17PerformAOf all the things I have ever aspired to be and do, it’s never been to be a lead singer, or one of the singers in a band!  Though at the request of my friend the glassblower, Preston Singletary, I thought I’d give it a go.  We sing traditional Tlingit songs with the back up of a fantastic sound called funk jazz fusion played by outstanding musicians that practically blew flutist Gene Tagaban and I right off the stage with the very first drumbeats at our very first performance in Seattle the night of June 20th.  We are called “Khu.eex”  (pronounced “koo eeeexch” which in the Tlingit language means “potlatch.”

Preston’s other band is called “Little Big Band” – this band is a totally separate band with a totally different sound from Khu.eex,  You may visit Little Big Band’s website by clicking here at “A Little Big Band.com”

The following are a few photos of “Khu.eex”  taken by Dan Shanks and I:


Let’s introduce you to “Khu.eex” – L to R: drummer from New Orleans Stanton Moore, Clarissa Rizal, keyboard player from New Jersey Bernie Worrell, Seattle musicians: bass player Preston Singletary, flutist/spoken word Gene Tagaban, saxaphonist Skerik, lead guitar Captain Raab, and sound engineer Randall Dunn at Avast! Studios, Seattle.

Read more about the various band members & the recording studio on their websites:

Bernie Worrell, keyboard artist:  http://www.bernieworrell.com

Stanton Moore, drummer:  http://www.stantonmoore.com

Preston Singletary, bass:  http://www.prestonsingletary.com

Gene Tagaban, flutist/spoken word/singer:  http://www.storytellingraven.com/

Clarissa Rizal, singer/spoken word:  http://www.clarissarizal.com

Avast! Recording Studioshttp://www.avastrecording.com/



Preston rounded up Gene, Captain Raab and Clarissa to create the set list.

I thought to myself “man, this is serious, we are really performing for an audience and are no longer in the recording studio…”  like “hello, wake up dearie, we are not in Kansas anymore…!”  The following photos are rehearsal shots:


Preston, Stanton Skerik and Bernie during our one rehearsal directly before the first of two shows on the evening of Thursday, June 19th, Seattle,Washington.

0Rehearsal2 9Skerik 10BernieWorrell 10StantonMoore

8Robert11TatooedPedals13GeneFlutes14RobPresSkerik0Rehearsal216BernieWorrellHere are a few more shots of our performances:

19PerformC18PerformB24KueexHWhen are we going to take this troupe on tour?  Well, a few things have to line up:  First, Preston is working on finalizing the recording sessions and it looks as though there is enough material for two CD’s.  Secondly, Preston’s two kids have to get a little older by about two years so that they can come on tour with us.  Thirdly, we have to do some fundraising (maybe via Kickstarter) to pay for the tour.

And fourthly, for me, now that my throat is pretty much healed from last Winter’s spell of pneumonia, I can continue to take my voice lessons from Brett Manning’s Singing Success.com – click here to find out more about how you can take these fun voice lessons — if I can take voice lessons, you can take voice lessons!  Being a part of Preston’s band, I feel like I have to contribute more than just being able to sing the native tunes; I have to really learn how to sing so my voice is an actual instrument allowing me to be more CREATIVE!!!


Bernie Worrell with Dan Shanks (who was the photographer for most of the photos on this blog post).

Both Bernie and Dan (as well as Gene Tagaban) are part Cherokee — can you see the resemblance?  I can….(elongated shape of skull/face, certain width at bridge of nose, ears are flat to side of head, and the human kind graciousness of their character…)