Jonathan Best is a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist who is devoted to helping the world transform through music. A true music gardener, Jonathan and I met while we were both going through a life changing program known as Music For People guided by our beloved teacher, friend and fellow musician David Darling. We had scheduled this session before David suddenly and unexpectedly took his last breath in his body just days before this episode was recorded. David's life and music touched and inspired us and allowed us to dive very deep on this particularly episode about what David and music has meant to us. In particular, Jonathan's work with the Maasai tribe in Africa is a powerful example of the ability for music to empower us by creating healing heart-centered community. Jonathan teaches at Prescott College in Arizona, and touches lives by making the impossible possible and expressing the inexpressible through the language of love - which we both agree is the essence of music.
Jonathan evoked in me in this episode a deep emotional moment at 1hr and 2min in - where we both agreed that making a sound, even hitting one note is a sacred prayer if done with the right intention and sincerity, which we both discovered very young. David Darling taught us that we ALL have music in us and we become healthy individually and culturally when we make room for ALL of us to feel safe enough to make a genuine sound from our hearts.
From Jonathan: I have put music front and center of everything I do since childhood from playing on street corners and subway platforms and in storefront churches, traveling the south in a gospel bus to traveling the world with rock stars. I was put in jail for inciting a riot with music. In 2007 I enrolled in a four year Musician Leadership program at Music for People while at the same time making trips to Kenya to work with the Maasai people creating a media center and co-creating documentaries by and for the Maasai communities. What I learned from the Maasai people is that when music is interwoven into the very fabric of a community, the community is able to withstand debilitating drought and oppression.
These experiences inspired me to start a non-profit called comMUSIKey where music is the key to community, which runs workshops and gives lessons in developing community-centered music. This, in turn, led to the BuildTheBridges.rocks project which entailed bringing music and musical instruments to the US/Mexico border and to shelters and to churches housing asylum seekers.
We are forever looking for ways to use music to build bridges and take down walls between people and ideas.
Information on how to connect with Jonathan below:
Live show every Wednesday at 3 pm MST (10 UTC) and Music for Every Body Lesson every Sunday 1 pm MST (8 UTC) https://www.youtube.com/enjolis/live
listen to music at jonathanbest.bandcamp.com
watch music at youtube.com/enjolis
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