & other instruments, as well as the didjeridu. He also spent a day opening for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at Stanford University. www.stephenkent.net.
Photo credit Mitch Tobias