Meet the spirited members of the World Rhythm Festival organizing team and SWPS board of directors.
Linda M. Khandro is something of a mixed salad! She is a geologist with a Masters Degree in Teaching Earth Science and has been teaching college earth and space sciences since 1991. She has also been playing music and dancing her entire life. Originally trained in piano and voice, she played guitar, dulcimer and cello before settling in with the harp, tamboura (India) and dousongoni (West Africa). She has been playing percussion just as long, and teaches occasional harp and rhythm workshops. An avid improviser, she draws on experiences with the Creative Music Studio (NY) to substantiate her music of the harp at the bedside of people ill, dying, or birthing. Her three cds Transition and Full Hearts, Empty Mind, and Tethys are popular recordings in use by a variety of therapists in their clinical practices. Linda was one of the first performers in the Samsara Meditation Ensemble, founded in 1999 in Seattle. Years of work as a music administrator-type have brought her to the SWPS Board, thanks guys! Go here for more detail than you can possibly want! www.lindakhandro.com.
Mollie is a traditional Bollywood and Bhangra dance teacher in Seattle. She combines classical hand gestures and footwork with the fanciful Bollywood style. She focused her learning on South Indian Classical, Traditional Folk and Bollywood styles. Throughout her dance career, she has traveled to India over 10 times to take private lessons and study all the different dance forms. She has also learned from members of the National Giddha team of India as well as the National Punjabi Bhangra team.
Mollie has over 20 years of experience performing on national and international stages. Her performance resume attests her skill with audiences such as the President of the US, The Smithsonian Institute, and various international dignitaries. She now brings that know-how to her classes; passing on the love of the music and dance to her students. She has been teaching since 1989. She is also a Program Manager/Senior Technical Project Manager. She is as passionate about technology and project management as she is about dance. She combines those loves by getting involved in the community to bring new shows to her audiences. www.DanceWithMollie.com
Dan Schmitt plays electric bass and percussion, and is Associate Director of Development for Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Eric Wilson, M.S.
Eric has been attending the World Rhythm Festival since 1998 as a participant, and as a performer for since 2005. He got involved in Festival production when he led the Seattle Rhythm Festival in 2006. Since then Eric has acted directly and indirectly to support SWPS and the WRF lending his leadership skills and positive energy.
As a exercise physiologist and dance teacher Eric has taught his Interpretive African and Funk dance class at the WRF as well as other festival in the Seattle area with focus on safe movements and over all body strengthening. He believes in all forms of movement based on engaging the body's inner core to protect the joints and decrease the chance of injury. While living in East Africa for 2.5 years he gained a new perspective on health, music, and creating new ways to motivate others to move as seen with his first exercise CD "Fitness Rhythms". www.compfit.com
Mary is co-owner of Easier Teamwork, offering experiential teambuilding and group development programs using rhythm. After more than 20 years in management, organizational development, and experiential education, Mary had her life-changing "grabbed by the drum" experience in 1997. At that moment, she started on the path of awakening her inner musician, and dedicating her life to bringing more rhythm to people's lives and livelihoods.
Appreciating music from all rhythm traditions, Mary is proud of how SWPS highlights the many branches of Seattle's vibrant drum and dance scene. She believes the more connections we can weave among the parts of our rhythm community, the better we'll share the joy of the beat with the community-at-large.
Trish Bjornson joined the SWPS board as secretary in 2006, and was Rhythm Festival Volunteer Coordinator in 2007. Trish has served on several 501(c)(3) boards in various capacities from president to registrar to secretary since 1994. She works as a real estate agent to help support her family in Shoreline.
Trish has a passion for drumming and has taken many workshops & classes with various teachers over the last 3 years. She considers herself a life time student of Rhythm. She truly believes that anyone can find rhythm within themselves and share it with others. Trish is a student of Bill Matthews, Geoff Johns and Ibrahima Camara. Trish is both a HealthRHYTHMS® trained facilitator as well as a graduate of Arthur Hull's internationally recognized Drum Circle Facilitation Playshop. She is currently working towards helping special populations by providing access to experiment with rhythm.
Hooper calls himself a late bloomer with drumming and rhythms, but is very passionate about his Cuban drumming, and loves African drumming, too. Hooper feels blessed to have found drumming while here in Seattle because there are so many people here who can be resources for us students. Hooper is a plumbing contractor by trade, and loves tennis, walks through Discovery Park, and donating his time to Heron Habitat Helpers and the Great Blue Herons of Kiwanis Ravine.
Since 1995, John has worked with artisans around the world importing musical instruments. His company, JAMTOWN, features multicultural rhythm packs that celebrate the common bond all people share through rhythm. John has written and produced three artisan videos, activity guides, and a children's album - included in the award-winning JAMTOWN Junior Rhythm Pak. He facilitates school, business, and community rhythm events; all populations can benefit by expressing and sharing together. www.jamtown.com
Lance has wrangled the many details of the WRF schedule, workshop, and artist information into the easy-to-read programs and schedule flyers we have enjoyed for many years. Lance operates his freelance business, Catalytic Communications, writing, editing, and doing graphic design mostly for social change-oriented non-profits and small businesses.
Lance has been playing in drum circles for three decades and has studied traditional West African rhythms for the last dozen years. He is a veteran performer in the ensembles Afö, Bambara Spirit, and the Invisible Circus, and is now bringing his knowledge of traditional djembe into new musical contexts. Lance teaches beginning djembe and facilitates drum circles.
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