If you know Bright Hawk either by the fire, in spiritual community, as a musician, or in a facility you know that she holds a special talent in bringing people together. Bright Hawk’s work with Let’s Dance has lead her to tremendous growth in a way that is beyond words and sentences on your screen. I find her tremendous talent as a storyteller best shown when she combines it with her delightful abilities with the handpan. Here is her most recent video including a performance with the “Women of the World” as well as pieces of her “Dancing Happy Hippo Storytime Adventure” that can help you understand this dynamic being of peace and light. Her delightful smile and amazing talent of the handpan combined with her shiny personality and inspirational messages take her to gatherings around the world. Festivals all over the world delight in Bright Hawk’s presence at their events as well as libraries, schools, and other family based events.
Furthermore, notice how Bright Hawk’s stories bring communities together, over and over again. Inspired by Bright Hawk’s stories and hand pan music many communities experience great inspiration by her presence.
Bright Hawk also has been playing the African Drum, Djembe for over 20 years. Many would first notice her amazing abilities rhythmically and honor her for her profound experience with both beginners and professionals alike! Here she is featured with the group “Women of the World”.
Open Mic – the community gathers! The anxiety in the room heightens as the group of new musicians gather to support each other and take their moment in the spotlight. There are several open mic events in Denver, every night, all over the city. Tonight, we are visiting Swallow Hill Music – Open Stage.
Swallow Hill is a gathering spot for musicians in Denver, CO. They provide space for classes, concerts and community music gatherings. Often Bright Hawk attends this open stage and has been featured as the “Best of” open stage. Once a month they have an open stage and they choose several people from the open stage that are considered the “best” to be featured at a special concert the following the month. Providing more space for the community to not only connet in community but also to lift each other up. Sharing audiences helps all in attendance to develop as musicians. We can lift each other up and celebrate our diversity. Swallow Hill Music certainly has the feel of not only professional musicians but also the community of people that celebrate music.
Bright Hawk plays the hand pan in a way that is different than most other hand pan players. Her background in percussion, music and African music shows through in her diversity and talents. The instrument, the Hang PANArt, is a very unique instrument but is normally played for only atmospheric music, until Bright Hawk.
Bringing her instrument to the stage brings immediate interest as usual. Everyone has questions about how to get one and where it comes from. The instrument is interesting and the sounds it provides for music enthusiasts is uniquely interesting. The sounds are compared to many other instruments such as the harp and even an orchestra! Some people have even insisted there is something inside of it, really underneath in that big hole. Others want to know how to get one or where they can get it. The instrument in itself gets tons of attention.
Once you get past the initial fascination with the instrument you are moved by the smiling Hang PANArtist and amazing talent of the Percussionist Bright Hawk. Her 20 years experience and lifetime of music study shows through in her compositions. Songs that begin and end in a way that feels like she took you on a journey. A journey with an instrument tuned in F that inspires happy and joyful feelings. She does two songs at the open mic that are upbeat and fun. One song with a little visualization about traveling and honoring those that have come before us. Then we are reminded of where the original Americans came from with a fun Irish Story and music that inspires community and hospitality.
Open Mics are a service to the creative community! We visit them while we build Bright Hawk as a solo musician in order to network and promote upcoming concerts. Recently I was turned on to a new place in Denver for an Open Mic. Since I am always looking for places for Bright Hawk to get exposure and places to meet other artists, I asked her to take part in the open mic at Brik on York. I could tell by the website that this place was going to be unique.
Upon arrival I was comforted by the casual setting. This industrial style venue resembled many other new food places that also serve craft beers and wines in Denver. This place had a bit more style though in the art they held on the walls. The art, with closer inspection, was from high schoolers. So now the Brik has pulled on my value strings, creating space for artistic expression for youth is a great thing to do, most of us would agree. When I came in there was a film screening ending, yet another creative form of entertainment. As I looked around I noticed that Brik on York was becoming a space for artists to show their true colors, including the young and less experienced. The open mic is yet another way…
When it was time to sign up the owner was plugged in enough to his venue that he could create a line up that would celebrate everyone. The show was opened by a band of young people including the owner on percussion. Its always great to see when people come together to play music and cooperate. There was a bit of a jam session that was just right to bring shy artists out of their shell. It can be intimidating to get on stage and perform in front of people, even if you have practiced every day and you been told a million times your good. It takes practice and confidence to get on stage again and again….often what is before can help sooth nerves. Then someone else has taken a risk as well. I have experienced this myself as a performer although it does get easier the more you do it.
We were blessed some good acoustic guitar players and then interestingly a spoken word artist did an improv type performance. The artist asked for 3 words from the audience after words like kitten and apple she managed to work the words in a way that sounded inspirational. As if they were the center of us all. Really well done. Bright Hawk took stage with her amazing instrument, the Hang PANArt. The unusual style of the instrument always gets initial interest but she has a way of keeping people past that curious moment, without diminishing the curiosity. Her style is most unusual and she can easily talk and play the instrument, or at least it looks easy! She uses the insrument to create music but also as sound effects and background to her Storytelling. The instrument is so diverse that it gives her freedom to create variety in sound and rhythms from song to song. Showing her diversity Bright Hawl delivered a fun Irish Story along with her song “Dance of the Fae” and then showed her impressive skills by playing both sides of the instrument at the same time. To keep two hands doing two different sides at the same time to create a song is a special talent. Her ability to balance the Hang in between her legs is impressive and unique – even having a story to go along with this song. Feels like a lullabye and takes many of us back to gentle imaginative days of our youngest years.
She closed her set showing even more diversity by singing along to a fun upbeat song that tends to get everyone singing and dancing. Seven Generations her original composition for this age old value. Showing how we are all connected through her music she rocks us into a community song that helps us all know just how siginificant we each are, regardless of age. Her fun attitude and upbeat rhythms bring a strong feeling of unity to the song overall. Most of us feel experience a sense of humanity as a result of this uplifting song.
Overall I was grateful to have tried the Open Mic out, maybe we can make it next week! Thank you Brik on York for supporting artists and keep up the good work!