| Fools In Paradise|
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Photo by John Klicker. Click for full-size photo (856K)
Back row: Kevin, Shoehorn
& Erin. Front row: Saffire, Kite & TJ.
Fools In Paradise was founded by Kite
in 2001. Current personnel:
TJ Arko (marimba, guitar, vocals)
(djembe, dundun, congas, vocals)
Kevin Finkle (marimba, bass kalimba, vocals)
(marimba, mbira dzavadzimu, vocals)
Christy Kuiken (marimba, hosho, dundun, vocals)
(saxophone, pennywhistle, hosho, vocals)
ABOUT OUR INSTRUMENTS
The mbira dzavadzimu is
a three-octave kalimba with
22 keys, played by the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
Its name means the "mbira of the spirits" and it is traditionally
used in spiritual ceremonies, often lasting all
day and all night for several days.
Our bass kalimba was made by Kite. It has 14 keys and an electric pickup.
(You can get one from David Bellinger at www.ekalimba.com)
Our marimbas are also made by Kite and decorated with horns and tails for an authentic African look. The
gourd resonators are inspired by the West African balafon.
Our percussion section features hosho
(Zimbabwean gourd shakers), conga drums, and the djembe and dundun from
Fools In Paradise is a 6-piece ensemble that has been performing at festivals, schools and events
since 2001. The band's founder, Kite Giedraitis,
has been studying and playing marimba and mbira music of
Africa since 1987. Since his travels in Zimbabwe
and Ghana in 1990-92, he has been a full-time marimba teacher and
Drummer and vocalist Saffire Bouchelion has collaborated and performed on over 35 CDs. Erin Middleton
has been performing for children since 1995 with
various marimba bands. She makes regular trips to Nigeria to visit her
family. Saxophonist Shoehorn has been leading jazz and blues bands professionally for more than 18 years.
Kevin Finkle has been performing Zimbabwean music since 1995. TJ Arko
holds a percussion
degree from PSU and brings a deep knowledge of
classical and contemporary marimba to the group. Together the ensemble
a fun, high-energy musical experience that gets
audiences of all ages participating.