The story of my musical life

Some of you already knew that I sing in a band. But did you know that at age three I was already in the front row in red pants playing the tamborine?
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You see, as a little girl I always dreamed of being a singer like Julie Andrews or Joni Mitchell. Of course I will never be like them because I am not a soprano.

The first time I sang in public was in fourth grade doing a “karaoke” (singing along to the album) to Nicolette Larson’s version (or was it Linda Ronstadt?) of Love is a Rose. Here I am heading out to the school talent show.
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In 8th grade I went to a very performing arts intensive school in Pennsyvania where I got to be in musicals and perform in an ensemble. Here’s the only surviving picture. We are singing some kind of showtune. Curiously I am in the front row center again. I thought I sucked, though, and I never had any solos. This picture was posed because Mr. Goltz was pretty hardcore about “No flash photography during the show.”
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But I only kept my musical dream until about age 14. That’s when I got boy crazy and my self esteem vanished and I forgot all about my musical desires, except ones about sleeping with British rock stars. I never sang in public again until 20 years later, when one of my husband’s bandmates (yeah, Mr. beatgrl is a musician) invited me to sing in the chorus of an afrocuban folkloric drumming band. The lyrics are in Yoruba which is both challenging and fun. After the first rehearsal they asked me to be the lead singer. I guess all that car singing came in handy. I don’t have any pictures of Akimbo but we kinda looked this this, except white:
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After a couple years I was asked to join these guys below, Songo. My first band with instruments other than drums! Afrocuban jazz!!
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After a couple more years and some personnel changes, we became Yambique, Bellingham’s Afro-Cuban Funk Machine!
I’m still in the front row, I’m still not a soprano and I’m still not singing in English.
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Also still playing percussion:
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Oh, and I still like to wear red pants:
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Full circle.

There are lots more pictures and sound clips at our WEBSITE. After a crazy festival summer, our calendar is pretty empty at the moment, thus the shamless plug. Want to throw an awesome party? We are available for hire and you will not be dissapointed.
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Come on, man, click, we’re waitin’ for ya!
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6 Responses to “The story of my musical life”


  1. 1 Dr. Monkey December 14, 2007 at 8:34 am

    What a great post! I loved Julie Andrews for a different reason. Come to think of it, I loved Nicolette Larson for the same reason. Keep on making music and wearing red pants!

  2. 2 littlebangtheory December 19, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Gurrrl, this is so cool! After listening to all of the clips at Yambique‘s site (I totally friggin’ dig Afro-Cuban, or any Worldbet for that matter) I bopped on over to The Patriots’ Myspace page and grooved on them, completely different and also very cool. I thought “Paris Hilton” sounded like an amalgam of Southern Culture On The Skids and old Frank Zappa. HA! Is Bob your Hubster?

  3. 3 beatgrl December 19, 2007 at 9:36 am

    No, the love of my life is Chuck, the drummer. I dig drummers. And guitarists. And horn players.😆

  4. 4 dcup December 21, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    How cool! I wish I could sing.

    Man, how I wish I were in WA, I would book you for my organization’s events in a heartbeat!

  5. 5 Cherie December 22, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Hey Tanya!

    How about some credit to your parents for banging your ear nightly with music vibrations against your wall, not to mention all the trips in the car with music blasting.

    Although not as suceessful, remember your Mom as the lead singer/percussionist and Mike as Bass man in Camel Rock? Yes music is the spice of life! We are proud of you and glad you are sending out positive vibrations and energy to the world!

    Love,
    Mom & Mike

  6. 6 Haria Rufai December 4, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I really like u


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